Museums Costa Rica

Home Museums Costa Rica

Costa Rica has many museums housing different collections and featuring permanent and temporal exhibits, giving you the opportunity of learning about Costa Rica arts and culture. Most of the museums in Costa Rica are located in San Jose, being the Costa Rica Gold Museum, the Costa Rica National Museum and the Jade Museum the most visited. Another popular museum is the Costa Rica Art Museum in La Sabana Metropolitan Park, housed at what used to be the Control Tower of the old San Jose International Airport.


Costa Rica National Museum (Museo Nacional de Costa Rica)
The Costa Rica National Museum is located in the old Buena Vista Fort, of great importance during the Costa Rican revolution of 1948. Some of the exhibits of the San Jose, Costa Rica National Museum are Costa Rica history, a recreation of the atmosphere of a typical colonial home, Costa Rica Pre-Columbian History and an exhibit of some gold pieces with explanations of the spiritual importance for the Costa Rica indigenous peoples that made them. The Museum also features a collection of stone spheres, a butterfly garden and temporal exhibits.

Web Page:
Tel. (506)  2257 - 1433
Address: 17th Street, Between Central and 2nd avenue. San Jose.
Admission fees: Foreigners $7.00 (foreign students with valid ID $4.00).
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sundays 9:00am to 4:30pm.  Closed on Mondays

Costa Rica Gold Museum (Museo de Oro Precolombino)
The Costa Rica Pre-Columbian Gold Museum known as Costa Rica Gold Museum, belongs to the Central Bank and is located under the Plaza de la Cultura in San Jose downtown, near the National Theater.

The Costa Rica Gold Museum features a well presented collection of 1600 Pre-Columbian gold pieces (500 AD – 1500 AD), a small exhibit of ancient Costa Rican currency and temporary exhibits of local art.
During the visit to the Costa Rica Gold Museum you cannot only admire the beautiful gold pieces but also learn about the evolution of metallurgy in Costa Rica, the uses and meanings of the different gold pieces and the social and cultural development of pre-Columbian cultures.

Web page:
Tel. (506)  2243 4202
Address: San Jose. 5th street, Between Central and 2nd avenue.
Admission Fees: Foreigners $9.00 (Foreign students with ID card $5.00)
Opening hours: Mondays to Sundays 9:30am to 4:30pm

Costa Rica Art Museum (Museo de Arte Costarricense)
The Costa Rica Art Museum was inaugurated in 1978, and it is situated in La Sabana Metroplitan Park, in the building of the former control tower of the old San Jose Airport. The exhibits have pieces from the XIX century to present time including drawings, engravings, paintings, sculptures, photographs and videos. The museum also features temporal exhibits, a garden of sculptures designed by the artist Jorge Jimenez de Heredia and the beautiful Salon Dorado (Golden Room) with an impressive mural representing Costa Rica history from pre-Columbian times to 1940; sculpted in 1940 by Luis Féron Parizot (1901-1998), a French sculptor and goldsmith.

Web page:
Tel. (506)   222 7155 / 222 7932 / 222 7247
Address: San Jose. 42nd street, Central Avenue. La Sabana Metropolitan Park.
Admission Fees: Foreigners $5.00 (Foreign students with ID card $3.00)
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Sundays 10:00am to 2:00pm. Closed Mondays.

Costa Rica Jade Museum (Museo de Jade Costa Rica)
The pre-Columbian collection of the Costa Rica Jade Museum includes the largest collection of American jade and a wide variety of archeological artifacts made out of ceramic, bone, wood, shell and stone. The Costa Rica Jade Museum also features temporal exhibits and an art collection with works of some of the most renowned Costa Rican Artists from different periods and movements.

Web page:
(506)  2287-6034
Address: San Jose. 7th Avenue, between 9th and 11th Street. 1st floor of the Instituto National De Seguros (National Insurance Institute)
Admission Fees: Foreigners $8.00
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays from 8:30am to 3:30pm.
Saturdays 9:00am to 1:00pm. Closed Sundays.


Museum of Forms, Spaces and Sounds (Museo de Formas, Espacios y Sonidos)
Museo de Formas Espacios y Sonidos, opened in April of 2002, located in San Jose at what used to be the Atlantic railway station built in 1908.  The museum's displays include sculptures in stone and wood,  scale building models, musical instruments and an exhibit about the history of Costa Rica’s railways.

Tel. (506)   222-9462 / 223-4173 / 256-1281
Address: San Jose. 3rd avenue, between 19th and 21st streets, Paseo de las Damas. Near the National Park.
Admission Fees:
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays from 9:30am to 3:00pm.
March to December closed Saturdays and Sundays.
January and February closed Sundays and Mondays

Costa Rica Children’s Museum (Museo de los Niños Costa Rica)
The Costa Rica Children’s Museum was created in 1994, before that, the museum’s building was a prison from 1910 to 1979 when it was closed and abandoned for many years. Nowadays, this building not only is home to the Costa Rica Children’s Museum but also to the National Auditorium and the National Gallery that uses the former prison cells for the display of modern art.
The Costa Rica Children’s Museum features many interactive displays where children learn while playing; some of the most popular areas are the earthquake simulator and the inclined house, at this museum children will learn about the universe, music, coffee, nature, geography and much more.

