First Timers Travel Guide to San Jose, California
If you want to take a tour in San Jose California for the first time, no matter you are from the USA or not, let this article be your Travel Guide. San Jose is a modern, lively city with flourishing trade, energic representations of art and architecture, and is driven by the tourism industry; is an important destination for foreign visitors. Starting from the beautiful National Theatre building, you immediately fall in love with San Jose. Fortunately, the city has much more to offer, so you can expect the best.
What to expect by visiting San Jose as a tourist? – First Timers Guide
As a tourist in San Jose, you can visit historic churches such as the Cathedral and La Merced, along with the so-called Church Route. As you advance, you’ll learn about the graffiti that gives you an idea of contemporary life here. Then, because it’s the best way to live a local experience, go to the Central Market (Mercado Central).
About the Central Market in San Jose, CA
You cannot visit San Jose without going to Mercado Central. A place with a history of over a century, this is a mandatory stop for anyone who wants to taste authentic Costa Rican food. The Central Market is also a good place to learn about traditions, such as cure herbs, and to have a cup of freshly made coffee. Visit small shops and explore the artisan stands. The Central Market is always energetic and is an authentic experience.
Mercado Central is also a very old, exciting and lively market, which also contains a small number of fast-food restaurants. You will find freshly cooked fish and shellfish, corn-based dishes, Sopa Pescado (fish soup) and exotic dishes such as “ceviche” (small pieces of raw fish “cooked” in lemon juice).
Central Architecture and people of San Jose, CA
The city’s central area is lively, with busy streets and with a simple architecture of commercial buildings. As a tourist, you can be less attracted to these things, but at a closer look, you will enjoy (very much I’d like to add) friendly and happy people, and your impression will change quickly.
What else can a tourist see in San Jose, California?
There are also several museums and other attractions that offer alternative ways of exploring the city. One of these is the Gold Museum, which offers an unusual collection of gold artifacts from various ancient Latin civilisations. An interesting attraction is the Lankester Botanical Garden on the periphery of San José.
Winchester Mystery House – a must see in San Jose, California
Probably one of the biggest attractions in San Jose, Winchester Mystery House is a haunted house, which, if you’re a tourist, you have to visit it at night … alone!
The Winchester Mystery House is a mansion in San Jose, California, that was once the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester. Read the story of the Winchester Mystery House before you visit it.
The best Museums in San Jose, California – Take your time to visit each one of them
In addition to the smaller museums of Alajuela, Puntarenas, Fortuna, which are well maintained and worthwhile, there are also beautiful museums in the capital San Jose, impressive buildings and real architectural monuments. There, the most valuable collections were brought to light by local archaeologists from Costa Rica and can be seen by tourists from all over the world. This article will be about 4 of them, but if you are a tourist in San Jose, take your time and visit all of them.
1. History Museum of San Jose
The fortress was built in 1917, the other colour preserves the look of the times during the construction period, perfectly fitting among the other buildings in the area. On the exterior walls, you can see the traces of the 1948 civil war bullets. The building was transformed into a museum in 1950. After crossing the security side of the entrance, cross over a lush vegetation room specific to Costa Rica and enter the Democracy Square, an interior courtyard dominated by the statue of Jose Figueres, president of Costa Rica, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to solve the crisis in Central America.
2. Jade Museum of San Jose – Museo del Jade
Located in the immediate vicinity of the National Museum, the new building of glass and iron-concrete impresses with its modern character. The whole collection is exposed on 6 floors, each floor representing other periods of jade life. This museum was founded by President Fidel Tristan Castro in 1977 and houses the largest jade collection in the world and the most important of the pre-Columbian period. Jade pieces date from 500 BC to 800 AC. At 6th floor are exhibited the sculptures of contemporary Jose Chucho.
3. Pre-Columbian Gold Museum of San Jose, CA
It is located in the underground building of the Culture Square, being managed by the Central Bank, which is connected by an underground tunnel. This museum has an impressive collection of over 1600 pre-Columbian gold artifacts, dating back to 500 AC. The Gold museum also owns Costa Rica’s first coin called Media Escudo, which was issued in 1825. Most of the artifacts are figurines of animals (dominated by the frog figure), birds, amulets, erotic statues, earrings, necklaces – worn by the heads of the tribes. One of the most beautiful exhibits is El Guerro, made up of 6 gold figurines, placed in a glass box.
For Costa Ricans, this museum is a symbol and a testament, left by pre-Columbian manual workers who have made a collection of gold art. The museum also owns 88 gold pieces made by workers from banana plantations in the southeastern area of Coste Rica, today called Puerto Viejo, which was built in 1950, this being the contemporary period.
4. Art Museum of San Jose, California
Founded in 1994, in the park that hosts the National Stadium. This museum contains 900 impressive paintings, landscapes, portraits and sculptures of painters, contemporary Costa Ricans and international sculptors. There are also many paintings that present aspects of social and cultural life from Central America.
What other Museums can be seen in San Jose? – For first-timers Travelers
In addition to the museums above, you should also visit:
Egyptian Museum Rosicrucian
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum
Children’s Discovery Museum
How you get in the USA if you’re a foreign tourist
As a foreign tourist, you must follow certain procedures to enter in the US. So, before you pack your bags, read about the ESTA Visa first. You have many places to visit, including San Jose (as I recommend in this article), therefore, don’t be discouraged about the bureaucracy behind your visit to the USA, it’ll worth it. Apply for your ESTA US Visa and visit as much as you can in the land of all possibilities.