National Theater


Plaza de la Cultura 2nd Ave and 5th Street
Costa Rica, Costa Rica
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NileGuide Expert tip:

If you can't make it in person, take a virtual tour of the building on the National Theater website.


The National Theater, or Teatro Nacional, is a beautiful old building just off Avenida Colon in downtown San Jose. It was built in 1897 and remains the country's finest architectural edifice, constructed of stone and marble, with soaring ceilings inside. During the day, you can take a guided tour to see the European style decorated and restored rooms, exquisite Italian marble floors and view of the Plaza de la Cultura. Art exhibits hang on the walls of some rooms, and the smoking room upstairs is an opulent reminder of a bygone era. The cafe, run by Cafe Britt, is a nice place to take in your surroundings, sip on a beverage, and enjoy a light lunch. At night, check the theater's calendar and come to see a live show. In August there is an annual opera festival, and in addition to more traditional theater performances, you might catch a ballet or a music festival, such as the Legends of Soul in July, or the philharmonic symphony in October. As the country's hub of art, music, and performance, the National Theater is a must visit for tourists looking to experience the finest cultural offerings on all fronts. Guided tours are only $3, and night performances are of exceptionally high quality. Check the website for a calendar.
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