About our Museums
The Museums of the Central Bank of Costa Rica manage, preserve, research and disseminate the archaeological, visual arts and numismatics collections of the Central Bank of Costa Rica. They offer visitors permanent exhibitions and a dynamic temporary exhibits program relating to its heritage, showcased in an extraordinary building located in the heart of San José.
We seek to foster public reflection on Costa Rican identity and cultural heritage by managing, acquiring, conserving, researching and disseminating the archaeological, numismatic, artistic and architectural heritage of the Central Bank of Costa Rica.
We strive to be Costa Rica’s leading museum in providing public reflection on Costa Rican identity and cultural heritage.
The Museums of the Central Bank of Costa Rica were created on May 11, 1950, following the suggestion of Ángel Coronas, General Manager of the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR as per the acronym in Spanish), under the name of Museo Histórico y Numismático (Historical and Numismatic Museum). It was renamed Museo Arqueológico y Numismático (Archaeological and Numismatic Museum) a month later.
The BCCR began to amass its archaeological, numismatic and visual arts collections in the 1950s, and continued to do so as it undertook a process of recording and cataloging in the next decades.
The Gold Museum, located on the eighth floor of the new Central Bank building, was inaugurated on October 12, 1966. The first visual arts exhibition took place in 1970. The Numismatic Museum was inaugurated in 1990, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Central Bank. The collections were moved to the new Plaza de la Cultura building in 1982, which began to be known as Museos del Banco Central de Costa Rica (Museums of the Central Bank of Costa Rica, or MBCCR as per the acronym in Spanish).
Law N° 7393 gave birth to the Foundation in charge of managing the MBCCR on November 10,1993. This institution is responsible of fulfilling the main objectives of these museums.
The Plaza de la Cultura building is a milestone of 20th century Costa Rican architecture history, and a landmark in the city of San José. Conceived in 1978, it only became a reality in 1982. Its creation was driven by three core objectives: To offset the cultural and architectural significance of the National Theater, to allow Costa Ricans to become acquainted with their legacy by providing a space for the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, and to offer passers-by in the capital city a venue for their pleasure and recreation.
Hours and Admission
- Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:15 am to 5 pm (last admission to the Museums is 30 minutes before closing time. Galleries are cleared 10 minutes before closing time). Open from 11 am to 5 pm every first Wednesday of the month.
- Pre- Columbian Gold Museum closed for renovation until October, 2018
- Closed on New Year’s Day, Thursday to Sunday during Holy Week (offices open until noon on Wednesday), April 11, May 1, July 25, August 2, August 15, September 15, October 12, the second Friday in December, December 24 to 27, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.
Reduced rates (from June 18 to October 11)
Regular: 1.000 colones
Students: 500 colones (with student id)
Sunday: 2 x 1
No charge: Wednesday, Art City Tour night, International Museum Day
No charge: Art City Tour nights, International Museum Day
Children under 12 years of age
Costa Rican nationals and residents over 65 “Ciudadanos de oro”.
Costa Rican students whose public school coordinated a visit.
Members of indigenous communities.
Members of the following entities with accreditation: ICOM (International Council of Museums), employees of the Central Bank of Costa Rica, associated superintendents and their next of kin, tourist guides, diplomats and journalists who have previously informed of their visit.
- Parqueo La Antigua: 125 m north y 25 m west of the Museum’s main entrance.
- Parqueo Gigante: 125 m north y 50 m east of the Museum’s main entrance.
- Parqueo Briosam: 125 m north y 150 m west of the Museum’s main entrance.
Visitors amenities and services
Access: Elevators, ramps, platforms and toilets at the Museums are handicap accessible. Complimentary wheelchairs are available upon request. Disabled people may drive up to the Main Entrance, provided they notify the Museums in advance by calling +(506) 2243-4221.
Coat Check: A free coat checking service is available at the Museums. For security reasons, we request that all objects that may be considered dangerous due to their size or shape be checked.