Best places to stay in Chicago 2019 [downtown and on a budget]

Chicago has been in the top locations to visit in the USA for a long time, and for a good cause, it’s a lovely and very numerous city. Distinctive.

It’s a massive city and I might not be stunned in case you are asking yourself the place to stay in Chicago, downtown or is it greatest to stay in other areas?

All of it depends on the trip you’re planning.

On this information, you’ll read about one of the best places to stay in Chicago downtown for families, nightlife, on a price range, and more. In a lot of the instances, the neighbourhoods will determine the type of holiday you will experience.

The implausible factor is that Chicago presents a great vary of lodging, from luxurious to very low cost under the $100 candy spot.

And you recognize the most effective?

This guide has been up to date with 2019 info, no previous stuff like closed eating places or accommodations in actual want of refurbishment.

On this guide you will notice

As soon as in Chicago, I recommend studying the leisure part of the Chicago Tribune newspaper for the newest festivals. The Reader can also be one other great source of data.

Best areas to stay in Chicago

Earlier than writing and suggesting the perfect areas to stay in Chicago let me give a quick sketch of how Chicago is organised on a map. Take this as a reference via the publish.

Best areas to stay in Chicago (verify Google Map for Interactive View)

In the map, I highlighted the top areas to stay in Chicago. All of them differ between one another and they do have their very own character.

For instance, I might never recommend households staying in River North, and you’ll perceive why.

The preferred area to stay in the town is unquestionably Chicago Downtown.

This is where you’ll have quick access to a lot of the well-liked points of interest and purchasing streets, apart from nice restaurants and bars.

Chicago Downtown is definitely a macro space including a few neighbourhoods:

  • The loop (the central enterprise district)
  • River North
  • The Magnificent Mile
  • Streeterville

The opposite well-liked areas to stay in Chicago, still fairly shut to downtown are:

  • Wicker Park
  • Gold Coast (and Lincoln Park more in the north)
  • West Loop
  • McCormick Place

These areas have all their own id, undoubtedly totally different from Chicago Downtown.

View to downtown

View to downtown

Following is a brief description for each area with later a few options on the neighborood to guide your stay based mostly on the type of trip and expertise you’re in search of.

The loop (the central enterprise district)

Situated in the guts of Chicago’s central business district, The Loop is likely one of the most numerous areas in the town.

It’s residence to a number of the most profitable businesses housed in the various towering highrise buildings that outline its unique skyline.

The Loop, nevertheless, isn’t all work and no play.

There are various up and coming eating places, galleries and buying spots for you to hit if you find yourself uninterested in touring the various skyscrapers in the world.

Unfortunately, in case you are in search of a little motion when the solar goes down there won’t be a lot for you here.

It’s because for probably the most half the city primarily shuts down as the main companies do which is between the late afternoon and early evening hours.

Regardless of this, it is a lovely group with a lot to offer you on your journey to Chicago.

River North (the Gallery district with pretty restaurants)

Now, that is the a part of city perfectly tailor-made for the needs of your everyday night time owl.

The bridge to the loop

The bridge to The Loop

It was initially constructed as an industrial area North of The Loop.

Nevertheless, as extra and extra Loop dwellers craved for an lively night time scene the River North adapted to fulfill these wants.

It is house to a few of Chicago’s greatest galleries, luxury eating places and posh night time clubs.

In reality, the galleries and artwork rooms are so many right here that River North gained the nickname “Gallery District”.

River North also happens to have an equally exciting set of attraction for daytime lovers.

There’s a lot to discover from the sprawling highrise buildings to the mesmerizing Chicago River.

There are additionally a number of outlets and boutiques to go to if you really feel the necessity for some retail remedy.

The Magnificent Mile (the purchasing place to be)

The Magnificent Mile is the true house of luxury and extravagance in Chicago.

This upscale district is principally a single road stretch operating from the Chicago River to Oak Road.

The place this slender group lacks in measurement it more than makes up for in opulence and high quality.

With all the posh restaurants and high-end stores, it is no marvel that this is likely one of the United States’ costliest cities to stay in.

The Magnificent Mile could be costly to reside in long run but as a tourist in Chicago, it is undoubtedly a type of places that deserve a spot on your bucket record.

The vigorous metropolis gives so many points of interest from iconic architecture like the Gothic Tribune Constructing to the world-famous Chicago Water Tower.

