The official language in Dominican Republic is Spanish, however the majority of employees in hotels and tourist destinations speak good English, Italian, French and German.
Click here to view useful spanish expressions.
FLAG & CAPITAL CITY
Flag Colours meaning: Blue-Liberty, White-Salvation, Red-Blood of heroes.
The Bible with a small cross appears above the white cross that claims the Christianity. Dominican flag is the only national flag in the world to have the image of the Bible on it.
The capital is Santo Domingo, the first city settled in the New World.
Dominican Republic doesn't practice daylight savings time. The local time zone is Eastern Caribbean Time (GMT -0400). In winter, time is one hour earlier than Eastern Standard Time in the United States.
The International Country Codes are +1 809 , +1 829 and +1 849.
Average temperature 25° (77°F).
Vaccinations are not required before visiting the Dominican Republic.
Is absolutely recommended to drink only bottled water. Even to brush your teeth is advisable use purified bottled water. At hotels and restaurants purified water is used to make the ice.
The Dominican peso RD$ is the official currency.
Usually dollars are widely accepted by taxi drivers, supermarkets, shops, restaurants and hotels
. In the main tourist destinations prices are shown in dollars by businesses. Euros are readily exchanged as well, but a lower rate will be paid. If you need exchange money, is advisable do it at Banks or Exchange Houses, and decline politely the exchange services from those touts who will approach you at airport or in the street.
Notes: 20 50 100 200 500 1000 and 2000 RDS denominations
Coins: 1 5 10 and 25 cents
Dominican hotels and restaurants apply a 18% sales tax (ITBIS) + 10% service charge to your final bill.
At shops and supermarkets, the ITBIS (VAT) tax 18% is already included on prices showed on goods.
Tipping is at your discretion. A recommended tip is 10%, but as we mentioned before at restaurants a service charge of 10% is already added to the final bill. Of course if you feel like providing something extra because service worth it, it will be certainly appreciated. Supermarket bag carriers are generally given a tip.
ELECTRICAL SOCKETS AND ADAPTERS
The power supply is 110 -120 volts. Power outlets accept 2 or 3 flat pin plugs.
At North voltage irregularities are quite common, and there are power outages and blackouts, but restaurants and businesses have emergency generators and the majority of hotels and resorts have their own private power supply.
INTERNET AND TELEPHONES
Internet is widely used in Dominican Republic. Many hotels are equipped with Wi-Fi Internet for free and Internet Cafes can be found in most tourist destinations. Also Wi-Fi spots can be found in the main cities, in cafes, restaurants, bars and Shopping Malls. The main mobile providers in Dominican Republic are Claro and Orange. Local SIM cards can be purchased for unlocked tri-band phones. You just need your passport.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
The Dominican Republic use the metric system. Nevertheless, the country apply certain units from other systems, mainly the system used in the United States. Here find clear examples :
1. Gallons (1 US gallon = 3.78541178 liters) - Petrol prices are considered in US gallons - Water/Drinks: for daily consume, drinking water is sold in 5 gallon bottles.
2. Pounds / Ounces (1 Pound = 453.6 grams / 1 ounce = 28.3495231 grams) - Orance juices, yoghurts, coffee, rice and goods in general are measured in pounds or ounces and not kilograms or grams - Body weight is misured in pounds.
3. Miles (1 Mile = 1.609344 kilometers) - The USA is the main trading partner. Around the 90% of vehicles are imported from the United States, and so automobile odometers indicate miles and not kilometres, but the road distances are shown in km.
The Catholicism is the predominant religion, but other religions such as Protestantism and Jehovah's Witnesses have a growing presence in the country.
The Virgen de La Altagracia (Virgin of Holy Grace) is the nation's patron saint.
Baseball is the national sport in the country.
The Dominican Republic has the second highest number of Major League Baseball (MLB) players in the world after the United States.