Providence is the capitol of Rhode Island and was one of the first cities ever established in the US. Even though it’s old, it’s relatively small with a population of 171,909, but very densely populated as is typical of older cities along the east coast of the US. But, when you factor in neighboring areas (including south Massachusetts) it quickly becomes the 37th largest metropolitan area in the country.
Providence is a city made up of some 25 sub-neighborhoods or communities separated by streets or major thoroughfares/interstates. The first, and oldest, is the downtown area, which sits in the center of the other surrounding 24 communities and, as per usual, houses more offices than residents.
The most populous neighborhoods, however, are The “North End”, “South Side” and the “East Side,” all of which are larger, collective groupings of individual neighborhoods. The “North End” is comprised of Wanskuck and Charles; the “South Side” of Elmwood, South Elmwood, Lower South Providence, Upper South Providence and the West End; and the “East Side” of Blackstone, Hope, Mount Hope, College Hill, Wayland and Fox Point.
The other individual neighborhoods are College Hill, Elmhurst, Federal Hill, Hartford, Manton, Mount Pleasant, Olneyville, Reservoir, Silver Lake, Smith Hill, Valley, and Washington Park. Yes, yes, we know, that’s a lot to choose from. And no, don’t worry; we won’t cover all of these spots with a fine-tooth comb (We don’t want to bore you to tears, here).
As always, cash is king. So it’s a good thing you’ve got that side business/faux charity based loosely off George Costanza’s “Human Fund”. But, if you do happen to have some coin and prefer the “finer things”, then check out the “East Side” neighborhood. The absolute cheapest amount you could spend on a one bedroom apartment in the “East Side” is $675.00 (very rare) but the general average for something solid is $850.00 per month which would increase based upon desired amenities and creature comforts, like a bidet for instance, easily the most underrated invention of our generation.
If you want to spend the “bare” minimum, you’d have to live on the South Side where $600.00-675.00 is the expected rent for a one bedroom dwelling.
Apartments are obviously available year ‘round in all areas of town, but to get prime choice on the apartment of your dreams, May is the ideal month to look and book, especially in the “East Side” neighborhood. The standard term for a lease is a year, but some of the apartments are more flexible.
The RIPTA (Rhode Island Public Transport Authority) has been operating bus lines in and around Providence for almost 50 years, so the routes are well established and dependable. The RIPTA also runs a trolley service which specializes in routes throughout the downtown area. Since the interstate in Providence has been expanded and upgraded significantly over the last 20 years, more and more residents utilize private vehicles for travel. But since it is such a densely populated city, parking can be expensive and challenging.
All in all, Providence, Rhode Island is as close to an ideal city to rent an apartment in anywhere in the country. As a renter, it provides you literally every conceivable option as far as a living situation with varying prices and neighborhoods that can fit into any budget. You have plenty of options and neighborhoods to explore.