Providence, RI

Travel Guide
Providence showing a city
The capital city of Rhode Island draws visitors for its world-class museums, thriving arts community and picturesque streets lined with historic buildings.

One of America’s oldest cities, Providence offers historic attractions and architecture along with a vibrant food scene and unique shopping.Providence has a long and rich history so a great place to start your visit is on the East Side at Benefit Street’s “Mile of History.” Take a stroll through the colonial thoroughfare, past restored homes, churches and museums, or pay for a guided tour to learn more about the city’s historic waterfront. The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum is one of the country’s largest art museums. Here, you can browse more than 80,000 works of art that span many cultures, time periods and media. Artifacts include a collection of Paul Revere’s silver. Combine your visit to the RISD with a trip to the nearby Museum of Natural History & Planetarium.From here, take a short walk to Thayer Street, where you will find eclectic shops filled with quirky souvenir items, gifts, imported clothing, handmade crafts, art and books.You’ll find plenty of nightlife and restaurant options in Providence. Italian cuisine lovers won’t want to miss dining in the Federal Hill neighborhood. This historic section of the city is also known as Little Italy. Sip a strong espresso at an open-air café or enjoy an upscale meal at number of gourmet Italian eateries. In this same neighborhood you can step into a Middle Eastern-style lounge for an after-dinner drink and dessert.Head downtown for upscale martini bars and hip-hop clubs, or check out the eclectic bars near the university colleges. For Broadway musicals, concerts and comedy acts, look to the schedule of performances at the art deco Providence Performing Arts Center. Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel is a legendary venue for live music. Avoid driving in Providence if you can as parking is limited. The best alternative to walking is the inexpensive and reliable public transport.

Where to stay in Providence

Rhode Island showing a house

Downtown Providence

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Dive into the cultural heart of the city, with historic 19th-century architecture, Burnside Park, and the Westminster Arcade for shopping. Catch a performance at the Providence Performing Arts Center or explore AS220's community arts center.

Downtown Providence
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College Hill

Historic architecture and charming Thayer Street's cafes, restaurants, and shops await, along with attractions like the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and Providence Athenaeum.

College Hill
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