Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose – Costa Rica

The Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica is the country’s premiere theater. It is used for a variety of shows, including ballet, musicals and other stage performances.

Location and How to Get to This Specific Site

The theater is located in the center of San Jose. You can get to the city by taking one of the buses at the airport. After you get off the bus, you can board a taxi and ask to be taken to the theater. Make sure you only ride the “Taxi Aeropuerto” taxis. That sign means they are registered.

What to See There

People of course come to the theater because of the different performances that take place there. However, the theater itself is a tourist attraction. On its front are statues of Ludwig van Beethoven and Calderon de la Barca.

Inside the theater is a ceiling mural called the Allegory of Coffee and Bananas. This was created by Aleardo Villa, a Milanese artist. This can also be seen at the five colon bill. The edifice is also known for its ornate decoration.


Construction of the theater began in 1891. During this time, the city’s population was only 19,000. The city was known for its numerous performances, but these were held without genuine form of structure. The only theater available at the time was Teatro Mora.

The Teatro Mora would later be destroyed by a powerful earthquake. The Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica was built on the request of Costa Rica’s then president Jose Joaquin Rodríguez Zeledon. The inaugural performance was held October 21, 1897 with a rendition of Goethe’s Faust.


The cost can vary depending on what performance is being held. Many times however, the ticket is 3,000 colones. Often this is also the theater admission price. That is equivalent to about $6. Bus fares to the city cost $1. Taxi fares are about $25. Buses will only accept colones; taxi drivers accept dollars.

Other Info

The theater is used for different performances. However, only top notch events are allowed. Before a performance can be held, it is coursed through a selection process. The National Symphonic Orchestra (NSO) is held during the NSO’s Regular Season. It features local and foreign composers.

The Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica is one of the most popular establishments in the country. For this reason, it is a good idea to periodically check the performance schedules and book early.