Best Areas to Stay in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Best Areas to Stay in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
The Best Areas to Stay in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Where to Stay in Santo Domingo – A Guide to The Capital of the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic. Located along the Caribbean coast, in the south of the country, Santo Domingo is one of the oldest cities in the Americas and is famous for its charming old town with cobblestoned streets, colonial churches, and defensive fortresses, as well as for being the main gateway to explore the wonders of the Dominican Republic. In this post, we will discover the best areas to stay in Santo Domingo, DR.

Santo Domingo was founded by the Spanish in 1498, making it the oldest European-established city in the Americas. Its Zona Colonial is a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to some of the finest examples of Spanish colonial-era architecture in the New World.

The main attractions in Santo Domingo’s Historic City Center include the Alcázar de Colón, the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, Fortaleza Ozama, the Museum of the Royal Houses, Columbus Park, the National Pantheon, Plaza de la Hispanidad, Puerta del Conde, Monasterio de San Francisco, and the Dominican Convent, just to name a few. See accommodation in Zona Colonial de Santo Domingo.

West of the Colonial Zone lies Gazcue, a lively area home to some of the city’s best 18th and 19th-century architecture, museums, and government buildings. Some of the attractions in this area include the neoclassical National Palace, the Museum of the Dominican Man, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Natural History, or the Palacio de Bellas Artes. See accommodation in Gazcue.

If you’re traveling to Santo Domingo with kids, this city is also home to several family-friendly attractions like the Dominican Republic National Aquarium, Caribbean Splash Water Park, Parque Zoológico Nacional, or the Trampoline Children’s Museum. Likewise, outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers will enjoy the many natural wonders in and around Santo Domingo, including The Three Eyes National Park and Manantiales del Cachón de la Rubia Park.

Santo Domingo also has several great urban beaches like Playa Punta Torrecillas and Guibia Public Beach. And, if you’re looking for a paradisiac escape away from the city, the nearby towns of Boca Chica and Juan Dolio offer picture-perfect white sands and turquoise water beaches.

Due to its coastal location, Santo Domingo has a tropical savannah climate. This means that the city’s temperature presents very little variation throughout the year (20 – 31 ºC). Likewise, although the dry season officially takes place from December through April, rains are also constant. Thanks to its constantly warm temperature, Santo Domingo is definitely an ideal tourist destination year-round. However, the best time to visit Santo Domingo is during the dry(er) season (December through April), when you can enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities without having to worry about it raining.

To get to Santo Domingo by air, the city is served by Las Américas International Airport. Located 30 minutes away from the city center, this major airport offers a wide range of regional connections to the Caribbean, Mexico, and the United States, as well as frequent mid and long-haul flights to destinations in Canada, South America, and Europe.

Santo Domingo is also very well-connected by a network of inter-city buses to the rest of the Dominican Republic. See long-distance bus routes, schedules & fares.

Local transportation in Santo Domingo is relatively well-developed and consists of a metro line, several bus lines, motorcycle and regular taxis. The Dominican Republic is considered safe to drive around and you can rent a car during your stay.

The best area to stay in Santo Domingo is the Zona Colonial. This quaint and lively district, a World Heritage Site, is home to the city’s historical monuments, main cultural attractions, nightlife, restaurants, and hotels. See accommodation in Santo Domingo’s Colonial Quarter.

Other great options to consider when choosing the best location in Santo Domingo include Gazcue, the Malecón area, and the upmarket developments in East Santo Domingo.

Keep reading to find out more about the best location in Santo Domingo for tourists.

Promoted Property
InterContinental Real Santo Domingo

Real InterContinental Santo Domingo is located in Downtown Santo Domingo, in the Piantini district, just across the street from Acropolis Center. The Blue Mall is 701 m away. The hotel features an infinity pool on the 3rd floor.


Best Location in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: A Quick Guide

Below, you’ll find a list of the best areas to stay in Santo Domingo depending on your travel style and what you may be planning to do during your trip. Keep reading below to find all the specific information you need about each particular area mentioned here.


Best Hotels in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic by Theme

Something more specific in mind? Here’s a list of some of the best hotels in Santo Domingo. No matter your reason for visiting the city or style, you’ll find it here!


The Best Areas to Stay in Santo Domingo, DR

The Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the oldest European-founded settlement in the American continent.

Characterized by its colonial buildings from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries and its beautiful cobbled streets, the Historic Center of Santo Domingo showcases the rich history of Hispaniola in colonial times.

Some of the most important tourist attractions in this area include the Alcázar de Colón, the Museo de las Casas Reales, the Catedral Primada de América and the Fortaleza de Ozama, among others.

