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Top 10 Attractions in Santo Domingo

Best Attractions in Santo Domingo

 

Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital city, has island visitors who prefer Dominican beach towns or resort getaways. Yet, Santo Domingo, once Hispanic America’s capital, is one of the most fascinating and exciting cities to visit! Every day, social movements, culture, gastronomy, nightlife, and events abound in this city. Every traveller will find plenty to do in Santo Domingo!

1 La  Zona Colonial

 

La Zona Colonial is the city’s historic colonial centre. This is also one of the best Dominican Republic destinations for cultural events, social movements, art galleries, museums, nightlife, and trendy restaurants. If you’re worried that this is only for tourists or touristy things, you should know that it’s a neighbourhood for both locals and tourists. Local artists, theatre, community centres, LGBT bars, and much more can! If you are in history and culture, La Zona Colonial is the place to visit in Santo Domingo.

2 El Museo de la Resistencia 

 

A visit to this museum is a great way to learn about the history around you, contextualise your travels across the country, and support a good cause. This museum honours those who have fought against oppression, such as Rafael Trujillo’s notorious dictatorship. The museum with artwork, videos, text, photographs, and other media. You could spend all day here. Between exhibits, there is also a lovely outdoor colonial courtyard.

3 Larimar Museum

 

Larimar is one of the world’s most rare semi-precious stones, found only in the Dominican Republic and from a single mine in the province of Barahona. Its pale cyan blue colour complements the water along its coasts. This larimar museum is small but very interesting and enjoyable to explore. It’s free and located above a Larimar store, so go ahead and take a look before heading upstairs to the museum. If you enjoy geology and cool rocks/gemstones, this small museum is a must-see! It’s a short visit that takes between 20 and 45 minutes to complete.

4 Centro Dominico Aleman

 

This cozy indoor/outdoor community space within a well-kept colonial building hosts markets, events, classes, performances, meet-ups, a German bar, and other Dominican-German-related activities. You’ll also meet German exchange students here. So, if you want to practise your German in DR, this is most likely the place to meet some German friends! They also hold weekly get-togethers with beers and German barbeque.

5 Parque Mirador Sur

 

This charming park is beneath the Bella Vista neighbourhood on the opulent Anacaona street. If you enjoy an active lifestyle, this is the place to be on a weekend morning where you can join other Dominicans who enjoy running, skating, biking, and other forms of exercise. This lovely park also has a free outdoor gym and fresh coconut water stands for when you need to rehydrate after a long run through the park. There are also cute restaurants, meadows, a small lagoon, and skate/bike rental shops at Parque Mirador Sur.

6 Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito

 

Tourists will not in this underappreciated gem, despite the fact that it is one of the best places in Santo Domingo to visit for culture and history! It has several floors and three main spaces for various types of performances/events such as theatre, ballet, opera, live music, and well-known award shows. If you can’t attend a performance, at least take in the neoclassical architectural splendor of the Plaza de la Cultura.

7 Casa de Teatro Calecho

 

Casa de Teatro is a sort of art centre in a bohemian-colonial setting. There’s a theatre with an outdoor courtyard, an art gallery near the entrance, a VERY cute specialty coffee shop (pictured above), and an upstairs space for art and community gatherings (Calecho). Come for the shows, performances, and theatre productions, or for one of the many fun local meet-ups. Here you can see a little bit of each & everything. I even went to a super nerdy Game of Thrones meet-up here once and had a great time!

8 Santo Domingo’s Nightlife

 

Santo Domingo has a plethora of nightlife options in various parts of the city. But, I had gotten a lot of that out of my system a long time ago. Today, if the vibe is right, I enjoy a laid-back night out once in a while.

The majority of Santo Domingo’s nightlife revolves around three key party districts: Zona Colonial, Avenida Venezuela, and Naco/Piantini. Santo Domingo is an ideal place to go party-hopping due to the eclectic music on offer, friendly locals, and beautiful weather.

9 Visit Cute Cafe

 

Dropping into cafes to write while eating is one of my favourite things to do while travelling the world. So imagine my delight when I discovered dozens of lovely cafes in Santo Domingo from which to work and eat. Despite the fact that there are many popular ones, here are my top three personal cafes in Santo Domingo.

10 KahKow Chocolate Experience

 

This is a charming establishment where you can make your own chocolate bars or soap. It can be a fun family activity even if you don’t learn how to make either from scratch. However, I must admit that the informational section, which lavished praise on the Spanish colonisers, was at times problematic for me. “Thank you, Columbus!” many people exclaimed. (You know, the guy who stole, pillaged, enslaved, raped, and murdered our Taino people.) Of course, this mindset is not limited to the Dominican Republic or the world. 

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