Where to Stay in Chicago → BEST Hotels and Areas (with Prices!)

Where to stay in Chicago

Chicago is the biggest and most populated city in Illinois and the third most populated city in the entire United States! Other than that, it’s also known as being one of the coolest places to visit around the USA. It’s a great destination if you’re looking for live music venues, amazing shopping opportunities, delicious cuisine, unique architecture, nice beaches and tons of museums!

Now that you decided to visit this beautiful city, the next question you might be asking yourself is where to stay in Chicago, am I right? And that’s why I’m here to help! This decision is quite hard, especially for people who are visiting for the first time, as the city is so big and diverse. That’s why I created this comprehensive guide on Chicago accommodation!

In the post below I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the 7 best areas in the city, with hand-picked accommodation recommendations in each of them. You’ll have everything you need here, the only thing left to do for you is pick the perfect room for your budget and preference and do it far in advance if you don’t want to miss the spot… accommodation in this city is quite hard to find!

Are you ready? Let’s go!

If you’re in a hurry…

The best area to stay in Chicago for first-time visitors is The Loop, also known as Chicago Loop or Chicago Downtown. This is literally the center of the city, where all the action happens!

Which area should you choose?

First of all, here is a Chicago neighborhood map, so you can easily picture how the city is organized and which are the 7 areas I’ll be talking about:

Where to stay in Chicago best areas

As I mentioned before, Chicago is not a small city and it’s divided into several different districts and areas. Deciding which one is the best for you is not an easy task, but below you can find my personalized recommendations for all types of travelers:

Now that you understand a bit better about the way this city is organized and which area might suit you, let’s find out more details about the 7 best neighborhoods in Chicago:

1. The Loop / Downtown Chicago – where to stay for first-timers

The Loop / Downtown Chicago where to stay in Chicago for first-timers

The Loop, also known as Chicago Loop or Chicago Downtown is one of the most well-known areas in the city and a place that you definitely have to visit during your stay! This is where the world-famous Cloud Gate (also known as The Bean) is located as well!

Here you’ll find some of the tallest, most magnificent buildings around the city, as well as tons of awesome museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the best museums in the entire country! While you’re around this area, don’t miss the Millenium Park or the photo opportunities offered by the Cloud Gate, the famous shiny statue by Anish Kapoor.

You’ll also find a wide range of restaurants (where you can try the world-famous deep dish pizza), cafes and pubs here, so you can never get bored! If you feel like The Loop is the perfect place for you, here are the best hotels that you can choose from:

Luxury (US$300 and up)

chicago hotels

  • The Langham Chicago – This is probably the best Chicago hotel in the entire city center! It’s located very close to Millenium Park and the Cloud Gate and it’s only 2 blocks away from Magnificent Mile. It has an on-site spa, restaurant and lounge. What more can you wish for?
  • Chicago Athletic Association by Hyatt – This excellent accommodation located in this amazing neighborhood offers a great value to money ratio! The property awaits with an on-site ballroom, business center, restaurant and more!

Middle-priced (US$120 – US$250)

  • Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop – In case you want to be close to lots of shopping, dining and nightlife options in one of the most fabulous neighborhoods in the entire city, this place is for you! It’s located south to the river, super close to it and it has plenty of room options that you can choose from!
  • Hampton Inn Majestic – Here’s another excellent choice and one of the best hotels in Chicago Downtown, located Downtown Chicago’s North Loop business district and tons of shopping and restaurant options, so you cannot get bored here, regardless of how much you decide to stay!

Budget (up to US$120)

  • HI Chicago Hostel – Wondering where to stay in Chicago Downtown on a budget? Are you looking for some of the best Chicago hotels and hostels? Search no more, as this one is perfect for you! It’s located in this awesome, central district and it offers comfortable and clean rooms and a delicious breakfast served each morning.
  • Selina Chicago– Here’s another great choice if you want to stay in one of the best neighborhoods in the city, south of Chicago river, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on accommodation! This modern has everything you will need for a pleasant stay.

2. River North – Magnificent Mile – best area for nightlife

River North - Magnificent Mile where to stay in Chicago for nightlife

If you love art galleries, then River North is definetely where to stay in Chicago!

Why am I saying this? Because this area hosts the largest number of art galleries in the entire United States (after New York City, of course). It’s also a great place if you’re interested in vibrant nightlife and clubs where you can party until the morning – you’ll find plenty of them in River North!

