Your Go-To Guide to Shopping in San Jose, Costa Rica!

Are you in San Jose, Costa Rica, looking for an authentic shopping experience that immerses you in the local culture?

With countless shopping destinations to choose from, you may feel overwhelmed. The bustling streets and diverse markets make it hard to determine where to start and which places truly capture the essence of local shopping.

At Find My Costa Rica, we’re here to help. Our team is deeply familiar with San Jose’s shopping scene and will help you discover unique finds while making the most of your time in the city

Keep reading to learn where to experience the best shopping in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Looking for an unmatched shopping experience in San José? Let Find My Costa Rica take you there!

The Best Shopping Sites in San Jose, Costa Rica!

These are some of the top shopping destinations that are worth exploring during your stay here:

Enjoy a day at the malls shopping

Mall San Pedro

Situated about 1.2 miles (2 km) east of downtown, this four-story building offers a mix of boutiques, gift shops, and department stores stocked with everything you need. 

There’s plenty of fun to be had, too! There’s a big movie theater, gaming arcades, and two discos. If you’re hungry, head to the food court for various dining options.

Multiplaza Mall invites you to experience the best of luxury shopping, dining, and entertainment during your stay in Costa Rica.

Multiplaza Mall

Multiplaza Mall is the ultimate destination for high-end shopping in San José. Located in Escazú along the Santa Ana Highway, this recently renovated mall offers a wide selection of high-end shops catering to locals and tourists.

Here, you’ll find many designer stores like Lacoste, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, and Oscar de la Renta, making it the perfect destination for upscale shopping under one roof. The mall also offers modern movie theaters and a variety of dining options for a well-rounded experience.

Come and enjoy a day of shopping and entertainment at Avenida Escazú!

Avenida Escazú

Experience the ultimate family-friendly shopping destination at Avenida Escazú. Surrounded by scenic landscapes and intriguing sculptures, this mall offers a relaxed atmosphere for all ages.

You’ll find everything you need for a satisfying day out with various trendy stores, upscale restaurants, and popular food chains. Kids will love exploring the Lego and Barbie stores and the jumping water fountain. Plus, don’t miss the weekend events for extra fun.

shopping in san jose costa rica

City Mall

City Mall is a shopper’s paradise, with multiple floors housing big-name brands and high-fashion stores with the latest trends in clothing, accessories, and footwear. Be sure to visit the wood craft store, where beautiful souvenirs and jewelry are crafted with care!

The mall offers an array of entertainment options for families, including cinemas and fun rides for the kids, making it the perfect destination for a wholesome family outing.

City Mall is a luxurious shopping and family entertainment destination that you should include in your itinerary.

Find the perfect souvenir at the local markets 

Central Market

The Central Market, or Mercado Central, is the perfect place for souvenir shopping in San José. It also offers an authentic glimpse into local life with various goods, including souvenirs, clothing, fresh flowers, and local products.

When hunger strikes, visit one of the small cafes, known as sodas, where you can enjoy local cuisine.

Discover the essential souvenir shopping destination that captures the essence of Costa Rica's capital city.

National Handicrafts Market

If you’re spending a day in downtown San José, head to the Municipal Arts & Crafts Market or Mercado Nacional de Artesania. This is a haven for travelers seeking unique souvenirs and handcrafted treasures.

Here, you’ll discover a wide array of high-quality and affordable goods that showcase Costa Rica’s rich artistic heritage, including jewelry, bags, hammocks, and leather items. 

Be sure to appreciate the impressive collection of paintings, framed flowers, traditional Costa Rican carretas (ox carts), and coffee makers (choreadores) that adorn the stalls.

Get ready to find the best shopping deal in the National Handicrafts Market.

Central Farmers Market Escazu

Located in the heart of Escazu, this market offers an excellent shopping experience and a chance to immerse yourself in everyday life here. Stalls are packed with fresh produce, artisanal cheese, and handcrafted goods from local farmers.

This is also a great place for gift shopping because you’ll find a variety of locally-made crafts, artisanal goods, and unique items that make perfect souvenirs to remember your time in Costa Rica.

If you're curious about Costa Rican culture and looking for a genuine local experience, don't miss the Central Farmer's Market Escazu.

Explore other popular shopping destinations

Avenida Central

The Avenida Central is a pedestrian-only street mall in the heart of San Jose that offers shopping, culture, and entertainment in one place.

This avenue has countless stores offering clothes for men, women, and children. The boutiques and stores lining the street also sell indigenous products and souvenirs. If you need to refuel, head to the two-story food court for different dining options.

Avenida Central is a must-visit destination when seeking the best of San Jose's shopping, dining, and cultural offerings.

Galeria Namu

Galeria Namu is a genuine and fair-trade gallery showcasing a diverse collection of artwork and handicrafts from Costa Rica and Central America. Located near the Jade Museum, this gallery offers a unique shopping experience where you can find authentic cultural objects and artistic creations.

Explore their selection of Guaymi dolls, Bribri canoes, Chorotega ceramics, Brunka masks, pre-Columbian pottery, and woven Wounaan baskets, each representing the rich heritage of indigenous communities.

Galeria Namu invites you to discover the beauty of Costa Rican artistry in a genuine and meaningful way.

Souvenir Museum

If you’re looking for a destination that offers unique and ethically sourced souvenirs in San Jose, the Souvenir Museum is a must-visit. This store has the mission to support local artisans and indigenous crafts in Costa Rica. It doubles as a museum, offering you a glimpse into the region’s diverse cultures, customs, and artistic traditions.

When you browse the colorful collection of handcrafted goods, you’ll find beautiful souvenirs to take home and learn about sustainability and fair trade practices. Every item is fairly traded, ensuring that artisans receive a fair price for their labor and craftsmanship.

The Souvenir Museum offers a meaningful and educational shopping experience for visitors of all ages.

Plan Every Aspect of Your Trip with Find My Costa Rica!

San Jose offers various shopping destinations to suit every taste and budget. To ensure you get the best of them, reach out to Find My Costa Rica. With our expertise and local knowledge, we can take you to the ideal shopping venues that offer unique gifts and souvenirs to take back home.

Contact Find My Costa Rica today and let us make your journey seamless and stress-free. Plan your San Jose adventure now!


1. What is the main shopping street in San Jose, Costa Rica?

The main shopping street in San Jose, Costa Rica, is Avenida Central. This pedestrian mall is lined with stores offering a variety of goods, including clothes, souvenirs, and artisanal crafts.

2. What is the best thing to buy in San Jose, Costa Rica?

One of the best things to buy in San Jose, Costa Rica, is locally made handicrafts and souvenirs. These can include handmade pottery, woven textiles, wooden carvings, or traditional masks.

3. Is bargaining common in San Jose's markets?

Bargaining is not as common in San Jose’s markets as it is in some other parts of Central America, but it’s not unheard of either.

There may be room for negotiation in smaller markets and with independent vendors, especially if you’re buying multiple items. However, prices are usually fixed in larger stores and malls.

4. Is it better to use cash or a card to shop in San Jose?

It is better to carry cash to shop in San Jose, especially when visiting smaller markets or local vendors where card payments may not be accepted. However, major stores, malls, bars, and restaurants in tourist areas usually accept credit and debit cards.

5. Can I use US dollars to shop in San Jose, or do I need local currency?

Yes, you can use US dollars to shop in San Jose. However, we recommend you carry local currency (CRC) for small purchases or tips for the service provided.

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