In a nutshell, it is a actually vigorous metropolis each day and night time and is perfect in case you are on the lookout for that upbeat vibe throughout your trip.

Streeterville (small with great views to the lake)

Streeterville is a neighbourhood in the northern aspect of the town flanked by the Magnificent Mile on the west, the Chicago River to the aspect and Lake Michigan to the north and east.

It, subsequently, gives one of the best vantage level in case you are planning to discover as much of Chicago as attainable in the course of the trip.

Wicker Park (fashionable with a nice vibe and historic buildings)

Wicker Park is one in every of Chicago’s trendier and edgier districts.

Wicker Park graffiti

Wicker Park graffiti

The overall vibe is in quite sharp contrast with the structure that exhibits a more historic and conventional aspect to Chicago.

Wicker Park is great for you as a customer because it gives the right stability between calm and fascinating day life and a fun and energetic nightlife.

In the course of the day, there’s so much to see and do together with visiting the gorgeous and eclectic Milwaukee Avenue to purchasing in the various department shops and boutiques.

At night time, the historic city converts into a trendy get together district with the whole lot from hip night time clubs and music events to a number of restaurant options and gallery exhibits.

Gold Coast and Lincoln Park (the quiet part of Chicago)

The Gold Coast is an unique neighbourhood in the northern elements of Chicago proper next to Lake Michigan.

With its lovely combination of recent highrise buildings and traditional stand-alone houses, The Gold Coast contributes a nice deal to the town’s skyline.

This prosperous a part of city is for probably the most part very calm and quiet and would, subsequently, be good in case you are wanting to escape the hustle and noise of livelier Chicago districts.

A bit additional north you will see the Lincoln Park group.

Right here, you can see the world-famous zoo with the identical identify, numerous galleries and a thriving food scene.

West Loop (the new fashionable space of Chicago)

The West Loop is a sort-of new very hip and fashionable a part of Chicago that is excellent for younger crowds, or at the least the younger at heart.

This energetic group lies west of the Chicago River and has a lot to supply thrill-seekers.

Whether you determine to go on a meals adventure on their famous “restaurant row” otherwise you go for a music pageant at Union Park, you’re sure to have a good time in West Loop.

Ramen Takeya in West Loop

Ramen Takeya in the restaurant row of West Loop

McCormick Place (one of the best area to stay in Chicago for a conference)

McCormick Place is the home of conventions not just for Chicago but in addition for all of North America.

It’s house to the most important convention centre in the area with a lovely shore-side view.

The architecture and facilities listed here are tailor-made to go well with the needs of convention-goers.

You’ll, subsequently, find a lot of respectable restaurants, good accommodation and handy transport options round and from the group.

The place to stay in Chicago Downtown (shut to the whole lot)

This is the most typical question I hear from individuals visiting the town.

What is the greatest place to stay in Chicago Downtown?

It’s fascinating that many individuals, unfortunately and incorrectly, mismatch The Loop with the Chicago Downtown.

The truth is that Chicago Downtown is a much greater area made of those neighbourhoods

  • The Loop (the central enterprise district)
  • River North
  • The Magnificent Mile
  • Streeterville

The good information is that wherever you’ll determine to stay you’ll end-up strolling distance (or simply a brief taxi experience) to most of Chicago points of interest.

Adams-Wabash Station in The Loop

Adams-Wabash Station in The Loop

Nevertheless, these neighbourhoods are totally different and they do supply a totally different sort of day and night time expertise (read a lot quieter or party-oriented).

Motels could be also misleading as they will inform you they are downtown, nevertheless, they could not mention they are in the Magnificent Mile or in The Loop.

Listed here are my strategies on where to stay in Chicago downtown

First-time customer to Chicago in search of a quiet night time > The Loop

The Loop is a great spot to stay as a first-time visitor to Chicago.

It permits you to take pleasure in all of the touristy points of interest while still supplying you with a good vibe that you’re at house.

Top-of-the-line things about it is the abundance of issues to do and places to see in this business district.

The 2 that you need to undoubtedly not depart without making an attempt are:

  • Buckingham Fountain: this landmark attraction is among the largest and most lovely fountains in the world. It is situated in the guts of Grant Park. Whether or not it’s summertime water and mild exhibits or a fountain-side music pageant, that is an attraction undoubtedly value testing.
  • Willis Tower Skydeck: ff you aren’t afraid of heights then that is undoubtedly an experience you need in your memory financial institution. The Chicago Skydeck is situated on the 103rd flooring of the 110 stories high Willis Tower. It has clear viewing packing containers throughout which allows you to really take in the sweetness that is Chicago and all its environment.

