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Santo Domingo 101 – Everything you need to know

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Santo Domingo 101 - Everything you need to know - Dominican Travel Pro

Santo Domingo is the Prime of the Americas, the city where it all started on this side of the world.

The city was founded by Christopher Columbus in 1496 and is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas.

Santo Domingo is a beautiful tropical climate city with a lot to offer tourists, ranging from beaches, parks, and museums, and the first Cathedral, the Santa María La Menor.

There are also dozens of luxurious hotels and accommodations for any budget and a set of the most diverse restaurants and cafes that serve traditional Dominican food and international cuisine.

If you are looking for a place to explore where everything started in America, then Santo Domingo is the perfect destination for you.

In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started on your trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Where is Santo Domingo located?

Santo Domingo is located on the Caribbean Sea, in the Greater Antilles. The city is situated on the southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic, on the banks of the Ozama River. The coordinates of Santo Domingo are 18° 30′ N, and 69° 56′ W.

Originally established on the east side of the Ozama in 1496, it was founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1498, by order of the Catholic Kings. As the capital of the first Spanish colony in the New World, the original city site was located on the left (east) bank of the Ozama River and was called Nueva Isabela in honor of Queen Isabella I of Spain

In 1502, Governor Nicolas de Ovando transferred its institutions to the west bank and decided to provide the city with a grid pattern from the Grand Place.

Built in the Renaissance style during the 16th century, this building was the longtime seat of Spanish authority for the Caribbean region, housing the governor’s office and the powerful Audiencia Real (Royal Court) from Spain.

  • What is Santo Domingo like today?

Santo Domingo is a thriving metropolis with a population of over 3 million people. The city is the political, economic, and cultural center of the Dominican Republic.

It holds a UNESCO world heritage site that is a melting pot of different cultures, with a majority of residents being of mixed European and African descent.

The Dominican culture in the city of Santo Domingo has a rich historic and cultural heritage that makes any visit worthwhile. Today, it remains one of the most populous cities in the Caribbean and the main economic and commercial center of this region.

Its medieval palaces and fortresses mix with nightlife and shopping to rival any modern city in the world. You’ll find pristine beaches and hidden gems like a salsa/merengue club set inside a huge underground cave.

Santo Domingo is also the chief seaport of the Dominican Republic. Its harbor at the mouth of the Ozama River was greatly improved in the 1930s to accommodate the largest vessels, and the port handles both heavy passenger and freight traffic

  • How to get to Santo Domingo?

The easiest way to get to Santo Domingo is by flying into Las Americas International Airport (SDQ), which is located about 20 miles from the city center. From there, you can take a taxi, bus, or rent a car to get into the city.

From Santo Domingo to Las Americas International Airport

From Santo Domingo to Las Americas International Airport

  • Is Santo Domingo worth visiting?

Yes! Santo Domingo is worth visiting. Millions of tourists come down here to explore the dozens of European buildings and infrastructure that date back to the first settlements in America.

Dozens of thousands more visit for business and medical tourism. The city is constantly evolving with new developments, but still maintains its old-world charm and modern Latin style.

  • What are the best months to go to Santo Domingo?

The best time to visit Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is between November and March when the weather is warm and sunny. These months see a peak in ttourists so be sure to make your hotel and travel arrangements in advance.

Both summer and winter are peak times to visit Santo Domingo. Spring and fall offer pleasant weather with fewer crowds.

  • Do I need a passport to go to Santo Domingo?

Yes, you need a valid passport that’s valid for at least 6 months to enter the Las Americas International airport in the Dominican Republic, the closest one to Santo Domingo.

  • Do I need a visa to visit Santo Domingo?

If you’re a citizen of the United States, Canada, or Europe, you don’t need a visa to enter the Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo or any other in the Dominican Republic.

Citizens of other countries should check with the Dominican consulate to see if they need a visa.

Related – Consultations of requirements for foreigners to enter the Dominican Republic

  • Customs regulations in Las Americas International Airport

When traveling to Santo Domingo it is important to be aware of the customs regulations.

Travelers are allowed to bring up to $USD 10,000 worth of goods into the country duty-free.

You also need to fill out an electronic ticket to arrive and depart the country.

Related – How to fill out the E-Ticket for the Dominican Republic

  • What should I pack for Santo Domingo?

