Things to do
A Guide to Santo Domingo Nightlife
People dancing at a nightclub
Here are the best places to go in Santo Domingo after dark:
Dominicans love to party, and in the capital city, there’s always somewhere to drink and dance. You’ll find clubs playing everything from pop to hip hop, dancehall, techno and house, and lounges and bars filled with latin, jazz, reggaeton, bachata and dembow.
Most of Santo Domingo’s nightlife is concentrated in a few key party areas: Zona Colonial, Avenida Venezuela and Naco/Piantini. The eclectic music on offer, friendly locals and amazing weather mean that Santo Domingo is an ideal place to go party-hopping.
Bräu Marketbar, Cuesta Hermosa Town Center
A modern American-style craft beer room with a Caribbean twist, Bräu Marketbar has the best selection of brews in the DR. Prices are great for imported beers and the warm, relaxed ambience lends itself to slow and steady session drinking.
Mamma Club, Santo Domingo
Photo: Mamma Club
Mamma Club, Naco/Piantini
With a fashionable crowd and pounding dancefloor, Mamma’s has rightly been ranked one of the best clubs in Santo Domingo.
In one of the poshest neighborhoods in Santo Domingo, Mamma’s is where local crowds go to see and be seen. DJs play to droves of house, techno and dancehall devotees on the open-plan dancefloor, which isn’t huge and packs out on weekends. Sipping bubbles and premium Dominican rum served by glamorous bartenders, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a movie set.
Expect to pay a cover charge, though it changes based on the night and the DJ and entry is occasionally free. The pizzeria attached to the club makes reliably good pizza. The club is open until 3am or later on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and closes earlier on other nights depending on the size of the crowd.
Sabina Bar, Santo Domingo
Photo: Sabina Bar
For the best music:
Sabina Bar, Zona Colonial
Sabina is a lively, down-to-earth bar known for playing the best latin music in the city. Located right in the center of Santo Domingo, it’s popular but not pretentious. The late last-call and refreshing speakeasy vibe make it a make Sabina a popular choice for end-of-the-night drinks.
Prices are more reasonable than most Santo Domingo bars popular with tourists, but last time we checked they only take cash, so grab some pesos before you go.
The bar is named after Spanish folk singer Joaquin Sabina, so expect to hear Sabina on repeat as well as Spanish jazz, South American rhythms, merengue and bachata. Friendly bartender Freddy will let you choose which of those genres you want to listen to while you’re here. On busy nights and practically the whole month of July, expect to see locals dancing the Dominican national dance, the merengue.
Zambra, Santo Domingo
For the best party vibes:
Zambra is another popular party spot in Naco/Piantini. Just as busy as Mamma Club, the vibe here is a little less luxe and a little more accessible, with friendlier door staff and more affordable prices. Look out for big parties planned on Wednesdays. The best place to go with a group of friends and buy a bottle of Patrón.
For Reggaeton & Dembow Music:
75 Grados, Zona Colonial
Favored by the younger crowd, 75 Grados is famous for the freshest latin beats, cheap and cheerful sugar-loaded blender cocktails, and wall-to-wall crowds on weekends. For a distinctly Dominican night out, this is one of the best clubs in Santo Domingo. Popular with expats, tourists and locals, 75 Grados is a great place to meet new people.
For VIP vibes:
VIP Room Santo Domingo, South Central (just outside Centro De Los Heroes)
The opulent party destination isn’t named the VIP room for nothing. With a laser-outfitted dancefloor, giant golden chandeliers and pyrotechnics, a night here is everything you could ask for in an exclusive club. Party like you’ve made it in a maximalist open-plan lounge with fancy cocktails, fashionable crowds, classic pop, and bottle after bottle of Moët and Veuve. The cover charge is high and the party doesn’t stop until the sun comes up.
La Fabrica, Naco/Piantini
A new kid on the block, La Fabrica is the most exclusive bar in Santo Domingo.
Onno's Zona Colonial
Photo: Onno's Zona Colonial
For eating, drinking and partying all in one place:
Onno’s Zona Colonial
The tacos here are very good but the tequila and rum cocktails are better. Watch live sports screened inside or squeeze out back to the outdoor dance floor for a festive under-the-stars fun-filled evening. Look out for live music and themed party nights. Friendly staff and a down-to-earth attitude round off the experience to make Onno’s an absolute staple of Zona Colonial nightlife.
Arturo Fuente Cigar Club, Naco
Photo: Arturo Fuente Cigar Club
For smoking cigars:
Arturo Fuente Cigar Club, Naco
Exclusive cigar lounge offering premium cigars in a sophisticated setting. Wealthy and aspirational locals and travelers come here for upscale ambience, live jazz, small plates and big cigars.
Upon arrival, you’ll be guided by attentive staff to a spacious walk-in humidor. The lounge offers both an elegant bar and niches of casual seating that make conversation easier. The glass stage often hosts live jazz acts, and a series of screens play sports in the background.
Alongside the best selection of cigars anywhere in the Dominican Republic, the bar serves an extensive selection of premium rum, wine, whiskey and cognac. Expect stateside prices for everything here.
The lounge feels invite-only and the upscale dress code is strictly enforced. Play the connoisseur and you’ll receive better service than if you go in acting like a tourist. Planning to take your time choosing a cigar? Order a Brugal's Leyenda to sip while you decide - arguably the best rum made in the DR, and among the best rums on the planet.
Evening dining at Lulú Tasting Bar
Photo: Mikkel Ulriksen
To have a drink outdoors:
Lulu Tasting Bar
The courtyard at Lulu Tasting Bar is the best place for an open-air drink. The timeless vintage vibe provides the perfect setting to enjoy the legendary Zona Colonial.
Written by Andrew Miles.
Published November 2021.
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