27 Best Things to Do in Santo Domingo

Things to Do in Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo, the vibrant capital city of the Dominican Republic, has an abundance of things to offer for tourists. From historical landmarks, beautiful architecture, cultural experiences, and natural wonders, there is something for everyone to enjoy. In this blog post, we have compiled a list of 27 best things to do in Santo Domingo. Whether you are a history buff or a nature lover, there is something on this list that will pique your interest.

Discover the beauty of Santo Domingo through magnificent landmarks like the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor and the Museum of the Royal Houses. Get lost in nature at Parque Nacional del Este or take a moment to relax at a local spa or hot spring.

Explore the culture by attending a baseball game – the national sport of the Dominican Republic or indulge in delicious chocolate treats at Kahkow Experience. Read on and plan your visit to Santo Domingo today!

1. Half-Day Historical Tour of Santo Domingo

Half-Day Historical Tour of Santo Domingo
Half-Day Historical Tour of Santo Domingo

Experience a captivating half-day historical tour and delve into the rich history of Santo Domingo. Visit the Alcazar de Colón, the former residence of Christopher Columbus’ son Diego, and explore the Catedral Primada de America, the oldest cathedral in the Americas.

Stroll through the charming streets of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Colonial Zone, and discover the National Pantheon, the final resting place of the country’s heroes.

Uncover the ruins of the Monasterio de San Francisco and its beautiful gardens, immersing yourself in the fascinating history of this historic city.

2. Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito

Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito
Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito

Experience the vibrant arts and culture of Santo Domingo at the stunning Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito. Located in the heart of the city, this historic theater offers a diverse array of performances, including classical music concerts, ballet, and opera.

Immerse yourself in Dominican heritage and culture by attending events and festivals hosted at the theater. The captivating architecture and ornate interior design, along with a rich history, make Teatro Nacional a must-do for art enthusiasts. Enhance your visit to Santo Domingo by exploring this artistic gem, where history and creativity converge.

3. Dominican Republic National Aquarium

Dominican Republic National Aquarium
Dominican Republic National Aquarium

The historic landmarks of Santo Domingo, including Alcazar de Colón and the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, offer a glimpse into the rich culture and history of this new world city.

A walk through the Jardín Botánico Nacional showcases the diverse flora and fauna of the Dominican Republic, while the Dominican Republic National Aquarium provides a mesmerizing underwater experience with over 250 species of marine life.

Visitors can also savor traditional local dishes like mofongo and sancocho and unwind on the beautiful beaches. This array of experiences makes the aquarium one of the best things to do in Santo Domingo.

4. Cathedral of the Americas

Cathedral of the Americas
Cathedral of the Americas

The Cathedral of the Americas, one of the best things to do in Santo Domingo, stands as the first cathedral of the Americas and a stunning religious landmark. Dating back to the early 16th century, this architectural marvel has undergone extensive renovation work shaping it into its current state.

Visitors can explore various exhibits within the cathedral, like the tomb of Christopher Columbus and a sculpture of the crucifixion. The cathedral’s picturesque stone walls and ornate interior, shaped in the form of a cross, offer a little bit of history and spirituality for those who appreciate the new world’s historical significance.

5. Kahkow Experience

Kahkow Experience
Kahkow Experience

Indulge in the delights of the Kahkow Experience after exploring Santo Domingo’s historic Colonial Zone. Wander through the 16th-century Alcazar de Colón and visit the seat of government at the National Palace.

Take a stroll through the Jardín Botánico Nacional and then treat yourself to delicious chocolate delights at the Kahkow Experience. Lastly, marvel at the Catedral Primada de América, the oldest cathedral in the Americas. Embrace the rich history and delectable experiences that Santo Domingo has to offer.

6. Museum of the Royal Houses

Museum of the Royal Houses
Museum of the Royal Houses

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site, Zona Colonial, home to the Alcazar de Colón – Christopher Columbus’ son’s former residence. Don’t miss a stroll through the Botanical Garden or a visit to the National Palace, showcasing the Dominican Republic’s political history. Sample local cuisine and enjoy the nightlife by the Malecón.

Marvel at the Museum of the Royal Houses, a 16th-century architectural gem housing historical artifacts and exhibits. The stone walls and various exhibits within offer a glimpse into the country’s past. Plan your visit and navigate the best areas using public transport or with a private driver.

