The Museo Nacional de Costa Rica is located in the capital of San José. It is at Calle 17, between Central and Second Avenue, Cuesta de Moras, and near the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica. It was a originally a fortress, built in 1917 and later converted into a military barracks, indee the exterior walls still have many bullets marks from the country’s 1948 civil war. It was turn into museum in 1950.

The entrance on the east side leads to a courtyard displaying pre-Columbian artifacts and cannons from the colonial period. The museum is organized thematically in a counter clockwise direction from the entrance with artifacts related to Costa Rica’s geological, colonial, archaeological, religious and modern history. The museum had a notable collection of pre-Columbian stone tables (metates), ceramics and a gold room “Sala de Oro” in the northeast tower. The colonial room has a notable collection of furniture and is designed to emulate that of an actual quarters in the 18th century. The museum also has an exhibit of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Óscar Arias, and a bust of José Figueres and butterfly garden in the outside “Plaza de la Democracia”.