The National Museum, housed in the barracks of the Bellavista Fortress, has been proudly displaying indigenous and pre-Columbian artifacts, religious artwork and geological and archaeological pieces linked to Costa Rica’s rich and colorful history since 1950.
Separate rooms explore ancient cultures dating back some 12,000 years, as well as collections of ornate jewelry, medallions and statues made of gold. And while the Museum’s impressive collection of grinding stones and other artifacts from ancient Costa Rica grant tourists a chance to travel back in time, visitors should be sure to explore the grounds, too. Nationals fought at the barracks during the Civil War in 1948, and damage from bullet holes and warfare can still be seen in the Spanish-style courtyard.
The National Museum is located in the Bellavista Fortress at Calle 17, between Cenral and Second Avenues. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30am until 4:30pm, and on Sundays from 9am until 4:30pm. Foreign visitors pay $8 to enter or $4 with a valid student ID.