Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Shopping in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Handcrafts, Souvenirs & Malls
Enjoy your trip to Santo Domingo touring the streets and buying amazing items at the many shops and businesses. Uncountable name brands offer their products in exclusive locales throughout different parts of the city, taking advantage of the commercial growth that this cosmopolitan city has seen in the past few years. Santo Domingo is the oldest city on the continent, making traditional native items a must-buy on your trip. Here you'll find a wide variety of truly unique products such as stunning jewelry and local crafts to take home as souvenirs.
Many luxury boutiques, galleries, and malls are constructed in the lavish antique architecture of the Colonial District. Near El Conde street you will find the famous Mercado Modelo de Santo Domingo, the city's largest artisans market. Here, haggling can be a useful tool in bringing down the price of market items. The Dominicans are good salespeople and won't miss an opportunity to make a good sell. The city's growth has made way for new shopping centers in different parts of the city, so during your stroll through Santo Domingo you're sure to find many beautiful malls no matter what part of the city you find yourself in. Whether in the Colonial District, the hotel zone, an entirely commercial area, or even a popular residential area, you will always be able to find a shopping center offering you many amazing products.
Considered by many as the best coffee in the world, Dominican coffee is produced completely organically and under strict quality standards, without the use of pesticides or chemicals to affect the rich flavor of this valuable product. Coffee has been an integral part of the Dominican culture for centuries, and the geographical and climatic characteristics of this destination give an incomparable flavor to the different varieties grown here. The many different brands of coffee in Santo Domingo will make perfect gifts to take back home.
The people of the Dominican Republic celebrate Carnival every weekend throughout the month of February. Famous Dominican Carnival masks, made entirely by hand, depict brightly colored devils of different shapes and sizes. Many other types of masks, always with bright colors and comical designs, also roam the streets at this time of year. Masks for adults and children alike are sold at the artisans markets. Due to their impressive quality, they make an excellent souvenir worth taking home.
The traditional Dominican faceless dolls, also called Lime dolls, are made of clay or porcelain and represent the search for an ethnic identity in this culture of varied origins. These classic collectibles can be bought in specialty shops and markets. The details, sizes, and prices vary greatly, making it certain that you will come across the perfect doll to fit your budget.
In Santo Domingo the amazing paintings and sculptures stand out due to each local artist's unique coloring and defined personal style. In the Colonial District and the Boardwalk area, vendors fill the streets with beautiful works of art whose low prices make for a true investment. You can also find stunning works of art in the city's art galleries, where you can buy pieces that suit any budget or taste. Whether you are an art collector or aspire to be one, Santo Domingo is the perfect place to find amazing pieces.
Precious and Semiprecious Stones
Artisan shops and jewelry stores sell beautiful bracelets, necklaces, and earrings made with precious or semiprecious stones, like amber. Amber is the national stone of the Dominican Republic; insects are often found trapped inside the amber, and it sometimes comes in rare colors such as blue, green, and even purple. Larimar, a beautiful, sky blue mineral, cannot be naturally found in any other part of the world, and in the Dominican Republic it comes in many diverse shapes, shades and sizes. Stunning regional jewelry made of red coral, black coral, malachite, shells and onyx is also available all over the city.
Among the Dominicans, tradition dictates that the first sip of rum is in honor of the dead. Rum can be served straight up, on the rocks, or mixed, and Dominican rum is without a doubt one of the best in the world. The different types of rum vary depending on the aging process, its caramel content, its alcohol content and many other factors which can make light, golden, and dark rums. The Dominican Republic produces large amounts of sugarcane and is well known for its full-bodied, aged rums. Take a few bottles home for yourself or as a gift.
Another of the world renowned products made in this country is tobacco. Aficionados will find many tobacco clubs in hotels and shopping centers all around Santo Domingo. Here you can buy the best cigars and select brand cigarettes, made entirely by hand to ensure great quality.
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