Santo Domingo hotels
The dynamic capital of the Dominican Republic often gets the cold shoulder from tourists who prefer all-inclusive resort vacations in Punta Cana or Puerto Plata. A shame because as one of the first colonial settlements in the New World, Santo Domingo has a lot to offer. Other than 16th century Spanish architecture, the cosmopolitan city of more than 2.2 million people is a vibrant metropolis.
Zona Colonial dates back to Christopher Columbus and is where most start in "The First City of the Americas". The beautiful old district contains one heritage landmark after another, from the Catedral Santa María La Menor to the Alcázar de Colón, Fortaleza Ozama and Panteón Nacional. As the capital of the island nation, Santo Domingo contains many important museums. The best of the lot are the Museum of the Casas Reales, Museum of Modern Art and World of Ambar Museum. Of course, when in Santo Domingo be sure to save some energy for the city's memorable nightlife.
Santo Domingo History
- Museum of the Casas Reales – The colonial period is preserved and studied at this museum.
- National Museum of History and Geography – This museum devotes its space to the preservation of Dominican history.
- Columbus Lighthouse – This monument to Christopher Columbus was erected in 1992 for the 500th anniversary of his discovery of America.
- Museum of Duarte – Here you can learn more about the history of the Dominican independence movement.
- Colonial Zone – Preserved architecture and other artefacts from the colonial period.
Santo Domingo Art & Culture
- Autonomous University of Santo Domingo – Visit this university, originally founded by Papal decree in 1538.
- Museum of Modern Arts – This museum has exhibits of modern and contemporary art from Santo Domingo and its environs.
- Palace of Fine Arts – The National Symphony Orchestra makes its home here.
- Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor – The oldest cathedral in the Americas demonstrates both gothic and baroque designs.
- Monastery of Saint Francis – Built in 1508, this is one of Santo Domingo’s most important ruins.
Santo Domingo Shopping
- Boulevard 27 de Febrero – This street regularly opens to pedestrians to peruse.
- Malecon – This section of the city is its commercial and tourist centre.
- Plaza Lama – This is the largest department store in the entire city.
- Megacentro Mall – Serves up a great variety of shops and stores, including beauty parlours and movie theatres.
- La Sirena – An immense supermarket that offers clothing, books and other items.
Gay & Lesbian Santo Domingo
- Foreigners Club Hotel – A gay-friendly hotel with a capable staff.
- Esedeku – Rated the best gay bar in Santo Domingo, it has two giant TV screens pumping out music videos.
- Tres Gatas – This lesbian club does not permit access to men.
- Click Nightclub and Bar – This gay bar is located on Calle Atarazana, not far from the river.
- Cine Lido – Just uphill from the colonial zone, this cinema opens at 6 pm.
Santo Domingo Outdoor
- Parque Mirador Sur – Located in the southwestern part of the city, this park covers six square kilometres.
- Jet Skiing – You can enjoy this pastime all year except during Easter week.
- Swimming – The white sands of the beaches in Santo Domingo beckon swimmers to the warm Caribbean waters.
- El Sendero del Cacao – Tour a chocolate plantation and learn how the cacao bean becomes a tasty chocolate treat.
- Jeep Safari – Go on a jeep tour of the wilderness surrounding Santo Domingo.
Santo Domingo Sport
- Olympic Centre Juan Pablo Duarte – A multipurpose sport complex in downtown Santo Domingo.
- Quisqueya Stadium – The Dominican League operates out of this stadium.
- Galapagos Hippodrome V Centenario – This horseracing track has its own restaurant.
- Liga de Beisbol Stadium – A sport centre devoted entirely to baseball games and teams.
- Juan Dolio – Has multiple golf courses that are close to all the major hotels in Santo Domingo.
- National Palace
- Catedral Santa María La Menor
- Teatro Nacional
- Fortaleza Ozama
- Alcázar de Coló
- Global Film Festival
- Merengue Festival
- Santo Domingo Carnival
- Latin Music Festival
- Dominican Republic Jazz Festival
- El Meson de la Cava
- Meson d'Bari
- Hermanos Villar
- La Briciola
- Bachata Rosa
- Jet Set
Although prone to the occasional hurricane and with heavy rainfall between May and October, Santo Domingo enjoys a beautiful tropical climate. Temperatures generally stay between 21°C and 30°C throughout the year.
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