March 04, 2013

Favorite Places: San Pedro, Costa Rica

When Jason and I were planning our trip to Costa Rica the first time we went, we were reading about the different parts of San Jose. We came across some information about the neighborhood of San Pedro. This is where Universidad de Costa Rica is, so we thought there would be a lot of younger people there with lots of inexpensive restaurants and cool nightlife- and we were definitely right!

Enjoying a giant slice of pizza in San Pedro.
San Pedro is the most popular neighborhood of San Jose. It lies east of the city and is located 10 minutes away from downtown. The University of Costa Rica, the largest public university of the country, is here. This attracts many young people, so there is a different vibe here compared to San Jose. You'll find a lot of cheap eats, bars, and affordable hostels in this area. San Pedro is considered to have better nightlife compared to San Jose. You can freely mingle with local Ticos and there are many other foreigners as well. While walking around the streets near the university, you will find the street covered in street art. One of the better malls of San Jose is also located here- Mall San Pedro. There's also a movie theater and a bowling alley. So needless to say- there's plenty here to keep you busy!

Jason and I returned to Costa Rica 5 years after our first trip there where we had our wedding. A lot of our friends and family members came. After the wedding, some of us had a few days left in Costa Rica. When we got back to San Jose, Jason and I knew we had to take them to San Pedro! 

Our hostel was in San Jose, but we just took a short bus ride to San Pedro. We took them around the part that was close to the university (even walking around the university, too). And we hit up a few places to eat and drink.

At one of the many bars with our friends.
After enjoying a few hours out on the town with our friends, we just walked back to our hostel in San Jose, which only took about 15-20 minutes.

We had a great time with everyone and I think they all fell in love with San Pedro, too.

One difference I noticed in San Pedro from the first time we were there from the most recent time was how much the street art improved! I mean, it was pretty cool stuff when we were there in 2006, but it got even better when we went back the 2nd time! 

San Pedro is one of my favorite places because:

- I really liked the vibe-- young, hip, & fun (I'm not saying that this place isn't for 'older' people because it totally can be! There's a lot of other stuff to do and see here, not just eat and drink.)

- There are a ton of cheap (but still delicious!) places to eat in the area because of the large student population.

-There's a wide variety of different foods you can get-from local cuisine, to pizza, to shwarmas, etc.

This little bookstore sells some cool
"Universidad de Costa Rica" t-shirts.
It's about 2 blocks away from the university.
- It's a good break from San Jose, which can be too much sometimes.

- There is a great nightlife, with a lot of bars and discos to choose from.

-There's also a lot to do there during the day.

- It's only a short distance away from San Jose.

- The street art is awesome.

It's hard to find a lot of information for San Pedro since it's basically considered San Jose. But many Costa Rica guidebooks  like Lonely Planet, Frommer's & the like, will have information. 

Here are a couple sites with some info:

To read my Throwback post on Costa Rica, click here.


  1. Just found your cute blog through the GFC Collective. I'm a new follower. Hope you'll stop by sometime!


    1. Thanks Rebecca-- yup, I've already stopped by your blog & followed! =)

  2. Thanks for the follow! Costa Rica is one of my travel dreams!

  3. I love the big giant Pizzzzza! I will visit CostaRica oneday!

    1. It was delicious! I hope you get to visit Costa Rica- it's pretty amazing.


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