One of the best things about this area is that it’s super close to the Magnificent Mile (the nickname for Michigan Avenue), the main shopping avenue of the city. Actually, this street divides River North from Streeterville, the next neighborhood I’ll be talking about below. It’s also very close to the Gold Coast and the Loop, which is a great advantage!

Convinced? Here are the best accommodation options that I can recommend to you, just don’t forget to book them as soon as you can, especially to find some good deals:

Luxury (US$300 and up)

cheap hotels in chicago

  • Four Seasons Chicago – Here’s another great option for a spoiled stay in Chicago, in this neighborhood near Magnificent Mile! This hotel is super close to many luxury shopping and dining opportunities, and the perfect starting point to enjoy Chicago nightlife!
  • Hotel Autograph Collection – Still didn’t find the perfect luxury hotel in Chicago for your stay? No worries, here’s another great option! This one has tons of amazing amenities including a modern fitness center, an indoor pool and more! Another plus? It’s just few steps from the Magnificent Mile shopping area!

Middle-priced (US$120 – US$250)

  • Ohio House Motel – Wondering where to stay in this fabulous neighborhood, only blocks away from Chicago river and the Magnificent Mile? Here’s a great option! This property is located in the heart of it all and it has some excellent amenities and facilities!
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-Downtown – Here’s another great option if you want to be walking distance to the Magnificent Mile and countless shopping and dining options for all tastes and pockets. What more can you wish for?

Budget (up to US$120)

  • Freehand Chicago – Here’s another great, pocket-friendly option in one of the best Chicago neighborhoods out there, just a 2-minute walk away from the Magnificent Mile! Some of the great on-site amenities here include free Wi-Fi, a bar, and super cheap dorms!

3. Streeterville – where to stay in Chicago for shopping

Streeterville where to stay in Chicago for shopping

Right across Magnificent Mile from River North you’ll find Streeterville, another great place to stay during your time in Chicago, especially of you are a shopping addicted!

In fact, Streeterville hosts one of the most famous shopping areas in the world, Mag Mile (Michigan Avenue) featuring the vastest choice of stores, especially high brands. But in general, in the whole area, you’ll find many luxury boutiques and designer stores.

But this neighborhood is not only shopping: some of the best things to do in the area is paying a visit to the Navy Pier, a place that provides endless entertainment for all ages with shops, restaurants, games and more! Another unmissable attraction in the area is the Museum of Contemporary Art.

If you want to be close to the city center and the Gold Coast as well, then I definitely recommend picking Streeterville! If you decide to do so, here are the best hotels you can choose from:

Luxury (US$300 and up)

stay the night chicago

  • Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile – Still didn’t find the ideal place for your stay in Chicago? Well, here’s another mid-range option if you prefer to be based in this neighborhood! Believe it or not, this property is only one block away from the famous Magnificent Mile!
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago – Here’s another superb choice for a luxurious stay in Chicago, in the beautiful Streeterville neighborhood. This property has amazing rooms and excellent service. You’ll have the Navy Pier to the south and Lake Michigan to the east – sounds just perfect, right?

Middle-priced (US$120 – US$250)

  • Aloft Chicago – Get ready to enjoy a comfortable night in a great modern hotel with a pool and a pool table! Aloft certainly has those hipster Chicago vibes and awesome city view. Grab a cocktail and enjoy your night in the bar and lounge where you’re sure to meet new people!

Budget

Unfortunately there aren’t any good budget options in this part of town so if you’re trying to save some pennies, I recommend Freehand Chicago located on the Magnificent Mile.

4. Lincoln Park – where to stay in Chicago on a budget

Lincoln Park where to stay in Chicago on a budget

Lincoln Park is my recommendation for people who are traveling to Chicago on a budget and for those visiting the city with their family and kids as well!

Some of the unmissable attractions in the area include Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Conservatory, St. Michael’s Church and Chicago History Museum. Other than that, just taking a stroll on the beautiful streets counts as a nice experience as well.

Actually, I’d recommend this area to any type of traveler, from young people to families with small children – it’s so versatile and nice! That being said, here are the best hotels in Lincoln Park district:

Luxury (US$300 and up)

suites in chicago

  • Hotel Lincoln, part of JdV by Hyatt – Here’s another excellent choice walking distance to the park, in this calm and interesting neighborhood. This awesome hotel has free Wi-Fi, superb rooms and even a fitness center – such a great advantage!