Being the historical and touristic heart of the Dominican capital, the Colonial Zone also houses souvenirs, handicrafts, and typical sweets shops.

The Colonial Zone is also home to a good part of Santo Domingo’s nightlife scene, with countless restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs.

Although it is not connected by the city’s metro system, the Colonial Zone is easily accessible by bus and its most central streets are pedestrianized.

The accommodation offer in the historic center of Santo Domingo is very wide and includes from the cheapest inns to the best boutique hotels, many of which are located in old renovated colonial mansions.

In short, the Colonial Zone is the best area to stay in Santo Domingo to live an authentically Dominican experience and enjoy the history of this Caribbean country.

Best areas to stay in Santo Domingo, DR - Zona Colonial
Best areas to stay in Santo Domingo, DR – Zona Colonial
Accommodation in Zona Colonial de Santo Domingo - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Zona Colonial de Santo Domingo – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Santo Domingo, DR:

  • Best area to stay in Santo Domingo
  • Boutique hotels
  • Colonial art and architecture
  • Restaurants and gastronomy
  • Charming streets
  • Pedestrian-friendly

2. Gazcue

Gazcue is a district located west of the Old Town – Zona Colonial area.

Built to accommodate the expansion of the capital outside the colonial walls, this lively area is home to some of the best examples of 18th and 19th-century architecture and many of Santo Domingo’s most remarkable administrative and cultural buildings.

Gazcue’s main attractions include the neoclassical National Palace, which houses the executive branch of the country’s government.

Surrounding the beautiful Plaza de la Cultura, you’ll find the Museum of the Dominican Man, with exhibits of national history and culture, the Museum of Modern Art, which displays 20th-century Dominican works, and the National Museum of Natural History.

At its western end, Gazcue has two metro stations; Joaquín Balaguer and Casandra Damirón, as well as several bus stops that make it very easy to move to other areas of the city.

Due to its central location and administrative importance, Gazcue is also home to a large part of the accommodation offered in the city. In this area, you can find many luxury hotels by renowned international chains such as Reinassance, Barceló, or Sheraton.

Best location in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - Gazcue
Best location in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Gazcue
Accommodation in Gazcue - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Gazcue – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Santo Domingo:

  • Relatively central
  • Best area for business travelers
  • Youth and alternative area
  • Casinos and boutique hotels

3. Malecón (Boardwalk) Area

Malecón de Santo Domingo, the city’s seaside promenade, is a waterfront boardwalk with restaurants and parks.

Officially called George Washington Boulevard, this seaside area of Santo Domingo is popular among tourists and locals and the best spot for strolling, biking, and rollerblading.

This upscale area is home to many of the city’s plush shopping areas, restaurants, and the most exclusive bars and clubs in the Dominican capital.

The iconic Plaza Juan Barón and its obelisk are some of the area’s main tourist draws.

But perhaps the best advantage to staying in this exclusive area is Güibia Beach, one of the main urban beaches in Santo Domingo.

This area is well-served by the city’s bus network.

As is to be expected, the accommodation offer around the Malecón consists mostly of upscale hotels and upper-class apartments in modern condominium buildings.

Best location in Santo Domingo - Around the city's Malecón
Best location in Santo Domingo – Around the city’s Malecón
Accommodation around Malecón de Santo Domingo- Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area
Accommodation around Malecón de Santo Domingo- Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Santo Domingo:

  • Shopping Centers
  • Sea views
  • Tourist attractions
  • Hotels of all kinds
  • Gastronomy and shopping
  • Pedestrian-friendly

4. East Santo Domingo (Zona Oriental)

Santo Domingo East, also known as Zona Oriental is located, as its name suggests, in the eastern part of the city, east of the Ozama River.

Santo Domingo Este is home to a good portion of the city’s Malecón, which makes it ideal for walking, shopping, and partying.

Nature lovers will be delighted to stay in the Zona Oriental since this district is home to the Parque de Los Tres Ojos, a natural attraction with a network of caves and underground lakes.

Another major attraction in the area is the National Aquarium, with an impressive display of Caribbean aquatic life.

The Eastern Zone of Santo Domingo is also locally known for its nightlife venues, particularly around Avenida San Vicente de Paul and Avenida Venezuela.

Accommodation in Santo Domingo Este is very varied and the area has a wide selection of 3, 4, and 5-star hotels.

Best districts for tourists in Santo Domingo - Zona Oriental
Best districts for tourists in Santo Domingo – Zona Oriental
Accommodation in East Santo Domingo- Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in East Santo Domingo- Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Read this in other languages

|ES| Dónde alojarse en Santo Domingo, República Dominicana.