Santo Domingo, or officially known as Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city within Dominican Republic. The city has been divided into five independent municipalities, such as Distrito Nacional, Santo Domingo Este, Santo Domingo Oeste, Santo Domingo Norte and Boca Chica. To be understood around Santo Domingo, just like Dominican Republic, Spanish is the main and official means of communication.
What to see & do
Santo Domingo has a lot to offer. The city is known for its museums and historic buildings; cathedral and churches; streets, squares, ruins, and monuments; as well as parks and gardens.
Museums and historic sites include Alcázar de Colón, Casa de Tostado, Fortaleza Ozama (Ozama Fort), Museo Bellapart (Bellapart Museum), Museo de la Atarazana, Museo de las Casas Reales (Museum of the Royal Houses), Museo del Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art), Museo del Hombre Dominicano (Museum of Dominican Man), Museo Infantil Trampolín (Trampolín Children’s Museum), and Panteón Nacional (National Pantheon).
Religious destinations include Cathedral and Churches namely Capilla de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, Catedral Primada de América (Cathedral), El Convento de los Dominicos, and Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes.
Streets, squares, ruins, and monuments are Calle El Conde, Calle Las Damas, Hospital San Nicolás de Barí, Monasterio de San Francisco, and Plaza de España.
Parks and gardens include Jardín Botánico Nacional, Parque Colón (Columbus Park), Parque Duarte, and Parque Independencia.
How to get around within Santo Domingo
There are numerous ways to get around Santo Domingo. Among the options include going on foot, taxi, rent a car, bus, collective taxi, and metro.
Walking around Santo Domingo is an option although to be done with caution. Via the airport, regular taxis can be booked via Dominican Airport Transfers, since there are very few roaming taxis, and there are times when these roaming taxis can be slightly unsafe for tourists. Also through the airport, and via all major US car rental firms, rental cars are an option to get around, just read the fine print to avoid any misunderstanding on the insurance and coverage.
Some of the transportation options within Santo Domingo are not geared towards non-locals. These include the bus service, collective taxi or guaguas, and the metro. Guaguas can either be a bus or a collective taxi. These have a predetermined route which is often impossible to know unless asked from the driver. These transportation vehicles are very inexpensive, and should be taken with a local to ensure safety and to minimise confusion. Recently, Santo Domingo got its own metro. The metro has a line that travels north to south, from Villa Mella to the Centro de los Heroes. A second metro line is currently underway.
How to get there
The city is served by two international airports, namely the Las Américas International Airport as its main airport, along with La Isabela International Airport. Among the airlines that fly to and from Las Américas International Airport include Aeronaves Dominicanas, Air Antilles Express, Air France, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Iberia, and JetBlue Airways, to name a few, via Samaná, Santo Domingo-La Isabela, Fort-de-France, Pointe-à-Pitre, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Miami, Atlanta, New York-JFK, Madrid, along with Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and San Juan. Among the airlines that fly to and from La Isabela International Airport are Aerolíneas Mas, Air Century, Air Inter Island, Caribbean Air Sign, and Tortug' Air via Aruba, Port-au-Prince, Santiago de los Caballeros, Punta Cana, and Puerto Plata. Both airports also handle charter flights via various airlines, to and from numerous destinations.
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