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Things to do in Ciudad Colonial, Zona Colonial

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Historic Site
“Spanish for "Colonial City") is the historic central neighborhood of Santo Domingo and the oldest permanent European settlement of the Americas.”
  • 139 locals recommend
Church
“This is the oldest cathedral in the America also known as, the Cathedral Santa Maria La Menor. It was built between 1512 and 1540. ”
  • 34 locals recommend
Restaurant
“The bar is lit, and the ambiance will help you relax and enjoy your day in the oldest city in the new world. Price is higher than usual, but once you are in the place, you forget everything. $$$$$”
  • 26 locals recommend
Park
“Cafes with patios look out on this historic plaza that hosts art shows, concerts & other events.”
  • 23 locals recommend
Neighbourhood
“Ciudad Colonial (Spanish for "Colonial City") is the historic central neighborhood of Santo Domingo and the oldest permanent European settlement of the Americas. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is also known as Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone) or more colloquially as "La Zona" (The Zone) . It is an important section of the city due to the high number of landmarks, including Alcázar de Colón, Fortaleza Ozama, Catedral de Santa María la Menor, and others.”
  • 23 locals recommend
Plaza
“Cannot visit the DR and not walk the colonial zone. Make sure you take the tour of the Cathedral. ”
  • 32 locals recommend
Gastropub
$$$
“Class it up at Lulú, a stylish Zona Colonial tapas bar that lures a fabulous after-work crowd looking to unwind over cigars and cocktails and nibble on small plates of octopus carpaccio and sautéed Peruvian-style lamb. Best not to go famished as the price to fill up is steep, but the atmosphere, with its towering arches, grand courtyards and charming koi pond, is unmatched in the city.”
  • 18 locals recommend
Caribbean Restaurant
$$
“A towering and cavernous restaurant brimming with Dominican style, Jalao is over-the-top theme park touristy but attracts local crowds, too. The walls and ceiling are decked out in traditional kites, decorative crosses and reclaimed wood from country homes, and live bachata (guitar-based bolero rhythms) and merengue bands play regularly, try the goat confit or the crab stew.”
  • 27 locals recommend
Nature
“Parque Colon is the central Square of the Ciudad Colonial historic district of Santo Domingo. In it’s center stands a statue of Christopher Columbus, on whose honor the square was renamed in 1887. Previously the square was known as Plaza Mayor”
  • 16 locals recommend
Entertainment
“If you want to learn a little bit of our history, this a the perfect place. These houses are a fine example of the Spanish colonial architecture in Santo Domingo. The first building contains the offices of government and the Royal Court and the second one was for the government officials. You will also see many artefacts and antique weapons in the museum.”
  • 13 locals recommend
History Museum
“A great museum to learn about the history of our colonizers. It's also very close to a lot of restaurants that open after noon.”
  • 11 locals recommend
Entertainment
“Founded in 1974, Casa de Teatro is one of Santo Domingo’s and the DR’s most respected cultural centers. This historic location hosts regular art and photo exhibits in its entrance lobby, as well as movies and live music evenings at its on-site café bar. 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.”
  • 21 locals recommend
Scenic Viewpoint
“Worth a visit! The main tower is in good conditions and you can have a nice view of the bay and a glimpse of what the Spanish colonization look like. ”
  • 14 locals recommend
Bar
$$
“Onno's Zona Colonial, part of the Onno's Bar/Restaurant chain in the Dominican Republic is a fun place to Eat Dring & Party, with DJs every night (we are open Wednesday to Sunday 5pm til 3am). With an exclusive VIP area, outdoor patio and friendly staff, your visit will be one to remember!”
  • 8 locals recommend
Store
“ZONA BICI offers the best way to enjoy the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo. The first bike rental shop in the old town and that has the largest fleet of rental bikes in the city. They Have Designed an experience for all ages and cyclists of all levels. You can rent a bike and go on your own or schedule a guided tour to get the most of your ride, we also offer maintenance services if you have your own bike as well as bar area.”
  • 9 locals recommend
Restaurant
“ A time-honored restaurant in the Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone), Mesón d'Bari serves fresh regional fare in a restored, two-story house. Inside, the restaurant contains brick archways, white-clothed tables, and large, for-sale paintings by local artists. The menu, printed in three languages, includes specialties like cangrejo guisado (fresh crab stewed in brown sauce) and filete a la criolla (Creole-style filet of beef with tomatoes, onions, and sweet peppers). The bar is a popular hangout for local businessmen, artists, and baseball players, so expect the TV to be tuned into a game. The restaurant also hosts live merengue music on most weekends.”
  • 21 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Restaurant
“The bar is lit, and the ambiance will help you relax and enjoy your day in the oldest city in the new world. Price is higher than usual, but once you are in the place, you forget everything. $$$$$”
  • 26 locals recommend
Gastropub
“Class it up at Lulú, a stylish Zona Colonial tapas bar that lures a fabulous after-work crowd looking to unwind over cigars and cocktails and nibble on small plates of octopus carpaccio and sautéed Peruvian-style lamb. Best not to go famished as the price to fill up is steep, but the atmosphere, with its towering arches, grand courtyards and charming koi pond, is unmatched in the city.”
  • 18 locals recommend
Caribbean Restaurant
“A towering and cavernous restaurant brimming with Dominican style, Jalao is over-the-top theme park touristy but attracts local crowds, too. The walls and ceiling are decked out in traditional kites, decorative crosses and reclaimed wood from country homes, and live bachata (guitar-based bolero rhythms) and merengue bands play regularly, try the goat confit or the crab stew.”
  • 27 locals recommend
Restaurant
“ A time-honored restaurant in the Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone), Mesón d'Bari serves fresh regional fare in a restored, two-story house. Inside, the restaurant contains brick archways, white-clothed tables, and large, for-sale paintings by local artists. The menu, printed in three languages, includes specialties like cangrejo guisado (fresh crab stewed in brown sauce) and filete a la criolla (Creole-style filet of beef with tomatoes, onions, and sweet peppers). The bar is a popular hangout for local businessmen, artists, and baseball players, so expect the TV to be tuned into a game. The restaurant also hosts live merengue music on most weekends.”
  • 21 locals recommend
Restaurant
“ Segafredo es un bar-restaurante al aire libre ubicado en la zona colonial a solo minutos de la torre.”
  • 10 locals recommend
Restaurant
“One of the city's more spectacular dining rooms, with light streaming through the greenhouse-like ceiling several stories above and a flowering vine-covered vertical garden, not to mention a waterfall! The quality of the service and food is no less impressive: dishes like seared raw tuna, goat risotto, sweet plantain ravioli and the 40oz (1kg) Tomahawk steak (RD$3800) will satisfy several hungry eaters.”
  • 13 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Go anytime. Great grilled fish and steaks. Great crab meat cooked Caribbean style- not spicy. Coldest beer”
  • 9 locals recommend
Theme Park
“Beautifully located in an old Spanish mansion in the Colonial Zone offers both atmosphere and great Mediterranean food! ”
  • 5 locals recommend

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