Where to Stay in Chicago | 2024 Guide with 11 TOP Areas!

Visitors around the reflective 'Cloud Gate' sculpture in Chicago's Millennium Park on a sunny day with clear blue skies and surrounding skyscrapers

Wondering where to stay in Chicago for your next trip? I’ve visited the Windy City more times than I can remember while I lived in the US!

To help you plan your trip, I compared all the BEST neighborhoods, hotels, and apartments!

The Chicago Loop is the best neighborhood to stay in if you visit for the first time! It’s where most of the attractions are, and it’s the very center of the city. 

If you have specific travel preferences or have already seen most of the Loop, I’ve got you covered with 10 more neighborhoods! 

And I have super strict hotel standards, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best bang for your buck! 

I have also sorted all hotels by area and by price to ensure you can book your ideal place in just a couple of minutes!

This being said, I recommend booking your hotel in advance to secure the best deals!

Quick Picks for Your Stay…

Check out the best hotels for all budgets in the center of all the action in Chicago – The Loop: 

Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:

Which area should you choose?

Here’s a Chicago neighborhood map to help you visualize the 11 areas I’ll talk about:

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Chicago, with distinct color-coded neighborhoods and major streets visible

Chicago is divided into several different districts. Below, you’ll find my personalized recommendations for all types of travelers:

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

A yellow sightseeing boat cruising on the Chicago River flanked by towering skyscrapers and the city's famed architectural landscape

The Loop, also known as Chicago Loop or Chicago Downtown, is the most popular neighborhood in the city. 

Here, you’ll find the tallest buildings and fantastic museums, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the best museums in the country! I spent hours here admiring the works of Grant Wood, Pablo Picasso, Van Gogh, and many other brilliant painters and artists!

Other must-visit attractions are the Millenium Park and the Cloud Gate, otherwise known as The Bean, as well as the Skydeck Chicago (amazing views to the city!) and Chicago Riverwalk.

You can go on a Chicago River cruise starting from the North of Downtown! Tons of cruise companies are waiting along E Wacker Dr!

You’ll also find many restaurants, cafés, and pubs. When you’re in Chicago for the first time, you NEED to try their signature deep-dish pizza! Giordano’s is the best spot for it! 

Chicago has a theater district I recommend visiting! It’s called Broadway in Chicago, and you can catch a show anytime!

If you’re wondering where to stay in Chicago for a weekend, this is also the best place to stay to really make the most of your trip. 

And if you’re searching for boutique hotels, you can check out the best ones in Chicago by reading this blog post!

A collage of three photos of hotels to stay in The Loop, or Downtown Chicago: a luxurious bedroom with a plush bed and vibrant headboard, a spacious living room with a large window overlooking the city, and the classic architecture of a red brick hotel building

Luxury (US$250 and up)

  • The Langham Chicago – one of the nicest hotels in the city center, only 2 blocks from the Magnificent Mile. It has an on-site full-service spa, concierge service, and a lounge. The lavish decoration is to die for!
  • Chicago Athletic Association by Hyatt – this excellent accommodation located in The Loop offers a great value-to-money ratio! The property awaits with an on-site ballroom, business center, a games room, a restaurant, and more!

Mid-range (US$120 – US$250)

  • Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop – be close to shopping, dining, and nightlife options by staying here! The hotel is located south of the river and has plenty of room options! This is also the best place to stay in Chicago for couples!
  • Hampton Inn Majestic – one of the best hotels in Chicago Downtown, located in the Theatre District. You can use their on-site fitness center and enjoy the best room service! They also serve complimentary breakfast. 

Budget (up to US$120)

  • HI Chicago Hostel – the hostel is in the central district and offers comfortable and clean rooms and a delicious breakfast.
  • Freehand Chicago – this modern hostel has a restaurant with amazing design! It’s also the perfect base for city exploration.