Middle-priced (US$120 – US$250)

  • Villa D’ Citta – Do you want to stay close to the park and the other interesting attractions in Lincoln Park without paying a ton of money on accommodation? Then make sure to book a room here, featuring an on-site garden with BBQ facilities, sun deck, hot tub and more!
  • BEST WESTERN PLUS Hawthorne Terrace – Here’s another excellent choice walking distance to the park, in this calm and interesting neighborhood. This awesome hotel has free Wi-Fi, superb rooms and even an on-site gym – such a great advantage!

Budget (up to US$120)

  • Chicago Getaway Hostel – Wondering where to stay on a budget in Lincoln Park? Well, I’m pretty sure this place will satisfy all your travel dreams! Here you’ll have access to different types of rooms, from mixed dorms with shared bathrooms or intimate private rooms!
  • Wrigley Hostel – Here’s another good choice if you want to be close to the park and the other attractions in this part of the town, such as the Zoo. By the way, this hostel is super close to Wrigley Field as well – great if you’re a baseball fan!

5. Gold Coast – the most exclusive area to stay

Gold Coast where to stay in Chicago for luxury

Looking for the most high-end, glamorous place in the entire Chicago? I present to you the Gold Coast, probably the most exclusive place in the city, right near the water!

In this area you’ll find many upscale hotels, skyscrapers, boutique shops and plenty of world-class restaurants that serve incredible dishes! During your stay here, make sure to go on Oak Street for some shopping or on Rush Street for some clubbing. Another advantage of having your hotel here is that the area is a bit calmer than Chicago Loop, for example.

NOTE: By the way, this area is different from the Gold Coast in Australia, make sure you do not confuse the two! 😉

In case you want to splurge and enjoy some luxury (but not only, of course, as this neighborhood is welcoming for everybody), here are the best hotels in this area:

Luxury (US$300 and up)

chicago romantic hotels

  • Waldorf Astoria Chicago – In case you want to be treated like royalty during your stay in this beautiful city, then this accommodation is for you! It’s super close to Lake Michigan, in the most superb neighborhood of the city!
  • The Talbott Hotel – Are you still searching for the perfect accommodation in one of the most beautiful Chicago neighborhoods for a relaxed summer holiday? Then take a look at this property, it is simply gorgeous! It offers 4-star service and it has an on-site restaurant, free Wi-Fi and beautiful rooms.

Middle-priced (US$150 – US$250)

  • Ambassador Chicago – Here’s another great place that offers excellent service in the Gold Coast neighborhood. Staying here means you’ll be super close to the shore and only 4 blocks away from the Magnificent Mile – perfect, right?
  • Claridge House, Queen Room – Here’s another mid-range accommodation close to Lake Michigan for an ideal vacation. This place is right in the heart of the district, very close to many high-end boutiques, restaurants and bar options that you can choose from!

Budget (up to US$150)

The Gold Coast is a pretty expensive area, so I wasn’t able to find any hostels or budget hotels. But I can recommend two awesome Airbnbs instead that will help you save some money! Here they are below:

  • Great Gold Coast Studio – Here’s another apartment option in the Gold Coast district that offers some very good prices. One of the best advantages is that you’ll be very close to the beach and to tons of dining and shopping options!

6. Wicker Park – the coolest area where to stay in Chicago

Wicker Park the coolest area where to stay in Chicago

In case you want to stay in one of the coolest areas in the city, Wicker Park neighborhood is your answer!

Wicker Park is my recommendation for young people and hipsters looking to have some fun and explore some very cool places, such as cafes and pubs. You’ll also find many great restaurants here, as well as street food stands.

Plus, this area is scattered with concert venues such as the Empty Bottle – perfect if you’re looking to have some fun!

If you feel like this is the place for you, take a look at the hotels below and I’m sure you’ll find an ideal place to stay:

Luxury (US$300 and up)

where to stay in chicago on a budget

  • The Robey – Do you want to stay only a few blocks away from Wicker Park and enjoy a luxurious treatment at the same time? Then this place is the right one for you! Book a room here if you want to be close to countless events venues, bars and pubs!
  • Deluxe Studio 3B – Check out one of the most unique stays you can find in Chicago! This is a dream of a studio apartment, comfy and clean, with a shared kitchen and easy access to anything you might need in Wicker Park.

Middle-priced (US$150 – US$250)

  • Hyatt Place Chicago/Wicker Park – This awesome place offers that same world-class service as all other Hyatt hotels do! Some of the advantages of staying here include access to a sun terrace, a restaurant, a fitness center and more.

Budget (up to US$150)

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any option available to stay on a budget in Wicker Park. If you’re really looking for affordable accommodation, check out the hotels in the Lincoln Park area, just nearby!

