Buenaventura Corrales School in San José, Costa Rica. Photo credits: Allan Quirós
San José, colloquially known as “Chepe”, is the capital of Costa Rica since 1823. Although the size of 44,6 km2 is rather small, it is home to a multitude of diverse atmospheres: from picturesque quarters surrounded by markets and fruit peddlers, to historic neighborhoods full of cafés, art galleries, exotic restaurants, and bars.
Undoubtedly, San José has experienced a positive transformation over past years. Not too long ago, the capital was just the first stop on travelers’ journey for being the core of transportation within the country. After a one-night layover, they would finally take off to the beaches or mountains in other parts of the country. But something has been evolving in San José which caught attention of travelers and made them want to give the city another chance.
Parque España in San José, Costa Rica. Photo credits: @esencial.cr
This revival has brought San José to the 6th place of the World’s Top Destinations “on the rise” by Tripadvisor. The city is described as vibrant and packed with Victorian mansions, Costa Rica’s rowdy, buzzing capital was built on the profits of the coffee trade. Working “golden bean” plantations are still surrounding the city. Try freshly roasted local beans at Mercado Central or dive into a shiny, golden world while visiting the Museo del Oro. Many renovated landmarks turned into modern and stylish hotels.
National Theatre of Costa Rica. Photo credits: Allan Quirós.
Things you definitely can’t miss when visiting San José, Costa Rica, are:
- The National Theatre, built in 1887.
- The Museum Tour which includes the Precolumbian Gold Museum, the Jade Museum, and the National Museum.
- The Central Market, perfect to try authentic traditional food; and the National Craft Market, specialized in souvenirs and traditional crafts.
- The Paseo Gastronómico La Luz, foodies’ choice for a night of culinary adventure with some locally brewed, Costa Rican craft beers.
- The “Feria Verde de Aranjuez” or Green Market on Saturday mornings, where you can buy organic fruits and vegetables and handicrafts; enjoy delicious, healthy food with accompanying live music in the background.
Green Market in Aranjuéz, San José. Photo credits: @feriaverde
Do you want to know what is going on in San José during your stay? Check the agenda of GAM Cultural! You will find almost every event going on in Chepe on their website or app: from concerts, theatre shows, and dance presentations; to workshops, talks and themed parties.
Immerse yourself in the culture of San José while staying at Hotel Presidente and experience the city like a local. Don’t forget to visit the rooftop patio and bar Azotea 7; apart from the food and drinks, the panoramic view is their specialty! The Holiday Inn San José-Aurola hotel is also a convenient option that combines elegance and practicality, only minutes away by foot from museums, restaurants, and shops.
Hotel Presidente colorful and famous facade. Photo credits: @peekzartshop
Dig deeper into San José and discover its charms: the colors, the sounds, the people and the culture. We are sure that if you pay attention, you will end up loving the city and agreeing with the local saying “Conoche, San José de noche” basically meaning that San José rules.