Santo Domingo

Travel Guide
Dominican Republic which includes a sunset and general coastal views

The Caribbean’s first city is a thriving metropolis that has colonial buildings and modern masterpieces, captivating museums and a lively boardwalk.

Santo Domingo is a fast-growing city known for its colonial architecture, modern art and an oceanfront boardwalk lined with restaurants and cafés. The Caribbean’s first city has had a turbulent history. Since it was founded by the brother of Christopher Columbus in 1498, Santo Domingo has been raided by pirates and slaves and ruled by a dictator. Today, the city reflects this past with colonial architecture and looks to the future with a growing cultural scene.

Spend your mornings around Santo Domingo’s El Malecon. Restaurants, cafés and parks line this popular oceanfront boardwalk. Sip espressos and people-watch at outdoor tables.

Towards the Santo Domingo Port, find the city’s UNESCO protected colonial zone. Here you can visit the city’s most significant historical landmarks, including the Alcázar de Colón, the former home of explorer Diego Colón. Catch your breath in the shady Colón Park before continuing to the National Pantheon, with its neoclassical façade. Visit the Ozama Fortress, which once protected the city from pirates. Climb to its balcony for a panoramic view of the city.

West of the colonial zone, explore charming residential suburbs and museums around the Plaza de la Cultura. Delve into historical books at the adjacent National Library or reserve a seat for a dance, opera or drama performance at the National Theater.

Nearby, the Museum of Modern Art displays the best of new Dominican artists in temporary exhibits. Learn about the pre-Columbian life of Hispaniola’s native Taino Indians at the Museum of the Dominican Man. Visit the Palace of Fine Arts to appreciate its vast columned façade with a bright Caribbean color scheme.

In the evenings, return to El Malecon and pick a terrace restaurant along the lively George Washington Avenue. Listen to karaoke, salsa and Merengue drum beats of street performers, particularly around carnival when parties reach their peak.

Santo Domingo is located on the south coast of the Dominican Republic. Fly into the city’s international airport then get around using public buses, taxis and públicos (private minivans).

Where to stay in Santo Domingo

whala! boca chica - All inclusive
whala! boca chica - All inclusive
3 out of 5
Avenida Abraham Núñez, Boca Chica, Santo Domingo
The price is $53 per night from Jun 2 to Jun 3
Stay at this 3-star beach property in Boca Chica. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and 3 restaurants. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the overall value ...
3.2/5 (839 reviews)
"It was excellent overall staff was Nice and very respectful"

Reviewed on May 16, 2022

whala! boca chica - All inclusive
Catalonia Santo Domingo
Catalonia Santo Domingo
4.5 out of 5
Avenida George Washington No. 500, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, 10104
The price is $99 per night from May 27 to May 28
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in Santo Domingo. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and 24-hour room service. Our guests praise the breakfast and the restaurant ...
4/5 Very Good! (971 reviews)
"Everything went well - Like the Room and the View. I enjoyed the breakfast and the pool"

Reviewed on May 10, 2022

Catalonia Santo Domingo
Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino
Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino
4 out of 5
Av Anacaona 101, Esquina Cibao Oeste, Sector los Cacicazgos, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, 10210
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $68 per night from May 28 to May 29
Stay at this 4-star family-friendly hotel in Santo Domingo. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 outdoor pools. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
3.8/5 Good! (980 reviews)
"In exception I felt my privacy was not compromised as I couldn't have my guests the way I wish to within my rights and freedom, I had to paid $ 45.00 for my guest to be in my room, I had no understanding of that if it's a question of security to register a guest it's fine but charging a client for ..."

Reviewed on May 12, 2022

Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Tropical Island Aparthotel
Tropical Island Aparthotel
2.5 out of 5
Caracoles 67, Santo Domingo Este, Santo Domingo Este, 11704
The price is $28 per night from May 24 to May 25
Stay at this business-friendly aparthotel in Santo Domingo Este. Enjoy free internet, a rooftop terrace, and room service. Our guests praise the helpful staff ...
3.1/5 (200 reviews)
"Good"

Reviewed on Mar 7, 2022

Tropical Island Aparthotel
Central Park Tower
Central Park Tower
3.5 out of 5
13 Luis Escoto Gomez, Santo Domingo, 10112
The price is $57 per night from May 24 to May 25
Stay at this 3.5-star apartment in Santo Domingo. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the convenient ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (122 reviews)
"Everything was great"

Reviewed on Apr 24, 2022

Central Park Tower
Plaza Florida Suites
Plaza Florida Suites
3 out of 5
Av. Bolivar No. 203, Esq. Armando Rodriguez, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, 10210
The price is $95 per night from May 24 to May 25
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly aparthotel in Santo Domingo. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a fitness center. Our guests praise the restaurant and ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (217 reviews)
"The staff at the front desk is super cool very polite."

Reviewed on Jan 31, 2022

Plaza Florida Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Santo Domingo

To travel like a local in Santo Domingo, catch the bus. There are buses all over town, which range from modern, air-conditioned vehicles to guagua – cramped, semi-organized minivans which are less comfortable but a great way to meet the locals. For the most part, you’ll be able to walk around the historic districts, like Zona Colonial, although you should avoid walking around at night if possible. Browse Santo Domingo rental cars.

Best time to visit

To experience the best of Santo Domingo’s beautiful Caribbean weather, visit between November and March for warm, dry days perfect for lounging on the beach. The city is hit hard by the hurricane season between August and October and is best avoided at this time; hurricanes are often severe and dangerous. Outside of these times, weather is pleasant, but pack an umbrella.

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