Reason 1 to live in Santo Domingo: Colonial Zone

The colony of Santo Domingo became the first permanent European settlement in the Americas. Consecutive upon that, Santo Domingo is the oldest city in the new world. And who wouldn’t want to live in a picturesque neighborhood with colonial buildings?

UNESCO for example declared in 1990 the Colonial Zone as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Still not convinced to live there? Continue reading then!

Did you know, that this neighborhood locates the oldest cathedral and the oldest hospital outside of Europe? While the cathedral is still in place and reads a mass on a daily basis, the hospital only consists of ruins. Next to that, many other centuries-old buildings can be seen in the ‘Zona Colonial’ as Dominicans call it.




There is this special vibe, that other neighborhoods of Santo Domingo definitely don’t have. Who ever visited the old city cores of Southern Europe, will believe to have a feeling of déjà vu.

A very epic spirit flows through the streets of the Colonial Zone. As a matter of fact, this neighborhood is the only one in Santo Domingo where I could detect a certain broad nightlife area. This doesn’t mean, that other neighborhoods are boring or people don’t go out there to have some fun – Hell no, Dominicans always go out and have fun.

But the Colonial Zone is a comprehensive area with many opportunities to go out, walk around the streets and do some bar hopping. That’s in other neighborhoods not really possible. Due to the chaotic and decentralized architecture of the rest of the city, there are no real squares or semi-active areas with the adjacent nightlife culture. There might be bars and discotheques spread everywhere in the town, but in the Colonial Zone they’re concentrated.



Don’t worry too much about not being safe in the Colonial Zone. This neighborhood is one of the most protected areas in Santo Domingo. Next to that, this part of the city is one of the cleanest – Although it might not seem as it is from the perspective of a visitor from a first world country. But compared to many other neighborhoods, the Colonial Zone is in a quite good and clean condition.

Of course, there are also some reasons to not live in the Colonial Zone:

  • Living costs and rents are higher than in other neighborhoods 💸
  • Imagine living in the area with the biggest nightlife 🔊
  • Everyone will suspect you being a tourist 🤳

Even though you decide to not live in the Colonial Zone and rely on another part of the city, you will visit sooner or later this part of Santo Domingo. Then you’ll find out what I meant earlier with ‘epic spirit’ and ‘special vibe’.

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