2. River North – best area for nightlife

The Merchandise Mart building in Chicago, a massive structure with classic windows, overlooking the Chicago River on a sunny day

River North is the place where you want to be seen! It’s the center of nightlife activity in Chicago, also known as the Party District. 

The most legendary bar in the neighborhood is Three Dots and a Dash if you’re in the mood for heavenly cocktails!

It’s not all nightlife and parties in River North. If you love art galleries, River North is a great place to stay in Chicago! 

Once known as “Little Hell” due to the large number of steel mills in the area, River North has since become a glamorous, gentrified district full of life!

In River North, you’ll find The Merchandise Mart, which used to be the world’s tallest when it was finished in 1930! You can head there to shop or attend the events organized there!

The area is also where some of the coolest hotels in Chicago are located, and it’s among the best areas if you’re wondering where to stay in Chicago with a car!

A collage of three photos of hotels to stay in River North, Chicago: the sleek exterior of the Trump International Hotel & Tower beside the river, a tidy hotel room with neutral tones, and an indoor pool area with large windows

Luxury (US$250 and up)

  • Trump International – stay in one of the MOST famous Chicago hotels offering the ultimate luxury! This 92-story hotel has a lavishly decorated interior, luxury spa services, and a heated indoor pool!
  • Hotel Autograph Collection – this hotel has a modern fitness center, an indoor pool, and more! Plus, it’s just a few steps from the Magnificent Mile shopping area!

Mid-range (US$120 – US$250)

  • Hyatt Place Chicago River North – stay in modern rooms with stunning city views, dine in the Zagat-rated restaurant, or shop in the 24/7 market, all located on the hotel premises! 
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-Downtown – with a fitness center, facilities for disabled guests, and an indoor swimming pool, this property offers exceptional value for money!

Budget (up to US$120)

  • Ohio House Motel – stay a few blocks from the Chicago River and the Mag Mile in this motel with excellent amenities and facilities like free parking and Wi-Fi, air-conditioned rooms, and non-smoking rooms.
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton – this place has an excellent location, is pet-friendly, and the price includes a free buffet breakfast! There’s even a cool terrace with a fire pit and epic view over the city. Win! 

3. Streeterville/Magnificent Mile – where to stay for shopping

Pedestrians walking near Chicago's historic Wrigley Building, with its distinctive clock tower, amidst other skyscrapers on a clear day.

I couldn’t recommend this neighborhood more for eager shoppers! It’s also one of the safest areas to stay in Chicago!

Streeterville hosts one of the best shopping streets in the world, the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue). Throughout the avenue and beyond, you’ll find luxury boutiques and designer stores. Think Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Ralph Lauren!

Other tourist attractions include the Navy Pier, which provides endless entertainment for all ages, and the Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum is located just next door to the legendary shopping mall, Water Tower Place! This stunning building somehow managed to survive the infamous Chicago fire of 1871!

When you’re finished shopping and sightseeing, don’t miss out on the Billy Goat Tavern for the most iconic cheeseburgers!

A collage of three photos of hotels to stay in Streeterville, or Magnificent Mile, Chicago: An inviting hotel room with a king-sized bed and a textured headboard, a chic lounge area with a sectional sofa and a large window, and the modern, glassy façade of a high-rise hotel building set against the blue sky

Luxury (US$300 and up)

  • The Peninsula Chicago – get royal treatment in one of the best hotels on the Magnificent Mile with the most beautiful indoor swimming pool. Their Deluxe Suite makes Peninsula the most expensive hotel in Chicago I found!
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago – one of the best Chicago hotels with a view! You’ll have the Navy Pier to the south and Lake Michigan to the east. This 5-star property also has amazing (and spacious!) rooms and excellent service. 

Mid-range (US$150 – US$300)

  • Eurostars Magnificent Mile – enjoy a comfortable night in a modern hotel with a balcony, a spa, and a wellness center! The rooms are modernly furnished and spacious, and the staff here is very accommodating.
  • Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile – a fabulously decorated hotel with an indoor swimming pool, an excellent breakfast, and a central location just 1 block from the Magnificent Mile.