Packing basics for a person to visit Santo Domingo include the following:

Toiletries

  1. Toothbrush
  2. Toothpaste
  3. Dental Floss
  4. Soap
  5. Deodorant
  6. Shampoo
  7. Conditioner
  8. Hair Brush
  9. Styling Tools
  10. Facial Cleanser
  11. Moisturizer
  12. Sunscreen

You can also find these locally at affordable prices.

Clothes and accessories

  1. Swimsuit
  2. Cover-ups
  3. Sunglasses
  4. Hats
  5. Sandals
  6. Water Shoes
  7. Socks
  8. Undershirt
  9. T shirt

Other travel essentials

  1. Water Bottle
  2. Books
  3. Passport/Visa/ID
  4. Itinerary
  5. Cash
  6. Credit/ATM Cards
  7. Insurance Cards
  8. List of Medications
  9. Emergency Contacts
  10. Copies of Documents
  11. Smart Phone
  • How do I call Santo Domingo from the United States?

To call Santo Domingo from the United States you just need to perform three steps:

1- Dial 1, the country code for the Dominican Republic.

2- Dial the three-digit area code (809, 829, or 849).

3- Then dial the seven-digit local phone number.

  • How do I call Santo Domingo from Canada?

To call Santo Domingo from Canada, do the following:

1- Dial 1, the country code for the Dominican Republic.

2- Dial the three-digit area code (809, 829, or 849).

3- Then dial the seven-digit local phone number.

If you want to dial toll-free use WhatsApp or Text Now.

  • What is the currency in Santo Domingo?

The most used currency in Santo Domingo is the Dominican Peso (DOP). American dollars are also widely accepted, although you will usually get a better rate if you pay in pesos.

ATMs can be found at Las Americas International Airport, shopping malls, at your hotel, pharmacies in the local community, and banks.

When visiting, be prepared and bring money in singles and other small denominations, and always try to exchange your currency at local banks.

  • What language is spoken in Santo Domingo?

The most spoken language in Santo Domingo is Spanish, just like in the Dominican Republic, however, English is also widely spoken.

In tourist areas, the hotel staff, tour operators, and regular businesspeople speak English, as well as French and German.

What is the weather like in Santo Domingo?

The weather in Santo Domingo is tropical, with an average temperature of 27°C (80.6°F). The wind is usually from the northeast and the humidity is around 66%.

  • When is the rainy season in Santo Domingo?

The rain season in Santo Domingo is from May to November, with the heaviest rains in August and September.

  • When is the hurricane season in Santo Domingo?

Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th but these natural phenomena are rare in this area, they usually skip and head south.

  • What is the hottest and coldest month in Santo Domingo?

The coldest months are from December to February when the average temperature is 23°C (73.4°F). The hottest months are from May to September when the average temperature is 29°C (84.2°F).

  • Are there mosquitoes in Santo Domingo?

Yes, but mosquitoes are not usually a big problem in Santo Domingo unless you are in an area close to the woods or rivers. If you are in a hotel in the city center, this is not something to worry about. To avoid mosquito bites, we recommend using mosquito repellent and wear long pants and long sleeves at dawn and dusk.

What are the peak tourist seasons in Santo Domingo?

The peak tourist seasons in Santo Domingo are from December to April, and June to August. These are the months when the weather is the nicest and the most events and activities are happening.

  • How much should I tip in Santo Domingo?

In Santo Domingo, it is customary to tip 10-15% in restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotel maids. Keep in mind that the applicable sales tax in all commerces is 18% by law.

  • What should I do if I get sick while in Santo Domingo?

If you get sick while in Santo Domingo, the first thing you should do is to seek medical attention if needed. Here the pharmacies sell antibiotics, flu medicine, and antiallergics without prescription.

If you need to see a doctor, the capital city is a hub of dozens of world-class private hospitals with international departments ready to serve tourists.

  • Is Santo Domingo safe?

Yes, in general, Santo Domingo is considered a safe destination. However, as with any travel destination, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to keep yourself safe.

Some safety tips for Santo Domingo include the following:

  1. Do not leave your belongings unattended on the beach or in public areas.
  2. Avoid walking alone at night or in non-lighted areas.
  3. Do not accept rides from strangers.
  4. Do not flash cash in public.
  5. Keep valuables in a safe place.
  6. Watch out for our surroundings and any sign of danger.
  7. At the Ciudad Colonial, don’t exchange dollars in shady stores, always go to a bank.

