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Best Markets in Santo Domingo

What are the best markets in Santo Domingo? In this article we highlight the best markets in Santo Domingo.
|-Best Markets in Santo Domingo

For expats and digital nomads who have made Santo Domingo their temporary or permanent home, exploring the local markets can be a delightful way to immerse oneself in the vibrant culture and daily life of the Dominican Republic’s capital. Santo Domingo offers a variety of markets that cater to all tastes, whether you’re looking for fresh produce, artisan crafts, or a unique piece of jewelry. Here are some of the best markets in the city that are worth a visit.

Mercado Modelo

Location: Avenida Mella, Zona Colonial
Type of Market: Craft and Souvenir Market
Open: Daily, 9 AM – 6 PM

Mercado Modelo is a bustling indoor market located in the heart of Santo Domingo’s historic Colonial Zone. It’s a treasure trove for those looking to find traditional Dominican crafts, artwork, and souvenirs. The market is housed in a large, airy building, making it a comfortable place to shop even on hot days. With its wide array of goods, it’s an excellent spot for expats and digital nomads to find gifts for loved ones back home or to decorate their local living spaces.

We Recommend: Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase some hand-rolled Dominican cigars or colorful Larimar jewelry, a gemstone that is unique to the country.

Agropecuario Mercado de la Duarte

Location: Avenida Duarte
Type of Market: Farmers Market
Open: Daily, early morning until late afternoon

Agropecuario Mercado de la Duarte is a vibrant farmers market where locals go to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and spices. It’s a lively place where you can experience the local culture and practice your Spanish with friendly vendors. The market is known for its affordable prices and the freshness of its produce, making it a favorite among the expat community for weekly grocery shopping.

We Recommend: Try the tropical fruits like mangos, pineapples, and avocados, which are often fresher and tastier than what you might find in supermarkets.

Chinatown Market

Location: Barrio Chino, Avenida Duarte
Type of Market: Cultural Market
Open: Daily, 9 AM – 6 PM

Santo Domingo’s Chinatown offers a unique cultural experience with its own dedicated market. Here, you can find a mix of Chinese and Dominican products, including food items, household goods, and traditional Chinese medicine. The market is a great place to explore for those looking for something different and is an excellent spot for lunch, with many Chinese restaurants serving authentic dishes.

We Recommend: Sample some of the Chinese-Dominican fusion cuisine available at the food stalls, such as chow fan (fried rice) with tostones (fried plantains).

La Pulga de Gazcue

Location: Gazcue, near the National Palace
Type of Market: Flea Market
Open: Sundays, early morning until mid-afternoon

La Pulga de Gazcue is a popular flea market where you can find a wide range of second-hand items, from clothing and accessories to electronics and furniture. It’s a great place to hunt for bargains and unique finds. The market has a casual, friendly atmosphere, and haggling is expected, so it’s also a fun place to practice your negotiation skills in Spanish.

We Recommend: Look out for vintage clothing and unique pieces of artwork that can add a touch of Dominican flair to your wardrobe or home.

Sambil Mall Farmers Market

Location: Sambil Mall, Avenida John F. Kennedy
Type of Market: Indoor Farmers Market
Open: Saturdays, 9 AM – 5 PM

Located within one of Santo Domingo’s modern shopping centers, the Sambil Mall Farmers Market offers a convenient and comfortable shopping experience. This market is perfect for those who prefer an indoor setting and features a variety of organic and artisanal products, including cheeses, bread, and specialty foods. It’s a great place to find high-quality ingredients for a special meal or to enjoy some gourmet treats.

We Recommend: Try the artisanal chocolates and locally made cheeses, which are perfect for a decadent snack or as a gift for fellow foodies.

El Mercadito

Location: Piantini, in front of Acropolis Center
Type of Market: Boutique Market
Open: Saturdays, 10 AM – 7 PM

El Mercadito is a chic, boutique market that caters to a more upscale clientele. It’s an excellent place for expats and digital nomads to find designer clothing, handcrafted jewelry, and unique home decor. The market also features a selection of gourmet food stalls, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely weekend outing.

We Recommend: Indulge in some of the gourmet pastries and artisanal coffee available at the market, providing a delightful treat for the senses.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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