Things to do in Santo Domingo
The first cathedral to be built in the New World is grand and imposing, with a curious combination of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque features.
The former house of Columbus's son Diego is crammed with antiques. For a more thorough explanation of the sacristies, it's worth it to hire (for a 30-peso tip) one of the guides who congregates here.
Factory workers hand-roll some of the world’s finest cigars at this two-level store on Calle el Conde, one of the major shopping streets in the Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone).
Located about a $5 taxi ride outside the Zona Colonial, this spot is where the children of sugar barons and visiting movie stars go to let their blow-outs down. House music, dance hall, and, of course, reggaeton are on the system. Space-age furniture creates a mod setting.
Cheerful market street in the heart of the Zona with missable trinkets and unmissable atmosphere. (Handicrafts, other than cigars, are not the Dominican Republic's strong suit.)
Sip a mango smoothie in an outdoor suite as you wait for a Tropical Fruit Body Smoother, an exfoliating blend of papaya, pineapple, watermelon, and rice grains.
Grungy but welcoming two-room bar and club with an attractive, bohemian crowd, plus a live merengue trio on weekends.
Once the seat of the colonial government, this museum houses everything from Taino artifacts to 16th-century armor to an old apothecary shop lined with ceramic jars.