10 super-fun things to do in Santo Domingo

The Dominican Republic’s capital city of Santo Domingo is bustling with equal parts colonial charm, bars and people (it’s the busiest city in the Caribbean in terms of population!). Although the best beaches are accessible only by a 45-minute bus, Santo Domingo boasts so much more; impressive historical sites and palaces aplenty, clubs buzzing to the beat of bachata, salsa and merengue and many stop-and-stare photo opportunities.

Here’s our pick of the best things to do in Santo Domingo.


1. Explore the Zona Colonial

Whilst walking around the historical centre of Santo Domingo you’re sure to see something that catches your eye; whether it’s Capilla de la Tercera Orden Dominicana, the only fully intact colonial structure that remains in the city, or Iglesia de Santa Clara – there are plenty of opportunities to fill up your camera memory.


2. Walk the Malecón

The coastal front of Santo Domingo, known as the Malecón, can be traversed perfectly walking, or if you’re feeling fancy, you can also get a horse and carriage. Be sure to stop and take in the art Dominican and Haitan displayed in the exhibition halls on the route, too.

. Stock up on souvenirs

Clothes, haircuts, souvenirs and fast food can all be bought on Calle Conde which is next to the square (Parque Colon). Just remember to haggle!


4. Check out the Alcazar de Colon

This palace and museum is located in the Colonial Zone was the home of the Colón family. 100 pesos for entry.


Faro Colon Santo Domingo
Faro Colon Santo Domingo

5. National Botanical Gardens

This tranquil 200 hectare garden is the largest of its kind in the Caribbean and is packed full of tropical birds and beautiful flowers. 100 pesos.


6. Fortaleza Ozama

The Ozama Fortress is one of the historical Cultural Monuments of the city of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. It is one of the monuments built by the Spanish during the colonial era or the conquest and colonization.


7. Faro Colon 
An impressive monument in the east section of Santo Domingo built in honor of Christopher Columbus.


8. Los Tres Ojos

Accessible by taxi, this stunning National Park is a cave with three freshwater lakes. 100 pesos for entry.

Los Tres Ojos, Santo Domingo
Los Tres Ojos, Santo Domingo

9. See a baseball game

If you’re after a taste of baseball culture in the DR, check out a game at the Quisqueya Stadium in Santo Domingo; it’s lively, safe and lots of fun.


10. Museo de las Casas Reales

This colonial house museum charts the history of the Dominican Republic with informative audio guides. 100 pesos entry.


Need to book trips in Santo Domingo and beyond? Island Life Backpackers Hostel can book your excursions and offer you an unbeatable hostel experience;  be sure to contact us today!


1. Genosonic/Flickr
2. MarinFalbisoner/Wikipedia
3. Jos1950/Wikipedias