If you go to a club, try to go with a local travel guide and don’t drink and drive if you rent a car. The National Police (Policía Nacional) and the Tourist Police (Policia Turística) are in charge of implementing Santo Domingo’s safety.

  • Can I drink the tap water in Santo Domingo?

Never. The tap water in Santo Domingo is NOT safe to drink. Everybody prefers to stick to bottled water, which is widely available and cheap.

  • Is it safe to rent a car in Santo Domingo?

Yes, it is safe to rent a car in Santo Domingo and there are dozens of options to pick from the most convenient one is the airport, so you can pick up and drop the car over there.

If you choose to rent a car in the capital city, almost all global brands are available as well as local businesses.

  • What do I need to rent a car in Santo Domingo?

To rent a car in Santo Domingo, you’ll need the following:

  1. Your passport
  2. Your voucher
  3. Each driver’s driving license
  4. The main driver’s credit card (some rental companies also accept debit cards, but most don’t).

To book the car, you just need a debit, credit card, or cash.

Which are the most important avenues in Santo Domingo?

The most important avenues in Santo Domingo are:

  1. Av. 27 de Febrero
  2. Avenida Abraham Lincoln
  3. Avenida George Washington
  4. Avenida Winston Churchill
  5. Avenida Máximo Gómez
  6. Avenida Tiradentes
  7. Avenida Independencia

Which are the best theaters in Santo Domingo?

The best theaters in Santo Domingo are:

  1. Teatro Nacional – National Theatre
  2. Teatro La Fiesta
  3. Casa de Teatro
  4. Palacio de Bellas Artes
  5. Hard Rock Cafe
  6. Jazz & Blues Club
  7. Comedy Club
  8. Piano Bar at the Sheraton
  9. Microteatro Ensamble

Which are the best parks in Santo Domingo?

The best parks in Santo Domingo are:

  1. Mirador Sur Park
  2. Jardín Botánico Nacional – National Botanical Garden
  3. Zoológico Nacional Dr. Frank C. Ortiz

Which are the best hotels in Santo Domingo?

Santo Domingo holds world-renowned brands with impeccable service and dozens of amenities. The best hotels in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, are the following:

  1. Crowne Plaza Santo Domingo
  2. JW Marriott Hotel
  3. Hotel Sheraton Santo Domingo
  4. Hotel El Embajador a Royal Hideaway
  5. Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino
  6. Radisson Hotel Santo Domingo
  7. Homewood Suites by Hilton Santo Domingo
  8. Monaco Residences Piantini
  9. Casas del XVI Boutique Hotel
  10. Hampton by Hilton Santo Domingo Airport
  11. Holiday Inn Hotel
  12. Hodelpa Caribe Colonial Hotel
  13. Embassy Suites by Hilton Santo Domingo
  14. Novus Plaza Hotel
  15. Hodelpa Nicolás of Ovando
  16. Quality Real Airport Hotel
  17. Courtyard by Hilton Santo Domingo Hotel
  18. Catalonia Santo Domingo Hotel
  19. Dominican Fiesta Hotel
  20. Barceló Santo Domingo Hotel
  21. Gran Hotel Europa
  22. Napolitano Hotel
  23. Weston Suites Hotel
  24. Aladino Hotel

What are some things to do in Santo Domingo?

The city of Santo Domingo provides tourist with one of the most complete array of things to do. Here are some of the most popular things to do in Santo Domingo, for you to visit, explore, tour, and trip:

  1. Ciudad Colonial (Colonial City).
  2. Three Eyes National Park
  3. Alcázar de Colón
  4. Columbus Lighthouse
  5. Calle Las Damas
  6. Columbus Park
  7. Plaza España
  8. Puerta del Conde
  9. National Botanical Garden
  10. Shopping at malls
  11. Museums
  12. Plaza de la Cultura
  13. Kahkow Experience
  14. National Zoo
  15. Santo Domingo Metro
  16. Take a trip to Boca Chica
  17. Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor
  18. National Pantheon
  19. Malecón (city shore)
  20. Mirador Sur
  21. Mirador Norte
  22. La Atarazana
  23. Calle El Conde
  24. Fortaleza Ozama
  25. National Palace
  26. Monasterio de San Francisco
  27. Choco Museo
  28. National Aquarium
  29. Chu Chu Colonial
  30. Saona Island Tour
  31. Eat at restaurants
  32. Aqua Splash Caribe
  33. Aqua Mundo Sambil Santo Domingo
  34. Convento de los Dominicus
  35. Mercado Modelo
  36. Parque Independencia
  37. Iglesia de las Mercedes
  38. Museo del Ron y la Caña
  39. Avenida George Washington
  40. Plaza de la Bandera
  41. Reloj del Sol
  42. Barrio Chino
  43. El Obelisco
  44. Palacio de Bellas Artes
  45. Teleférico de Santo Domingo
  46. Ruins of the Hospital of St. Nicolas of Bari
  47. Casa España
  48. Dominican Larimar Museum
  49. Quisqueya Stadium
  50. Sebelen Bowling Center

