The Colonial Zone is both an important historical site and a vibrant neighborhood that is currently experiencing a cultural and economic renaissance.
Founded in 1498, the Santo Domingo Colonial Zone is the oldest European settlement in the New World. In 1990, the entire area was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Colonial Zone is a wonderland of historic Spanish Colonial buildings and monuments. Yet, the area is so much more than a mere open-air museum. It is a bustling district filled with shops, restaurants, cafes and night clubs. The vibrant street life, incredible live music performances and beautiful parks and squares make the Colonial Zone a prime tourist destination.
This amazing historical area features some of the oldest buildings in the New World. Top attractions include the Catedral Primada de América, the first cathedral in the Americas, and the Alcázar de Colón, the former residence of Christopher Columbus’ son. Other attractions include the Convento de los Dominicos, the first monastery in the Americas, and Ozama Fortress, the oldest fortress in the New World.
The Santo Domingo Colonial Zone also has beautiful parks and squares. Parque Colón, in front of the cathedral, is the perfect place to take a break and watch the people strolling by. Plaza de España is an enormous square lined with some of the area’s best restaurants. It is also the backdrop for live music and dance performances every Friday and Saturday evening.
The Ruins of the San Francisco Monastery are another setting for live music. Every Sunday night, locals and tourists gather to enjoy a lively evening of Latin music and dancing.
Visitors staying in the Colonial Zone will find that everything is within easy walking distance. The hotels are near all of the top attractions, as well as great shopping, fine restaurants and fun night clubs.
The Colonial Zone is an amazing tourist destination that offers something for everyone.