Teatro NacionalFor three centuries, Costa Rica’s national theater has been an important cultural forum, and its beautiful structure is a designated national monument. Docent-led tours of the Renaissance-style building and its performance hall are highly recommended. If you’re making your way on your own, start from the architecturally eclectic entrance and its opulent neoclassical froufrou, then ascend the magnificent marble stairs to the mezzanine. Don’t miss the cedar- and mahogany-inlaid floor (much of the wood was sourced from Alajuela). Inside the auditorium, ceiling frescoes are arguably more impressive than even the profusely decorated balconies, awash in gilt. An in-house café serves brews from every corner of the republic. Hour-long matinees on Tuesdays, featuring top international artists, are a midday delight.