National Theatre of Costa Rica
Avenida 2, calle1, San José, Costa Rica
Is This the Finest Building in San Jose, Costa RicaWe quickly learned that Teatro Nacional is a great source of pride for Josefinos—and Ticos as a whole. Built in 1897, the Baroque structure encapsulates a turn-of-the-century push for grandeur and respectability. And the entire country paid for it via a special coffee tax. Even if you don't opt for a show—we passed on "The Nutcracker"—you can still tour its most-talked about features, from the vestibule carpeted in Carrara marble to the painting of coffee and banana harvests, which tell the story of Costa Rican wealth at that time (coffee exports were at a high).