How Safe Is Santo Domingo for Travel?

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Safety Index:

Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic and, at the same time, the oldest European city in the Americas.

The old city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

You can quickly explore the island on short trips without much planning.

There are incredible dunes within an hour’s drive, most of the time deserted.

There are amazingly beautiful waterfalls also within an hour’s drive (Salto de Socoa, Saltos de Jima).

Go there on a weekday and you will be the only one there – it’s a magical experience!

Dominicus and Bayahibe and their beautiful white sand beaches are less than 2 hours away and you can keep walking East into the National Park until you are the only one on the beach.

Warnings & Dangers in Santo Domingo

Overall Risk


Overall, Santo Domingo is safe to visit, though it has many dangers and is ridden with crime. You should be aware that tourist hotspots, restaurants, shops, and public transportation are places where most thefts and pickpocketing occur, and that violent crime exists on the streets, too.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Transportation is not too safe, especially at night. Avoid public transport whenever you can, since this is where robberies and pickpocketing take place. Always call a reliable taxi instead of hailing one on the streets.

Pickpockets Risk


As for pickpocketing, it is not as big of a concern in Santo Domingo, as the violent crime but you should exercise caution and keep your money and your valuables elsewhere, like in hidden pockets of your clothes and never keep all of your money in the same place.

Natural Disasters Risk


There has been a Zika outbreak in Santo Domingo and the rest of the Dominican Republic, so remain protected from mosquito bites at all times. It isn't rampaging right now, but the remainder of the virus still exists. Another natural disaster threatening this city is the hurricanes.

Mugging Risk


There have been cases of mugging and even kidnappings which usually involve criminals targeting a foreigner, taking them hostage and driving them to the nearest ATM to withdraw everything from their bank account.

Terrorism Risk


The risks of terrorist attacks in Santo Domingo are low, but since they shouldn't be ruled out, you must remain vigilant at all times and aware of your surroundings.

Scams Risk


There is a high risk of getting scammed in Santo Domingo. Be wary of weird people around ATMs or anyone trying to distract you. Taxi drivers might try to trick you into paying more, giving you wrongful information about the price of the ride.

Women Travelers Risk


Many women have traveled to Santo Domingo and had nothing but a great time. However, this country isn't the safest in terms of females traveling solo since there have been reports of women being attacked or shamed, so be careful, especially at night.

So... How Safe Is Santo Domingo Really?

Santo Domingo, though gorgeous, isn’t a safe city to travel to.

It is ridden with both petty crime and violent crime.

You might encounter criminals impersonating police officials, making taxis or private vehicles stop and then robbing the travelers at gunpoint.

As for the worse areas, Cristo Rey, Los Prados, Villa Mella, San Carlos, etc. are the neighborhoods that can have more of a ghetto feel to them, therefore they can be perceived as dangerous.

That said, most of the city is unsafe, you can get mugged practically anywhere.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s not safe to wear flashy clothing or jewelry if you’re a pedestrian, you will attract the attention of muggers.

The bad and good qualification is more a matter of perception.

Depending on the day and time some of the “bad” neighborhoods are safer than the “good” ones.

Another form of crime dangerous for tourists is the break-ins, even in the luxurious all-inclusive resorts: people have reported having their rooms broke into, including the safes.

Others have been sexually assaulted at their resorts after having a spiked drink.

There have also been cases of criminals impersonating repairmen and maintenance staff entering rooms and then assaulting or even killing tourists.

Useful Information

  • Visas - No tourist visa is required to enter Santo Domingo, for any stays shorter than 30 days. Make sure your passport is valid at the time of entry. If you are not sure about your visa status, contact your nearest Dominican Republic embassy for further details.
  • Currency - The Dominican peso is the official currency in Santo Domingo. ATMs can be found throughout the country and credit cards are widely accepted in most tourism-related establishments.
  • Weather - Santo Domingo has a tropical climate, characterized by hot weather during the entire year, with two seasons in winter, a dry and a rainy season lasting from late April to October. The island is prone to hurricanes especially from June 1 to November 30.
  • Airports - Las Américas International Airport is an international airport located in Punta Caucedo, near Santo Domingo and Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we advise getting travel insurance when traveling to Santo Domingo, because it would cover not only medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Santo Domingo Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 24° C
Feb 25° C
Mar 25° C
Apr 26° C
May 27° C
Jun 27° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 27° C
Sep 27° C
Oct 27° C
Nov 26° C
Dec 25° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

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8 Reviews on Santo Domingo

  1. B
    Bill Moylan says:

    Wonderful Dominican Republic

    Traveled to santo domingo four times. Stayed at lovely hotel boutique colonial zona. Walked the streets across the city alone during the day and never had a problem. The supermarkets, restaraunts etc are on a par with any world city. Been to punta cana too, it was wonderful. DR is a caribbean gem 😎

  2. l
    linda molina says:

    …Lamentable,antes Republica Dominicana, o Puerto Rico, o Haiti, hasta 1983,era ok.,hoy se pudrio. Linda

  3. D
    DeKay Jones says:

    This article is exaggerating greatly

    I have taken many trips to the Dominican Republic and alway make Santo Domingo my starting point. Sometimes, I may stay in the capital city my entire time in the country.

    I have NEVER, EVER had any issues in terms of being a victim of crime or being scared to walk anywhere, EVEN AT NIGHT. I have stayed in Gascue, Zona Colonial, Zona UASD, Piantini, Naco, Evalisto Morales, Los Prados, Arroyo Hondo, Santo Domingo Este, Villa Mella and Villa Juana. I never had a problem. The Dominicans I have met have been cool and always invite me to chill, play dominoes and drink Presidente (the national beer).

    Yes, Santo Domingo has crime like any other major city. But as a tourist who has walked many streets in the city, I never ever once been a victim of crime or even close to such.

    To say that Santo Domingo is unsafe is totally a lie and unfair to masses there who will treat a tourist like a king/queen and be very hospitable in the process.

    I’ve been to dangerous cities in the world and Santo Domingo does not even come close to being one.

    1. Been in the Zona Colonial and robbed at gunpoint, been in Bellavista and after waking in the street decided to go back quickly to the apartment and from there took an Uber even to go to the supermarket.. years ago I felt safer than now.

  4. It's a 5/10 for safety

    This is not entirely accurate, sure, there is crime, but not as much as this page is trying to portray. I would say that do not stay out past 11PM unless you with a group, that’s all,

  5. R
    Rosario De Leon says:

    Very Safe

    I am Dominican American, and I have been living in Santo Domingo since 2000. I am glad to say that what you wrote in your article is totally untrue. The city has it’s areas that would be considered dangerous as any other major cities in the world. However, all around it is quite safe. I was wondering has the person who wrote this piece ever been to Santo Domingo? This city is not a backwoods alley where people come with guns a blazing.


    Walked 5 mins down the street (Washington ave) while staying at the Sheraton Santo Domingo. It’s a mess. Not at all safe…was bombarded by 4 men asking for money and following us. We had to cross the street and return right back to the hotel and haven’t left since.

    It is torn down and a total shame. I would never recommend anyone traveling here. It’s not safe. I’ve travel to different country’s and this is awful.

Rated 3.63 / 5 based on 8 user reviews.

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