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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

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
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $65 per night from Jun 5 to Jun 5
This family-friendly hotel is located in the city center, within 3 mi (5 km) of Santo Domingo Country Club and Plaza de la Bandera. Jardin Botanico Nacional ...
3.9/5Very Good! (967 reviews)
"The hotel is an ok hotel, it looks like it was luxury hotel back then but it's been outdated for some time now. The wall paint was stripping off the wall, we also got a letter that they would be exterminating all the bedrooms (possible bed bugs). We didn't get an upgrade considering it was a VIP ..."

Reviewed on May 11, 2021

Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino
Barceló Santo Domingo
Barceló Santo Domingo
4 out of 5
Maximo Gomez-Esq 27 de Febrero, PO Box 1915, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional
The price is $68 per night from Jun 2 to Jun 2
This family-friendly Santo Domingo hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Eduardo Brito National Theater, Museum of Modern Art, and Centro ...
4.2/5Excellent! (955 reviews)
"Pool area"

Reviewed on May 11, 2021

Barceló Santo Domingo
Catalonia Santo Domingo
Catalonia Santo Domingo
4.5 out of 5
Avenida George Washington No. 500, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional
The price is $94 per night from May 14 to May 14
Located in Ciudad Universitaria, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Convention Center Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Eduardo Brito National Theater. ...
4.2/5Very Good! (972 reviews)
"Good"

Reviewed on May 8, 2021

Catalonia Santo Domingo
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.
Plaza Florida Suites
Plaza Florida Suites
3 out of 5
Av. Bolivar No. 203, Esq. Armando Rodriguez, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional
The price is $92 per night from May 14 to May 14
Located in Downtown Santo Domingo, this aparthotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of National Museum, Agora Mall, and National Palace. Quisqueya Stadium and Cathedral ...
4.3/5Excellent! (193 reviews)
"I enjoyed my stay at this property. The staff was friendly and helpful the property was clean the room was clean and comfortable. This will definitely be One of the properties that I will return to while staying in Santo Domingo."

Reviewed on Mar 20, 2021

Plaza Florida Suites
Hotel Plaza del Sol
Hotel Plaza del Sol
2.5 out of 5
Avenida José Contreras No. 25-A, Zona Universitaria, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional
The price is $39 per night from May 13 to May 13
Located in Downtown Santo Domingo, this aparthotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Eduardo Brito National Theater and within 3 mi (5 km) of Sambil Santo Domingo and ...
3.7/5Good! (66 reviews)
"Nice little seems family owned and well manage very clean stayed in a very spacious room"

Reviewed on Apr 8, 2021

Hotel Plaza del Sol
Aparthotel Shakey
Aparthotel Shakey
3 out of 5
Avenida Pasteur, 1, Santo Domingo
The price is $67 per night from May 14 to May 14
Located in Gascue, this aparthotel is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) from Sambil Santo Domingo and within 6 mi (10 km) of Blue Mall and Agora Mall. Boca Chica is 21.5 mi (34.5 ...
4.3/5Excellent! (33 reviews)
"Property is beside Crown Plaza hotel and is very near to the Malecon. It is clean and has a great location"

Reviewed on Mar 12, 2021

Aparthotel Shakey
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.

Popular places to visit in Santo Domingo

Top things to do in Santo Domingo

Reviews of Santo Domingo

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
740
5 - Excellent 50.34013605442177%
4 - Good
557
4 - Good 37.89115646258504%
3 - Okay
135
3 - Okay 9.183673469387756%
2 - Disappointing
28
2 - Disappointing 1.9047619047619047%
1 - Terrible
10
1 - Terrible 0.6802721088435374%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

Amazing city, lots of restaurant options, historic places, night life a city to visit

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Mar 30, 2020

Santo Domingo, is a favbulous Capital for vacationing. Streets and sidewalks should be cleaner.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 24, 2020

There is an pandemic around the wourld and I have to say people of Dominican Republic do help each other.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 22, 2020

I love this place its is beautiful and people are friendly and helpful. I will return. Only thing that went wrong is that the boarders were closed because of coronavirus and everything shut down hotels and stores .i stuck here another 15 days.

4/5 - Good

KatyaDahdah

Mar 22, 2020

The city is vibrant and has lot to offer. Just use the same safety precautions you will use in any cosmopolitan city. Remember Santo Domingo has about 4 millions and is not small at all.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 19, 2020

Womderfull place

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