When you are new to a country you have a lot to learn about the culture, customs, and how the normal flow of life plays out. Depending on how last or slow you learn, it can take quite a bit of time to figure everything out, from the cheapest place to buy groceries, gas and clothes to the street with the best bars/restaurants.
What is the best place to buy furniture for your new condo or home? What store has the best discounted clothing? The reason I call this blog ‘The Secrets’ is because you can’t find all this information in one place and it’s the important information nobody is telling you.
What about traffic? Best or worse hours to travel? Best place to rent a car? Are taxis more expensive than Ubers? Does Santo Domingo even have Uber or Cabify? Is a pharmacy generally more expensive than the others? Where do I find a English speaking doctor? What are best areas of town to live in? Is there a street in Santo Domingo where I can buy just about anything I want?
So the point of this outline is to point you in the right direction concerning the major areas if you choose to relocate to Santo Domingo. I call the area around Winston Churchill Ave. a “high value” area because just about anything you want can be found in a short walking distance (15 minutes or less depending on where you are located on the street) and the number of options you have at your disposal.
I am new to Santo Domingo and I have no car but I need to buy groceries, home appliances, furniture, a cell phone, clothes, and shoes….Is there a street that offers me the best value for everything I need to do so I don’t have to bounce all over town?
Yes! My suggestion is to go to Winston Churchill Ave.
Why? Because Winston Churchill Ave has the best value for your TIME and MONEY.
More importantly….your TIME. You can walk up either side of the street and find what you need. My suggestion would be to start at Plaza Lama, see what you can get there, cross 27 February Ave. and move north along Winston Churchill Ave. There are several pharmacies, banks, restaurants, stores, 2 cinemas, plenty of salons and more!
Below I have posted some screenshots of Winston Churchill Ave. so you can have an idea of all the places you can find on one of the most popular streets in Santo Domingo.
Cheat Code: What I am about to tell you is a time saving tip. As long as you don’t need/want the newest name brand high-end electronics you can probably find whatever you are looking for at Plaza Central.
Drain cleaner, party clothes, party supplies, a gym, hair extensions, salons, barber shops, refurbished cell phones/iPads, kids and adults clothes/shoes, nutrition stores, plastic storage containers for toys or clothes, new bathroom fixtures, mirrors, home supplies, school supplies, banks, active/gym clothes, etc…I am sure you get the idea. Check at Plaza Central first, if you want me to go with you then drop me a line 🙂
Best place for discounted clothes – Ave Duarte Market
The clothes/shoes around the Ave. Duarte market are SUPER cheap compared to anywhere else in the city. This is where you buy clothes to go to the gym in, beach clothes, clothes that you don’t care if they get ripped because you paid 2 US Dollars for a pair of jeans. Not clothes you go to a wedding or formal event in.
Top places to buy clothes ( non-fancy clothes )
Best places for nice clothes
( wedding, nice dinner, anniversary/formal event )
Leonardo Fifth Avenue ( Plaza Central )
W Suit Mens Fashion
Santo Domingo has Uber and Cabify.
Taxis are more expensive than Uber. Traffic is HORRIBLE in Santo Domingo ( just keeping it real). Hours to NOT travel Mon-Fri: 8am-11 am, 1pm-3pm, 5pm-8pm. If you choose to travel during those hours you need to set aside a big chunk of time to get to your desired destination.
Sidenote: Punta Cana does not have Uber or Cabify and taxis start at $30 USD per ride.
Santiago has Uber.
Rental car? In the past I used Avis Car Rental in Galeria 360. They spoke English and it’s a great location as well. You can have lunch, grab some snacks before you jump on the highway and head out of the city.
Multiple locations along Winston Churchill Ave, one of not significantly more expensive than the others.
Bravo ( right next to La Sirena on the right )
Aliss ( Acropolis Center )
Sealy Mattress Center
For sending/receiving documents I would suggest using FedEx which is right next to Plaza Central. In the past I have sent out some documents via FedEx and had no problems.
If you would like to order things off of Amazon or Ebay I would suggest opening an account with FixoCargo which is located directly behind La Sirena on Winston Churchill Ave. I have an account with them and receive personal items off of Amazon regularly and can attest for their great customer service.
El Arca Pet Shop
There are 3 major gyms located on Winston Churchill Ave.
SmartFit – located next to Bravo
Planet Fitness – Located inside Plaza Central
Gold’s Gym – One block off of Winston Churchill Ave, near Plaza Central.
Party Fiesta in Plaza Central or Party Maina on Winston Churchill closer to John F. Kennedy Blvd. Crazy Party is on the 2nd floor in Plaza Central, a short walk from Party Fiesta.
Cheap/Used Cell Phone
No passport is needed to buy the cell phone, most come with a 30 day warranty. Make sure the warranty is listed on the receipt.
New Cell Phone
Altice or Claro – multiple locations on Winston Churchill Ave or within 1 city block walk of Winston Churchill Ave. In order to buy a NEW cell phone in the Dominican Republic you will need to bring your passport and it helps to have the money in cash. A new cell phone (on the super cheap end) will start around 10,000 to 11,000 Dominican Pesos. Most likely you will be paying around 17,000 to 20,000 Dominican Pesos for a name brand, new cell phone. I have seen cell phone cost upwards of 26,000 Dominican Pesos (515.00 USD). You can also find Altice and Claro dealers inside all the major malls. New iPhone and Samsung will cost more than 30,000 Dominican Pesos (594.00 USD)
10k-11k Dom. Pesos: around 200-220 USD
17k-20k Dom. Pesos: around 350-400 USD
Best Areas of Santo Domingo to live
Los Cacicazgos ( only move here if you have TONS of money and a car )
From a blogger on DR1.com
Zona Colonial for its nightlife, character and history.
Gazcue for shady streets and relative pedestrian-friendliness.
Ciudad Nueva for location and cool architecture.
Mirador Sur and Bella Vista for location and proximity to park.
Any of the upscale neighbourhoods north of 27 ( 27 February Ave. ) for location, luxury apartments, restaurants and shopping.
As you can see the majority of them are close together, within a 10 minute drive with no traffic.
Metro Bus is right next to Plaza Central on Winston Churchill Ave. Need to go to Haiti, Santiago, Saousa, or Puerto Plata? This is the place! They also go to La Romana, Casa Campo and Metro Country Club. You can also send out packages to different cities on the bus by using their courier service.
I have no advice on which ones are good or bad. Sorry ladies, I shave my head 🙂 But you can find several along Winston Churchill Ave.
That concludes this outline of what you need to know should you move to Santo Domingo. I hope this was was informative and can help you save time when you need to buy whatever you may need for personal use or your home. Please let me know if you need any help acquiring items and I will be more than happy to go with you. Have a great day!