Which are some of the most prominent Dominican artists?

These artists range from all aspects of culture, including writers, musicians, painters, actors, modists, and more. Some of the most prominent Dominican artists are:

  1. Juan Luis Guerra
  2. Oscar de la Renta
  3. Milly Quezada
  4. Johnny Ventura
  5. Salomé Ureña
  6. Pedro Mir
  7. Romeo Santos
  8. Prince Royce
  9. Zoe Saldaña
  10. Candido Bidó
  11. Wilfrido Vargas
  12. Anthony Santos
  13. Raulin Rodriguez
  14. Charityn Goico
  15. Michelle Rodríguez
  16. Andrés García
  17. Judy Reyes
  18. Dania Ramirez
  19. Tony Dandrades
  20. Guillo Perez
  21. Junot Díaz
  22. El Alfa

Is Santo Domingo nicer than Punta Cana?

Each one has its particularities. Punta Cana is more of an all-in beach destination with its beautiful turquoise waters and white sand beaches, while Santo Domingo is perfect for those who want to experience the culture and history of the Dominican Republic and the Americas.

What is the voltage in Santo Domingo?

The standard voltage in Santo Domingo is 110 volts. If your devices use a different voltage, you will need to bring a power converter with you.

What are the best wedding venues in Santo Domingo?

Santo Domingo is a popular destination for weddings. The Dominican Republic has world-class facilities, gorgeous scenery, and experienced wedding planners.

The best wedding venues in Santo Domingo are:

  1. JW Marriott Santo Domingo
  2. Hotel Sheraton Santo Domingo
  3. Casas del XVI Boutique Hotel
  4. Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino
  5. Casa Real Hodelpa Event Center

What is the nightlife like in Santo Domingo?

The nightlife in Santo Domingo is very varied, with bars, clubs, and casinos for all tastes. The most popular areas for going out at night are Zona Colonial, Gazcue, and Naco.

In the Colonial Zone, you will find bars where you can enjoy live music whilst trying traditional Dominican drinks such as mamajuana.

Gazcue and Naco are home to many of the city’s best nightclubs.

If you want to try your luck, the largest casino in Santo Domingo is the Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino

Can I go scuba diving while I visit Santo Domingo?

Yes, there are several scuba diving operators in Santo Domingo that offer day trips and certification courses. The best place to go diving near Santo Domingo is La Caleta Underwater National Park in Boca Chica.

In the city center, you can find a handful of businesses that offer diving tours to any location and courses for novices and experienced divers.

  • I’m not a certified diver. Can I still go diving in Santo Domingo?

Yes, most dive centers in Santo Domingo offer courses for all levels, from beginner to advanced, and excursions to the most emblematic diving sites in the Dominican Republic.

  • Is there snorkeling in Santo Domingo?

Yes, you can find the best snorkeling near Santo Domingo at La Caleta National Submarine Park, roughly 40 minutes from the city center and near the Las Americas International Airport in Boca Chica, where you can a shallow lagoon sheltered by a coral reef. Diving businesses also offer excursions to other snorkeling sites in the Dominican Republic, among are:

  1. Playa Magallanes in Bayahibe
  2. Playa Dominicus 
  3. Isla Saona
  4. Isla Catalina
  5. Isla Catalinita
  6. La Romana

In La Romana, there are artificial reefs have been installed in front of several hotel beaches like Be Live Collection Canoa, Catalonia Royal La Romana, Dreams Dominicus La Romana, and Iberostar Selection beach.

  • Can I go deep sea fishing when I visit Santo Domingo?

Yes, you can go deep-sea fishing while you visit Santo Domingo. The Dominican Republic is a world-renowned destination for deep sea fishing, with many charter companies offering half and full-day trips.

