Santo Domingo

Enter your dates to find available activities

Top attractions in Santo Domingo

Top 10 things to do in Santo Domingo

As well as being a major metropolis, Santo Domingo is the capital and cultural heart of the Dominican Republic. The city is a wonderful mix of history and modernity, and is an incredible place to tour and visit. Here are some top tips for when you visit.

  • Los Tres Ojos

    1. Los Tres Ojos

    This natural wonder and cave complex is perfect for a day tour. You can enter the beautiful structures by foot or by boat (the latter is a little bit more exciting!)

  • Alcázar de Colón

    2. Alcázar de Colón

    The oldest colonial residence in the Americas and one of the best art galleries in the region. The gallery exhibits some the Caribbean's most important collection of art works.

  • Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor

    3. Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor

    A fascinating building architecturally and the oldest cathedral in the Americas, situated right next to Colombus Park, it's well worth a stop here.

  • 4. Calle las Damas

    A beautiful part of the city - here you can see a sundial dating back to 1753 and visit the Institute for Hispanic Culture.

  • National Palace

    5. National Palace

    An exquisite building built on beautiful park grounds, and the offices of the Presidency and Vice Presidency of the state; it is an important cultural point of interest.

  • 6. National Botanical Garden

    This should definitely be high on your list to visit as it is considered by some to be the best garden of its kind in the world. Tours are advised as the park is so vast!

  • 7. National Theater

    Whether it's for international or local performances, you won't be disappointed by the quality of the acts here.

  • 8. Museum of Natural History

    An amazing place with really world class exhibits. One of the highlights is definitely the planetarium show, and a tour will make your trip even more enjoyable.

  • Fortaleza Ozama

    9. Fortaleza Ozama

    At the entrance to Santo Domingo, overlooking the Ozama River, you'll find this beautiful 16th-Century castle.

  • Museo de las Casas Reales

    10. Museo de las Casas Reales

    One of the important cultural monuments built during the colonial era - if you want to learn more about the region's history, this is definitely a sight to visit.

Planning Your Visit

  • When to Visit?

    The city is ideal to visit all year long, as there is always a warm tropical climate. However, in the summer months it can get very hot indeed, and is sometimes prone to hurricanes, so if you don't like it too hot, a visit in the winter months might be more up your alley!

  • How long to visit?

    Two or three days is a perfect amount of time to see all the tourist spots and still have enough time to relax and enjoy the city. Most people combine a trip to Santo Domingo with a visit to the nearby Punta Cana.

Good to know

  • Language
    Spanish
  • Currency
    DOP ($ or RD$)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-04:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    If you don't like intense heat and possible hurricanes, try to visit in the winter, when the temperatures are still warm and tropical.

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Santo Domingo

The capital of the Dominican Republic is often overlooked when organizing a dreamy trip to this paradise island, but according to travel blogger Check Out Sam there is plenty to experience here too! After living here for several months, he knows the in- and outs of the city and shares his best tips with you all.

What should I do on my first trip to Santo Domingo?

Head out to the Zona Colonial and explore the beautiful squares, colorful streets and rich history of Santo Domingo. Parque Colón is -in my opinion- one of the cosiest places in the old town. Plaza España is bigger and much more touristy, but oozes holiday vibes. From the latter you also get some superb views over the rest of Santo Domingo.

What are some hidden gems to see in Santo Domingo?

Want to explore Santo Domingo from above? Hop on El Teleferico! This cable car takes you along a very cheap sightseeing tour above some of the many neighborhoods of the capital city. If you want to see nature, but don't want to venture out too far away from the city, I suggest you head to Los Tres Ojos National Park. Climb down the limestone caves and see the three underground lakes of Santo Domingo.

How much time should I spend in Santo Domingo?

You can see the highlights of Santo Domingo in two days and in that time you also have enough time to relax and unwind at some of the cozy restaurants or bars. Most sights and activities take place in the Zona Colonial. If you want to organize day trips to Punta Cana, Samana or elsewhere, keep in mind that you will at least lose one full day.

What food is Santo Domingo known for? 

I'm a sucker for mangú (plantain mash) and tostones (fried plantains), but there are many more Dominican specialties where you can feast on. Make sure to try some of the spicy chicken recipes. I have no idea how they do it, but they always are tasty!

What is the best way to get around Santo Domingo?

If you only stay in the historical center, you can easily walk everywhere. If you also want to discover other parts of the city, make use of Uber. It's cheap, reliable and safe.

What are the best months to visit Santo Domingo?

Try to come outside the summer, because that also means hurricane season. Around April and May there are also less tourists, so if you want to avoid the crowds this is the time to come. During winter, there will be more visitors escaping the cold in their home countries.

What are the best neighborhoods for food? 

In the Zona Colonial you will find restaurants that cater to every taste. They are often a bit more high end (but still dirt cheap!) and thus offer clean and original seating areas, but also delicious food. Also worth mentioning: the cocktails in the historical city center are great pretty much everywhere you go!!

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The best shopping possibilities are outside the Zona Colonial (unless you want to buy souvenirs). Around the Piattini neighborhood there are a lot of malls where you can find boutique stores, famous brands, but also crafts, electronic shops, etc. Make sure to visit Agora Mall: the biggest shopping mall in the Caribbean.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Santo Domingo?

Zona Colonial. You'll be closest to most sights, wake up in a true Caribbean setting every morning and be in a very safe area.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Santo Domingo?

Go to Parque Colón and jump into the Chu Chu Colonial. This little train takes you along the most famous sights in the historical city center and gives you fun facts along the way.

What is the best thing to do in Santo Domingo for solo travelers?

Plan a few day trips (or longer!) to other regions of the Dominican Republic. It's the best way to meet other solo travelers and also a great way to explore the beauty of the Dominican Republic. I recommend going to Samana (Los Haitises, whale watching, El Limon Waterfall, ...) or beautiful Puerto Plata.

What is the best thing to do in Santo Domingo for couples?

Enjoy one of the many rooftop bars in the Zona Colonial while waiting for a famous Caribbean sunset. It really can't get more romantic!

What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Santo Domingo?

Near Santo Domingo, Los Tres Ojos National Park is the only area where you'll find some unspoiled nature. If you don't mind doing a day trip (but preferably longer), head to the Samana Peninsula for stunning hikes and spectacular wildlife. To the west (bordering Haïti), you can find the most unspoiled nature of the island.

What are the best beaches around Santo Domingo?

You are in the Dominican Republic, baby. Most beaches here are stunning! But, admittedly, the prettiest ones are not so close to Santo Domingo. If you don't mind taking the Uber or bus a little further: head to Boca Chica or Juan Dolio. Both beaches have pearly white sand and see-through water. Just what you want to see during a holiday in the Caribbean!

Santo Domingo: Pozostałe atrakcje

Chcesz poznać wszystkie atrakcje w miejscu Santo Domingo? Kliknij tutaj.

What people are saying about Santo Domingo

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 38 reviews

The trip was great! It was a bummer not to be able to go to the cathedral for Three Kings Day, but completely understandable. The transportation was seamless and Anthony was a phenomenal tour guide!

My guide was great. They picked me up on time and he knew his history. Lots of walking and love the musuem head phones. It was great

Jise was an excellent guy, he’s friendly , Knowledgeable and speaks English extremely well!