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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
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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 831 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 174
  • 206
    Very good
  • 70
  • 20
  • 5
A good way to get some Costa Rica history while down town.

The Museo Nacional or National Museum is worth your time if you are interested in a quick glimpse of Costa Rican history from Pre-Columbian times to the present. It's comprised... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
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831 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 475: English reviews
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The Museo Nacional or National Museum is worth your time if you are interested in a quick glimpse of Costa Rican history from Pre-Columbian times to the present. It's comprised of several exposition halls spanning different eras with all sorts of artifacts and articles from across the centuries. It is set in a old fort which our 11 year old... More 

Thank Macjrobert
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

The museum is close to the center of San Jose. The entrance is very beautiful where you can see beautiful butterflies. It is not expensive and it is typical. Good to visit.

Thank barca1991
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Wow, what a great way to enter the museum, walking through a butterfly observatory and having them hover all around you. As you exit the butterfly observatory, you come out onto a top floor courtyard with a nice collection of the stone spheres and a nice view of the mountains. The best feature, entrance to the museum is free. What... More 

Thank Paul N
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

It is not too bad and not so good. We wanted to see but for us it was not a great experience. Nothing is attractive.

Thank Adrii M
Level Contributor
78 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We visited the museum, which by the way its free, and found the butterfly garden to be mesmerising. Beautiful garden with lots of butterflies. The remaining of the museum is very small but quite interesting with objects and history from the pre-colombus period.

1 Thank byakuryu
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The name is big but the exceptation is not three. However that was not a bad experience. Not many people were there when we visited.

Thank Briana S
Level Contributor
58 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I probably would have been intrigued to go in even if I had to pay. But loved that it was free! It was really interesting to see some of the history of San Jose incorporated into the interior of an old fort and house. I would've enjoyed more artifacts. A couple sections were also closed, two rooms to be opening... More 

2 Thank Christa B
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Entrance was a bit hard to find as main gates are closed and locked. Butterfly garden had one main species. Not much signage to get you from one exhibit room to the next. History section was interesting. Some would also find the precolumbian section interesting too.

1 Thank SummerTraveler65
Level Contributor
59 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The museum starts with a butterfly garden, which is really pretty. You can see different kinds of butterflies, the cocoons, the caterpillars and how they all eat. The garden leads to an open field where you can walk to different directions and learn about the history of Costa Rica. Unfortunately when we where there the part of the history was... More 

1 Thank Patriesh
Monterey, California
Level Contributor
112 reviews
88 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The Museo Nacional is free to visit, offering many exhibitions including a look at 19th and 20th century living conditions, a butterfly atrium, pre-Columbian period pieces, and other historical items about San Jose and Costa Rica more generally. The external architecture of building is absolutely worth a look. A great peek into Costa Rica’s history.

1 Thank Fadamos

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  • 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?