National Museum (Museo Nacional), San Jose

4.3
Discover centuries of Costa Rican history at National Museum (Museo Nacional). Established in 1887, the museum sits within the Bellavista Fortress, the former army headquarters which saw Civil War battles, and where president Jose Figueres Ferrer abolished the military in 1949. Admire the historic structure and explore the museum inside, which boasts exhibits of the country's history ranging from pre-Columbian artifacts to displays about the colonial era and the independent nation. In addition to the historical and cultural exhibits, you can visit a butterfly garden inside the museum. Put National Museum (Museo Nacional) into our San Jose online day trip planner to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in San Jose.
Create an itinerary including National Museum (Museo Nacional)
map
National Museum (Museo Nacional) Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
1,021 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This museum offers a range of exhibits, ranging from the initial butterfly enclosure, to army history and a cultural timeline of Costa Rica. It’s based around a peaceful central courtyard with a nice ...  more »
  • It is a good starting point to learn more about the Costa Rican society. It has a bit of everything, from butterfly to pre-Columbian figures, a curious section of tica everyday history of 1800 with the years 60's. There are no guided tours, you can tour the Museum in about 3 hours. There is a special price for foreign students with credential.
    View original
  • Before passed by on the freeway walking tour! Stone pebbles before visiting from outside the Museum entrance fee is 10 USD because is guide says strange it seems! Rich just like a stone, so touched for the blessings!
    View original
Google
  • Nice museum, to see local Costa Rica history. An old fort was good to walk through. Spent about 1.5 hrs or so... cool butterfly exhibit. Excellent to see some of the mysterious Mayan stone spheres.
  • Good price. Lots of cool things to see from a mariposario to an old fort, to the history of Costa Rica.
  • Great place to find out about the history of Costa Rica. Love the entry into the tropical garden with all the butterflies.
  • Nice little museum, it has a butterfly sanctuary which was unexpected. I did feel that it was a little smaller than what I am used to, some of the exhibits were closed.
  • A nice museum in an old military fort. A really nice butterfly garden. Good exhibits from pre-Columbian artifacts up to the 20th century. Three of the galleries were not open when we visited, but the admission was free.

Plan your trip to San Jose

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in San Jose

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in San Jose by other users

21 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA April, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 7 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM PUERTO RICO May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM PUERTO RICO May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: March, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 9 days in San Jose & Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, teens, popular PREFERENCES: February, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: March, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 25 days in Central America, Caribbean & Asia BY A USER FROM INDIA December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans