This small palm-shaded park, laid out in 1880 between Calles Central/2 and Avenidas 2/4, is San José’s main plaza. The unassuming park has a fountain, a bronze statue, hardwood sculptures, and a large domed structure where the municipal band plays concerts on Sunday. The bandstand rests over the Carmen Lyra Children’s Library, named for a Costa Rican writer famous for her children’s stories.
Across Avenida 2, the Teatro Melico Salazar (tel. 506/2233-1500 or 2222-5424, www.teatromelico.go.cr , open by appointment, free), dating to the 1920s and named for a famous Costa Rican tenor, is a study in understated period detail.
The area immediately southwest of the square is best avoided for safety reasons.