Strolling San Jose's Ten Best Shopping Spots and Walk Streets

Walking through San José, Costa Rica is a great way to experience the culture of the capital city. While shopping, you can visit several enchantingly green public parks, see an astounding amount of street art, and get a taste of life as a Josefino. The best souvenir shopping can be found in several open-air markets such as the vintage original Mercado Central, bursting at the seams with emblazoned gear and all sorts of kitsch, but also a trove of unusual finds like herbs from a Chinese apothecary and a colorful selection of chorreadors, traditional Costa Rican coffee makers. Just outside the Mercado is the pedestrian only Avenida Central, which stretches for several blocks and is home to multiple modern clothing stores, an array of eating establishments, and so many public art displays along the way, from wall murals to bronze statues. If it's original Costa Rican art you're shopping for, find Galeria Namu near the Jade Museum for its collection of pre-Colombian pottery, colorful Boruca masks, intricate woven baskets, and carved tagua figurines, sourced directly from the Costa Rican artists and artisans. The Souvenir Museum makes sustainable shopping fun and educational with its evolving assortment of local handmade goods. 

Mall San Pedro


Located just a short distance from San Jos� proper in San Pedro, this large shopping mall offers four stories of shopping diversions. A wide variety of boutiques, specialty shops, gift shops, clothing stores and department stores sell...  Read More

Multiplaza Mall
Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica


Multiplaza Mall is located in Escaz� along the Santa Ana Highway, and it's a expansive, recently renovated mall with a large number of shops catering to a well-heeled set of Costa Ricans and tourists, who will find designer favorite...  Read More



The Mercado Nacional de Artesania is an outlet specifically designed for Costa Rican artisans with a big collection of shops that carry a lion's share of quality products all handcrafted within the country. Visitors to this shopping destination...  Read More



J. Lang Atelier & Showroom in Escazu is a dream come true for handbag lovers in Costa Rica. Each piece is designed by Jennifer Lang, who draws her inspiration from the natural beauty of her new home. There are a variety of styles to choose...  Read More

Airport - Sjo


The Souvenir Museum is a unique experience that lets visitors learn about sustainability while browsing and shopping a colorful, fairly-traded collection- all of which is hand made in Costa Rica. The Souvenir Museum is part of the emrging...  Read More

Mercado Central
Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica


Since 1880, the Central Market has been a staple shopping hub in San Jose, providing for a unique shopping experience in the country's capital city. Prices are relatively reasonable, and the goods are varied, with everything from fresh flowers...  Read More



For all you cowboys and cowgirls in Costa Rica, Caballo Loco Boutique in San Jose, has everything you need except the horses- and those are just around the way. Started by a Canadian horse lover who discovered a need for equestrian gear in her...  Read More

Boutique Annemarie


Located in the Hotel Don Carlos, this old-fashioned specialty shop has earned a reputation for carrying select handmade in Costa Rica goods that can't be found elsewhere, including jewelry, gifts, specialty clothes, paintings, books, figurines,...  Read More

Airport - Sjo


Tucked into a small storefront on a side street in downtown San Jose is Galer�a Namu, where all items in the shop are handmade by talented artists and fairly traded, which means that each purchase directly supports indigenous artists and...  Read More

Airport - Sjo


A bustling pedestrian walk street, the city's Avenida Central is the ideal place for strolling, whether you're there to shop or not. Small cafes and a few fast food chains help keep your stomach from growling as you browse, while a newer...  Read More


Meet Sophia LaMonica

On Sophia's first trip to Costa Rica, she came face to face with white-faced monkeys, gasped at the sight of giant purple crabs, and rode horseback through plunging waterfalls. Costa Rica...  More About Sophia