Fodor's Expert Review Plaza de España
This wide esplanade, which goes past the Casas de Reales in front of Don Diego Columbus's former palace, El Alcazar de Colón, is the area in the Zona Colonial where national holidays are celebrated. The annual Coca-Cola–sponsored Christmas tree is here. It's bordered by what once were the ramparts of the original walled city. People enjoy the views of the Ozama River from here, and watch the cruise-ship activity below at the terminal. Lovers stroll by night, sharing a kiss under the gas lamps. When many people talk about the Plaza de España, they are often referring to the half-dozen restaurants in a row, which are on the upper level of these 16th- and 17th-century warehouses. The popular tables are on their outdoor decks. Cultural performances are held on a stage across from the Plaza on certain weekends. Make dinner reservations on those nights and you'll have a special Santo Domingo experience.