Taking photos on vacation is something we all do and provide. Especially as travel addicts or influencers. So today we list for you the eight cutest and most photogenic spots in Santo Domingo. Because if you’re planning a trip to the Dominican Republic, you should definitely spend a few days in the capital!
Plaza de Espana
One of the most famous squares in the capital is Plaza De La Hispanidad, or also called Plaza de Espana. This spacious square is considered the most romantic place at the end of the street Calle de Las Damas, a historically very important street where you learn a lot about the history of the city.
You’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars where you can cozy up after a walk through La Zona Colonial, and where you can enjoy the view of the square. If you’re lucky, you might even attend a local event, concert or cultural show. And at sunset, this is the perfect place to have a romantic dinner.
In the middle of the square you’ll also find the statue of Nicolas de Ovando, the former governor of Santo Domingo. A name you will hear often!
Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando
In Calle de Las Damas you will find a huge amount of history. From the historic steps that give you access to the colonial quarter, the fortress of Ozama, the Pantheon of the Fatherland and the most famous hotel in town: Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando.
Not only is this our favorite hotel and chill spot in this bustling city. It’s also the very first building ever built in the Dominican Republic’s colonic zone, in 1502. Doesn’t this sound like an amazing must-see? Yes it does!
Inside the building of the hotel, they have beautifully preserved the romantic and colonial style. You can spend your afternoon there with a day pass and enjoy the pool in the large central plaza with your cocktail in hand, or you can stop by for a cozy lunch or dinner.
Plaza Maria de Toledo and Columbus Park
Right across from the hotel Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando you have a plaza that buzzes with energy on Friday nights. At Plaza Maria de Toledo you can relax by the fountain and during the weekend you can browse the local antique market.
Once you walk through the square, you turn right and end up in another square: Plaza Colon, also known as Columbus Park. Here you again have a beautiful view of the colonial city with the statue of Columbus in the middle of the square, the basilica showing off behind it and Consistorial Palace at the other corner. This beautiful white tower is an iconic image in Santo Domingo. So be sure to take a picture with it!
On and around the square you can also find several addresses for lunch or dinner. Our hotspots are Maracas and Buche Perico. But also Time for Plant based is a hot spot as they offer a delicious vegetarian cuisine. It’s delicious!
Ruins of San Nicolas de Bari
Once you have had a delicious lunch, you can walk on to the very first hospital ever built on the island: Hospital San Nicolas de Bari. Even UNESCO has recognized it as the oldest hospital in the Americas. Construction began in 1503 and drew inspiration from the Italian Renaissance.
So the ruins are definitely worth a visit! But do maintain respect for the building when you visit.
Afterwards you can walk to the end of the street where you will find the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Altagracia on the corner. This church was built in 1922 and is one of the most recent additions to the old colonial city. It is also called the most beautiful modern church. This church is very famous because the ruins of the oldest church are located next to the ruins of the hospital.
Once you cross the street you come to one of the most colorful streets in the city, with a famous bookstore on the corner. On this street you will find houses that have the most beautiful colors, bringing out the cheerful, relaxed and exuberant atmosphere of the Caribbean.
It’s not a street or a historic building, but it is the most famous restaurant in the colonial city. Maracas is full just about every night, especially if you want to make last minute reservations, but is at its best during lunch. And then you’re in luck! Because often that is the most quiet time.
In this restaurant you will find an oasis of calm on their terrace with beautiful white furniture. Their toilet is the most beautiful toilet (yes, I said it really) we have ever seen and then we have not even talked about their entrance and the interior.
By the way, we will soon be giving this restaurant a separate feature on their kitchen in the magazine. But for now, we just want to let you know that you should come here for the best interior photos.
Los Tres Ojos
Fifteen minutes from the colonial city is Los Tres Ojos. This national park is a 50yard open-air limestone cave, located in the Mirador del Este park. The series of three lakes, or Ojos, make for the most visited park in the city.
Inside the park you can walk and explore the lakes at your own pace. You can also take a boat that gives you access to the second lake and possibly a nearby “fourth”. This one does not officially belong to Los Tres Ojos, but it is definitely worth a visit.
We took some beautiful pictures at Lago de Azufre, created by tectonic fractures when the caves collapsed. This formed a bowl-shaped depression which subsequently filled with water.
Of course, discovering new places never stops as the island is full of surprises, and we’ll be happy to take you virtually to other fun must-visit buildings or locations soon.
Do you have any nice addresses in this beautiful capital city? Let us know in the comments. And let us know if you are planning a visit. Then we can go for a coffee together!