Estación del Ferrocarril de Costa Rica

San José

Less than a block east of Parque Nacional is San José's historical train station to the Atlantic, built in 1908. Nowadays offering weekday train service to Heredia, Belen and Cartago, it’s a remarkable example of tropical architecture, with swirling art nouveau–inspired beams and elaborate stonework along the roofline. Hulking iron horses of yore litter the yard.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby San José attractions

1. Parque Nacional

0.13 MILES

One of San José’s nicest green spaces, this shady spot lures retirees to read newspapers and young couples to smooch coyly on concrete benches. At its…

2. Asamblea Legislativa

0.19 MILES

Costa Rica's congress meets in this grand structure – known as the 'blue castle' – in the center of San José. It's scheduled to be replaced by a…

3. Parque Francia

0.22 MILES

A lovely little space of former farmland, bordered by a French cafe and French-Spanish bookstore, as well as some restaurants. Shade trees and plenty of…

4. Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo

0.23 MILES

Commonly referred to as MADC, the Contemporary Art & Design Museum is housed in the historical National Liquor Factory building, which dates from 1856. It…

5. Museo Nacional de Costa Rica

0.24 MILES

Entered via a beautiful glassed-in atrium housing an exotic butterfly garden, this museum provides a quick survey of Costa Rican history. Exhibits of pre…

6. Centro Nacional de la Cultura

0.25 MILES

Housed in the historical National Liquor Factory, this cultural center contains the museum of art and design, a video museum, a gallery and two theaters.

7. Plaza de la Democracia

0.27 MILES

Between the Museo Nacional and the Museo de Jade is the stark Plaza de la Democracia, which was constructed by President Oscar Arias in 1989 to…

8. Museo del Jade

0.27 MILES

This museum houses the world’s largest collection of American jade (pronounced ‘ha-day’ in Spanish), with an ample exhibition space of five floors…