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.
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National Museum (Museo Nacional) Reviews
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4.6
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  • Great museum located in an old fort. Lots of good history and artifacts. Pretty much learned entire history of Costa Rica there. Took a couple hours to go through and cheap to get in, only $9 for fore...  more »
  • Museo Nacional is a great place to see the history of this small Latin American Country. Although Costa Rica is a peaceful country today, it has come at a price. Very different from Central American n...  more »
  • This is a spectacular Museum, I say this with knowledge since I am curator of museums. The exhibited objects are exposed in excellent shape and the amount of images and pieces despite extensive never tired. It begins after your income with a beautiful Butterfly excellent. Their input costs u$ s 9 for foreigners but you can buy a package with fertilizer to several museums and lowers your cost. Safety pin! If you you think help my comment I invite you to vote on it as useful by clicking here below where it says "Thanks to Edgardo Z". Thanks a lot
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  • This is one of the best museums in Costa Rica. By many years it was a poor planed museum, but in the last decade a new focus in his administration gave it a new life. The south west area, originally the shooting and practice field was a open air theater, today it host the butterfly hatchery. The south east corner is the old soldier barracks and cells. In the top of this old military fort you’ll find exhibitions from the pre colonial era to the present and our place as a nation. In the east side you’re going to see a restored military officer’s family house; this place host temporary exhibitions. You can find a great view of the city from the west balcony. Enjoy!!!
  • My favorite part is the fact that they start with butterflies, that is beautiful! The museum is nice, good combination of modern art and history. It would be great if they had clearer signs about the exhibit rooms correct order in order to get a better understanding of the historical part.
  • The building used to be a fortress in the colonial time. The tour starts with a beautiful garden and a butterfly farm where you can see them from up close. Then, the exhibits from the colonial times, moving up to Costa Rica's contemporary history. There is also an area where you can walk in the cells of prison. You can see some of the famous and mysterious stone balls too. Really worth your time and money since entrance is inexpensive.
  • It is a small museum (it takes about 2 hours to visit it) but you learn tons about the history of Costa Rica and its culture! There is also a butterfly reserve where you can get amazing close ups. I highly recommend to visit it if you're interested in learning about the country... not just going to the beautiful beaches.
  • I really enjoyed the butterfly garden. Also there is a good collection of pre-Columbian pottery from Costa Rica, which is delightful. The interior courtyard of the museum is gorgeous. We visited the museum early in our trip, and I liked having an historical overview from the beginning. The museum does a good job of that, and it's not huge or overwhelming.
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Plans to National Museum (Museo Nacional) by other users

12 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA February, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 10 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 43 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 17 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM ISRAEL April, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 56 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 7 days in San Jose & Manuel Antonio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 17 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM THAILAND July, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 9 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 12 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular sights PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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