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Hotels in Santo Domingo

The capital of the Dominican Republic has it all: gorgeous weather, vibrant nightlife, and a range of historic attractions. Relatively undisturbed by tourists, it’s the perfect destination for a cosmopolitan break in the Caribbean.

Founded by Christopher Columbus’s brother, Bartolome, Santo Domingo holds the title of oldest European city in the Americas. The colonial old town is understandably a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its narrow cobblestone streets and Spanish style architecture. Although this part of the city feels like any other European old town, the sounds of the Caribbean pour out of every doorway reminding you exactly where you are.

There are plenty of attractions for culture vultures. There are lots of interesting museums and art galleries, as well as merengue bars where you can learn to dance like a local.

The nightlife in Santo Domingo is excellent, but it starts (and ends) early. Clubs close around midnight on weeknights, and around 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. You’ll find plenty of places to drink and be merry throughout the city.

High end clubs can be found in the Naco and Piantini neighbourhoods, while the seafront Malecon promenade offers a selection of trendy hotspots. For a more chilled out night, head to the Colonial Zone. Here you’ll find live music bars, latin dance clubs, and the city’s small but vibrant gay scene. 

Santo Domingo has two major festivals each year: Carnival in late winter, and the Merengue Festival in mid-summer. Hotel prices can be more expensive while the events are taking place, so if you’re not planning on taking part it’s worth rescheduling your trip. Carnival takes place throughout February, with a huge celebration on the 27th (the Dominican Republic’s Independence Day).

The Merengue Festival takes place at the end of July, and is a massive celebration of the country’s most famous dance. The event begins with a huge parade and then ends with a big concert featuring the best merengue bands that the Dominican Republic has to offer. The festival offers the perfect opportunity to learn the moves. Alternatively you can just tuck into a snack from one of the food trucks and watch the locals get their groove on.

There are lots of great places to stay in Santo Domingo. Choose from fantastic waterfront hotels with views over the Caribbean Sea, luxurious boutique hotels in the Zona Colonial, or the usual international chains. With Skyscanner it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.