Moving to Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 10, 2022

Summary: Moving to Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep? Expats talk about what you need to know before moving to Santo Domingo.

What do I need to know before moving to Santo Domingo?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Santo Domingo, they said:

"I advise you to visit the better area of town which is called Piantini and Naco. They are very cosmopolitan areas, located in District National Santo Domingo along ave Winston Churchill. Ask Apolo Taxi which I discovered to be the most safe and trusted Taxi, to take you to the Blue Mall on Ave Winston Churchill. Also Go to The Acropolis which is a few blocks from the Blue Mall on the same street. Walk the neighborhood for three blocks in each direction from Ave Winston Churchill and you will see many buildings with condo's for sale(vende) or rent ( alquiliar). There is a Holiday Inn Hotel located 5 minutes from this area on Ave Abraham Lincoln. Both malls have resteraunts and movies. Your supermarket is across the street from the mall. there are at least six banks betwee the two malls along with resteraunts and Pharmacies. Everything you can walk to, if you get your apartment there. Plus the area is quiet and secure. You will not have the loud Dominican music playing 24 hours a day. it is a normal tranquile neighborhood. A 3bedroom unfurnished can cost US$800.00 a month. I recommend you do not fall for the fully furnished apt. ads. If you do, make sure you sign a month to month lease. This will protect you from the bad feeling of living in a place with someone's old trashy furniture and having to put up with it until the lease expires. Also be sure to make certain that your deposit is not listed on the contract as a security deposit. Make sure it is listed as your last months rent. Visit the area for a week on each visit. If you decide to live in a Dominican area with the Bodega's and places that sell beer this is good if you are 27 years old, but if you are retired you will dread the day you did this. Trust me. Banking you should open a checking account and only deposit enough for your rent and utilities each month. The banks constantly suspend your account for no apparent reason. Keep the lion's share of your cash in the bank of your country and use your debit card to take money out," said another expat in Santo Domingo.

"When you move to the DR, unless restricted by work, I would spend a couple of months in a few different areas as the country is so diverse. Once you have decided on the area then just put the word out that you are looking to rent and the potential landlords will find you. Do remember to take into account that access to electricity and water are not automatic, so you need to check their availability. The prices of property vary dramatically by area - the more touristy and closer to the sea, the higher the price," remarked another expat who made the move to Santo Domingo.

"I would be sure to study Spanish as it makes the transition much easier. I would just come initially, if possible, for a six month period every year, and then go back. I would not buy anything for at least two years, until you decide that you really like it and until you have seen the entire country," explained one expat living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

How do I find a place to live in Santo Domingo?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
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Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

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Meet other people living in Santo Domingo.

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Be prepared to adjust. Be prepared to be frustrated and to want to smack your head into the wall. But also be prepared to find the small joys here!! The people are remarkably friendly and helpful.

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