Budget (up to $150)

Accommodation in Streeterville is expensive, and I couldn’t find any budget-friendly options that meet my strict rating requirements. However, if you’ve got your heart set on Streeterville (and who could blame you), here’s a couple of options!

  • Aloft Chicago – an urban stay in the heart of Chicago featuring an indoor swimming pool and a shared lounge.
  • Ivy Boutique Hotel – a nice boutique hotel with modern and tastefully decorated rooms. They serve breakfast and have free Wi-Fi.

4. South Loop – where to stay for families

Modern skyscrapers of Chicago's skyline rising behind a tranquil park with bare trees and grassy paths under a bright sun

South Loop is the perfect place for families because it gives you plenty of sightseeing opportunities and yet has a residential vibe

The Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium (one of the largest ones in the world!) and the Buckingham Fountain are top attractions suitable for both children and adults! 

Shedd Aquarium Tip: Plan your visit in advance if you want to attend the dolphin show and animal encounters! You can find the times on the official website.

South Loop used to be considered the city’s “Gold Coast” before the current Gold Coast, due to the number of wealthy residents and celebrity homes!

You may also want to stay there if you are visiting Chinago for a conference as McCormick Place, one of the biggest convention centers, is also in the South Loop. 

What I love most about South Loop is how everything is within walking distance!

A collage of three photos of hotels to stay in South Loop, Chicago: The Marriott hotel building's striking blue glass exterior at sunset, a comfortable hotel room with a queen bed and modern amenities, and a serene hotel spa area with a large jacuzzi and glass walls

Luxury (US$200 and up)

  • Marriott Marquis – fabulous service with 4 on-site restaurants, a 55-inch flat TV in rooms, and a fitness center. The rooms also have amazing city and lake views!
  • Hotel Blake – your luxury treatment near all things cool, featuring luxury bathrooms, a fitness center, and room service, just 10 minutes from the Art Institute of Chicago.

Mid-range (US$150 – US$200)

  • Hilton Garden Inn South Loop – featuring clean rooms on high floors and an indoor pool, this Hilton hotel is a great stay. 
  • Hilton Chicago – a legendary hotel with family rooms, lake views, and a good breakfast (at an additional charge). 

Budget (up to $150)

  • Homewood Suites by Hilton South Loop – an excellent budget option for families of up to 6 people! The breakfast is included in the price, and the rooms are spacious and have a city view.
  • Best Western Chicago – Best Western Grant Park Hotel falls below my strict rating standards, but it’s still one of the most popular budget hotels in Chicago. 

5. West Loop – top place to stay in Chicago for foodies

A bustling Chicago scene with a metro train on elevated tracks, dense urban buildings, and busy streets under a clear sky

Are you a foodie eager to try the best dishes in Chicago? Book a stay in West Loop now!

This neighborhood was an important port starting in the 1800s and has since extended into a place full of amazing eateries and bars, museums, and art galleries.

The must-visit spots here are Greektown and Little Italy, the 2 main food streets! Also, Time Out Market is a huge food court serving dishes from around the world!

Apart from foodie haven spots, you can also explore the WNDR Museum, the Shit Fountain (map) (a real thing! made by a local to commemorate the dogs pooping on his flowers!), or take a day trip from the Union Station.

The West Loop is also where you’ll find excellent hotels near United Center Chicago if you’re in town for a Bulls game!

A collage of three photos of hotels to stay in West Loop, Chicago: a stylish hotel room with a large window and a green headboard, a contemporary hotel lounge with two leather armchairs and a large blackboard art piece, and a view of the hotel's library with a red-themed bookshelf and a cozy couch

Luxury (US$250 and up)

  • Nobu Hotel Chicago – a 5-star heaven on earth with luxurious amenities and interior, 2 on-site restaurants, a swimming pool, and a fitness center. 
  • The Hoxton, Chicago – this 4-star hotel in Chicago is close to bars and restaurants, and it awaits with on-site dining and a great rooftop lounge!

