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  • Writer's pictureCindy Van Dyck

FAQ: Where can I park safely in Zona Colonial?


Where to park in Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Picture Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

There is nothing better like getting out on your own and taking the free time to explore all the culture and sights. This is why many tourists choose to explore the island with their own transportation. So they also come independently to Zona Colonial, the most historic part of the capital Santo Domingo. But where do you park your car and is it safe? Or what does it cost at all to leave your car in such a tourist area? Today we answer all your questions in this article.


You need at least two days to discover Zona Colonial.

About Zona Colonial

Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo is a captivating destination that surprises travelers with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a living testament to the birthplace of the New World, with its narrow cobblestone streets leading to hidden squares, grand colonial-era buildings, and charming cafes.


Visitors can immerse themselves in the past by exploring the numerous museums, forts, and cathedrals that narrate the story of the Dominican Republic's colonial past. Beyond its historical allure, Zona Colonial offers also a dynamic contemporary scene with a multitude of restaurants, art galleries, and lively street performances.


Whether you're a history enthusiast, a foodie, or simply looking for a unique and picturesque setting, Zona Colonial has something for everyone, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the enchanting Dominican Republic!


Parking "Banreservas"

One of the most well-known parking garages in the city is Parking "Banreservas," named after the country's most recognized state-owned bank, "Banco de Reservas." Their large office is just across the parking lot making it popular for employers and their clients. However, visitors to the city can also park their cars here.


Capacity: The parking garage has no less than 5 floors, with a capacity of 280 cars.

Price: Parking here will cost you 50 pesos (75 euro cents) per hour and is open 24/7. This can only be paid cash! They have no credit card/bank card policy.


Address: The parking lot has two entrance gates via Calle Arzobispo Meriño or Calle Isabel La Católica. If you look it up via Waze type in "Parqueo Banco de Reservas" with the street being "Calle Emiliano Tejera 101."


Parking "La Atarazana"

A little further from the historic streets, but right to the bustling Plaza España, you will find the recently opened parking lot "La Atarazana". This car park is open to the public and all visitors to the historic city. You will find four levels, space for electric cars and a total of 196 cars.


Personally, this is our favorite parking lot. There is always space, it is quiet and right next to the police station, and you can pay by card as well as in cash. This way you don't always have to have money in your pocket and you can stay as long as you want.


Parking here costs 50 pesos (75 eurocents) per hour during the week. On weekends the cost is 75 pesos, about €1.20.


Address: Calle La Atarazana 11, just next to Plaza España


Where to park in Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Picture Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

Tips and Tricks when parking your car

Of course, we are often asked if it is safe to park your car in such a crowded area. And of course, we wouldn't recommend these parking lots to you if we didn't constantly park there ourselves, nor feel safe there. And of course we recommend you park here in these parking lots rather than on the street.

This is because in the Dominican Republic people don't know right of way rules, or actually don't take much notice of them, people don't have the best parking skills, and there is always the possibility of someone recklessly driving into your car or colliding with it. Not that this is out of the question in a parking garage, though the chances are considerably less.


In addition, both parking lots have their own security so that no "passersby" can just come into the parking lot and keep an eye out for you. If you park on the street, anyone can walk past your car, and if a local person is "guarding" your car, you give them some money to avoid a discussion afterwards (they all want to earn something on the side) and in the end you will lose 100 pesos. Minimum.


A few more tips and tricks:

- Even if your car has dark windows: never leave a purse, suitcase or belongings visible on the seats.

- Take a picture of your car and the cars next to you, if you notice damage afterwards, you have proof of who was next to you that day. Of course, there may be 2/3 cars in between, but you have "something" in your hands.

- Be sure to check if you have cash and/or your card with you and what the payment method of the parking is. That way you avoid having to look for an ATM afterwards. Cash is accepted everywhere in the Dominican Republic (the local currency Pesos).

- Leave your parking ticket in your car, take it out when you want to pay. This way you reduce the chances of losing your ticket.

- Place an AirTag in your car, under the driver's mat, under your seat or in a less visible place. That way you can easily find your car if you get a little lost.


 

Zona Colonial has been going through a whole renovation project since 2023, and many streets have since been made car-free to make it more pleasant for tourists. So it is easiest to quickly drive into a parking garage instead of looking for parking in the small streets. In this way, you can explore all the sights with peace of mind, without worrying about your car, neither the time. Enjoy your visit to Zona Colonial!


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