San José in a Day
If you have only a day to spend in San José, the must-see stops are the Teatro Nacional (National Theater)—we recommend the guided tour—and the Museo del Oro Precolombino (Precolumbian Gold Museum). That's easy to accomplish because they sit on the same block.
With more time, take in the Museo del Jade (Jade Museum) and Museo Nacional (National Museum). The Museo de los Niños (Children's Museum), north of downtown, is a kid pleaser. (It's in a dicey part of the barrio El Carmen, more north of downtown than actually in downtown; take a taxi.)