Reason 5 to leave Santo Domingo: Entertainment problems
As I described it already before, Dominicans tend to be rather slow and kind of sluggish characters. Not much interesting things seem to happen in Santo Domingo’s daily life. A lot of people are loitering around the streets of Santo Domingo doing mostly not really something productive.
For a capital city I must confess, that not much is going on in the streets of Santo Domingo. Compared to many other Latin American capital cities, Santo Domingo doesn’t offer a lot of thrilling street markets with craftsmanship or must-have items.
If you like shopping, you better go to one of the enormous shopping malls in the city. Numerous gigantic malls are scattered around the city and unite many of the entertaining things you would expect to be in other neighborhoods.
Remember when I wrote about the chaotic urban planning? From the architectural perspective, this far too close distance amongst the shopping malls is unfortunately a proof of it. Within just a few square miles, all shopping malls are concentrated and compete amongst each other. At the same time, the outlying areas don’t have any of these shopping opportunities.
You barely find away from these shopping malls a lot of other places like cinemas, video arcades or other types of digital entertainment. Don’t expect in Santo Domingo other entertainment factors like circuses, amusement parks, etc.
Not many cultural activities visible in Santo Domingo
Museums in the city of Santo Domingo are interesting but only few of them exist. If you take it serious, you could probably visit all interesting AND relevant museums within one day. Including a tour guide. Apart from the museums in the Colonial Zone, that are barely interesting exhibitions or expositions.
Theaters, operas, musicals or other cultural activities are quite scarce in Santo Domingo. It’s quite disappointing if you remember, that you live in the oldest city of the American continent. But apart from the epochal and elegant spirit of the buildings and squares in the Colonial Zone, there is not much to see or do for cultural interested citizens.
Lack of sports in the Dominican Republic – And Santo Domingo
The national sport of the Dominican Republic is Baseball ⚾
A sport, that a regular foreigner can’t really follow and understand. In Europe this sport is fairly unknown and even in North America it has the reputation of being rather indolent, boring and complicated. After Basketball, Football, Ice hockey, several fighting and motorsports, Baseball is rather treated as an orphan.
Some matches tend to last for many hours and can’t be completed at a full evening. I remember one match watching in the television that lasted for 5 hours before it was decided to play the following evening the rest of the match.
But others sports? Team sports? Ball sports? Motorsports? Nil report. Nothing really organized or professional enough to follow.
The Dominican Republic could be perceived as a paradise for golf players as I wrote in an earlier article. But that’s more of a snobby rich kid sport or for wealthy tourists. The typical Dominican citizen doesn’t show interest in Golf, because they simply can’t afford to buy the equipment to play it.
Even if Golf would be a serious topic in the Dominican population – I couldn’t personally decide which of the both sports is more boring.
Nocturnal entertainment in Santo Domingo is quite limited
I can’t say, that there’s nothing going on in Santo Domingo. In fact, life happens in the Dominican Republic on the streets. One of the few exceptions are the recurring concerts at the ‘Monasterio de San Francisco’ in the Colonial Zone.
Grupo Bonyé plays every Sunday traditional Dominican Merengue music. And the entrance is free to that open air concert!
Whether it’s in the countryside or in urban areas. Life in Santo Domingo happens in so called Colmados that act as a social magnet for the population. Colmados are little shops that combine all elements of a kiosk, convenience store and tavern. People come there to buy what they need or to have a drink with each other.
The great thing about Colmados are that they also offered the before described delivery services. Whether you need a drinks, food, over-the-counter drugs or other consumables – They deliver it to your house for a reasonable price.
But many people are sitting in (mostly green Presidente) plastic chairs everywhere around and drink beer or rum to chatter around. Dancing, smoking and alcohol drinking people in Colmados are funny to watch a couple of minutes. Also participating every now and then is fine. But as a feature-length entertainment it’s simply not my preference for a whole evening.
What you also will discover at almost every corner will be a table with four people sitting around and playing the tabletop game Domino.
Of course there are some discotheques and bars scattered around Santo Domingo. The ones I discovered are nice but no real awe-factor. But this type of concentrated nightlife in a whole neighborhood isn’t almost existent in Santo Domingo. Compared to many other Latin American cities I discovered, Santo Domingo appears to me a little bit…how to explain…dull.
Only the Colonial Zone as mentioned before comes close to a magnet for younger people to create a nightlife in a broader sense. Other than that, Santo Domingo doesn’t really offer a memorable nightlife for their ambitious (expat) citizens.
I hope, that I could’ve helped you with your decision to live in Santo Domingo. By giving several pros and cons from the insiders perspective, you should have a better imagination now about Santo Domingo.
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