7. Parque Mirador del Sur

Parque Mirador del Sur
Parque Mirador del Sur

Tucked amidst Santo Domingo’s urban bustle, Parque Mirador del Sur boasts lush greenery and stunning vistas. The park entices visitors with scenic walking trails, well-maintained bike paths, and sports facilities for outdoor enthusiasts. Its expansive grounds offer ample space for picnics, barbecues, and leisure activities while hosting cultural events and concerts throughout the year.

Monuments, including the Monument to Heroes of the Restoration, pay homage to the country’s independence heroes. Easily accessible by public transport or private car, the park offers ample parking space for convenience.

8. Fort Ozama – Step back in time at this historic fort

Fort Ozama - Step back in time at this historic fort
Fort Ozama – Step back in time at this historic fort

Explore the Zona Colonial to witness the city’s oldest and most historic buildings, including the National Pantheon to honor the country’s famed heroes. Stroll through the Botanical Garden and marvel at tropical plants.

Don’t miss the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, the first cathedral in the Americas. Take a leisurely walk along the Malecon for stunning waterfront views. Dive into the culture and history of the Dominican Republic at the National Museum of History and Geography.

9. Colon Lighthouse and Museum – A maritime adventure

Colon Lighthouse and Museum - A maritime adventure
Colon Lighthouse and Museum – A Maritime Adventure

Located on the Malecon in Santo Domingo, the Colon Lighthouse and Museum, built in 1881, served as a guide for ships entering the harbor. The museum delves into the history of navigation in the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic.

Visitors can ascend to the lighthouse top for captivating views of the city and the sea. Additionally, the museum displays marine life, shipwrecks, and the sea’s significance in Dominican culture. Guided tours and multi-language audio guides are available, enhancing the maritime experience.

10. Mercado Modelo – A shopper’s paradise

Mercado Modelo - A shopper's paradise
Mercado Modelo – A shopper’s paradise

Discover an array of local crafts at Mercado Modelo, offering a wide variety of goods for an authentic shopping experience. Uncover unique souvenirs and explore the vibrant, bustling market, immersing in the local culture.

11. National Zoological Park – An exciting day with wildlife

National Zoological Park - An exciting day with wildlife
National Zoological Park – An exciting day with wildlife

Encounter a diverse collection of animals at the National Zoological Park, surrounded by nature and wildlife. Families can enjoy a day of fun and learning, making it an ideal place for all ages. The zoo offers various exhibits and is one of the best things to do in Santo Domingo.

Visitors can easily access it using public transport or opt for a private driver. The park is located near the Ozama River in Zona Colonial, shaping a cross and filled with stone walls that bring a little bit of history to the present day.

12. The Three Eyes National Park – Nature’s hidden gem

The Three Eyes National Park
The Three Eyes National Park

Nestled in the heart of Santo Domingo, The Three Eyes National Park is a nature lover’s paradise. The park beckons visitors to explore its breathtaking natural beauty and immerse themselves in the serene atmosphere.

Discover awe-inspiring underground caves and witness stunning underground lagoons that make this park a perfect escape into nature. It’s an opportunity to connect with the earth and marvel at its wonders. The park offers a tranquil respite from the hustle of the city and allows for a peaceful communion with nature.

13. Guibia Public Beach – Relax and unwind by the sea

Guibia Public Beach
Guibia Public Beach

Relax and unwind at the serene Guibia Public Beach, soaking up the soothing sound of the waves and the refreshing sea breeze. This picturesque beach offers a tranquil seaside retreat, perfect for a stroll along the sandy shore. Visitors can enjoy the sun and take in the panoramic views of the area. The beach is easily accessible via public transport or with a private driver, making it one of the best places to experience the beauty of Santo Domingo’s coastline.

14. Malecón de Santo Domingo – A picturesque promenade

Malecón de Santo Domingo
Malecón de Santo Domingo

A stroll along Malecón de Santo Domingo offers stunning sea views, a vibrant atmosphere, and local art. The waterfront promenade is ideal for enjoying beautiful sunsets and discovering sculptures. Malecón de Santo Domingo beckons with its picturesque charm, perfect for relaxation and sightseeing.

The Malecón encapsulates the best things about the area, showcasing the city’s cultural richness and historical significance, making it a must-visit attraction in Santo Domingo.

15. Columbus Park and Plaza España

Columbus Park and Plaza España
Columbus Park and Plaza España

Immerse yourself in the rich history of Columbus Park as you explore the colonial heritage and historic landmarks. Plaza España offers a charming blend of history and culture, providing insights into the city’s significant past.

