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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:
08:30 - 04:30
Open now
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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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 828 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 174
  • 205
    Very good
  • 70
  • 20
  • 5
Costa Rica History-Costa Rican Colors!

This museum has a variety of historic elements ranging from amerindian people to the XX century. Nice expositions.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 January 2016
Cristian Q
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828 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 474: English reviews
Level Contributor
93 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2016

This museum has a variety of historic elements ranging from amerindian people to the XX century. Nice expositions.

Thank Cristian Q
Corpus Christi, Texas
Level Contributor
148 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2016

On our first day in Costa Rica we decided to stay in San Jose and visit the Jade Museum and Museo Nacional. As you enter into the museum you do so through a very well done butterfly garden -- the highlight of the museum. The rest of the museum is dedicated mostly to Costa Rican history and environmentalism. Usually, the... More 

Thank Hans S
East Sussex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2016

This museum has an array of exhibits, the best for me was the butterfly gardens. It is housed in an old fort, and tells of the banana trade and the gold. A few exhibits were closed when we visited but we still enjoyed it.

Thank ssjcox
South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 January 2016

I usually like museums like this, and I expected to get more out of the Museo Nacional than I did. That may be because my Spanish is rusty (hampering my ability to read about the exhibits) or because it was the final stop on our downtown tour, and I was already on info overload. I did find the story of... More 

Thank helgA2010
Guadalajara, Mexico
Level Contributor
44 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2015 via mobile

I was surprised at the amount of fossils and historic indigenous artifacts they have at the museum but then again the museum does need to add a little fun to it. Going with family is fun and you get to learn about the country's history. They have a garden with butterflies which is amazing and a must see.

Thank Michelle G
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2015

Once you have paid to enter, you go into the museum through a butterfly garden. Very peaceful, and fun to watch the different types of butterflies. Beyond that, there is a mix of history, art, and natural history exhibits. I'd recommend a couple of hours here.

1 Thank Erica L
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2015 via mobile

This museum we heard from our tour guide was one of the better ones in San Jose. For us it was so so. There are 4 parts. The first part was a joke. It was just "art" that some one had done. There was no explanation as to what the pieces were or why they were there. As we heard... More 

Thank Rm1235
Spring, Texas
Level Contributor
45 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2015

I gave myself an hour to check out the museum, hoping to see as much as I could in that time. I managed to see it all in 45 mins. It's worth the visit. The building alone and the history behind it is worth it, and the butterfly garden makes you forget you're in the middle of the city. I... More 

Thank James S
Heredia, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2015

Beautiful butterflies and plants, clean exhibits, quiet landscape, awesome view. If you want to know more about this wonderful country, this museum is a must see. Its main entrance is at Democracy Square.

Thank Lorena837
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
83 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2015

The butterfly enclosure at the start of the museum is not something one usually sees in a museum so that was good. The artifacts were interesting but i have to say i did not understand some of the contemporary exhibits. Entrance fee is $8 which i later found out is relatively good value in comparison to entrance fees at other... More 

1 Thank jlee_melbourne

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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?