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
1,159 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This is an imaginatively designed museum. you enter it through a vast butterfly cage and thereafter there are pre-Columbian artefacts, celebrations of the natural riches of the country, recreations of...  more »
  • This was recommended by our Airbnb host as the best 'one stop' museum in San Jose--'a little bit of everything'. We were not disappointed! You enter the museum through a glorious garden/butterfly encl...  more »
  • I would have liked to spend more than me here but our children were tired. However what I did see was really interesting.  more »
Google
  • Really interesting. Spent several hours here. We took breaks in the central garden to warm up from the very cool museum. We appreciated the exceptionally unbiased history lesson. Text in some areas were redundant. Water to drink would be appreciated. The entrance through the butterfly garden is a brilliant solution to historical site restrictions. Well done Costa Rica!
  • Always a great museum... However it smells like sewer water in certain areas. Fascinating to see so much gold in one place!
  • Very interesting. For us USA gringos it shows how much damage we can do to a country. Great exhibits, marvelous views and a really neat butterfly arium.
  • We were very pleased with our visit to the museum. Neither of us knew much about Costa Rica before we arrived, so touring the museum was very enlightening, particularly because we arrived the weekend of elections. It was quite fascinating learning about their recent history and still seeing the impact of the living memory on the culture. The pre-columbus parts of the museum were fascinating too. I particularly was interested in the section on the native burial rituals. All told, we spent about 3 to 4 hours here, and people complaining about the price need to go visit a museum in the states, then decide if $9 is expensive for half a day of entertainment.
  • It was informative but was able to go through all the exhibits in less than 2 hours. Was hoping for more of an interactive experience.
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19 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Central America BY A USER FROM GERMANY April, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in La Fortuna de San Carlos & San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM INDIA July, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM MEXICO July, culture, outdoors, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Panama City & San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Central America & Caribbean BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 2 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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