Hotels in Downtown Providence

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What you should know about Downtown Providence

With its polished architecture, artistic flair, and picturesque riverside beauty, Downtown Providence showcases a city whose rebranding from manufacturing giant to cultural capital is going from strength to strength. One of the oldest cities in America, dating back to 1636, Rhode Island’s capital is renowned for playing a central role in the American Revolution. The city center has managed to retain these celebrated roots by protecting its historic buildings, while also promoting its rich cultural attractions and fostering a buzzing nightlife scene.

Hotels in Providence

Major efforts have been made to preserve the Renaissance City’s elegant architecture, which means that hotels in Downtown Providence are often located in stately, fabulously well-kept buildings. The Hotel Providence and Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel are just 2 of several 4-star hotels in Providence city center whose plush interiors match their palatial outer structures. Budget-conscious travelers should keep an eye out for the great deals available, particularly during low season. The 2.5-star Hampton Inn & Suites Providence Downtown is a top-rated example of budget accommodation in Providence that’s sure to please those looking to save their dimes.

Things to do in Providence

Downtown Providence is dominated by its rivers, and a guided boat tour displays the beauty of the riverfront and the handsome buildings on its promenades at their finest. Evening tours taking in views of the sunset from the harbor are highly recommended. The city center is home to the famed RI School of Design and the accompanying RISD Museum of Art, which houses centuries of decorative art and paintings as well as an extensive collection of textiles and costumes—a must for art and fashion enthusiasts. Visitors between May and November might get the chance to witness the famed WaterFire event, a bimonthly show in which over 100 bonfires are lit on the Providence River, bathing the surroundings in flickering light. The famous installation attracts up to 100,000 viewers each evening, so get there early to bag a seat on the riverfront steps.

Good for partiers and shoppers

With all its natural and manmade beauty, it’s easy to forget that Providence was once a rebellious city at the forefront of the American Revolution, yet the city still boasts a thrillingly wild side. Downtown’s nightlife scene offers everything from eclectic dive bars dotted around the center to upscale cocktail bars and clubs near Richmond Street. After dancing the night away, a stop at the legendary Haven Brothers Diner van near City Hall is a must, and offers the perfect end to your night out in Providence. Shopaholics won’t be disappointed either, with the Providence Place Mall housing all the major brands and the kooky Westminster Street renowned for its more diverse range of boutique stores.

How to get to Providence

The best way to travel to Downtown Providence from TF Green Airport is on the hourly MBTA train, which reaches the central rail station in just 15 minutes. The MBTA is less frequent in the afternoon; taxis or the No. 14 bus are reliable alternatives. MBTA trains from Boston and Amtrak trains from New York also arrive into Providence Station. The city center is very compact and all the sights are within walking distance of each other. If your feet get tired, the famously efficient and frequent RIPTA buses are great for getting around Downtown Providence, and they’re also a good option for those looking to venture into other neighborhoods.