Flights to Santo Domingo arrive at Las Americas International Airport, the largest in the Dominican Republic and one of the largest in all the entire Caribbean. It is only a short 15-minute ride to the metro area of Santo Domingo from the airport. A number of budget airlines fly there, so you should be able to find cheap flights to Santo Domingo. Passengers on Santo Domingo flights will have access to a number of services such as duty-free shopping, a medical clinic, Internet kiosks, and cafeterias. Visitors can also use the airport banking services such as ATMs and foreign exchange.
Once you land in Santo Domingo you can contract a rental car through one of the airport agencies. Some travellers reserve a car or tour bus when they book airfare to Santo Domingo, but even if you did not do this you still have transportation options upon arrival. There are taxis available, but they are not the kind that you hail from the street. You need to call their dispatcher to hire them. A ride from the airport can be anywhere from $25-40. While you are visiting you will find that bus and metro services are not as advanced or efficient as in other countries, but these are very cheap transports. You also have the option of retaining an agreement with a reputable taxi driver who can be a personal driver for you during your stay.
Santo Domingo was the first European city built in the New World. Founded by Bartolome, brother of Christopher Columbus, in 1496, there are many historical sites to see, although Santo Domingo is not built up as a tourist area. You will definitely want to see the Colonial Zone, which contains several sites built while Columbus was still alive. Some attractions here are the Cathedral, the Alcazar de Colon and the Ozama Fort. There are also many old streets and ruins as well as convents and churches. The Plaza de la Cultura is a great place to tour several art and history museums. There are also a number of natural parks where visitors can enjoy the flora and fauna, stop for a picnic, or take a leisurely walk.
It is easy to find dining and entertainment as well as great shopping at the Distrito Nacional, where many of these venues are co-located. One of the premier shopping malls is the Acropolis Center, which is very modern and up-scale. The Plaza Andalucia is an open-air shopping centre that may suit those who prefer more laid-back shopping excursions. The dining in Santo Domingo can be pretty expensive, but for budget meals you can check out local cafeterias where all customers are served the same meal. Dominican foods that you should try are the juices and sandwiches as well as the unusual fried chicken and Chinese food served in the popular “Pica Pollo” establishments. There is plenty of night entertainment in Santo Domingo. Dance clubs, bars and cafés are abundant, but most places close at midnight except on Fridays and Saturdays when they stay open until 2 or 3 am. Nonetheless, you will find plenty to do, eat and drink, and buy in this grand historical city.
21 August 2017
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