San José Costa Rica hotel and neighborhood tips

Central America

To make the most of your visit, It is important to choose the right place to stay in San José, opting for central and easily accessible neighborhoods to escape the city's traffic and be close to important attractions.

Because of Costa Rica's road system, it's very likely that you'll need to stay in San José more than once.

This is because many of the country's intercity bus lines travel with the capital as their arrival and departure point. Therefore, whenever you are traveling between regions, covering long distances, San José will be your road hub.

In this case, a good location is even more important, as you don't want to spend hours in traffic every time you have to catch a bus.

The capital of Costa Rica is unlikely to be the star of your itinerary through a country full of much more inviting natural beauty. In addition to being inevitable, however, a visit to San José can surprise you with its charming historical buildings from the colonial era, a gastronomic hub that is the envy of many metropolises and countless galleries and cultural centers.

See now some neighborhood tips and hotels in San José that meet all these needs.

Best areas to stay in San José

The best regions to stay in San José are:

  1. center
  2. Escalante neighborhood
  3. Assumption
  4. Escazu

Read too:
What to do in San José: travel tips
• Is Costa Rica Safe?
• How to cross the borders of Central America by land

1. Accommodation in San José: Center

San José: National Theater

The center of San José has that vintage charm that seems to take us back to the 1920s. This is the area of ​​the city where most of the tourist attractions are concentrated, and also most of the chaos worthy of any capital. There is the Plaza de la Cultura, the Municipal Theater and the Central Market, a good option for a traditional and cheap lunch.

Hotels located in the center of San José tend to have more affordable prices than in more upscale areas of the city, but if you choose to stay there, be careful when walking the streets after dark.

Hotels in downtown San José:


  • Hotel Trianon: Very familiar guesthouse, simple, but clean and cozy.

Cost benefit

  • Hotel Novo: good value for money, close to several bars and gastronomic options in the city.
  • Hotel Presidente: great location

Comfort / High Standard

  • Gran Hotel Costa Rica: located in a beautiful and revitalized historic mansion, the only hotel declared a historical and architectural monument in the city

More hotels and hostels in downtown San José

2. Accommodation in the Escalante neighborhood

Any resident of San José will know the Escalante region as “the president’s home”. It is in this upscale neighborhood of the capital that the country's ruler lives and decides the direction of the nation.

Close to the center, but with a more relaxed and relaxed atmosphere, the area is also the city's gastronomic hotspot, where the best restaurants and cafes are located.

You can walk to the center, but buses and taxis will also take you there in a quick ride. Due to its good location, it is close to the main bus terminals, making your life easier when traveling.

Hotels in Escalante, San José:


  • TripOn Open House: Best hostel I've ever stayed in. Comfortable, clean, with several amenities for guests and a jaw-dropping breakfast.

Value for money / Comfort

More hotels and hostels in Escalante, San José

Where to stay in San José, Costa Rica

3. Hospedagem in the neighborhood of Asunción

For those looking for luxury accommodation and five-star hotels from large chains, the Asunción region is the place. The neighborhood is also close to the center and has bars, restaurants and shopping malls.

This is a good choice if you need quick access to the airport, as a ride from there usually takes no more than 15 minutes. Many of the hotels in the region offer a shuttle to the airport.

Hotels in Asunción, San José:

Cost benefit

Comfort / High standard

Hotels and hostels in Asunción, San José

4. Where to stay in San José: Escazu

Further away from the center, on the outskirts of the city, Escazu is a quiet area, with lots of greenery and surrounded by hills. It is perfect for those looking for peace and a good view in San José, but don't want to give up having good options of bars, restaurants, shops and good hotels nearby.

I only recommend staying there if you intend to get around by taxi or Uber, or you could be stranded and held hostage by public transport to visit all the attractions. The center is about 15 minutes away by car.

Hotels in Escazu, San José:

  • The RoofTop Loft: One-bedroom chalet with equipped kitchen and beautiful city views
  • Costa Verde Inn: budget guesthouse highly rated by guests

Hotels in Escazu, San Jose

Best hotels to stay in San José

The list below shows the best accommodations in San José, divided by category and style of accommodation, according to the evaluation of people who stayed there! Check out!

Click here to see more hotel options in San José.

Budget hotels in San José, tested by 360meridianos

In the Escalante neighborhood, I stayed in one of the best hostels I have ever tried in my life. O TripOn Open House It was a choice made by a friend who was traveling with me, based on the good price offer, and it was surprising for the cost/benefit.

The beds are comfortable and each one has its own curtain and individual light to guarantee privacy and not disturb your companions, the lockers are huge and can fit your entire backpack, the facilities are beautiful and clean.

The breakfast is the best: very complete, with fruits, breads, jams, pancakes, juices, coffees, cereals and everything else, buffet style. All this for from 9 dollars per person, per night. The hostel is a 15-minute walk from the center and 5 minutes from the Escalante restaurant area. Check TripOn availability on Booking.

How much does it cost to stay in San José, Costa Rica?

The average price of accommodation in San José is USD 70 for a double room in a simple hotel.

Therefore, the hotels indicated in this post were classified as follows:

  • Budget hotels in San Jose: up to USD 70
  • Good value hotels in San José: between USD 70 and USD 100
  • Comfort or upscale hotels in San José: A portion is USD 100

To better understand the city's geography and discover the best location to stay in San José, read the post above!

We also give tips for the best hotels in San José according to the main locations.

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