The most popular areas for deep sea fishing that depart from Santo Domingo are:

  1. Puerto Plata
  2. Sosúa
  3. Samaná Bay
  4. La Romana
  5. Punta Cana
  6. Boca Chica
  • Can I go windsurfing in Santo Domingo?

Yes, you can go windsurfing in Santo Domingo. The best place to do so is at Boca Chica, where several businesses offer lessons and equipment rental.

The average wind speed in Boca Chica is 18 knots and the water temperature is around 26 degrees Celsius all year round, making it the perfect spot for windsurfing in Santo Domingo.

How do I get around Santo Domingo?

The best way to get around Santo Domingo is by car or bus.

Car rental is widely available and relatively inexpensive, although it is worth noting that traffic can be heavy in Santo Domingo, particularly during rush hour.

The bus system in Santo Domingo is efficient and reasonably priced, with buses running regularly between the city center and most neighborhoods.

Taxis are also readily available and are a safe and convenient way to get around Santo Domingo.

We don’t suggest you take a public bus unless you are sided by a local guide.

  • How many days do you need in Santo Domingo?

This depends on what you want to do and see whilst you’re in Santo Domingo. If you’re just looking to relax on the Boca Chica beach then a few days will suffice, however, if you want to explore the city and its many attractions then we recommend staying for at least a week.

  • What is there to do in Santo Domingo for families?

There are plenty of activities and attractions that are ideal for families in Santo Domingo. These include:

  1. Visit the Alcázar de Colón

This 16th-century palace is a great place to learn about the history of Santo Domingo and the Dominican Republic. Kids will love exploring the many rooms and corridors, and learning about the different objects on display.

2. Take a ride on the Santo Domingo Tram

This is a great way to see the city, and kids will love riding on the old-fashioned tram cars.

3. Visit Parque Colon

This park is perfect for a family picnic or a game of football. There is also a playground for younger children.

4. Explore Los Tres Ojos

This natural park is made up of three freshwater lakes and is a great place to cool off on a hot day.

5. Visit the National Zoological Park

The zoo is home to over 500 animals and is a great place for kids to learn about different species from all over the world.

  • What are the best beaches in Santo Domingo?

Some of the best beaches in Santo Domingo include:

  1. Playa Boca Chica
  2. Playa Los Pinos
  3. Playa Punta Torrecillas

What is Santo Domingo famous for?

Santo Domingo is famous for its colonial architecture, beautiful beaches, and friendly people. The oldest European city is home to most of the first buildings and infrastructure in the Americas, including the first cathedral, university, monastery, fortress, government, palace, hospital, castle, and others.

Are there any waterparks in Santo Domingo?

Yes, there is one waterpark in Santo Domingo, which is the Aqua Splash Caribe (Caribbean Splash Water)

When is Carnaval in Santo Domingo?

Carnaval in Santo Domingo is held every year in February and is a four-day festival that celebrates the start of Lent. The springtime Carnaval is a great way to experience the lively culture, with parades, competitions, food, music, costumes, and masks

Does Santo Domingo have a baseball team?

Yes, there are two baseball teams located in Santo Domingo:

  1. Escogido Baseball Club
  2. Tigres del Licey Baseball Club

Both of these play at the Quisqueya Stadium, also known as Juan Marichal Stadium, and located at the Ensanche La Fe.

What is the Ciudad Trujillo?

The Cuidad Trujillo was the name taken from Santo Domingo to venerate dictator Rafael Trujillo. Once he was taken down, the city got its name back.

How do I get to Isla Saona from Santo Domingo?

Many tour operators offer day trips to Isla Saona from Santo Domingo, traveling by car. The trip usually includes a boat ride and stops at various beaches along the way to this island.

What is there to do in Santo Domingo for couples or singles?

There are plenty of activities and attractions that are perfect for couples or singles in Santo Domingo, which include:

1. Explore the colonial zone

The colonial zone is a great place to learn about the history of Santo Domingo, and to see some of the city’s most beautiful architecture.

2. Visit Parque Mirador Sur

This park offers stunning views of the city, and is the perfect place for a romantic picnic or walk.

3. Check out the nightlife

Santo Domingo has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. This is the perfect place to let your hair down and have some fun.

4. Take a dance class

Merengue is the national music and dance of the Dominican Republic and what better place to learn than in Santo Domingo? Several schools offer classes for all levels.

5. Visit an art gallery

Santo Domingo is home to some fantastic art galleries, where you can see works by local and international artists.

