Last Updated on: 12th September 2023, 02:10 pm
Get down to Downtown Providence! Ask anyone living in Providence, and they’ll tell you that Downtown Providence RI (also known as Downcity Providence) is known for being the hub of the city, with incredible attractions and tasty restaurants. It’s also a nice place to live, with walkable streets, trendy clubs, and luxurious condos and apartments.
Moving to Downtown Providence may sound like a great idea. But before you call a moving company, you should figure out what living in Downtown Providence is like. Here’s what you should know about this special Providence neighborhood.
Where Is Downtown Providence?
Downtown Providence is close to the geographic center of Providence. It borders College Hill, Upper South Providence, Federal Hill, and Smith Hill. The community also borders the Providence River, giving the neighborhood incredible waterfront views.
The zip code for Downtown Providence RI is 02903. The neighborhood covers roughly 90 acres (roughly 0.14 square miles). Downtown Providence Rhode Island borders Interstate 95, which runs north and south through Providence and connects the city to West Warwick. The main roads in Providence RI Downtown include Empire Street, Broad Street, and Fountain Street, which zigzag through the community and connect Providence Downtown to Upper South Providence and Smith Hill.
You have many choices for public transportation while living in Downtown Providence. The Providence Amtrak station is located inside the neighborhood and provides access to Boston and other cities near Providence, which can help with moving to Downtown Providence. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) serves all Downtown residents, and the community contains dozens of bus stops with routes that connect to all Providence neighborhoods; you can use this route map to see where routes go. Bus routes 6, 17, 18, 19, and R run through Downtown Providence and connect residents to Kennedy Plaza, the main transportation hub in Providence Rhode Island. You can take RIPTA buses from the plaza to different parts of the city, as well as Greyhound and Peter Pan buses out of Providence.
Map of Downtown Providence
You can use this Downtown Providence map to find the best restaurants in Downtown Providence RI, and Downtown Providence attractions!
Downtown Providence History and Overview
Settlers arrived in Downtown Providence in 1746. They called the area “Weybossett Neck” and “Weybossett Side;” Weybossett is a Narragansett term for a river crossing where trails meet. Downtown Providence was initially a small agricultural community, and it did not develop until the early 1800s, when a commercial district was established in the community. Once Downcity Providence had some stores and industrial areas, it developed rapidly and became a center for railroads. The community experienced a decline in the 1960s and 1970s, but it rebounded in the 1980s and is now a thriving city hub.
The demographics of Downtown Providence include:
- Population: 4,569
- Median household income: $42,400
- Educational attainment: 80.3% of residents 25 years and older have graduated high school, 49.9% of residents have a bachelor’s degree
- Median age: 32.6
- Foreign-born population: 27.5%
- Racial and ethnic composition: 56.5% White (46.8% non-Hispanic White), 19.0% Asian, 15.6% Hispanic or Latino, 11.8% Black or African American, 3.7% two or more races, 3.1% other
What’s It Like Living in Downtown Providence?
Downtown Providence is well known for being one of the most vibrant, hip, and exciting neighborhoods in the city. It is a walkable community, though it has hills that can make it hard for some people to walk. Children can enjoy numerous family-friendly museums and attractions in and near the community, while adults can enjoy bars and restaurants on nights out.
Providence Rhode Island Downtown is the home of Johnson and Wales University’s Providence campus, so many people who live in the neighborhood are college students or recent graduates. Only 2.4% of residents in the neighborhood are children, though the community is family-friendly. 8.4% of residents are older than 65, so retirees can enjoy living in the area. Downtown Providence RI is very gay-friendly, with several affordable gay bars you can visit at night.
Besides gay bars, you can enjoy numerous other bars in Downtown Providence Rhode Island. You can find a wide range of bar experiences, including traditional taverns, trendy gastropubs, and Irish pubs. You can also visit nightclubs with live music, comedy, and performances throughout the year.
Things to Do in Downtown Providence
You can find unique, affordable, and must do things to do Downtown Providence. Here’s just a few options you have for the best restaurants in Downtown Providence RI as well as fun bars, top stores, and attractions.
Restaurants Downtown Providence
If you’re looking for upscale restaurants in Downtown Providence, you should visit Gracie’s Restaurant. The eatery serves seasonal dishes with fresh ingredients in a cool yet formal setting perfect for romantic nights out.
Hemenways Providence is one of the most popular Providence RI restaurants downtown for seafood. You can enjoy a variety of fresh seafood dishes cooked to your liking, including sea scallops, lobster, and yellowfin tuna. The restaurant offers $30 two-course lunch specials during weekdays, so it’s a terrific place to take clients and out-of-town guests.
Bars Downtown Providence
Malted Barley is one of the most famous bars in Downtown Providence. The Malted Barley rotates its menu throughout the year, letting you try out dozens of local beers and craft brews in a relaxed setting.
Murphys Irish Pub is one of the most unique Irish pubs in Providence, as it also serves deli sandwiches, including three types of Reubens. Murphys Pub has a rotating menu of draft and bottled beers, and you can order seasonal cocktails and red wines. If you love Murphys, you can rent the space out for special events and parties.