Restaurants and nightlife > River North

With its vigorous night time scene, River North is ideal for food lovers and night time owls.

The restaurants and bars are without a doubt the perfect a part of the show.

You need to take a look at Gilt Bar, famous for their craft cocktails and superb American dishes. It opens at 5 pm and is so well-liked you may want to ebook a desk early.

Another excellent spot is Bub City, a wild west themed bar and restaurant, house of comfort meals, awesome beer and barbeque in Chicago. Additionally they supply reside music setting the right mood.

The family-owned Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is considered one of River North’s best. You can’t depart Chicago with out making an attempt the famous deep-dish pizza and no one does it better than Lou.

Buying addicted, Christmas time > The Magnificent Mile

When you’ve an itching for that spending, the Magnificent Mile is the place to stay or a minimum of go to.

Watching baseball in Chicago

Watching baseball in Chicago

It is Chicago’s very own Rodeo Drive and has all of it from luxury designer boutiques to low cost shops.

The Water Tower Place in specific is a must-visit for a few of that wholesome retail therapy. It’s an indoor vertical mall with all types of outlets for you to go wild in.

Best places to stay in Chicago on a finances

Travelling on a tight price range means being sensible together with your choice of places to stay.

Chicago, thankfully, has a good variety of neighbourhoods and communities where it can save you an additional buck at whereas nonetheless enjoying all the town has to supply.

McCormick Place

McCormick Place, Chicago’s residence of conventions is a good spot to stay if you find yourself making an attempt to get monetary savings.

The numerous motels, motels and hostels there are available for nice costs, typically real bargains, when the convention season is off.

As well as to low cost accommodation, McCormick Place provides you entry to a good number of low-budget restaurants and cafés as Reggie’s Chicago.

This bar and restaurant is a jiffy’ walk from the primary convention. It is best recognized for the cold beers, scorching wings and numerous pub snack menu.

Harold’s Hen Shack is likely one of the oldest fried hen chains and is more of a historic landmark than anything. Nevertheless, the fried hen and secret sauces are what you will keep in mind most.


Streeterville can also be a great spot to stay whereas on a price range because of the entry to quite a few great hostels.

These give you a protected and respectable place to lay your head after a lengthy day of operating around exploring the town.

Drone view of Chicago

Drone view of Chicago

I mean who says your journey has to suck merely because you shouldn’t have a bottomless wallet; am I right?

Some of their best-rated traveller hostels embrace Freehand Chicago and Holiday Jones Chicago Hostel.

One place you will undoubtedly have a lot of enjoyable at with out going broke is the Navie Pier. This location gives great views of the water and the town and hosts free events year-round.

Streeterville additionally delivers for the foodie traveller with low finances options.

M Burger is a low finances restaurant greatest recognized for its loaded burgers and thick shakes. Despite the low price ticket, the local chain doesn’t compromise on parts and quality.

Do-Rite Donuts and Hen is a boutique café situated in the Erie Road space. Their unique array of donut flavours and superb fried hen makes it the right spot whether you want breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Where to stay in Chicago low cost (beneath $100)

In case you are wanting to spend lower than $100 on lodging while visiting Chicago, Franklin Park is among the few respectable options out there.

This quaint little village is residence to some low cost motels that though protected and efficient are usually not going to depart you with superb reminiscences.

The excellent news is that Franklin Park is super close to the airport and 3 practice stations making your commute to and from totally different elements of Chicago and very convenient.

Best place to stay in Chicago with family

As a family visiting any metropolis, your priorities when in search of a place to stay ought to be area, safety and proximity to points of interest.

With this criterion in mind, the most effective place to stay in Chicago with household are Gold Coast and Lincoln Park.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park

There are quite a few lodges in all finances brackets for you to choose from.

You possibly can also choose to lease one of many many lovely houses whether or not it is a waterfront highrise condo or a townhouse in the more old-school a part of the group.

So what’s there to see or do in this place?

For food adventures, Third Coast Café is a family-friendly restaurant open from 7am to 11pm. It serves American delicacies and caters to all of your meal needs from breakfast to late evening cravings.

