Ideally located in the heart of San Jose, the best local attractions are just steps from your door at the Hotel Balmoral. Within walking distance, you’ll find the best of San José, from the historic district and cultural attractions to world-class shopping and dining. Guests can also enjoy a wide variety of day tours to discover exciting recreational activities just outside of San José, including hiking the Irazu and Poas volcanoes, white water rafting on the Pacuare and Reventazon rivers, exciting tours through the rainforest or just a relaxing day at the Lankester Botanical Garden or the butterfly farms.

Here are some of our favorite attractions and things to do in and around San José, Costa Rica. For more recommendations or assistance in organizing tours and activities, please contact the Hotel Balmoral reception.

Museum Walk

The Museum Walk invites Costa Ricans and foreign tourists to enjoy the “Wonders in stone, ceramics, jade and gold” that house the National Museum, the Jade Museum and the Central Bank Museums through a single ticket that it is on sale at the ticket offices of the three museums.

On the tour, they can learn about and complement their knowledge about the life and death rituals of pre-Columbian cultures through objects made of these various materials. They can admire ceramic artifacts, as well as pendants and ornaments in jade and gold, which distinguished the elites of pre-Columbian peoples up to 12 thousand years old.

National Museum

Just three minutes from the hotel, the National Museum of Costa Rica is located in the Bellavista Fortress, which was built as a military barracks in 1917. Look closely and you will see bullets buried in the exterior walls! Once inside, you will find the museum arranged circularly with artifacts from the geological, colonial, archaeological, religious, and modern history of Costa Rica.

National Jade Museum

The new San José artisan market is just five minutes from the hotel and offers a closed shopping experience safe from the rain and heat. With stalls filled with local artwork, T-shirts, stuffed animals, handmade jewelry with wooden and ceramic animals, bags, hammocks and traditionally painted wooden items, you will enjoy shopping with the creators and choosing the right souvenirs.

 

Gold Museum

Just a 10 minute walk from the hotel, the Gold Museum will show you pre-Columbian culture and its more than 1,500 pieces of gold. One of the museums that houses the most history of Costa Rica where you will also find exhibitions of the social and cultural development of the pre-Columbian indigenous tribes.