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If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica and in your list of activities you would like to include enjoying live music, we’ve got you covered! There are plenty of options that we can offer you to do so. From small pubs where you can have a pleasant meal and a few drinks to large locations where you can feel the vibe of thousands of people, you can find it all in Costa Rica.
Live music is part of the usual agenda for many Costa Ricans all year. Some options are seasonal, others have a steady calendar of daily or weekly shows. No matter what your preferences are, in the following list you will find the best places where you can delight your ear with fine tunes and even dance along if you are in the mood.
Located in the center of San Jose, the National Theatre of Costa Rica is the most prestigious and beautiful building in the country.
It is a national monument and a historical-architectural heritage of Costa Rica. This majestic building is one of the main scenarios where you can enjoy from traditional Costa Rican music to classical music and vocal performances of high level. Among the activities that are carried out here, there are concerts, dances, plays, and operas. You can check their calendar at this link to see what is available by the time you plan to visit.
Teatro Melico Salazar
Teatro Melico Salazar is located just a block east of Teatro Nacional in San Jose. It has been declared a cultural heritage, and despite being recognized as the Costa Rican House of Performing Arts, it also keeps a full timetable of shows, presentations, plays, and concerts.
Its billboard is constantly updated to please its visitors with different musical performances by national and international artists. This place is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most important cultural spots in the country. Take a look at its calendar here to find a unique show you might enjoy.
Teatro Auditorio Nacional
Teatro Auditorio Nacional is also situated in the heart of San Jose. Thanks to its advanced technology and amenities, it has become another great setting for you to enjoy concerts, plays, interactive shows, and different types of cultural and recreational activities.
The acoustic there is exquisite, so listening to great music will be nothing less than a delight. The agenda there is not as busy as in the other theaters, but it is worth keeping an eye on it and checking if there is something interesting in play by the time you plan your trip to Costa Rica.
Located in La Sabana Metropolitan Park in San Jose, Estadio Nacional is the most modern stadium in Costa Rica. It has the most advanced technology in Central America and the Caribbean. Its capacity is 35,062 people, therefore you can imagine that the events that take place there are huge.
This is usually the spot where the biggest international performers and bands have their concerts in Costa Rica, especially if they attract huge crowds. Feel free to check its annual agenda at this link:
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Bars and restaurants
If you think that you can only enjoy live music in Costa Rica in theaters or big locations, think again. There are many bars and restaurants that will please your palate as much as your ears, allowing you to have a fantastic evening. Some options are:
Jazz Cafe Escazu
One of the favorite spots to be delighted by live music in Costa Rica is undoubtedly Jazz Cafe Escazu. Located west of San Jose, in the town of San Rafael de Escazu, this music venue never disappoints and promises to allow nothing but great bands to perform on its stage. Given that it was built from the ground up for music, it offers amazing acoustics and a pleasant environment for a completely enjoyable experience. The type of music commonly displayed here is jazz, rock, fusion, blues, Latin music, and more.
You can take a look at their calendar at this link:
Pepper Disco Club
For those wanting not only to appreciate live music but also to dance the night away, there is Peppers Disco Club, located on Avenue 34 in a town east of San Jose called Curridabat. This is one of the best clubs in Costa Rica to experience all kinds of music such as merengue, salsa, cumbia, reggae, rock, and more. With a capacity of around 2,000 people, Peppers Disco Club is the place to go to be dancing and having a great time all night long.
Bar El Observatorio
Bar El Observatorio has been known recently for being a vanguard place for live music, opening a space for various musical groups with a wide diversity of genres and thus, consolidating itself as the alternative place of the music scene in San Jose. There you can sit and listen to live music, and also go for a dance if you want to.
Central Pub London Room
The London Room is a cozy pub situated at Paseo Colon in San Jose downtown with commonly 2-3 live shows a week featuring different types of music. To get a vibe of the place and see what its calendar looks like, you can check its Facebook page here.
Located in San Pedro, east of San Jose, La Trattoria is one of the best Italian restaurants in Costa Rica. On Tuesday and Friday nights, they have instrumental performances by a piano and violin duo. They are two excellent and vastly experienced Costa Rican musicians who offer a wide repertoire of music from all over the world.
Mundoloco is a restaurant also situated in San Pedro, with live music every night of the week. It has a sufficiently big stage even when the venue itself is not that spacious. MundoLoco has great sound, lights and the food is pretty good too. You can count on having an enjoyable time there.
Dragonfly Bar & Grill
You can find this cool spot in Tamarindo, Guanacaste. Although Dragonfly Bar & Grill is mainly known for its remarkable food, incredible wines, mixed drinks, and craft beers, it is also a lovely place to listen to live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
La Esquina de Avellanas
Located in Avellanas Beach, La Esquina de Avellanas is a gorgeous place to do many many things. From having delicious healthy food to doing yoga to participating in cultural events, shopping, and enjoying live music, having the greatest time, there is guaranteed. On weekends, they have live music events allowing you to experience the best vibe right by the outstanding Avellanas Beach.
Different central parks along the country
Every Sunday, in central parks of the main communities in most provinces of Costa Rica, the national bands of said localities offer free concerts during the day. National bands usually play classical music, music for symphonic bands, music by Costa Rican composers, and more.
On the other hand, the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica also offers around 85 concerts a year. Some of them are at the National Theater, others at the Melico Salazar Theater, but 55 of them are free in communities, educational centers, and other public spaces throughout the country.
Other locations for seasonal concerts and live music in Costa Rica
Explanada at Centro de Eventos Pedregal
Another location where big concerts or music festivals take place in Costa Rica is Pedregal. This place can hold up to 25,000 people. It is located in San Antonio de Belén, in Heredia province.
Centro de Convenciones de Costa Rica
This is an advanced architectural work responsible for the environment and inspired by the biodiversity, culture, and authenticity of Costa Rica. Its main hall has a capacity of 4,000 people. It is situated just 8 km from the Juan Santamaría International Airport and 10 km from the center of the capital, San Jose.
Estadio Ricardo Saprissa
Estadio Ricardo Saprissa is a soccer stadium located in Tibas, a town north of San Jose. It is the second-largest stadium in Costa Rica, therefore it also hosts big concerts from international artists from time to time.
In the following links you can also check what events are happening or are coming in the year:
No matter where you decide to go or the type of live music you want to delight your ears with while in Costa Rica, you will have a blast at any of the listed locations. Make sure you go over the links on each location to know the events that might be happening around the time you plan to come to pura vida land.