Discover the stone walls and various exhibits that shape the park, while gaining a deeper understanding of Santo Domingo’s historical significance. This glimpse into the city’s past is a must-visit for those seeking to explore the New World’s colonial legacy.

16. Private Day Trip to Gibraltar from Marbella or Marbella

Private Day Trip to Gibraltar from Marbella or Marbella
Private Day Trip to Gibraltar from Marbella or Marbella

Embark on an exhilarating excursion to Gibraltar from Marbella and savor a guided tour of the iconic Rock of Gibraltar. Immerse yourself in the cultural and natural marvels of this unique destination on a private day trip, delving into its fascinating history and heritage.

Explore the various attractions with a local guide and marvel at the rock’s shape of a cross. Opt for a private driver or utilize public transport to reach the cable car, allowing you to soak in panoramic views. Indulge in local cocoa treats and shop at the best places for souvenirs before returning to Marbella.

17. Punta Cana ATV Buggies Adventure

Punta Cana ATV Buggies Adventure
Punta Cana ATV Buggies Adventure

Embark on an adrenaline-pumping ATV buggie adventure in Punta Cana, and experience the thrill of exploring its scenic beauty uniquely and excitingly. A day trip from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana promises an unforgettable ATV adventure through natural landscapes.

Discover the picturesque charm of Punta Cana while enjoying the exhilarating ride through its varied terrains. This tour offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in Punta Cana’s natural wonders, making it one of the best things to do in Santo Domingo.

18. Half Day Excursion to Colonial Zone, Lighthouse

Half Day Excursion to Colonial Zone, Lighthouse,
Half Day Excursion to Colonial Zone, Lighthouse,

Immerse yourself in the colonial charm of Zona Colonial, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the iconic Columbus Lighthouse and enjoy panoramic views of the Ozama River and the Caribbean Sea. Discover the hidden natural wonders of Los Tres Ojos National Park, with its three crystalline lakes inside limestone caves.

Take advantage of public transport or hire a private driver for convenience. A knowledgeable local guide can enhance the experience and provide insights into the area’s history and culture. This half-day excursion offers the best of colonial heritage and natural beauty.

19. Enjoy Family-Friendly Fun at Agua Splash Caribe Parque Acuático

Agua Splash Caribe Parque Acuático
Agua Splash Caribe Parque Acuático

Delight in a day of aquatic fun at Agua Splash Caribe Parque Acuático, offering a variety of family-friendly attractions. Experience exhilarating water slides and aquatic adventures, creating unforgettable family memories. The water park provides an exciting day filled with laughter and enjoyment.

20. Take in Panoramic Views from Faro a Colón Lighthouse

Panoramic Views from Faro a Colón Lighthouse
Panoramic Views from Faro a Colón Lighthouse

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Zona Colonial, known for its historical significance. Marvel at the 16th-century Alcazar de Colón, once belonging to Christopher Columbus’s son. Admire the grandeur of the National Palace and Presidential Palace, showcasing impressive architecture.

Take a stroll through the Botanical Garden for a serene experience. Visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, the oldest cathedral in the Americas, and delve into Dominican art at the Museum of Modern Art. Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural heritage of this iconic district.

21. Jardín Botánico Nacional Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso

Jardín Botánico Nacional Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso
Jardín Botánico Nacional Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso

Discover an oasis of greenery at Jardín Botánico Nacional Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso, a breathtaking botanical garden in Santo Domingo. Boasting over 300 species of plants, including rare and exotic varieties, this serene escape offers guided tours for an insightful exploration of its diverse flora and fauna.

From the enchanting butterfly house to the captivating bird-watching area, the garden provides a tranquil retreat for nature enthusiasts. Meander through the cactus garden, unwind amidst nature and embrace the beauty of Santo Domingo’s natural landscapes.

22. Parque Nacional del Este

Parque Nacional del Este
Parque Nacional del Este

Explore the Alcazar de Colón, a 16th-century palace transformed into a captivating museum. Stroll along the Malecón, a scenic coastal avenue offering breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. Immerse yourself in Dominican culture at the Museo del Hombre Dominicano.

Visit the iconic Catedral Primada de América, one of the oldest cathedrals in the Americas. Delve into the rich history of the Zona Colonial, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unwind and bask in the sun at Boca Chica beach.

