Colonial City - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Colonial City

Colonial City

The historic enclave of Santo Domingo, known as the Colonial City, covers only one square mile (3 sq km), but inside the walls are dozens of historical buildings and sites, including palaces, forts, museums, and churches; parks, plazas, statues and monuments. A walking tour of these fascinating buildings takes at least three hours through cobbled streets, where once walked Christopher Columbus, Fernando Cortez and Francis Drake. The main street, Calle Das Lamas, is the oldest street in the New World. Must-sees include the House of Cord, the oldest European building in the Americas, and where Diego Columbus, son of Christopher, once lived; and the Alcazar Palace, now a museum, built in 1514.

Information & Facts

Spanish is the official language, but English is spoken in the main tourist centres.

The currency is the Dominican Republic Peso (DOP), divided into 100 centavos. Many of the hotels and restaurants in the main tourist destinations display their prices in US dollars as well as in Dominican Pesos, as US dollars are widely accepted and some places will also accept Euros. The peso cannot be exchanged outside of the Dominican Republic. Major currencies can be converted into pesos at Central Bank approved bureaux; only 30% of the pesos bought can be re-converted and this only if the original receipts are produced, so it is best not to buy more pesos than you are likely to need. Major credit cards are accepted everywhere, but a commission is usually charged and it is recommended that you only use your credit card at your hotel as fraud incidents have been reported. The best exchange rates are paid on US travellers cheques and secondly on US dollars cash and are best exchanged at exchange bureaux ( casas de cambio). Banking hours are Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm; some banks also open on Saturday. ATMs are widespread.

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