Mid-range (US$150 – US$250)

  • Hyatt House Chicago West Loop – a fabulous 3-star stay with an indoor swimming pool, family rooms, and a fitness center close to bars and restaurants.
  • Hampton Inn by Hilton – a 3-star property with a pool, breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and an on-site bar. Excellent choice for couples wanting to stay close to the action!

Budget (up to US$150)

  • Sonder the Burnham – a set of gorgeous apartments for budgeteers with a fully-equipped kitchen (+dishwasher), and it’s just a few steps away from Union Station!
  • Sonder Market Hall – this aparthotel is great for those who want privacy and easy access to a fitness room!

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

Aerial view of Chicago streets and buildings extending towards a distant skyline under a blue sky with wispy clouds

If you want to stay in one of the coolest areas in the city, the Wicker Park neighborhood is your answer! The area is also a local shopping hotspot, especially along N Milwaukee Avenue (known as the Six Corners)!

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

Subterranean is a classy 2-story music venue with live entertainment for the young at heart! 

The Wicker Park Farmers Market is an excellent opportunity to stock up on fresh produce or just stroll past and immerse with the locals.

Forbes has recently named Wicker Park as the “hippest” community in Illinois, making it an excellent spot for artists!

Plus, this area is scattered with concert venues like the Empty Bottle – perfect if you’re looking for extra fun!

A collage of three photos of hotels to stay in Wicker Park, Chicago: a warm corner featuring a tan armchair and a decorative vase, a simplistic yet elegant bedroom with a large window, and the exterior of a contemporary brick hotel on a city street corner

Luxury (US$200 and up)

  • The Robey – do you want to stay only a few blocks from Wicker Park? Then this place is the right one for you! It has a swimming pool, 5 restaurants on-site, and the best view from the balcony!
  • Wicker Park Inn – if you like luxury bedding and a fantastic breakfast, this one’s for you! This gorgeous hotel is within walking distance from everything and even has rain showers in the rooms!

Mid-range (US$150 – US$200)

  • Hyatt Place Chicago/Wicker Park – some advantages of staying here include access to a sun terrace, a restaurant, a fitness center, and more.
  • Ray’s Bucktown B&B – this place is so cozy! It’s close to a theater with live entertainment, and there’s even a sauna and in-room breakfast service!

Budget (up to US$150)

  • Hostel 424 – located just on the southwest end of Wicker Park, Studio 424 is a 2-star hotel offering the only cheap accommodation in the area. They have clean rooms, free Wi-Fi, and laundry services! 
  • Chic 2-Bed Apartment – fancy your own space? I get it! This apartment is gorgeous, with a balcony, modern decor, and towels and linen are provided for you. An easy stay for a family or a small group of friends!

7. Lincoln Park – the cheapest area to stay in Chicago

Scenic view of Chicago's skyline overlooking a lush green park with a pond, under a partly cloudy sky.

Lincoln Park is my recommendation for budget travelers! This area also encompasses Old Town and has the most affordable eateries.

Unmissable tourist attractions in the neighborhood include Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Chicago History Museum

Other than that, just taking a stroll in the beautiful Old Town or the North Avenue Beach counts as a nice experience.

In search of affordable eateries? Pasta Palazzo is one of the most affordable Italian restaurants serving delicious handmade gnocchi! 

To be honest, I’d recommend this area to any type of traveler since it has the best hotels in Chicago for 20-year-olds, but also the options for families with children! 

