This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Santo Domingo. To help you make friends with Santo Domingo before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Santo Domingo is an old town in the Dominican Republic that has a very rich history. This, paired with the architecture and the surrounding area, makes Santo Domingo a tourist hotspot today.
Staying in the city is easy enough, as there are many hostels in the area from which you can choose. Many of the hostels are priced attractively. You can try to get a hostel in the Zona Colonial too.
The Zona Colonial, or the Colonial Zone, is a part of the city that is dedicated to Christopher Columbus, as it marks the site where he made the first settlement in the New World. Some of the most historical sites in the city are located here. It is known for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entire zone can be explored on foot because it is small area.
While here in the city, you should check out the First Cathedral of the Americas, the Catedral Santa Maria La Menor. It is made of coral colored limestone and has architecture in the Gothic and Baroque styles, among others. The church is still fully active today. Adults have to pay about two dollars to enter, but children get free entry.
Many of the churches, including the cathedral, have a dress code. You cannot expose skin above the knee or below the hollow of your throat (no tank tops and shorts). You can request a shawl from the church staff to cover up if you forget.
Apart from the church, you can also visit Alcazar de Colon, the house belonging to son of Columbus. Built in the early 16th century, it is now a museum of medieval art. The architecture of the old house is reminiscent of Moorish and Gothic styles. Touring the house is one of the best ways to learn about the local history, especially when exploring through visual cues or using an audio tour with headphones.
Written by local enthusiast for Santo Domingo hostelsJakob Lombardi