Must see attractions in Santiago

  • Top ChoiceSights in Santiago

    Centro León

    This large, modern museum, built with the tobacco wealth of the León Jimenez family, is a world-class institution with an impressive collection of paintings that trace the evolution of Dominican art in the 20th century. There are three exhibition rooms in the main building: one focuses on the island’s biodiversity, Taíno history and cultural diversity; a second displays a permanent collection of Dominican art; and an upstairs room houses temporary art exhibits. The aviary and photography exhibition are out the back.

  • Sights in Santiago

    Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración de la República

    On a hill at the eastern end of the downtown area, this monument is Santiago’s most recognizable sight, featuring a large bronze Angel de La Paz statue at the very top. The boxy, eight-story edifice was originally built by dictator Rafael Trujillo to celebrate himself, but it was rededicated after his assassination to honor the Dominican soldiers who fought the final war of independence against Spain. The site's upper floors house a museum with exhibits on Dominican history.

  • Sights in Santiago

    La Aurora Parque Industrial

    This is the oldest and most prestigious cigar factory in the country, with a brand-new showroom and personable tour guides. Exhibits in the showroom explain the process, from planting tobacco seeds all the way to rolling the cigar, and the tour includes time in the factory itself, watching employees puffing cigars over their work stations.

  • Sights in Santiago

    Catedral de Santiago Apóstol

    Santiago’s cathedral, opposite the southern side of Parque Duarte, was built between 1868 and 1895 and is a combination of Gothic and neoclassical styles. The cathedral contains the marble tomb of late-19th-century dictator Ulises Heureaux, an elaborately carved mahogany altar and impressive stained-glass windows by contemporary Dominican artist Dincón Mora.

  • Sights in Santiago

    Casa del Arte

    This small gallery displays Dominican painting, photography and sculpture. Some nights of the week a film club meets to screen art-house and Hollywood flicks (with free admission). There’s sometimes live music (from RD$100) and, on Saturday, live theater (RD$100).

  • Sights in Santiago

    Centro de la Cultura de Santiago

    Though not much to look at from the outside, the Centro de la Cultura de Santiago, a half-block from Parque Duarte, offers a regular program of musical and theatrical performances, including plays, choral singing, children’s theater and holiday concerts. There’s also a rotating exhibition of Dominican painting in the small gallery. Pass by for a copy of the monthly schedule.

  • Sights in Santiago

    Fortaleza San Luis

    Built in the late 17th century, the Fortaleza San Luis operated as a military stronghold until the 1970s, when it was converted into a prison. Renovated in 2004, it now houses a small museum, with an emphasis on Dominican military history, including rusty weapons and a collection of 20th-century tanks and artillery.

  • Sights in Santiago

    Palacio Consistorial

    On the western side of Parque Duarte is the former town hall and a small museum devoted to the city’s colorful history. If you’re here during Carnival, don’t miss the huge and stunning display of masks and fichas (posters), part of an annual competition that draws entries from top artists and mask makers from across the country and beyond.

  • Sights in Santiago

    La Flor Dominicana

    A cigar factory in Tamboril that offers free tours to anybody who shows up. It's off Calle Real Tamboril.