P.S.: If you wonder, “Is Lincoln Park Chicago safe?” My answer is yes! Here are some of the safest hotels in the area:

A collage of three photos of hotels to stay in Lincoln Park, Chicago: a historic stone façade of Villa D’Citta, a bedroom with elegant bedding and a large mirror, and a living area with contemporary furniture and artwork

Luxury (US$250 and up)

  • Villa D’ Citta – this gorgeous villa will make for a memorable stay in Chicago! The Mediterranean-style architecture and upscale amenities like an outdoor pool will make your stay a blast (especially if you pick their 2-bedroom Suite!)
  • The Hotel & Athletic Club at Midtown – located on the border between Lincoln Park and Bucktown, this ultimate luxury retreat has it all – wonderful rooms, an outdoor pool, a hot tub, fitness area, yoga studio, sauna, and much more.

Mid-range (US$120 – US$250)

  • 3-Bed Penthouse – get epic city views at this affordable apartment in Lincoln Park! It’s a great option for a family on a budget, and there’s even a private balcony to enjoy the view.
  • 3-BDR Apartment – neat and bright apartment suitable for large groups and families. The entire apartment is at your disposal, so you can have all the freedom you need!

Budget (up to US$120)

  • Chicago Getaway Hostel – wondering where to stay on a budget in Lincoln Park? Well, I’m sure this place will satisfy all your travel dreams! You’ll have access to different rooms, from mixed dorms with shared bathrooms to intimate private rooms!
  • Lincoln Park Retreat – this gorgeous, modern Airbnb, run by a Superhost, is the perfect spot for a group of friends! With 2 bedrooms and space for 4 people, it’s just down the street from the historic Kingston Mines Blues Bar!

8. Gold Coast – the most exclusive area to stay

Aerial view of Chicago's coastline showing a sandy beach, clear blue waters, and a dense urban skyline

Looking for the most high-end, upscale neighborhood in Chicago? I present the Gold Coast, the most exclusive place in the city (do not mix up with the one in Australia please)!

In this area, you’ll find upscale hotels, skyscrapers, boutique shops, and plenty of world-class restaurants that serve incredible dishes! 

During your stay here, make sure to go to Oak Street for shopping or to Rush Street for clubbing. Popular Oak Street shops include Prada, Hermès, Marc Jacobs, and others. 

You can also go out in style at the Porchlight Music Theatre or have dinner at the posh 3 Arts Club Café set in a beautiful historic building!

A collage of three photos of hotels to stay in Gold Coast, Chicago: a chic bedroom with a white and gold color scheme, a sleek high-rise building with a reflective blue glass exterior, and a stylish living space with modern furnishings

Luxury (US$250 and up)

  • Viceroy Chicago – get royalty treatment during your stay in this 5-star hotel! It’s super close to Lake Michigan and Oak Street and has the most luxurious interior, room service, and the best amenities!
  • The Talbott Hotel – Talbott Hotel offers 4-star service, and it has an on-site restaurant, free Wi-Fi, and beautiful rooms.

Mid-range (US$150 – US$250)

  • Ambassador Chicago – here’s another great place that offers excellent service, like gourmet food room delivery. You’ll be super close to the shore and only 4 blocks away from the Magnificent Mile.
  • Thompson Chicago – with incredible views from the rooms and just 2 mins away from Michigan Avenue, this boutique hotel is a winner! Expect delicious food (like homemade pasta), signature cocktails, and modern luxury!

Budget (up to US$150)

The Gold Coast accommodation has high pricing, and I couldn’t find any hostels or budget hotels here. But I can recommend a couple of Airbnbs instead that will help you save money! 

  • Great Gold Coast Studio – one of the best advantages of staying in this comfortable studio is that you’ll be close to the beach and have tons of dining and shopping options around!
  • Chic & Historic Apartment – an excellent option for those who want a modern, chic 1-bed apartment in the Gold Coast, just a few mins from the beach. Perfect for a couple!

9. Hyde Park – where to stay for culture

Aerial view of the University of Chicago campus with its Gothic architecture, lush greenery, and Lake Michigan in the distance

Although it’s part of Chicago Downtown, Hyde Park is like a small town for itself! Its strong community spirit, plenty of eateries, and top-notch culture make it a great place to visit for everyone seeking to explore the best of Chicago!

