Things to Do in Santo Domingo

There are a lot of things to do in Santo Domingo as it’s a bustling city with lots of history. Like any large city, there is nightlife, good restaurants, and nice public parks. But for Santo Domingo specifically, there is a lot more than that. It’s a great place to be a tourists as there is a lot to see and learn about. You can get all your sightseeing done in a short amount of time so this is a great spot for a short trip.

Sightseeing in Zona Colonial

Of all the activities in Santo Domingo, visiting Zona Colonial is an absolute must. There is just so much to see here because of the rich history. This city was founded in 1496 by Bartholomew Columbus and was the first seat of the Spanish’s colonial rule over the new world. The architecture is simply amazing- the old style of buildings is something you will marvel at.

The place to start your visit to Zona Colonial is at ‘la puerta del conde’ which translates to the start of the conde. The conde is the most popular street and it goes right through the heart of Zona Colonial. It’s pedestrian only, and there a lot of shops and small restaurants located here. After about a 10 minute walk, you will find yourself at Parque Colon, a nice little park. There are a lot of benches, but also a lot of pigeons. On the side of this park resides the oldest church of the Americas. You have to pay to get in, but you can see the exterior of the church just fine.

During the evening, I would recommend going to Plaza de España for dinner and drinks. This plaza is where there are a lot of higher end restaurants that have great customer service. This is a historical area where there was a lot of commerce back in the earliest days of the city.

el-conde

Malecon

This is where a lot of short term travelers stay as some of the nicest hotels in the city are located here. It’s a nice location right on the water. Although there are no beaches here, you can get close to the Caribbean sea and enjoy the ocean breeze. You can also take a jog right along the coast. There’s also a fantastic restaurant right on the water called Adrian Tropical. It’s affordable and they have good service.

At night, you can venture out to one of the many casinos on the Malecon. These casinos are the largest and most popular in the entire country, and they are located right next to each other.

Malecon Ocean View

Venture Downtown

The downtown area one of the safest and busiest areas in the city. It’s comprised of the neighborhoods Piantini, Naco, and the avenues Kennedy, Lincoln, and Churchill. Downtown is where a lot of the upper-class citizens live and work.

There’s a lot of good shopping here and you can easily find whatever you’re looking for. A decade ago, rich locals used to take shopping trips to Miami, but now they don’t have to. The newest and largest mall is Agora, it’s a modern mall similar to what you would find in the United States. The fanciest mall is Blue Mall, here you will find a lot of high-end shops and fancy restaurants. There’s also a JW Marriott hotel located in this mall. Another popular mall is Sambil, which is more middle-class and includes a nice movie theater.

If you are just looking to sight see, then I would recommend taking a drive through the Naco area. This neighborhood is home to some of the richest families in the country and the layout is very nice. There are also some good bars and restaurants here as well as in Piantini.

Downtown Santo Domingo


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