The Providence River cuts down the middle of the city, flowing into the Narragansett Bay and forming Providence Harbor. The majority of popular bars and clubs lie east of the river in downtown Providence or directly west in the Brown, College Hill area and south on Wickendon Street close to the harbor. The city provides a well-rounded mix of up-beat night clubs, dive bars and relaxing lounges, but make sure to know where you’re headed before you go out to avoid wandering into a less safe part of town.
East of the river lies Downtown Providence where the more upscale clubs are situated. Although the city is not teeming with dance clubs, there are a few that get the job done with relatively little cost. Many have no cover charge, even on weekend nights – an advantage of not being in a huge metropolitan city – and inexpensive drinks, but seek these bars out ahead of time to avoid the over-packed, over-priced clubs that cater more to their name than their quality. Colosseum in downtown plays house, techno and mostly hip-hop music and offers drink specials throughout the week. Slightly further west of downtown in a converted warehouse is Providence is Burning. It has a limited drink menu (mostly beer) and no seats, but guarantees non-stop dancing to house and trance music that attracts local hipsters and college students.
The city has its share of low-key dive bars with a relaxing atmosphere for the after-work crowd and locals who consider themselves regulars. Nick-A-Nees on the southern end of downtown is quirky but loveable and regulars boast an eclectic jukebox mix and a welcoming attitude to the cool and non-cool alike. Wickendon Street is lined with laid back bars like Wickendon Pub, but it generally closes earlier than any other place on the Hill. Fish Co Bar and Grill is a chill restaurant that has dancing after 10 pm and is mighty popular with students and the young professional crowd.
Further up on College Hill is Thayer Street that is lined with restaurant-cum-bars late at night like Spats Restaurant and Bar, an all-American frat spot, and Shanghai, Chinese food during the day and scorpion bowls at night, that get filled with Brown and RISD students as the night goes on. These places are affordable and have specials, but be prepared to be overrun by college students looking to blow off some steam on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Overall, the city has at least a few spots to match any mood or energy level.
220 Weybosset St
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115 Empire Street
79 Washington Street
75 Waterman Street
1 Lincoln Almond Plaza
University of Rhode Island, Kingston
Washington St, Providence, RI 02903, USA
848 Park Avenue
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101 Regent Avenue
Bonfires along South Water Street
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1 Orms Street
Providence Marriott Hotel