7. West Loop – where to stay in Chicago for foodies

West Loop where to stay in Chicago for foodies

Are you a foodie interested in trying all the best dishes that Chicago has to offer, including the world-famous deep dish pizza? Then you’ll definitely love West Loop!

West Loop, also known as Near West Side is probably the best place to stay in Chicago if you’re a foodie, especially if you go on Greektown and Little Italy, the two main food streets around! This area was an important port starting with the 1800s and it has then extended into a place full of amazing restaurants and bars (including Michelin-starred restaurants!), museums and art galleries.

Another great thing about the West Loop is that you’ll be close to Chicago Loop, aka the city center! Okay, enough talking, let’s see which are the best hotels in this part of the city:

Luxury (US$300 and up)

boutique hotels chicago

  • The Hoxton, Chicago – In case you want to experience a royal treatment in West Loop, search no more! This 4-star hotel in Chicago is close to many bars and restaurants and it awaits with on-site dining and a great rooftop lounge where you can sit and relax!

Middle-priced (US$150 – US$250)

  • Hotel Chicago – Book a room here if you want to enjoy an on-site fitness center, 24-hour front desk, private parking and many other facilities that you’ll definitely appreciate! One of the best choices in West Loop!
  • Crowne Plaza – Chicago West Loop – If you’re looking for a mid prices choice in this beautiful neighborhood, search no more, I found the right one for you! This 3-star property has some perfect economy rooms that will help you save some pennies that you can use on other activities and attractions!

Budget (up to US$150)

Unfortunately, also in West Loop the prices are quite high and I couldn’t find any option available to stay on a budget! If you’re really looking for affordable accommodation, check out the hotels in the close areas of Downtown Chicago or River North!

Best apartments in Chicago

Best apartments in Chicago

If you’re the type of traveler that prefers some comfort during their travels, I know how you feel, as I’m exactly the same! This is why, at times, booking an apartment instead of a hotel might be one of the best choices that you can make!

Luckily for you, there are plenty of Airbnb options in Chicago for all tastes and budgets! Below you can find my selection with some of the best apartments I could find, all of them in the city center:

Luxury (US$300 and up)

best place to stay in chicago

  • Level Chicago Old Town – Yes, it is possible to enjoy some luxury even if you stay in an apartment! This one is just perfect for two guests or families of four, and it’s in Old Town, close to Lincoln Park!
  • Great Location, West Town – In case you’re looking for a cozy, private atmosphere and some luxurious amenities as well, this one’s for you! The entire place is simply superb, with a unique design and it offers flawless service!

Middle-priced (US$150 – US$250)

  • Gritty Chic River North — ACME Hotel – In case you want to stay in River North and to have the city center to your South, very close to the property, then make sure to book this apartment! Everything looks superb, with a modern and high-tech vibe – you’ll just love it!
  • The Avondale Guest House – This beautiful guest house has a very convenient location close to the Lincoln Park Zoo, and can host up to 6 people… the perfect choice for families! The space is simple but very comfy, and even has a patio!

Budget (up to US$150)

  • SHARED Artist Loft. Very Unique – Here’s another excellent choice if you want to save some money. You’ll be staying in a private room in a loft which is super nicely decorated. The check-in process is simple and the place is sparkling clean!
👑 Luxury price: $300
💵 Mid Range: $230
🛏️ Budget: $120
🏠 Airbnb: $140
💰 Accommodation prices: High
📍 Best neighborhood: The Loop/Downtown
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:
💵 Best mid-range hotel:
👛 Best budget hotel: HI Chicago Hostel

 

BONUS 1: Best hotels in Wrigley Field for baseball lovers

Best hotels in Wrigley FieldIf you’re a baseball fan, then you might be interested in staying as close to Wrigley Field as possible, the well-known baseball park and the home of Chicago Cubs. The field is in the Northern part of the city, not very far away from all the interesting attractions.

No worries, I’m here to help with two great hotels located as close to the stadium as possible:

  • Hotel Zachary, Chicago, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel – Here’s my recommendation to people who want to stay in luxury close to the stadium. Trust me, you can’t get any closer than this, as this property is exactly 0.1 km away from the field – so great!
  • BEST WESTERN PLUS Hawthorne Terrace Hotel – This mid-range accommodation is less than 1 km (10 minutes) away from the baseball field and it offers a great service for some very good prices! Daily breakfast, 24-hour front desk and a cozy inner courtyard – these are just some advantages of staying here!

NOTE: For more accommodation recommendations close to the stadium, you can check out the properties I’m recommending in Lincoln Park – most of them are not far away from it!