The Museum of Science and Industry can easily keep you busy for hours, while Jackson Park’s 551 acres hide fabulous gardens where you can refill your batteries from a day of sightseeing.

Also, architecture aficionados will want to experience the architectural brilliance that is the Robbie House!

For the best views of the Chicago Skyline, Lake Michigan, and the Navy Pier, head to the Promontory Point (map)!

Finally, 53rd Street has tons of family-owned shops and boutiques in case you want to splurge on your stay!

A collage of three photos of hotels to stay in Hyde Park, Chicago: a bright bedroom with red accents and large windows, a minimalist hotel exterior with a flat roof, and a cozy lobby with a fireplace and modern seating

Luxury (US$250 and up)

  • Sophy Hyde Park – a 4-star hotel with a sophisticated décor that reflects Hyde Park’s spirit. They have family rooms, private parking, and stunning marble-tiled bathrooms!
  • The Study at the University of Chicago – a fabulous hotel with a fitness center, a bar, and a restaurant on site. If you’re looking for where to stay in Chicago for couples, look no further. 

Mid-range (US$150 – US$250)

  • Hyatt Place Chicago – a 3-star accommodation with free daily shuttle service, an indoor pool, and spacious family rooms. Plus, the guests seem to love their breakfast! 
  • University of Chicago Campus Room – an ideal place for students coming to town and UoC guests! Stay in the heart of the UoC campus with the area’s top attractions nearby!

Budget (up to US$150)

  • Best Western Plus Hyde Park – the only budget hotel in Hyde Park is also a bit outdated, so I only recommend it for short stays; for better budget-friendly options, check out Downtown hotels
  • Hyde Park Historic Studio – a modern apartment with contactless check-in, a knowledgeable host, and clean facilities. There’s a lovely kitchen where you can cook your meals!

10. Boystown/Lakeview – for return visitors

Chicago's skyline along Lake Michigan illuminated at dusk, with lights reflected in the water and a clear sky above

Have you already seen most of Downtown Chicago and are coming back to explore another, more local face of the city? Then Lakeview is a great option to stay. 

The vicinity of the Wrigley Field stadium also makes the area suitable for Cubs fans coming to town for a game. 

Here, you’ll find a group of sub-areas like Boystown (the first officially recognized LGBT village!), Wrigleyville, or Lake View East, which are all pedestrian-friendly. Still, you’d need a lift to get to the Downtown from here!

The Music Box Theater and the Mercury Theater are top attractions where you can catch a show for all tastes and ages!

A collage of three photos of hotels to stay in Boystown/Lakeview, Chicago: a serene bedroom with vibrant pillows and hardwood floor, a living room with a large gray sectional sofa and abstract rug, and a lush garden pathway leading to a charming green house with a porch

Luxury (US$250 and up)

  • Hotel Zachary – a luxurious boutique hotel just next to the Wrigley Field featuring modern rooms and all the popular amenities. You can have breakfast in the morning, sip a fancy cocktail in the evening, or enjoy a royal stay in their Loft Suite.

Mid-range (US$150 – US$250)

  • Best Western Plus – a historic 3-star hotel just a short walk from the Wrigley Field and the Belmont Harbor. You can enjoy a fitness center, on-site parking, and Queen Rooms with super comfortable beds at great value for money!
  • Sophisticated 2BR Apartment – an elegant place with 2 bedrooms that can sleep up to 6 people. The kitchen is fully equipped, so you can experience all the comforts of a home.

Budget (up to US$150)

  • Wrigley Hostel – a top-notch budget option for students and young people (and those young at heart!) coming to Chicago! A friendly atmosphere and knowledgeable staff here will make sure you have an unforgettable stay!
  • The Villa Toscana – a best-in-class guest house with a common outdoors seating area, continental breakfast, and a billiards table. They have private rooms with a shared bathroom.

