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National Museum (Museo Nacional)

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Calle 17, Avenidas Central y Segunda | Antiguo Cuartel Bella Vista, San Jose, Costa Rica
Phone Number: 257-221-4429
See all hours
Sun 09:00 - 04:30
Tue - Sat 08:30 - 04:30

This 19th-century building contains a well-organized exhibits on Costa...

This 19th-century building contains a well-organized exhibits on Costa Rica's history and culture.

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Book In Advance
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San Jose City Tour by Night with Dinner and a Show

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 800 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 173
  • 199
    Very good
  • 67
  • 17
  • 5
Good and interesting museum, but...

I really liked to visit this museum because it had a big variety of historical remarks to show. For example the typical nature, as well as the beginning of the population in... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 7 December 2015
Robert J
Fresno, California
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800 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 461: English reviews
Fresno, California
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2015

I really liked to visit this museum because it had a big variety of historical remarks to show. For example the typical nature, as well as the beginning of the population in central america and the living in the 18th century over here. The only thing I didn't like, was, that most of the descriptions were in spanish and even... More 

Thank Robert J
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2015 via mobile

Awesome museum. Butterfly walk thru part was the best though! Although it costs about $8. But luckily I went on a Tuesday and it was free. So find out the free days to go.

Thank Christophe H
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
122 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2015 via mobile

This place is worth the visit if you have a couple of days in town and like art. Just the outside alone is enough to make you want to go inside.

Thank 3mJ87
Oromocto NB
Level Contributor
132 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 December 2015

The indoor butterfly garden was really neat. We watched a butterfly come out of it's cocoon, that was cool. There are something link 9 different galleries of which 3 to 4 are temporary exhibits. The day we were there one of the exhibits was on modern day middens (The cynic in me wants to ask how much the artist got... More 

Thank Michael M
Tustin, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 November 2015

We are glad we took the time to learn some Costa Rican history, view art work and experience the indoor butterfly garden

Thank 58Peggy
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
857 reviews
391 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 905 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2015

I really thought this was some type of castle or old military installation based on the design. One thing is for sure-you can't miss it! A great way to learn about the history of San Jose and Costa Rica.

Thank romadaro
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2015 via mobile

There's a mix of things to see here. I was drawn to the butterflies and Precolumbian artifacts, but other than that found it to be a good way to get a better understanding of Costa Rica's development from the United Fruit Company (read the Wikipedia and learn the real truth). All in all, worth the visit, but not a place... More 

Thank nethmaph
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
105 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2015 via mobile

We we lucky to have a very good guide for our group from the UK and he was able to fill us in on the history of the Museum. It is an impressive building. The butterfly pavilion is very good and contains wonderful specimens. It is very important to have a qualified guide if you are to get the best... More 

Thank Paul189852
Burlington, New Jersey
Level Contributor
136 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2015

A small museum with a lot of charm. Butterfly garden, well maintained grounds, great views. The architecture is incredible!

Thank Michelle P
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2015

As others have said, the butterfly garden is lovely, but the rest of the museum is fairly average. Some areas were closed for maintenance. If there is a choice I would suggest going to the Pre-Columbian Museum in the Parque Central instead.

Thank Miriam D

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Questions & Answers

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?