San José

Overall Score


The city of San José is the capital of the state of Costa Rica. It is a city enclosed by the Welkanic hills. Mostly low-rise buildings are found among the constructions. Most of the citys buildings are in a neo-classical style. Some of the tall buildings in the center of the capital, such as Hotel Aurola”, the Costarricense de Electricidad, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, and the National Bank, are major and favorite tourist destinations. The streets are straight and wide, flanked by truncated and eccentric trees. In the distance you can see the cauliflower plantations of the blue-green mountains.

In the central part of the city, there is a plaza. Underneath the square, in the plaza, there is the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, which preserves the gold that was found here. The National Museum, which is located in the former Bellevast Cemeteries, has a collection of items from Indian life, such as gold jewelry (copies of which can be purchased at the jewelry stores in the city). The Palace of the President and the National Palace are also on the main square. There are a number of other tourist attractions, such as the National Theater, one of the most beautiful theater buildings in the world, the Museum of Natural History, the Legislative Assembly, the Museum of Neoprene, and the Simón Bolívar Zoo. Simón Bolívar, Parquez de la Sabana, the old air terminal, where the Museum of Art, the Museum of the Narcotic, and others are located.

Merquaco Central and Mercado Barbados bazaars can buy souvenir memorabilia. They usually bring bags, pouches, wooden figurines, and other memorabilia from the finest woods. You can find colorful prints of flowers, butterflies, animals and birds.

You can also visit the Fortina fortress in Heredia, the museum in San Pedro de Bárveda and the museum in San Pedro de Bárveda, where many types of Costa Rican coffee are on display, one of the finest in the world.

100 USD = 50,099.76 CRC

Overall Score

  • Air quality: 82 US AQI Moderate. Air quality is acceptable. However, there may be a risk for some people, particularly those who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
  • Tap water: No, not drinkable
  • Religious government: Religious
  • Population: 340,000 people
  • GDP: $11,825 / year
  • Foreigners can own real estate: Yes
  • Power outlets: 115V60Hz
  • Internet: 7 Mbps
  • Best wireless: Kolbi
  • Pay without cash: No, cash only esp. for foreigners
  • Tipping: Restaurant bills normally include service but it’s normal to leave an extra 5-10% for really good service. Bartenders/Cocktail waitresses 5-15%. Tour guides $2-5 per guest when in a larger group, $5-10 per guest in a smaller group. Shuttle Drivers $2-5 per passenger for assisting with luggage or providing interesting commentary during the drive. Housekeeping $5-10 per night for a hotel or lodge room and double it for kitchens or extra bedrooms (envelopes are usually provided).
  • Apartment listings: Encuentra24
  • Apartments: Airbnb
  • Hotels:
  • More hotels:
  • Best coworking space: Impactico
  • Best hospital: Hospital San Jose
  • Best short-haul air carrier: Nature Air
  • Best intl air carrier: Nature Air
  • Monthly costs for expat: $1250
  • Monthly costs for family: $2700
  • Monthly costs for local: $750
  • Meal: $6.5
  • Small Cola: $0.8
  • Beer 1 Pint: $3.5
  • Coffee: $2.5

View Larger Map