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Things to do in San José

From classic must-see sights to insider hot spots and local haunts, there are countless things to do in San José. How do you decide? Start with our travel guide and get our favorite San José attractions and activities—shops, museums, parks, nightclubs, coffee shops, tours, and more.

Our international team of editors and writers handpick the best things to do in San José to help travelers discover authentic, local experiences. Whether a hidden boutique with handcrafted products, a popular local festival, a bakery with a cult following, or a picnic-worthy park, Travel + Leisure guides the way, providing information and inspiration. From beaches and bars to cultural attractions and up-and-coming neighborhoods, our list will help you make the most of your romantic getaway, family vacation, or trip with friends. Below find Travel + Leisure’s top picks for what to do in San José.

  • Overview
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Things to do
  • Trips
  • Articles
  • Biesanz Woodworks

    Functional, beautiful objects made from rainforest woods are created on site at this small store and wood shop run by American craftsman Barry Bies... More
  • Horizontes

    This long established agency can organize botany, birding, or photography tours, and more. More
  • Mercado Central, San Jose

    A buzzing hive of commercial activity, this covered market is as much of a full-immersion experience as a shopping destination. The front areas, pa... More
  • Rara Avis Rainforest Reserve

    Many of the nearly 400 bird species at Rara Avis can be found nowhere else in the world. Costa Rica’s first reserve, this is the place that kicked ... More
  • Sarchí Crafts

    With nearly 200 different shops and studios selling painted boxes and trays, jewelry, furniture, textiles, and carved wood utensils, the town of Sa... More
  • Teatro Nacional

    Behind the columned, Neoclassical facade of San José’s National Theater, the opulent pink marble lobby with statues of Beethoven and other iconic c... More

Explore things to do in Costa Rica for more options.

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