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San JoseCosta Rica

Immerse yourself in Spanish language, culture and food and European architecture in this inviting Central American capital city.

European charm and Central American vitality combine to provide an interesting blend of old and new, making San José a fascinating Costa Rican city. Interact with friendly locals, investigate impressive European architecture, enjoy cultural arts and perfect your Spanish language skills.

Several of San José’s impressive public structures date back to Spanish settlement from as early as the 1700s. Experience some of the best of San José ’s cultural activities and see interesting buildings near the large Plaza de la Cultura. Here, admire the neo-classical architecture of the Teatro Nacional. Reserve seats for outstanding cultural events at this national theater or tour the opulent interior decorated with murals, paintings and sculptures.

Nearby, visit three exceptional museums. See dazzling indigenous pieces in the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. The Museo del Jade has plenty of jade as well as anthropological artifacts. Learn about Costa Rican history and natural science at the Museo Nacional, another example of striking architecture.

Costa Rica is a popular location for language learners looking for immersion in a Spanish-speaking region, either through formal training or casual interaction with local residents. Sign up for one of many structured programs or test your Spanish skills in restaurants in the different barrios of San José.

You’re sure to get a friendly smile if you order gallo pinto (rice and beans) for breakfast just as the locals do. When you need a break from Spanish, go to the restaurants and country clubs of the western Escasu barrio with many English-speaking expats or visit the relatively new Chinatown area.

In March, the city hosts the Transitarte Festival. Enjoy pleasant summer weather and travel from one urban park to another to enjoy music, crafts, workshops and art.

Reach San José via Juan Santamaría International Airport, 10 miles (17 kilometers) northwest of the city center. Use public buses and taxis to get around the city. Many of the main landmarks are in the downtown or “el centro” area, easy to walk from one to another.

Top Hotels in San Jose

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton San Jose-Airport
Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton San Jose-Airport
3 out of 5
Hwy 1 Airport Blvd, Alajuela, Alajuela
The price is CA $116 per night from Dec 3 to Dec 4

Located in Cacique, this hotel is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from City Mall, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Zoo Ave and Costa Rica National Stadium (Estadio Nacional de Costa ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (986 reviews)

"I like the whole thing about it. Staff is very nice"…"

Reviewed on Nov. 21, 2020

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton San Jose-Airport
Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen
Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen
4.5 out of 5
The price is CA $160 per night from Dec 18 to Dec 19

Located near the airport, this family-friendly resort is within 9 mi (15 km) of City Mall, Central Park and Museum of Costa Rican Art. National Theater and Gold ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (794 reviews)

"The customer service was excellent; we appreciate the complementary late checkout. The quality of food was also great but, in terms of menu variety, there should be a few more options available (i.e. pasta) . Overall we enjoyed the experience."…"

Reviewed on Sep. 15, 2020

Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen
Holiday Inn San Jose Escazu
Holiday Inn San Jose Escazu
3.5 out of 5
Plaza Tempo, Next to CIMA Hospital, Escazu, San Jose
The price is CA $120 per night from Dec 24 to Dec 25

Situated in the entertainment district, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Plaza Tempo, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Costa Rica National Stadium (Estadio Nacional ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (480 reviews)

"Very nice hotel although some small details were not addressed."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 19, 2020

Holiday Inn San Jose Escazu
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in San Jose

Apartotel & Suites Villas del Rio
Apartotel & Suites Villas del Rio
3.5 out of 5
East side of Costa Rica Country Club, San Rafael, Escazu, San Jose
The price is CA $109 per night from Dec 3 to Dec 4

This family-friendly Escazu aparthotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Avenida Escazú and Plaza Tempo. Multiplaza Mall Escazu and Costa Rica ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (479 reviews)

"Excellent place, very near From importante places. Very large room"…"

Reviewed on Sep. 6, 2020

Apartotel & Suites Villas del Rio
Casa Conde Hotel & Suites
Casa Conde Hotel & Suites
3.5 out of 5
South-west of Peace Park, Suroeste del Parque de la Paz, San Jose, San Jose
The price is CA $97 per night from Dec 3 to Dec 4

This family-friendly aparthotel is located in the city centre, within 3 mi (5 km) of National Museum of Costa Rica, National Park and Morazan Park. University ...

4.1/5Very Good! (721 reviews)

"The property was meticulously maintained. The staff were busy working all the time, but still always has time for smiles and any request we might have. I have nothing but good things to report about Casa Conde.."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 21, 2020

Casa Conde Hotel & Suites
Casa Reflejos City View
Casa Reflejos City View
3.5 out of 5
19Z Calle Del Llano, Bello Horizonte de Escazu, Escazu, San Jose
The price is CA $77 per night from Dec 3 to Dec 4

Situated in Escazu, this apartment building is within 3 miles (5 km) of Avenida Escazú, Costa Rica National Stadium (Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica) and Sabana ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (120 reviews)

"staff very helpful, wifi was very fast and good for doing virutal work. rooms were spacious"…"

Reviewed on Oct. 19, 2020

Casa Reflejos City View
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top things to do in San Jose

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San José

San José

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