Get to know Colonial City
The pulse of Dominican culture, where old and new converge seamlessly, from centuries-old architecture and history, to large shopping malls, art galleries, an active and interesting nightlife and an irresistible food scene.
DESTINATION COLONIAL CITY
Exploring the Colonial City, the first European settlement in the Americas and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990, is a recommended experience for all travelers. This historic neighborhood consists of a maze of narrow streets filled with architectural wonders that range from the 16th to the early 20th centuries.
Exploring the colonial city on a vibrant weekend, our knowledgeable staff can help you with recommendations so that you get the most out of your visit. Hodelpa Hotels & Resort will guide you in this unique and unforgettable experience in which you will live in the magic and history of the beautiful colonial city of Santo Domingo.
Its streets will take you to colonial buildings turned into museums, shops, hotels, restaurants and sidewalk cafes. Hop on the Chu Chu Colonial train for a 45-minute tour of the area, hire a guide to take you down America's first paved street while you share stories, or rent a bike and ride on your own.
THINGS TO DO
Gastronomy in Colonial City
At night, the Colonial City comes alive with its solid concentration of casual bars along its many narrow and romantic streets, as well as places to dance.
Lulu Tasting Bar
With a centennial patio located in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo and offering an extensive menu of beautifully created tapas that go with the atmosphere of the place, Lulú Tasting Bar offers a variety of exclusive cocktails that you can enjoy with its live sessions during the week.
El Conuco Restaurant
They say that the best nectar emanates from the heart of the Dominican Republic and it is precisely from there, from the heart of our land, inland and brown, where we have taken chinchines of our things to offer to the Dominican and the visitor, in trays of behuco and cane adorned with cayenne, full of the charisma that identifies us as a people.
Pat'e Palo Brasserie
The story goes that this 500-year-old building housed the first tavern in the new world, located in front of the Alcázar de Colón, it offers an international menu with a tendency to Mediterranean cuisine without limitations. The restaurant offers a unique experience, combining the use of top quality raw materials and fresh seasonal products.
Plaza de España
One of the most romantic esplanades in the Colonial City sits at the end of Calle Las Damas. The wide open Plaza de España is flanked by the Alcázar de Colón palace on one end, and on the other, a series of outdoor bistro terraces where diners enjoy a royal view over the ancient city.
The Ruins of the San Nicolás de Bari Hospital
Built between 1503 and 1508 under the reign of Governor Nicolás de Ovando, this oldest hospital in the Americas was used as a model for other hospitals built in the New World.
Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito
Another of Santo Domingo’s architectural masterpieces with its arches made of travertine marble, the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito has been operating since 1973 and is the country’s most prestigious arts facility.
Cayacoa Golf Club
Built in 1989 and designed by Jack Corrie, Cayacoa Golf Club is located just 25 minutes northwest of Santo Domingo, yet remains a well-kept golfers’ secret. The 18-hole, par 72 course stretches over a hilly terrain punctuated with small lakes and a handful of terrific par 3s.
Museo Infantil Trampolín
Designed to entertain and educate children and their families, the Museo Infantil Trampolín is marked by a large, beautifully kept central courtyard adjacent to its entrance.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
Inaugurated in 1956, this regal looking neoclassical building stretches over an area of 13,000 square meters, and hosts numerous artistic events, from concerts to plays, and ballet performances, with halls seating up to 600 patrons.
Panteón de la patria
Guarded daily by a presidential honor guard, this former 18th-century Jesuit church became the country’s national mausoleum in 1956. It houses the remains of Dominican heroes.
Museo de las Casas Reales
The museum offers an informative overview on the history of the Dominican Republic from the colonial period in 1492 to the days of slavery, and the country’s first independence from Spain in 1821.
First Cathedral of the Americas
Built between 1510 and 1540, the first cathedral of the Americas—known as Santa Iglesia Catedral Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Encarcación o Anunciación, Primada de América—continues to stand tall in all of its glory over the heart of the Colonial City.
Casa de Teatro
Theater plays and formal concerts are hosted in the amphitheater. It’s a favorite hub of creatives, from poets to writers and actors. An annual jazz festival also takes place at Casa de Teatro every summer, featuring renowned Dominican and international jazz artists every Thursday evening during the months of June and July.
Operated by one of the country’s top cacao exporters, this part museum, part chocolate factory—located in the heart of historic Calle Las Damas—offers a comprehensive glimpse of the DR’s thriving cacao industry.
Museo del Mundo Ámbar
Set in one of the most beautifully restored 17th century colonial buildings, the Amber World Museum boasts a small but comprehensive display on this precious stone on the second floor of the building—past the ground floor jewelry store. In the first dimly lit room, red, blue, and green amber stones of varying sizes from the DR and abroad are showcased.
Jardín Botánico Nacional
The largest botanical gardens in the Caribbean, the Jardín Botánico Nacional graces the capital city with over 400 acres (two-square kilometers) of nature preserve filled with the island’s native trees, including multiple species of palm, flowers—over 300 species of orchids—and birds, such as the country’s national palm chat.
La Caleta Underwater National Park
La Caleta Underwater National Park, one of the first in the region, is a popular dive site located close to Santo Domingo. It’s known for its multiple shipwrecks, but also for its abundant marine life ready to be explored by all levels of divers, from beginner to advanced.