Published on July 10th, 2017 | by Mark Chesnut
Top 10 Things To Do in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
During my recent visit to Santo Domingo to check out the luxurious new InterContinental Santo Domingo hotel, I was once again reminded why I like the Dominican Republic‘s capital city so much.
- The Zona Colonial: Santo Domingo is the hemisphere’s oldest European-founded city, so the historic city center (the “Colonial Zone”) is an obvious place to begin your tour. Stone walls, cobblestone streets and stunning architecture will provide you with plenty of great photo opportunities, and you’ll find some of the city’s most noteworthy attractions here (see below).
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2. Catedral Primada de America: Santo Domingo’s cathedral was the first in the Americas, and its coral and limestone architecture is indeed striking (it’s also surprisingly cool, since today the building is air conditioned).
3. Museo Alcázar de Colón: This beautiful 16th-century residence was the home of Christopher Colombus’s son.
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4. Fortaleza Ozama: The oldest existing fort in the hemisphere, Fortaleza Ozama was built in 1502 and protected the city from an array of enemies. Today, it’s a great place to wander — if you can, be sure to ascend the stairs to the top of the tower, which offers a lovely view.
5. The Malecón: Santo Domingo’s waterfront boulevard is an important and scenic artery, a place where the sea and the city come together. It’s lined with several good hotels (including the Crowne Plaza Santo Domingo, where I’ve stayed).
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6. Jardín Botánico Nacional: This lush and expansive botanical garden is graced with a variety of aquatic plants, orchids and even a Japanese garden. Hop on the shuttle for a cooling tour.
7. Live Music and Dance: Dominican music and dance are legendary, so you need to see it live. One of the most fun places for a musical lunch: Canuco’s is a popular restaurant that puts on a lively show.
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8. Columbus Lighthouse: Yes, it’s a bit bizarre. But this gigantic monument, in the shape of a prone cross, rises 10 stories into the air and supposedly is the resting place for the remains of Christopher Columbus.
9. Museo Memorial de la Resistencia: This stately memorial honors the memory of Dominicans who fought against dictator Rafael Trujillo.
10. Upscale shopping: Santo Domingo has become an increasingly rewarding place for shopaholics. If you need a mall fix, check out Blue Mall and Agora.