Santo Domingo Attractions

Popular Places

  • Herrera International Airport
  • Parque Mirador Sur
  • Playa Punta Torrecillas
  • Plaza de la Cultura
  • Santo Domingo Este
  • Santo Domingo’s main attraction is its historically rich and architecturally brilliant Ciudad Colonial (Colonial Zone), declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990, and with reason. As a city of firsts – Santo Domingo was the first colonial settlement in the New World – the Colonial Zone too houses the first cathedral of the New World (the Cathedral Basilica Santa Maria la Menor), its first monastery (Monasterio de San Francisco), and its first European street (Calle Las Damas). Don’t miss the Museo del Casas Realas (Museum of the Royal Houses), which used to house the Spanish royal powers in the Dominican Republic during the colonial era. The structure dates back to the 16th century and in 1976 was made into a museum that showcased life and customs of the colonial era. Amongst the monuments there are great cafes and restaurants featuring outdoor dining, where you can gaze at monuments and enjoy some of the local flavor.

    For interesting dining, go to La Ataranaza Street, where you can eat outdoors while marveling at the views of the bay area. On Sunday evening, head over to the Ruinas de San Francisco afterwards, which features live local bands playing salsa, merengue and bachata.

    Those interested in the country’s more recent history should head over to Parque Independencia, a great place for people-watching as well as family gatherings. Here, the National Pantheon houses the remains of the Dominican Republic’s founding fathers. To go there from the main sections of the Ciudad Colonial, take Calle del Conde, a pedestrian-friendly street lined with shops. For art lovers, there is the Museo del Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art), located in the cultural heart of the city, the Plaza de la Cultura. Created in 1976 as a gallery of contemporary Latin American art, the Museum has since turned into an artistic space with official recognition from the country’s government as one of its premier institutes. The Cultural Plaza also houses the Teatro Nacional (National Theatre) and the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts).

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