San Jose

San Jose is California’s original Silicone Valley – home to many of the world’s biggest technology names, including Adobe, Ebay and PayPal.

While new breeds of affluent investors flock to San Jose every day, the city itself is old, enjoying a history that dates back to 1777. Originally founded as the first town of Spanish colony Nueva California, San Jose prides itself on its cultural diversity, and today boasts a remarkable ethnic demographic – including the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam.

San Jose showcases its two biggest strengths, culture and technology, through a number of innovative drawcards, like The Tech Museum of Innovation, the ZERO1 network, VivaFest and the Portuguese Historical Museum.

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Currency American Dollar ($USD)
Languages English (official), Spanish, Native American
Population Approx. 970,000
Time Zone UTC - 7
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Electricity 120v – 60Hz
Dining

Flea market popcorn, churros and corndogs, the best Bulgogi outside of Korea, and Californian wines to no end – there’s something for everyone in the San Jose food scene.

Downtown’s visual arts and entertainment district, The South First Area (SoFA) serves as one of San Jose’s major culinary destinations. A creative and cosmopolitan precinct, SoFA embraces multiculturalism, with eateries serving up everything from crepes to pad Thai, and bratwurst to falafel.

Bite into a burrito on Santa Clara Street. Savoir steaks and seafood along Paseo de San Antonio and Park Avenue. Find something to suit all tastes and budgets on San Fernando Street, between First and Fourth streets. Sample local specialties at the Downtown Farmer’s Market on San Pedro Street, where more than 30 Californian growers sell fresh produce and fare (open Fridays, from 10am to 2pm, between May and December)

Neighbouring SoFA, Little Saigon and Japantown are must-visit foodie hotspots. Little Saigon – in particular Tully and Story roads – bustles with Vietnamese food providers and is a great place to go for dishes like banh mi sandwiches and pho. Japantown is home to authentic Japanese restaurants, acclaimed karaoke bars and the Japantown Farmers’ Market (open Wednesday, from 4pm to 8pm, between May and December).

West San Jose and Sanatana Row are home to the city’s most exclusive dining options, combing high-end restaurants, designer shopping and on trend bars set the scenes purpose built to cater to the superfluous lifestyle of the upwardly mobile.

Shopping

Known the world over for its technology industry, San Jose is home to some of the United States’ wealthiest citizens. Catering to its moneyed residents, the city presents a number of exceptional shopping opportunities.

Santana Row is San Jose’s premier shopping district. The European-style urban village houses more than 70 retail shops and boutiques, alongside a number of outstanding dining establishments and lifestyle service providers.
Across the street, Westfield Valley Fair holds a reputation as the best enclosed shopping centre in Northern California. The Art Deco-inspired shopping zone features more than 250 boutiques, alongside national department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s.

In the heart of the city, San Jose’s downtown precinct also showcases a diverse array of retailers. Highlights include the Historic District’s clothing boutiques, Paseo de San Antonio’s unique retailers, and First and Santa Clara streets’ furniture stores.

Operating for half a decade, The San Jose Flea Market is America’s largest open-air market. Bright, colourful and full of family fun, the market has a life of its own, and is a go-to for collectibles, antique comic books, clothing and homewares.