A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Granada vs. San Jose

Should you visit Granada or San Jose?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Granada and San Jose. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

Granada

Granada is Nicaragua's oldest colonial city, and arguably, the most beautiful city in the country. It sits on the northern edge of Lake Nicaragua (Lago Cocibolca) and has many beautifully colored buildings and nice churches. The city's beauty and colonial architecture, along with its relative safety and accessibility, make it one of Nicaragua's top tourist destinations. The city has long been a center for commerce, but today its economy depends heavily on tourism. The city is the sixth largest in Nicaragua and a real estate boom in the early 2000's brought a large number of expats to the town.

San Jose

San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica and is likely to be your first and last stop in a visit to the country. The city is situated in the Central Valley and is surrounded by beautiful mountains and valleys, making for a beautiful flight in. The city has an elevation of 1200 meters and sits on a plateau with a beautiful backdrop of lush green forest. Half of the people in Costa Rica reside in the country's capital city. You are likely to stay only a day or two, but there are a handful of things to do and see including museums and markets. You will also find many embassies, as well as the University of Costa Rica in San Jose.

Which city is cheaper, San Jose or Granada?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Granada is $23, while the average daily cost in San Jose is $45. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Granada and San Jose in more detail.




Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $20 for a double occupancy room in Granada.

The prices for places to stay in San Jose can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $27, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $54.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Granada $10
    San Jose $27
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Granada $20
    San Jose $54


Food

Granada food costs typically run travelers around $9.64 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

While meal prices in San Jose can vary, the average travelers spends about $7.73 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in San Jose should cost around $3.09 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in San Jose is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Granada $9.64
    San Jose $7.73
Typical Food prices in Granada

Some typical examples of dining costs in Granada are as follows:


  • Pizza
    $2.38

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Granada

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Granada.

  • Middle Eastern 6-course dinner in Granada with a professional chef: $49
  • Albaicín & Sacromonte Guided Walking Tour with Flamenco & Tapas Dinner: $81
  • Small Group Food Tour in Granada: $88
  • Spanish Tapas Cooking Class in Granada: $116

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Jose

For San Jose, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Half-Day San Jose Evening Bus Tour with Dinner and Pickup: $66
  • Vip Evening Sightseeing Tour with Dinner: $66
  • San Jose Evening Tour with Dinner: $77
  • Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner: $160


Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $1.77 per day to get around in Granada.

To get around in San Jose, the average visitor spends $7.49 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Granada $1.77
    San Jose $7.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Granada

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Granada:

  • Transfer from/to Managua Airport (MGA) to Granada City: $49
  • Transfer from Granada to Nerja: $62
  • Seville Private Transfer from Granada with sightseeing in Antequera and Cordoba: $634
  • Private Transfer: Granada to Federico García Lorca Granada Airport (GRX): $622
  • Private Transfer: Granada City or Sierra Nevada to Airport GRX by Business Van: $57
  • Private Transfer: Granada City or Sierra Nevada to Airport GRX by Business Car: $38
  • Private Transfer from Granada to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $276
  • Private Transfer Granada Airport to Granada City or Sierra Nevada by BusinessVan: $57
  • Private Transfer Granada Airport to Granada City or Sierra Nevada by BusinessCar: $38
  • Private Transfer From/To Granada Airport: $53
  • Private IN/OUT transfer from/to Granada city from/to Granada airport: $56
  • Private Departure Transfer from Granada City Center to Granada Airport (GRX): $26

Typical Local Transportation prices in San Jose

Some typical examples of transportation costs in San Jose are as follows:


  • Taxi from SJO
    $21
  • Local Bus
    $2.23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Jose

Also for San Jose, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Airport Transfer: Juan Santamaria Int. Airport (SJO) to Alajuela: $25
  • Departure Private Transfer: San Jose City to San Jose Airport SJO by Minivan: $29
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from SanJose City to SanJose Juan Santamaría Airport: $30
  • Private transfer from San Jose-Heredia-Alajuela Hotels to International Airport: $55
  • Private Transfer from San Jose Airport One Way: $56
  • San Jose Arrival Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $65
  • San Jose Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $65
  • San Jose Arrival Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $65
  • San Jose Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $65
  • Private transfer from SJO Intl Airport to downtown Hotels: $65
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport to San Jose City - One Way: $73
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport to Mountain View City - One Way: $73


Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $4.71 per person, per day in Granada. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

In San Jose, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $4.81 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Granada $4.71
    San Jose $4.81
Typical Entertainment prices in Granada

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Granada are as follows:


  • Lago de Nicaragua Boat Tour
    $8.49

Tours and Activities in Granada

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Granada are as follows:

  • 2-Day Seville Tour from Granada with Royal Alcazar Palace, Seville Cathedral and Flamenco Show: $271
  • 3-Hour Walking Tour of Granada: $55
  • 3-day Andalucia Tour: Codoba & Seville from Granada: $917
  • 4WD Sierra Nevada Safari PRIVATE TOUR: $118
  • A day in the life of Granada - Private tour with a local: $249
  • Albaicin and Sacromonte Guided Tour: $19
  • Albaicin and Sacromonte Walking Tour: $12
  • Albaicin quarter - night private tour: $115
  • Albayzin and Sacromonte Electric Bike Tour in Granada: $76
  • Albayzin and Sacromonte Guided Walking Tour in Granada: $19
  • Albayzin and Sacromonte private tour at sunset with tapas: $169
  • Alhambra & Generalife Guided Premium Tour (Small Groups with Direct Entry): $98

Tours and Activities in San Jose

For San Jose, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Skip the Line: The Childrens Museum Ticket in Costa Rica: $7.00
  • San Jose Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • San Jose Welcome Tour: Private Tour with a Local: $30
  • Skip the Line: The National Museum Admission Ticket: $30
  • San Jose Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $31
  • San Jose ART Walking Tour - small groups, creative experience: $32
  • San Jose Bites and Sights Tour: $34
  • San Jose Walking Tour: Food, History and Architecture: $38
  • Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Admission Ticket: $39
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Tour: $44
  • From 2.5-Hour Costa Rica Atlantic Zip Line Tour: $50
  • San Jose City Tour: $53


Alcohol

The average person spends about $4.09 on alcoholic beverages in Granada per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Typically, people visiting San Jose spend on average $5.92 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Granada $4.09
    San Jose $5.92
Typical Alcohol prices in Granada

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Granada:


  • Tequila
    $1.41

Sample the Local Flavors in Granada

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Granada:

  • Wine Tasting in Granada: $57
  • Granada Tapas and wine tour!: $67
  • Granada Traditional Tapas and Wine Tour - by Oh My Good Guide!: $81
  • Small-Group Granada Tapas Bar Crawl Evening Tasting Experience: $83
  • BEST OF Flamenco, Tapas and Wine Tour - by OhMyGoodGuide!: $106

Sample the Local Flavors in San Jose

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in San Jose:

  • San Jose Bar Hunt: Sweet San Jose Bar Crawl: $12



When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Granada and San Jose, we can see that San Jose is more expensive. And not only is Granada much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Granada would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Granada and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in San Jose would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Jose than you might in Granada.

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Granada vs. San Jose Travel Comparison

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