If you’re interested in waterfront Downtown Providence bars, you should visit Rooftop at the Providence G. As the name suggests, the bar has a large outside rooftop lounge where you can order drinks, eat food, and mingle with others. Providence G is home to special events on weekends, including Providence Pride viewing parties in June.
Downtown Providence Shopping
Ask anyone about what to do in Downtown Providence, and they’ll talk to you about Providence Place Mall. Providence Place contains more than 130 stores, including popular brands like Gap and Hot Topic. While you’re shopping, you can grab something to eat at more than one dozen different kid-friendly restaurants. Arcade Providence is an indoor shopping mall home to family-friendly local stores and small restaurants, making it a good place for shopping on a rainy day.
Things to Do in Downtown Providence RI
WaterFire is the most famous public art installation in Providence, consisting of 86 flaming torches placed in the Providence River. Musicians and street performers are located throughout the area, and most of them offer performances for free at night. You can enjoy WaterFire Providence at various locations in Providence RI Downtown, including Waterplace Park.
The Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) is the leading theater in the city. PPAC has a romantic atmosphere with must-see architecture from the 1920s, and it is home to Broadway productions, concerts, and stand-up comedy performances. The City of Providence’s Department of Parks also arranges special and must do events in public locations through Downcity Providence.
Here’s where to find these top Downtown Providence RI things to do:
- Gracie’s Restaurant, 194 Washington Street, Providence, RI, 02903, 401-272-7811
- Hemenway’s Restaurant, 121 South Main Street, Providence, RI, 02903, 401-351-8570
- The Malted Barley, 334 Westminster Street, Providence, RI, 02903, 401-490-0300
- Murphy’s Irish Pub, 100 Fountain Street, Providence, RI, 02903, 401-421-1188
- Rooftop at the Providence G, 100 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI, 02903, 401-632-4904
- Providence Place, One Providence Place, Providence, RI, 02903, 401-270-1012
- Arcade Providence, 65 Weybosset Street, Providence, RI, 02903, 401-454-4568
- WaterFire, 4 North Main Street, Providence, RI, 02903, 401-273-1155
- Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street, Providence, RI, 02903, 401-421-2787
Downtown Providence Schools
Providence Public Schools serves Providence Downtown residents. Downtown Providence does not contain any public schools, so students will need to take buses outside the community. The nearest elementary school is Vartan Gregorian Elementary School, which US News and World Report ranks in the top 100 elementary schools in the state. Many residents consider Vartan Gregorian to be one of the best schools in Providence, praising it for its partnerships with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club.
The nearest high school to Downtown Providence is Classical High School, which US News and World Report ranks as the best high school in Rhode Island. 82% of students pass at least one AP exam and 90% test at or above the proficiency level in reading. Any student in the Providence Public Schools system or living in Downcity Providence can attend Classical High School. The neighborhood does not contain any notable private schools.
US News ranks Johnson & Wales University (JWU) in the top 100 regional universities in the Northern United States. JWU is well known for its culinary arts and hospitality programs, but the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs in dozens of subjects.
The Providence Public Library is in Downcity Providence Rhode Island, and has an extensive catalog of books and DVDs you can take out.
Is Downtown Providence Safe?
Here are the crime statistics for Downtown Providence RI:
- Overall crime rate: 14,834 offenses per 100,000 people (407% higher than the overall Providence crime rate, 532.2% higher than America’s average)
- Violent crime rate: 1,774 crimes per 100,000 residents (342.4% higher than Providence’s average, 357.2% higher than America’s average)
- Property crime rate: 13,060 offenses per 100,000 residents (417.2% higher than Providence’s average, 567% higher than America’s average)
So is Downtown Providence RI safe? Though crime rates in Providence Downtown are high, there are safe places to live in the community. The Providence Police Department employs 420 officers who regularly patrol the neighborhood. The police department provides crime statistics on a weekly basis so you can track crime trends.
Downtown Providence Real Estate
Providence Rhode Island Downtown is relatively affordable, though your options for real estate can be limited. According to Redfin, the median sale price of Downtown Providence homes for sale is $463,000. The median price per square foot is $495. Downtown Providence currently has very few single-family homes or townhouses, but you can purchase or rent several condos throughout the community.
Most condos in Downtown Providence RI are small, containing one or two bedrooms and covering less than 1,500 square feet. However, many Downtown Providence condos have luxurious features like bamboo flooring and floor-to-ceiling windows. You can live in a condo in a historic building or a contemporary structure with modern architectural features.
According to RentCafe, the average rent for Downtown Providence apartments is $2,641 a month; this is 55% higher than the national average of $1,702 a month. You have more options for Downtown Providence RI apartments than condos, including three-bedroom units covering more than 2,000 square feet. Many apartment buildings provide amenities like community picnic areas, on-site fitness centers, and garage parking. Notable buildings for Downtown Providence Rhode Island apartments include Westminster Lofts, which contains almost 300 apartments in restored 19th-century buildings.
Living in Downtown Providence is great for everyone! College students and young professionals will love the vibrant nightlife and delicious downtown Providence restaurants, while families will enjoy the spacious and lavish apartments and condos in the community.
But moving to Downtown Providence requires some preparation. Correira Brothers is the most trusted team of movers in Downtown Providence, with a 96% customer referral rate. Get a free moving estimate by calling 401-648-6683.