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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
1,175 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • All proudly give to know like where you'll enjoy a bit of history tiquisia an atmosphere of tranquility especially for foreigners as well known history of the country
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  • The Museum is the oldest institution which houses our history. Its rooms are very complete and show our rich and glorious past since pre-Hispanic times and up to the present day.
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  • It is one of the most emblematic museums in Costa Rica. It is a place that every tourist has to know, that shows our history.
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Google
  • 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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23 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM ISRAEL October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM ISRAEL October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 15 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA December, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 17 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM GERMANY January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL December, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES November, kids, popular PREFERENCES: November, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM CANADA December, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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