Welcome to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic!
Santo Domingo is a fantastically vibrant and intense city, defined by colorful sights and a remarkable cacophony of sounds and smells. It is a brilliant combination of the old and the new, with some of the oldest surviving structures in the Caribbean. Explore the cobbled city center and a thriving, modern, metropolitan atmosphere. At times, you may even forget you are in the Caribbean at all, until you head back down to the beach for sundown!
The well-known attractions are easy for tourists, but a worldwide local can find wonderful new experiences and undiscovered destinations at every turn. This is an insider’s guide of the lesser-known delights, of Santo Domingo.
Start with the Best Things to Do in Santo Domingo
The Zona Colonial, the historic center of “La Capital,” is one of the prettiest spots in the whole Caribbean, and a wonderful place to spend a morning. Start off in the gorgeous Plaza de Espana, take in the eye-catching Alcazar de Colon, and soak up a little history in the Museum of the Royal Houses. The National Pantheon and the Parque Colon, offer a calm and wonderfully picturesque respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Worldwide Local Tip: The Catedral Primada de America is an extraordinary sight, and a wonderful place to really dig deep into the history, of the Dominican Republic. It is the oldest and first cathedral in the Americas and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Architecturally fascinating, with both Baroque and Gothic styles throughout, it was also the original resting place of Christopher Columbus, before his remains were taken to the Faro el Colon.
Eat Like a Local at the Santo Domingo Restaurants
Santo Domingo is, as you might imagine, the heart of the Dominican Republic’s culinary scene. It’s a wonderful place to get to grips with traditional Dominican food, as well as having a surprisingly cosmopolitan array of other cuisines to offer. Seafood is absolutely first-rate, with Muelle 47 Seafood Culture providing a perfect intro into the bounty of the Caribbean sea.
Worldwide Local Tip: The Plaza Espana is full of restaurants and cafes, many of which are somewhat tired, or full of tourists. One stands apart, however, Pat’e Palo, which is the oldest restaurant on the block, and the best. Dishes like squid ink risotto and lobster thermidor sing on the palate, while the piratical headscarves of the waiting staff keep the atmosphere light and relaxed.
Make the Most of the Santo Domingo Weather
It would be inconceivable to visit Santo Domingo and not take advantage of its glorious seaside location. Some of the best beaches on the island are within spitting distance of the town center, and an easy day trip or even just an afternoon drive away. Juan Dolio and Guyacanes, are two of the finest and closest beaches with golden sand and crystal clear water.
Worldwide Local Tip: Playa Juan Dolio is one of the loveliest places to enjoy the magnificent Caribbean sunsets, and Bar el Bambu is the perfect spot on the beach. With mouthwateringly fresh cocktails and an exquisite beachside location, this is one of the best places on the island to end your day.
Have an Amazing Time in Santo Domingo!
Never pass up a deal on flights to Santo Domingo Airport. This is a gorgeous city with a perfect mix of beautiful colonial antiquity and a vibrant, dynamic cultural vibe. As a worldwide local you’ll visit the best places, eat the most delicious food, and get a true Dominican experience!