The Unique Pancake House is a fashionable breakfast-all-day spot for locals and vacationers alike. They serve artisanal breakfast gadgets with distinctive twists that your family will certainly take pleasure in.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is great enjoyable for teenagers. It is among the oldest zoos in America and is house to some fairly magnificent beasts. The zoo additionally presents access to quite a few souvenir outlets and eateries. The perfect half: the doorway is FREE.

Another nice family activity is the Painted Penguin. That is a centre that permits your youngsters to tap into their internal Picasso. They get to work on every thing from portray landscapes to decorating blank sculptures.

Where to stay in Chicago for the Marathon

Brief answer: The Loop is one of the best place to stay for the Chicago Marathon. Now let me explain.

Grant Park to Buckingham Fountain

Grant Park to Buckingham Fountain

The Chicago Marathon is a cultural phenomenon that converts the town into a lovely vigorous mess each October.

In case you are collaborating, supporting a runner or you simply need to be a part of the action, you want to work out your lodging preparations early enough.

One of the best place to stay throughout this time can be as close to the end line as attainable. On this case, you need to discover places close to Grant Park which embrace The Loop and its environs.

It could be a little expensive however it is value it for this expertise.

In addition to the fun reminiscences, you get to try out some of Chicago’s nice eating places and eateries.

Burger Bar Chicago stands out as it allows you to customise your personal burger. Additionally they have a large number of craft beers and cocktails in addition to mocktails and milkshakes for the teetotalers.

Are you craving ribs? Are you craving shrimp cocktails? Can’t choose? You don’t have too. Remington’s Restaurant is each a steakhouse and seafood restaurant and has a few of the greatest dish mixtures in The Loop area.

The place to stay in Chicago for a unique stay

Finally, in case you are in search of a one in every of a type and really Chicago authentic stay then Wicker Park is the place to go.

This place is as genuine Chicago as it gets.

From the structure to the quite a few decades-old family-owned eating places, Wicker Park gives a really distinctive experience.

The boutique bars and uncommon celebration scenes may even give you a journey to keep in mind.

Enso Sushi and Bar is about in an industrial-style constructing which provides to the allure and atmosphere. It serves the most effective sushi and craft beers that you’ll get anyplace in Chicago.

Chop Shop is a must-visit, especially for its location.

This bar and deli is about on a rooftop deck in the guts of Wicker Park and really comes to life at night time. With the gorgeous multicoloured seats, enchanting fairy lights and superb meals and drinks, it’s going to be a actually fun evening.

Wicker Park Hamburger Chili

Wicker Park Hamburger Chili

Best place to stay in Chicago for vacationers and sightseeing

Chicago clearly has a lot to supply whether you’re a household or a single finances traveller.

The Loop caters to all these needs inside the similar district making it really one of the best place for tourists.

West Loop, in specific, is right for guests with its nice vibe, convenient access to numerous points of interest and a extensive number of residential setups for tourist accommodation.

So in case you are planning a journey there that is a excellent spot to contemplate as your first choice of where to stay.

The top 5 points of interest in The Loop

There’s a lot to do and see in Chicago’s Loop are and under are the top 5 most bucket-list-worthy of all of them.

Manny’s Deli: this cafeteria and delicatessen is residence to Chicago’s most famous and widespread sandwiches.

You recognize it’s a massive deal when 2 presidents in US history said it as considered one of their all-time favourite meals spots.

So plan a visit whether it’s for their legendary sandwiches or simply to be a a part of historical past.

Segway Tours: that is a really enjoyable means to discover the district and its environment.

Weekend excursions are especially fun as The Loop is a business district which suggests not many people are out then.

You would additionally take a journey alongside the Lake Front Path.

Lights of Chicago downtown

Lights of Chicago downtown

American Writers Museum: this is a really unique experience that may depart you really inspired.

You may even find yourself wanting to write a guide.

It is a place the place you get to honour and recognize the good literary artists that the USA has produced all year long.

Petrillo Music Shell: this is an outside amphitheatre that has hosted and continues to host a number of the most legendary music events.

From the Chicago Jazz Pageant to the Lollapalooza, this is undoubtedly one for the must-visit listing in case you are a music fan.

The Artwork Institute of Chicago: this is likely one of the best-rated museums and galleries in all the world and it will be a crime to stay in Loop with out visiting it.

It’s house to a few of the most legendary artwork pieces including American Gothic by Grant Wooden and The Poet’s Garden by Vincent Van Gogh.