Central Avenue Boulevard

San Jose’s Central¬†Walkway

Central Avenue, San Jose at sunset.
Sunset over Central Ave San Jose, Costa Rica.

Technically speaking, motorized Paseo Colon is part of Central Avenue. However, most Costa Ricans refer to Avenida Central as the mile-long pedestrian boulevard that divides downtown San Jose into North and South.

From East to West, Central Avenue spans to connect the Central Market, the Central Bank, the Cultural Plaza, the Gold Museum, the Jade Museum, the Arts and Crafts Market, Democracy Plaza, and historical Congress buildings. A large number of shops, restaurants, and other businesses fill the spaces in between.

Central Avenue is a Walking Melting Pot

Bronze statue in Central Avenue San Jose known as La Chola.
La Chola – bronze statue in Central Avenue, San Jose.

Due to San Jose’s rapid growth, many of its streets and avenues have evolved into pedestrian boulevards. Central Ave was the first of many to do so. Today it’s a beautiful and active downtown city walkway. Crowds of pedestrians take these boulevards all day long to go to different places along the way.

Central Ave is a very authentic part of San Jose. This mile-long stretch of brick pavement is a true cultural walking melting pot. The avenue showcases hundreds of thousands of faces from every ethnic and economic background. A democratic pedestrian avenue where everyone seems different but equal at the same time.

It’s a true joy to explore Central Avenue. On any given day there will be live marimba music, dance acts, and other artistic expressions for a willing and impromptu audience. Bronze statues, elegant lamposts, and nostalgic architecture also add beauty to the avenue.

Central Avenue's clock tower fountain.
Clock Tower in San Jose at Central Ave & 3rd Street.

The city mayor once said Central Avenue was San Jose’s preferred open mall. He’s right. Central Avenue offers the best authentic shopping experience in San Jose. If the city has it, you’ll find it there.