Dominican Republic Nightlife: Top 10 Places to Party in the Country!
It was a Wednesday night in Santiago de Los Caballeros. I wasn’t expecting much. I’d experienced some fantastic Dominican Republic nightlife in Santo Domingo, but the best nights were almost always on the weekend.
Still, locals kept telling my buddy and me about Levels Club on ladies’ night. Every single person we spoke with recommended the spot. From the hotel staff to the waitress at the bar – Levels Club was the place to be on a Wednesday in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
We decided to check it out. Hell, we were easily convinced. Enjoying a little rumba was always on the agenda.
Around 10 pm, we walked down the street to the local colmado and grabbed two grandes and a few cups.
We sat outside downing the brews and chilling. Once the beers were finished, we hailed a cab off the street to Levels Club.
It was 11 pm when we arrived. A gaggle of sexy girls in high heels were waiting in line outside the club.
A big ass smile stretched across my face. My buddy had noticed the chicas, too. Maybe the hype was justified. Maybe Levels Club was the spot to be.
Now, I’m not going to get into the gritty details of my first night enjoying Dominican Republic nightlife in Santiago, but let me tell you…
The hype was more than justified. Imagine thumping reggaeton music, sexy girls in cocktail dresses and high heels, cheap ass drinks, and lots of perreando dancing.
But, that wasn’t the best part. The best part was how friendly all the people were. I made friends with the bouncers, some Dominican gym bros, chicas, and the mother of the DJ.
The people in Santiago de Los Caballeros were so damn friendly. My buddy and I felt like they’d never met gringos before. We were treated like royalty.
Understanding Nightlife in the Dominican Republic
Now, not every night partying in the Dominican Republic will be as memorable as my first night out in Santiago.
But, you’re sure as hell going to have some fun times enjoying the nightlife in the Dominican Republic. Here are just a few reasons why:
Dominican Nightlife Culture
Nightlife in the Dominican Republic is a little different than back home. The music is different, the people are friendlier, and you have to keep an eye out for chapiadoras from time to time.
Ya tu sabes.
Overall, it’s a hell of a time. It’s still a Latin, Spanish-speaking country, but people here are more open and willing to talk with others outside their groups. While it’s a bit weird to go out hoping to meet other people in Colombia, many a Dominican is up for mingling while partying.
Crazy Friendly People
While you won’t notice this much in the tourist areas or Santo Domingo, you definitely will in smaller cities and towns. I made more friends going out one night in Santiago de Los Caballeros than I did the whole time I was in Punta Cana.
If you’re a normal person, Dominicans are absolutely thrilled to share their country with you. They’ll be curious what you’re doing in the DR and how you made it off the resort in Punta Cana.
Be prepared to socialize, talk, drink, and dance with a lot of people on a night out in the DR. Nightlife in the Dominican Republic is pretty damn social. People still speak to each other using words – not Snapchat filters 24/7.
There’s not a lot of “gringo” music in the DR. Sure, some of the bigger clubs in Punta Cana play electronic and even hip-hop on occasion.
Once you get to Santo Domingo or Santiago, you can expect nothing but:
It’s Latin beats all day, every day. Reggaeton tends to be the most popular form of music in the discos, although dembow and bachata can be heard from certain clubs. Salsa isn’t nearly as popular here as it is in Colombia.
If you don’t know how to dance, the Dominican Republic nightlife might be rough for you. The good news? You’ll get a whole lot of leeway as a gringo.
If you’re a gringo and can dance a few steps of bachata without looking like a dipshit, people will fawn. If you can grind a little perrenado, they’ll think you’re a damn tiguere in your own right.
Personally, I absolutely loved the dancing in the DR. Grinding to reggaeton is like dancing to hip-hop back home. Plus, bachata is way easier to dance than salsa and the music is better, too.
Spanish is Essential
The Dominican Republic is a Spanish-speaking country. Once you get off the resort, English levels are not going to be great.
You’ll meet a few English speakers in Santo Domingo, and surprisingly, many people from Santiago speak decent English after visiting their cousins in New York every summer.
Outside of these few people, you’ll need to speak Spanish if you want to fully enjoy the country, especially when trying to talk while bachata blares in the background.
Luckily, that’s not too hard these days.
Top 10 Places to Party in the DR!
Alright, enough with the cultural insights and tall tales, let’s dive into Dominican Republic nightlife and talk about the absolute best places to party in the country.
Here are the top 10 places to party in the Dominican Republic:
- Onno’s: This place is absolutely legendary. If you’re in Zona Colonial on a Thursday night, then head here. It might not look like much, but many of my best nights in Santo Domingo started at this little nightclub. Onno’s is great on Thursdays and good on Saturdays.
- Mamma Club: If you like large clubs and high-end nightlife, then head here on a weekend night. Mamma Club is located in Naco, one of the nicest neighborhoods in all of the Dominican Republic. It’s big and you’ll definitely want to buy a bottle here. One of the best clubs in all of Santo Domingo.
- Zambra: A tiny club in Piantini, you wouldn’t think Zambra would be great. You’d be wrong! There’s something about this small club that makes it a great place to get absolutely wasted and mingle. I’ve been here at least a dozen times during my time in Santo Domingo.
Santiago de Los Caballeros
- Levels: The best ladies’ night in the Dominican Republic happens every Wednesday night at Levels Club in Santiago. I couldn’t recommend it enough. The crowd is friendly and the booze is cheap. Weekends tend to be pretty decent, too.
- 75 Grados: If you want to have a shitshow of a night, head to 75 Grados in Santiago de Los Caballeros on a Saturday. This tiny club plays dembow and reggaeton, but that’s not why I come here. I come for the blender drinks. You get a huge blender filled with vodka here for like $7 USD! They’ll get you drunk. If a Dominican comes to 75 Grados, they’re looking to party hard.
- Imagine Club: This is by far my favorite mega-club in Punta Cana. The place offers an open bar and even plays hip-hop music on Sunday nights. Honestly, if you’re in Punta Cana and looking to party off the resort, this is the absolute first place you should go.
- Drink Point: A great bar in Punta Cana where both locals and tourists congregate. The couple times I went the place was absolutely packed and the vibe was pretty damn fun. The music is Latin and the prices are way cheaper than the mega clubs in Punta Cana. If you’re looking to party without the “Vegas” club vibe while on vacation, check this place out.
- Onno’s Cabarete: For a tourist hotspot, I found the nightlife in Cabarete a little lacking. The town is just so small that there’s really no one around except tourists and Dominicans working in tourism. Still, the one time I went to Onno’s Cabarete in high season, the place was absolutely smacking. If you’re looking to party in the beach town, this is the place to be!
- Kviar Show Disco: Puerto Plata has a seedy reputation as a sex tourism hotspot, especially in Sosua. That being said – this good sized disco in Puerto Plata City was a damn good time. Here you’ll find more Dominicans than tourists, which is a great thing on the north coast. Kviar Show Disco may have been my favorite club on the whole north coast. Great music and a fun vibe.
San Fransisco de Marcois
- Avalon Disco: I’ve never been here, but my Dominican buddy couldn’t stop raving about Avalon Disco in San Fransisco de Marcois. He claimed this was the best disco in one of the biggest Dominican cities no one has ever heard of. When I heard back to the DR, this is the first city I’m going to.
Dominican Republic Nightlife – Overall
If you don’t enjoy Dominican Republic nightlife, then it’s you. Because the clubs pop off here, the people are friendly, and the vibe is great. What’s not to love?
Sound off in the comments if I missed anything about Dominican Republic nightlife. I know y’all got some secret spots!