Dominican Republic, the beautiful and diverse Caribbean island, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Caribbean area. Santo Domingo is the capital of this sun-blessed country and also the oldest city in the New World. Sitting on the southern coast, this city most definitely offers the most fulfilling urban experience and should be on everyone’s “must-visit” list.
Where to stay
The metropolitan city offers countless accommodation possibilities, so it is important to keep in mind your budget and travel plans, the sights you want to see and activities you want to pursue while making your decision.
You can find plenty of housing opportunities in Santo Domingo here.
Why not start the day with some sightseeing in the historic and cultural city of Santo Domingo. If you only have a weekend for exploring, it is always a good idea to hop on a tour bus, in this case on a mini-train. Chu Chu Colonial offers 500 years of culture in a 45 minutes tour and is a great way to kick things off. These mini-trains run every day from 9:00AM to 5:00PM and the ticket costs €11/€6 for adults/children.
What to see & where to go
If you prefer to do the sightseeing yourself, first on your list should be Zona Colonial where you will can immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle of this classical city.
While in the heart of the city, you should check out the Gothic style Catedral Primada America the oldest existing catedral in the Americas. You will be impressed by its awesome vaulted ceiling and the 14 interior chapels. Keep in mind the dress code for entering is quite strict: make sure not to wear short skirts/shorts or tank tops. The tickets can be purchased at the entrance in the southeastern corner, normal fee for an adult is RD $40 e.g. €0.80 (RD$60 with the audio guide). Children can enter the cathedral for free.
Next you might want to visit Alcazar de Colon – the most outstanding structure in the old city, approximately 10 minutes walk away from the cathedral. The former center of the Spanish court has nearly 24 rooms and open-air loggias which are decorated with paintings, period tapestries and 16th-century antiques. The tickets for entering the Museo Alcazar de Colon cost RD$100 (€2) for adults and RD$20 (€40 cents) for children.
Art lovers should head to the museum central Plaza de la Cultura where you can find the Palace of Fine Arts, Museum of Modern Art, the National Theater and the National Library. Since the square is quite a distance from Plaza España, you might like to hail a taxi.
The best wine & dine spots
If you’re looking to refuel after all the sightseeing, Pat’e Palo is the best choice for lunch or dinner. It is located at Plaza España and very close to the beach and port areas. The menu includes numerous mouth-watering dishes such as foie gras with dark beer jam, shrimp brunoise with lobster tail and roasted arugula, lobster ravioli, and their special crème brûlée for dessert. Main meals cost between RD$650-1200 (€13 – €24) and the extensive wine and cigar menu is just the cherry on the top.
Just looking to wet your whistle? El Conde Restaurant is know as the “it” place for having afternoon drinks.
For a proper shopping experience we recommend a visit to the Agora Mall. However, if you want to get a real taste of the Dominican Republic, step into the Boutique del Fumador – a shop selling hand-rolled cigars (Cohibas), organic Dominican chocolate, coffee and rum.
Sport fans should definitely visit the Estadio Quisqueya which is the home field of two professional baseball teams, Escogido and Licey. It is the best place to experience Dominican baseball and interact with the locals in one of their favourite pastimes. The tickets for most of the games can be purchased from the stadium just before the game with costs ranging from RD$250 to RD$1000 (€5 – €20). Since the stadium is quite far, it is recommended to take a taxi. A ride back to the Zona Colonial should cost around RD$170 (€4).
If you’re a nature lover, take a visit to the national park Los Tres Ojos (the three eyes).The limestone caves, springs and many impressive stalactites and stalagmites act as an impressive backdrop to the beautiful park.