San Jose Shopping

Although it might seem more "authentic" to buy your souvenirs at their source, you can find everything in the city, a real bonus if you're pressed for time. If the capital has any real tourist shopping district, it's found loosely in the cluster of streets around Parque Morazán, just north of downtown, an area bounded roughly by Avenidas 1 and 7 and Calles 5 and 9. Stroll and search, because many

other businesses congregate in the area as well.

The northeastern suburb of Moravia has a cluster of high-quality crafts and artisan shops—for good reason very popular with tour groups—in the three blocks heading north from the Colegio María Inmaculada high school. The street is two blocks behind the city's church.

Prices in shops are fixed and fair. You may be able to bargain at Mercado Central and the Calle Nacional de Artesania y Pintura, but bargaining isn’t the sport it is in other countries. Haggling, even if not ill-intended, will come off as rude. Your best bet for getting a deal is to simply suggest you’ll come back later and walk away. If the vendors really want to lower the price, they will.

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Downtown 10

North and East of Downtown 6

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Books/ Stationery 2

Ceramics/ Glassware 1

Crafts 5

Food/ Candy 1

Gifts/ Souvenirs 7

Music Stores 1

Shopping Centers/ Malls 1

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San Jose Shopping

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  • Fodor's Choice

Kiosco SJO

  • Crafts

Ensconced inside Barrio Escalante's trendy Kalú restaurant, equally trendy Kiosco SJO proffers a good selection of locally made woodwork,...

La Traviata

  • Gifts/Souvenirs

The small shop off the lobby of the National Theater has a terrific selection of thespian-themed postcards, tote bags, and glassware.

Librería Internacional

  • Books/Stationery

The city's largest bookstore evokes that Barnes & Noble ambience, though on a much smaller scale. It stocks English translations...

Mercado Central

  • Gifts/Souvenirs

This maze of passageways is where the average Costa Rican comes to stock up on day-to-day necessities, but a few stalls of interest to...

Mi Pueblo Verde

  • Crafts

This is a standout among the Moravia shops for its fine carvings made from native cocobolo and guápinol wood. The salad bowls are...

Mundo de Recuerdos

  • Gifts/Souvenirs

If you can't find it at Mundo de Recuerdos, it probably doesn't exist. Here's the largest of the Moravia shops with simply everything—at...

Museo del Jade

  • Gifts/Souvenirs

The small shop in the Jade Museum sells replicas of many of the pieces in the museum collection. The shop is accessible only if you've...

Museo del Oro Precolombino

  • Gifts/Souvenirs

The shop at the entrance of the Museo del Oro Precolombino offers a great selection of pre-Columbian-theme jewelry, art, exclusively...


  • Shopping Centers/Malls

The mammoth, three-level,161-store Terramall is the far eastern suburbs' prime shopping destination. ...


  • Music Stores

In addition to selling everything else imaginable, downtown department store Universal stocks a good selection of Latin CDs in its first-floor...