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National Museum (Museo Nacional)

Calle 17, Avenidas Central y Segunda | Antiguo Cuartel Bella Vista, San Jose, Costa Rica
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This 19th-century building contains a well-organized exhibits on Costa Rica's history and culture.
  • Excellent42%
  • Very good40%
  • Average14%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible1%
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Hours Today: 08:30 - 04:30
Calle 17, Avenidas Central y Segunda | Antiguo Cuartel Bella Vista, San Jose, Costa Rica
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Reviews (944)
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161 - 170 of 539 reviews

Reviewed 30 March 2016 via mobile

This isn't a huge museum, but there is a nice variety of items on display. The entrance is a walk through a butterfly garden with beautiful flowers! The location is great - walking distance to Central Avenue shopping, the National Theater, Chinatown and the Plaza....More

Thank Doreen W
Reviewed 30 March 2016

There was so much depth and richness covered in this museum...the culture, the natural world, European contact, goldworking, etc...I learned so much! Lots of exhibits and yet not overwhelming.

Thank lisaamoran
Reviewed 28 March 2016

They had every thing from gold items to butterflies. They had a great collection of pre Columbian artifacts and art to see. Well worth the time to see.

Thank Russell L
Reviewed 28 March 2016 via mobile

I liked my visit here...the museum had very interesting and unusual exhibits like the butterfly enclosure, a display of government carriages from the 1800's and historical displays explaining indigenous peoples, local government and insignias. The building itself was unique and the price was right. A...More

Thank Brad S
Reviewed 28 March 2016 via mobile

The museum surprised me with its size. The butterfly enclosure with various butterflies intrigued me. Then it led me to a beautiful courtyard surrounded by museum galleries..... Interesting and gave me an insight into the young history of Costa Rica..... Takes about 2-3 hours... And...More

Thank Raj-Iyer
Reviewed 26 March 2016

The National Museum was worth a visit - at the time they had a fascinating exhibit on colonisation on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. The disques are very interesting too! The butterfly garden is lovely and there's lots to learn about pre-columbian gold and...More

Thank Hannah C
Reviewed 26 March 2016 via mobile

Building itself is a really interesting and going through the butterfly enclosure to get in was good. A small to medium selection of the highlights of Costa Rican history and wildlife. Well worth doing if you are in San Jose.

Thank Jim H
Reviewed 25 March 2016 via mobile

The fortress was built in 1917 and was originally a military barracks: the exterior walls still have many bullets lodged in them from the country's 1948 civil war. It became the site of the museum in 1950. This is a beautiful structure. It over look the...More

Thank Eloim-Ellis
Reviewed 24 March 2016

The exhibit signs are in Spanish and English. The butterfly exhibit was a nice surprise and very pretty. Make sure to take a walk around the exterior of the museum to check out the bullet holes in the walls from their civil war.

Thank e9tac
Reviewed 22 March 2016

This was our first attraction we visited when we arrived in San Jose. It was a great way to learn about the country. The exhibits range from historical and fact-focused to a bit more interactive. We loved the butterfly garden and the courtyard inside the...More

Thank katequeue
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Brooke E
The website says $9, but many of the reviews say "free." Is anyone able to clear this up?
9 January 2017|
Response from bdstephen | Reviewed this property |
It has been free while they are remodelling. At normal times are free 1 day/week
What are the opening hours?
7 January 2017|
Answer Show all 3 answers
Response from rainiershadow | Reviewed this property |
8:30a.m. to 4:30 p.m. great place to visit
I don't speak or read Spanish. will I be able to get much out the museum or do you need to know some Spanish to understand the context of the exhibits?
8 October 2016|
Answer Show all 4 answers
Response from markremarks | Reviewed this property |
As others have said, many of the exhibits have English information as well as Spanish. I don't speak Spanish either but I enjoyed my visit.