Bob and I mainly go to Costa Rica for bike-packing, but we do take time to appreciate their history and culture. On a blog I recently read, someone mentioned they heard there is not much to do in San Jose. That statement is wrong. There is plenty to do.
If we had more time in San Jose, Bob and I would have been visiting more museums and art galleries. We had time to visit one.
The museum we visited is the National Museum. It was originally a military barrack built in 1917. There are bullet holes and even still some bullets lodged in the building from the Civil War in 1948. The museum is filled with artifacts including pottery and jewelry. There are also a few prison cells within the museum with walls covered with graffiti etched in from prisoners. The first area you go through is the butterfly garden, which also has a good variety of tropical plants native to Costa Rica.
If you like shopping, Avenida Central is a pedestrian-only street mall. Bob and I were fortunate to be there while a street musician was playing his harp. We sat down to listen to his lovely music.
Mercado Central is another place often visited by tourists. If you want a good dose of traditional Costa Rican food, that is the place to visit while in San Jose.
Of course, there are plenty of other restaurants, cafés, and bars in San Jose if you prefer something different. For a list of those places to visit, please refer to the museums and galleries link, above, and scroll down.