San José

Copyright: Travel Local/CC BY 2.0/Flickr (upscaled and cropped)

San José

Costa Rica is a unique Central American country nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. San José, the capital, holds diverse activities for visitors and has an exciting urban life with art galleries, parks, and a vibrant nightlife scene. The country is a worldwide-renowned travel destination praised for its abundance of wildlife, rainforests, volcanoes, beaches and national parks.

The City

Boasting marvellous tropical wildlife and outdoor adventures, Costa Rica is truly a traveler’s paradise. Whether you want to explore a diverse fauna — with big wild cats, curious birds, and colourful fish — or to dive into the rainforest flora, this Central American paradise offers its visitors an outstanding glimpse of nature. While the city of San José might contrast with its green surroundings, the cultural and political capital is well worth exploring. Among the grey buildings and the hectic urban life, you will find a number of art galleries, historic monuments, and market areas that will make your visit unforgettable. San José is also a central travel hub with easy access to beaches, mountain hikes and natural parks.

Top 8 Attractions for Coffee Lovers

Coffee production has played a key role in Costa Rica's history and continues to be important to the country's economy. The volcanic soil, high altitudes, and good climate come together to create some of the best coffee crops in the world with its lively acidity, lighter body and smooth, sweet, floral flavours. As a small country, Costa Rica now provides under 1% of the world's coffee production, so don't expect to find their coffee beans on just any supermarket shelf back home. All the more reason to explore the hyperlocal coffee culture, from farm to cup. Don't miss the chance to visit local hipster joints for your third wave coffee experience while in San José. You can even take cupping classes to develop your palate! A farm visit is an absolute must for when you are ready to leave the city and explore the countryside.

Coffee and Lunch

Cafes in San José are usually cozy and intimate, yet welcome everyone to a quick refreshment or an extended break on a busy day of sightseeing. You will come across plenty of places to grab an ice cream to eat as you stroll through the city, or just a small coffee shop to sit down and enjoy an afternoon snack. San José is one of the world's capitals of coffee, so don't miss out!

Do & See

San José is home to great world-class museums, lush parks, hip hostels with pools and some seriously amazing restaurants. The most exciting neighbourhood of the city is Escalante — the hippest people are hanging out there. Besides having a vibrant urban life, San José is also the perfect starting point for day trips to many major destinations spread throughout the country. Hop on a bus and explore the local forest regions or a hike in the nearby mountains. The city's energetic and vibrant life and unique nature will make for unforgettable experiences.


Rice, vegetables, black beans, and fruit (especially plantain) are the main ingredients of Costa Rica's gastronomy. As it is common in Central America, you will find a healthy and delicious variety of dishes. The city centre is filled with a good amount of small cafes, cozy restaurants, and lovely eateries where you can have a taste of the country's mouth-watering cuisine.

Bars & Nightlife

From jazz cafes to dance clubs and beer pubs, San José offers visitors a diverse selection of nightlife entertainment. Experience the vibrant street life and an exciting music scene with events for every taste. Hangout with friends in the pub around the corner and head out to the hottest disco in town afterwards — you won't be disappointed with the Latin nightlife of San José.


Carvings from polished coconut wood, colourful bead bracelets, and handmade ceramics are popular souvenirs that you can bring home from Costa Rica. Jewellery and skilfully crafted woven fabrics that will delight your friends and family can be bought at the various markets in the city centre. Hand-carved wooden figures, colourful hammocks and t-shirts with prints are among the most popular souvenirs from Costa Rica. You can pick them up at one of the many markets in the city centre or look for specialty shops in the area.

Tourist Information