23. Relax and Rejuvenate at a Local Spa or Hot Spring

Local Spa or Hot Spring
Local Spa or Hot Spring

Indulge in relaxation and rejuvenation at the numerous spas and hot springs in Santo Domingo. Popular spas like the Garden Spa, Sensory Spa by Clarins, and the Spa at JW Marriott offer massage therapy, hydrotherapy, and various treatments. Noteworthy hot springs include El Choco National Park, Las Terrenas, and Los Patos. Unwind amidst natural beauty and experience ultimate tranquility.

24. Attend a Baseball Game, the National Sport of the Dominican Republic

the National Sport of the Dominican Republic
the National Sport of the Dominican Republic

Immerse yourself in the national sport of the Dominican Republic by attending a baseball game in Santo Domingo. Before the game, visit the Colonial Zone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore the Alcazar de Colón, a 16th-century palace turned museum.

Take a leisurely walk along the Malecon, a scenic oceanfront promenade, and visit the National Palace to learn about the country’s history. Don’t miss the oldest cathedral in the Americas, the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, and be sure to visit the National Museum of History and Geography for a deeper understanding of the local culture.

25. Admire Art and Architecture at Alcázar de Colón

Admire Art and Architecture at Alcázar de Colón
Admire Art and Architecture at Alcázar de Colón

26. Shop for Souvenirs at Plaza de la Cultura

Plaza de la Cultura
Plaza de la Cultura

Explore the stone walls and cobblestone streets of the colonial zone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and absorb the rich history. Delve into the country’s past at the National Pantheon and learn about its influential heroes.

Unearth indigenous art and artifacts at the Museum of the Dominican Man, offering various exhibits. Wander through the National Botanical Garden and admire the diverse flora. Indulge in the vibrant nightlife of Zona Colonial or Malecon, savoring local cuisine like mangu and sancocho at authentic eateries. Embrace the local culture and history while you shop for souvenirs at Plaza de la Cultura.

27. Visit the Iconic Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor

the Iconic Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor
Iconic Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor

The oldest cathedral in the Americas, the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, boasts a blend of Gothic and Baroque architecture that captivates visitors. Guided tours offer insight into its rich history and significance, showcasing stunning stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and impressive artwork.

The highlight is the tomb of Christopher Columbus inside the cathedral, adding to its historical allure. This iconic landmark is a must-visit for anyone exploring Santo Domingo, offering a glimpse into the rich heritage of the city.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-see historical sites in Santo Domingo?

Some must-see historical sites in Santo Domingo include the Alcazar de Colón, once home to Christopher Columbus’s son, and the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, the oldest cathedral in the Americas. The Fortaleza Ozama offers panoramic views, while the Museo de las Casas Reales showcases colonial history with stunning gardens.

What are some popular outdoor activities to do in Santo Domingo?

Some popular outdoor activities to do in Santo Domingo include visiting the National Botanical Garden for a peaceful stroll among exotic plants, heading to Parque Mirador del Sur for biking, jogging, or picnicking with a view of the Caribbean Sea, exploring the Colonial Zone on foot to take in the historic architecture and cobblestone streets, and taking a day trip to Los Tres Ojos to swim in crystal-clear underground lagoons surrounded by lush greenery.

What is the best time of year to visit Santo Domingo?

The ideal time to visit Santo Domingo is during the dry season, which spans from November to April. This period offers sunny and warm weather with minimal rainfall. It’s worth noting that the peak tourist season is from December to February, so expect higher prices and larger crowds. For better deals and fewer tourists, consider visiting during the shoulder season of May to July.

Are there any cultural events or festivals that visitors should try to attend in Santo Domingo?

Santo Domingo boasts a vibrant cultural scene with various events and festivals throughout the year. The Dominican Republic Jazz Festival in November showcases world-class jazz performances, while the Festival de Merengue y Ritmos Caribeños celebrates Caribbean music and dance. Don’t miss the colorful Carnaval de Santo Domingo in February, featuring lively parades and stunning costumes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Santo Domingo offers a plethora of exciting activities for locals and tourists alike. Whether you are interested in exploring the rich history and culture, indulging in delicious treats, or immersing yourself in nature, Santo Domingo has something for everyone.

From historic landmarks like the Cathedral of the Americas to natural wonders like Parque Nacional del Este, the city is full of diverse experiences waiting to be discovered.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Santo Domingo, make sure to check out these top attractions and create unforgettable memories. Don’t forget to leave a comment below and let us know which activity you’re most excited about!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *