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Entertainment & Nightlife in Dominican Republic


The Dominican Republic offers an array of nightlife options where you can drink, socialise, dance, gamble, or celebrate the various festivals taking place throughout the country. Options range from smaller beer/pool halls, frequented predominantly by Dominican men, to large nightclubs where thousands of both tourists, foreigners and Dominicans can be found bumping and grinding to live bands or DJ's, into the wee hours of the night.

Most hotels and restaurants offer casual bar/lounge settings within their establishment that offer a wide range of local and international drink selections and play internationally recognised music. Dominican-owned bars tend to offer only locally produced drink selections and play merengue or bachata music. Most tourism destinations offer beach bars that feature something for everyone, in terms of music, drink selection and setting.

Enjoying 'Happy Hour' and watching the sunset is a very popular visitor activity at these establishments. Casinos can be found in most of the larger tourism destinations and cities throughout the country and usually provide gamblers free drinks while they take part in black jack, roulette and poker. The hours of operation for most casinos are from 4 pm-4 am daily.

The most popular drink to be enjoyed in the Dominican Republic is the famous Cuba Libre, poured with a very generous amount of locally produced Dominican Rum and Coke (or Pepsi), topped off with a slice of lime. If beer is your beverage of choice, the beloved locally brewed and ice-cold, Presidente , will certainly not disappoint. If tropical cocktails are on the agenda, you'll have more than a few to select from, with Piña Coladas, Rum Punch, Banana Mamas, and Cahpariñas, being the most popular of the bunch.

Most establishments offer a wide variety of both locally and internationally produced beers and liquors. Good wines can be a little more difficult to find unless you are in one of the higher end hotels, restaurants or bars.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo has an amazing variety of night life options. Unfortunately, most bars and clubs must close at midnight from Sunday to Thursday, and at 2 am on Friday and Saturday. This is a regulation imposed since 2006 intended to curtail the escalating crime in the city. Therefore, it is not uncommon for people to start partying at 8 pm on the weekends. Happily, the regulation is suspended on holidays and the last two weeks of December for Christmas partying. Usually the clubs located inside major hotels are exempt from this rule, although they aren't usually much fun.

The Malecón, Santo Domingo’s seaside boulevard, is known for its nightlife. Concerts and other cultural events are often held at the Casa de Francia and Plaza de la Cultura in Santo Domingo, among other venues.

When it comes to drinking, your best bet is to make your way to the Colonial Zone area called La Atarazana, a cluster of restored 16th-century buildings now filled with stores, bars and restaurants. Here you can indulge in a wide variety of beverages. At Pat´e Palo the party and the drinks never stop and Il Grappolo Enoteca Bar is a great option for wine devotees.

Other popular and frequented places include Montecristo Café, Trío Café and Beer House Café, among others. Other places, worth visiting are Hollywood Café, Bizarro Café & Grill and Café Concierto Bachata Rosa.

Whatever you do, don't leave Santo Domingo without visiting La Guacara Taina, the only nightclub in the world inside a huge natural cave. Descend several hundred feet into a fantasy world of lights and sound. You have to see this place to believe it.

Santo Domingo's large resorts offer Las Vegas-style casinos, featuring games of chance such as blackjack, craps, roulette, slot machines, poker and baccarat. You must be at least 18 years old to play. Most casinos are located in the hotels, such as the ones at El Embajador, Lina, Hispaniola and Melia.

The local bingo halls are also a popular choice, as the jackpots can sometimes get quite high. Others choose to go to the track and bet on horse racing. Not for the squeamish is the local pastime of cockfighting. Rings are scattered all over the city, so if you wish to take a look or try your luck, just ask your friendly cab driver to take you.





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