The summertime Festival del Merengue features free concerts, dancing in the streets, and shows with professional dancers.

What are the places to explore nature in Santo Domingo?

Despite being a metropolis with one of the most modern infrastructures in America, Santo Domingo holds beautiful parks where you can see palm trees, birds, and wild animals, some of these located in its National District. The best places to explore nature in Santo Domingo are:

  1. National Botanical Garden
  2. Mirador Norte Park
  3. National Aquarium
  4. National Zoo

Where is the tomb of Christopher Columbus at?

The tomb of Christopher Columbus is located at the Faro a Colón (Columbus Lighthouse), east of the capital city.

The lighthouse is a massive monument that was built to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas.

The tomb itself is located inside the monument and is made up of a marble sarcophagus that contains the remains of Columbus and his son, Diego Columbus, who put the first stone of the first cathedral in the Americas, the oldest standing in the Western hemisphere, in 1514.

What is Calle Las Damas?

Calle Las Damas is the oldest street in America and is located in the colonial zone of Santo Domingo. The street is full of historical buildings and is a great place to take a walk and soak up the atmosphere.

What should I buy in Santo Domingo?

Some of the best things to buy in Santo Domingo include:

1. Cigars

The Dominican Republic is famous for its cigars, and there are plenty of places to buy them in Santo Domingo. Just be sure to take your time and choose a good-quality cigar.

2. Dominican coffee

Dominican coffee is some of the best in the world and can be bought from many different cafes and stores around the city.

3. Rum

The Dominican Republic is also famous for its rum, and there are many different brands to choose from.

4. Chocolate

Dominican chocolate is made from the finest cacao beans and is available in many different shops around Santo Domingo.

5. Artisan goods There are many different artisan shops in Santo Domingo, where you can buy handmade goods such as pottery, paintings, and jewelry.

Which are the best shopping malls and commercial centers in Santo Domingo?

Here you can find top-notch stores with some of the most recognizable brands worldwide. The best shopping malls in Santo Domingo are:

  1. Blue Mall
  2. Downtown Center
  3. Acropolis Center
  4. Malecon Center
  5. Novo Centro
  6. Plaza Central
  7. Plaza Lama
  8. Agora Mall
  9. Sambil
  10. Galeria 360
  11. Silver Sun Gallery
  12. Bella Vista Mall
  13. Diamond Mall
  14. Plaza Naco
  15. Occidental Mall
  16. Megacentro

What is the Plaza de la Cultura?

The Plaza de la Cultura (Culture Plaza) is located in the heart of Santo Domingo and is home to several important museums and cultural institutions for you to tour. These museums are:

  1. Museo de las Casas Reales (Museum of the Royal Houses);
  2. Museo del Hombre Dominicano (Museum of Dominican Man)
  3. Museum of Modern Art
  4. Museum of Natural History
  5. Teatro Nacional (National Theater)
  6. Palace of Fine Arts

The plaza is also a great place to people watch, as it is often full of locals and tourists alike.

What is Plaza de España?

Plaza de España is one of the most beautiful squares in Santo Domingo, and is home to the Palacio Consistorial (City Hall) and the Iglesia Santo Domingo (Church of Santo Domingo).

The square is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike and is a great place to sight-seeing or simply enjoy the scenery.

On the north end of Calle Las Damas, the restored and expanded Plaza de España is bordered by Las Atarazanas (former naval yard, now a museum) and several small shops and restaurants.

What is Parque Colón?

Parque Colón (Columbus Park) is located in the colonial zone of Santo Domingo and is home to several important monuments and historical buildings. The park is named after Christopher Columbus, who arrived in America on his famous voyage in 1492.

Some of the most popular attractions in the park include the Fuente de las Sirenas (Fountain of the Sirens) and the Catedral de Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo Cathedral).

The park is also a great place to people watch, as it is often full of locals and tourists alike.

Where is the national government located in Santo Domingo?

Santo Domingo holds the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Dominican Republic government.

The Palacio Nacional (National Palace) is the home of the executive branch and is located at the crossing of Avenida México and Dr. Delgado.

The national congress is the home of the Legislative branch, located at the end of Avenida Jimenez Moya.

The Palace of Justice is the home of the judicial branch and is located nearby congress.

All three of these buildings are open to the public for tours.

Which is the oldest university on the American continent?

The oldest university in the American continent is the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD).