Web Page:
Tel. (506) 2258-4929
Address: San Jose. 4th Street, north of 9th avenue
Admission fees: Adults ¢1,100.00 (app. $2.50). Children ¢800.00 ($1.50).
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays 9:30am to 5:00pm.  Closed on Mondays

Museum of Contemporary Art and Design Costa Rica
(Museo de arte y diseño contemporáneo, Costa Rica)

The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Costa Rica, is located in the building of the old National Liquor Factory, founded in 1856, a few blocks away from the Museum of Forms, Spaces and Sounds.
The collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design Costa Rica include Central American contemporary art featuring a mixture of different techniques. The museum has an auditorium, an exterior exhibit space and five exhibit galleries, featuring temporal exhibits and activities around them, such as talks and round table discussions.

Web Page:
Tel. (506)  2257 7202 / 2257 9370
Address: San Jose. Antigua Fabrica Nacional de Licores. 3rd Avenue, between 15th and 17th street
Admission fees: Adults $3.00. Children free. Free entrance on Mondays.  
Opening hours:  Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 4:45pm. Closed on Sundays


Museum of Popular Culture Costa Rica (Museo de Cultura Popular)
The Museo de Cultura Popular is located in a typical old house of a coffee plantation, that was built between 1885 and 1887 and that belonged to a former Costa Rican president.  The different rooms in the house recreate the domestic life of many Costa Rican families during the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century.

Web Page:
Tel. (506)  2260 1619
Address: Santa Lucia de Barba de Heredia, from the Musmani Bakery 1 block north, 6 blocks east, 1 bock north and 6 blocks east.
Admission fees:
Opening hours:  Mondays to Fridays, 8:00am to 4:00pm
Saturdays, 8:00am to 3:00pm.  Sundays, from 10:00am to 4:00pm



Juan Santamaria Museum (Museo Juan Santamaria)
The building of the Juan Santamaria Museum was built between 1894 and 1895 and it was the former prison of Alajuela. The collections of the museum include different objects (documents, portraits, weapons, etc) related to the war with William Walker in 1856 where the national hero Juan Santamaria died defending our country.

Web Page:
Tel. (506)  2441-4775 / 2442-1838
Address: Alajuela. 3rd Avenue, between 2nd and Central Street (One block north of Alajuela’s Central Park)
Admission fees:
Opening hours:  Tuesdays to Sundays, 10:00am to 6:00pm. Closed Mondays



Religious Historic Museum of Our Lady of Ujarras
(Museo Historico Religioso de Nuestra Señora de Ujarras)

This museum tells the history of the community of Paraiso since Pre-Columbian times and the story of the discovery of the Virgin Ujarras. The exhibits of  the Religious Historic Museum of Our Lady of Ujarras  include old artifacts of domestic use, photographs, religious objects, historic documents and a garden with an indigenous tomb brought from Urasca.

Web Page:
Tel. (506)  2574 7376 / 2574 7065
Address: North end of Paraíso church, Cartago.
Admission fees:
Opening hours:  Thursdays to Saturdays, 2:30pm to 5:30pm.
Sundays, 2:30pm to 6:00pm.

San Jose de Orosi Religious Art Museum (Museo de Arte Religioso San José de Orosi)
This is a small museum housed in a Franciscan monk monastery built in 1743 and located next to the Orosi Church. The collections of the San Jose de Orosi Religious Art Museum include statues, paintings and other religious objects from the Colonial period.

Tel. (506)  2533-3051
Address: Next to Orosi Church, Paraíso de Cartago.
Admission fees:
Opening hours:  Mondays to Sundays, 9:00am to 5:00pm.


Museum of Native Cultures (Museo de las Culturas Indigenas)
The Museum of Native Cultures informs about rainforest ecology and indigenous prehispanic history in Central America, featuring themes such as Pre-Columbian cultures, ethnography, biodiversity and natural history, the endangered rainforest and conservation.

Web Page:
Tel. (506)  2761 1004
Address: Centro Neotropico Sarapiquis, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Admission fees:
Opening hours:  Mondays to Saturdays, 8:00am to 5:00pm


Omar Salazar Obando Regional Museum (Museo Regional Omar Salazar Obando)
The exhibits of the Omar Salazar Obando Regional Museum include some archeological artifacts, information about the history of the inhabitants of Turrialba and about the Guayabo National Monument.

Tel. (506)  2558 -3615
Address: University of Costa Rica in Turrialba
Admission fees:
Opening hours:  Mondays to Fridays, 9:00am to 4:00pm