BONUS 2: Best hotels near the two Chicago airports

usa flags

In case you have a very early or very late flight, a great idea for you could be to book a hotel that’s as close to the airport as possible! Chicago has not one, but two international airports – O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport.

Below I’ll be talking about both of them and I’ll give you some hotel options for each of them:

1. O’Hare International Airport

O’Hare International Airport is probably the most popular option if you have an international flight. This airport is around 17 miles from the city center, which means around 1 hour by car. Being so far away from all the main attractions, it makes a lot of sense to book a hotel close to it! Here are three amazing options:

  • The Rose Chicago, Tapestry Collection By Hilton – This is my recommendation for people looking for luxury. This place offers 4-star service, a 24-hour front desk, spacious and modern rooms and even a fitness center.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Rosemont Chicago O’Hare – If you’re looking for a middle-priced option instead, here’s one for you! One of the best things about this 3-star accommodation is that it offers a free 24-hour shuttle to and from the airport!
  • Sonesta Simply Suites Chicago O’Hare – For those traveling on a budget that want to be close to this airport, I can recommend booking a room at this accommodation! You’ll feel right at home thanks to the kitchen and free airport transfers.

2. Midway International Airport

Midway International AirportAlthough it has international flights as well, Midway Airport is more popular for domestic flights, so you’ll most probably land here in case you’re coming from a different part of the USA. This airport is 11 miles from the city center, which means around half an hour by car.

Here are three great hotels close to this airport (one for each type of budget):

  • Hyatt Place Chicago Midway Airport – If you’re looking for luxury and high-quality service, then look no further than this hotel! It’s only 2 blocks away from the airport and it offers free transport shuttles that you can use – so great!
  • Hampton Inn Chicago-Midway Airport – For those looking for a very good middle-priced option, make sure to book a room here! It’s only few minutes away from the airport and it also offers a free shuttle that can take you to the airport, which I think is really great!
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Chicago-Midway Airport – Are you traveling to Chicago on a budget? No worries, as this cute inn has some unbeatable prices and very good service as well! It’s two blocks away from the airport and the free airport shuttle is super useful!

BONUS 3: Is it Chicago dangerous to visit? Where NOT to stay in Chicago

Chicago has quite a reputation and it’s considered to be a bit dangerous due to violence and conflict, but I really believe that’s not the case if you choose to visit and stay in any of the neighborhoods I’ve talked about above! Just like in any other city, if you’re mindful of your belongings and surroundings and if you practice some common safety procedures, Chicago will be more than safe for you.

Usually, the most dangerous areas are also the poorest and are located off the tourist path. Here are some zones that are best avoided during your time here:

  • Riverdale
  • Fuller Park
  • Englewood
  • Pullman
  • South Deering
  • Grand Crossing

Frequently Asked Questions about Hotels in Chicago

 

📍Which is the best area to stay in Chicago?

The best area to stay in Chicago, especially for first-time visitors is Chicago Downtown, where you’ll find great hotels such as the luxurious Langham Chicago or the more affordable Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop.

👪 Where to stay in Chicago for families?

The best area to stay in Chicago for families is Lincoln Park, offering lots of hotels with great value for the price, like Villa D’ Citta or Chicago Getaway Hostel.

💃🏻Which is the best area in Chicago for nightlife?

The best area to stay in Chicago for nightlife is River North, where all the best clubs and bars are located. Stay at Ohio House Motel or
Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-Downtown, both with great value!

Where is it safe to stay in Chicago?

Any of the neighborhoods mentioned in the blog are safe to stay. The most dangerous areas are also the poorest, located off the tourist path, like Riverdale, Fuller Park, Englewood, Pullman, South Deering, and Grand Crossing.

Conclusion

the bean chicago

Phew! You have reached the end of my complete guide on Chicago accommodation, congrats!

In the article above I told you everything you need to know about the 7 best areas where to stay in Chicago, with hand-picked hotel recommendations in each of them, all sorted by budget and with amazing reviews! I also gave you some apartment recommendations and airport hotels as well, so you’ll find everything here!

I hope you found this article useful and maybe you even found the perfect accommodation for you in my lists above, am I right? I know it could be quite overwhelming at first, so let me give you my 2 absolute favorite choices, with great reviews and location:

  • The Langham Chicago – This is probably the best Chicago hotel in the entire city center, located very close to Millenium Park and the Magnificent Mile.

Are you heading to Chicago soon? Let me know in the comments below! I wish you an amazing trip to this beautiful city, you’ll surely love it!

Happy travels,

Romina

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