The university was founded in 1538 and is located near the colonial zone of Santo Domingo.

The university offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs and is one of the most prestigious universities in the Dominican Republic.

Which museums are located in Santo Domingo?

The most important tourist destination of the city is the Zona Colonial or Colonial Zone, on the western bank of the river and facing the Caribbean Sea.

Most of the museums of the first city of the New World are at the Colonial Zone, although some are nearby:

  1. Alcázar de Colón – One of the most emblematic sites of the Colonial City and the first fortified palace in the New World. It was designed in the Gothic-Mudéjar transitional style, in the early 16th century, and it was the residence of Columbus’ son, Diego Columbus, and his wife, Doña María de Toledo.
  2. Naval Museum – Located across the plaza from the Alcazar de Colon on Calle Atarazana, the oldest street in the Western Hemisphere.
  3. Ambar Museum – An impressive collection of amber stones. You can also find fine pieces of jewelry to take back home in the jewelry shop.
  4. Trampoline Children’s Museum – Offers children the opportunity to access a space where they can acquire knowledge in an entertaining and modern way.
  5. Wax Museum Juan Pablo Duarte – The first museum of its kind in the Dominican Republic, with more than 40 wax figures on display.
  6. Cathedral Museum – Located in the oldest cathedral of the Americas. The museum contains religious art and artifacts from the 16th to 19th centuries.
  7. Tostado House Museum – Built in 1505, this two-story building was one of the first family homes in the city and was considered one of the most luxurious in the entire colonial city.
  8. Museo de las Casas Reales – It was built in the Renaissance style during the 16th century, this building was the longtime seat of Spanish power for the Caribbean region, housing the governor’s office and the powerful Royal Court.
  9. Museo del Hombre Dominicano
  10. Museo Taino
  11. Museo Bellapart
  12. Museo de Arte Moderno
  13. Centro León Jimenes
  14. Dominicanos Ilustres Gallery
  15. Panteon Nacional (National Pantheon)

Which are the best neighborhoods in Santo Domingo?

Each neighborhood in Santo Domingo’s main area has its unique atmosphere, but the best neighborhoods are:

  1. Piantini
  2. Naco
  3. Bella Vista
  4. Renacimiento
  5. Arroyo Hondo
  6. El Millón
  7. Los Cacicazgos

Here you can find the most luxurious accommodations outside of a hotel. Some even have a jacuzzi and a pool.

What can you not bring to Santo Domingo?

There are a few items that you are not allowed to bring into Santo Domingo, such as:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Firearms
  • Ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Pornographic materials

Facts about Santo Doming Dominican Republic

  • The historic district of the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1990.
  • Winston Churchill Avenue extends from Kennedy Avenue to Avenida 27 de Febrero, from there on, it continues as Avenida Jimenez Moya to reach the Centro de los Heroes and finally the boardwalk facing the Caribbean Sea.
  • George Washington Avenue is home to several huge hotel/casino complexes and dozens of small restaurants, clubs, and cafes. Here you can also find the Obelisk, a beach, and is one of the ways to get to the Aquarium and to Las Americas International Airport.
  • Abraham Lincoln Avenue holds the economic and commercial center of Santo Domingo.
  • Santo Domingo was one called Ciudad Trujillo, back when Rafael Leonidas Trujillo ruled the country.
  • The Jardín Botánico Nacional has vast areas devoted to aquatic plants, orchids, bromeliads, ferns, palm trees, and a Japanese garden.
  • For those traveling by bus to Punta Cana, La Romana, or Boca Chica, Enriquillo Park is where these buses depart from.
  • Villa Mella is known for its chicharrón (roasted pork) and there are dozens of places that serve this delicious Dominican dish sided with tostones or fried yuca.
  • The Alcazar de Colón is the palace of Diego Columbus, son of the Almirant Christopher Columbus.
  • Winston Churchill Avenue consists of six lanes (three on each side) and a median suitable for jogging laid with palm trees.

Why is Santo Domingo so popular?

Santo Domingo is popular for a variety of reasons, including its rich history, stunning architecture, beautiful beaches, and lively culture.

Additionally, the city is home to several important landmarks and attractions like any other country in the Caribbean.

Whether you’re looking to experience the vibrant nightlife, shopping, enjoy its amazing music, or simply soak up some sun on the beach, Santo Domingo is sure to have something for everyone.

Start planning your trip to Santo Domingo today!

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