11. Oak Park – best for a romantic stay

The Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum in Oak Park, Chicago, with its classic Victorian architecture and surrounding greenery, under a clear blue sky

If you want to stay in the vicinity of Chicago’s Downtown but experience the city’s charm in the form of a small village, then Oak Park is a great choice. 

This village just next door to Chicago is the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright. You can visit the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum, which is the perfect place to explore the celebrated author’s life and work.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio is just steps away from Ernest Hemingway’s home, so you can explore this important attraction too, especially if you’re into architecture.

As far as dining options go, I couldn’t recommend Maya Del Sol more. It’s this fabulous Latin American restaurant with the cutest and most romantic patio, ideal for a date night!

Oak Park isn’t your nightlife hotspot or a particular tourist destination. So keep this in mind and consider a stay here if you’re more interested in a laid-back, cozy, and romantic Chicago experience.

A collage of three photos of hotels to stay in Oak Park, Chicago: a bedroom with simple décor and large windows, a spacious and modern penthouse living room with city views, and the traditional brick exterior of The Carleton hotel with its welcoming entrance canopy

Luxury (US$250 and up)

  • Harvey House Bed and Breakfast – a luxurious bed and breakfast with free on-site parking, rooms with a spa bath, and exceptional décor! The B&B is inside a restored building, and it has an authentic charm perfect for romantic visits.
  • Downtown Oak Park Condo – a recently renovated apartment with a rooftop patio and fabulous city views! There are plenty of shops and restaurants nearby. 

Mid-range (US$150 – US$250)

  • Eclectic 2-Bedroom Apartment – a perfect choice for staying in Oak Park like a local. Featuring 2 bedrooms and all the essential amenities, this home away from home can sleep up to 4 guests.
  • Carleton of Oak Park – another charming hotel with 2 on-site restaurants and a fitness center (off-site, free access). The rooms are compact and have super comfortable beds!

Budget (up to US$150)

  • Sunny Coach House – this lovely, highly-rated home has 2 bedrooms and can sleep up to 3 people. It makes for a perfect base for exploring Oak Park and its surroundings.
  • Cozy Vintage Apartment – a cozy 1-bedroom apartment for couples with a dedicated workplace. The place is fully renovated and is just a block away from the area’s Art District.

Best apartments in Chicago

Sunset view of a charming residential street in Chicago, featuring historic brownstone houses with intricate facades

If you prefer comfort during travels, I feel you! In this case, booking an apartment instead of a hotel might be a better choice!

  • Luxury: Level Chicago Old Town – this one is perfect for families of up to 6 people! It has stunning city views, and it’s in Old Town, close to Lincoln Park!
  • Mid-range: The Avondale Guest House – this beautiful guest house is located close to the Lincoln Park Zoo and hosts up to 6 people. The space is simple but comfy and even has a patio!
  • Budget: Shared Artist Loft. Very Unique – stay in a private room in a nicely decorated loft. The check-in process is simple, and the place is sparkling clean!
👑 Luxury price:US$350
💵 Mid-range:US$250
🛏️ Budget:US$150
📍 Best neighborhood:The Loop/Downtown
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:The Langham Chicago
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop
👛 Best budget hotel:HI Chicago Hostel

BONUS 1: Best hotels in Wrigley Field for baseball lovers

A packed Wrigley Field during a baseball game with the illuminated scoreboard, under a twilight sky

Baseball fans may prefer staying as close to Wrigley Field as possible. If this is why you’re coming to town, I’ve got you covered!

I’ve compared the accommodation facilities in the area and hand-picked 2 excellent options, one for luxury and one for budget. 

With these 2 options, you don’t even have to worry about hotels near Wrigley Field with a shuttle because the ones I mention are steps away from the stadium!

NOTE: For more accommodation options close to the stadium, check out the properties I recommend in Lincoln Park or Lakeview!

BONUS 2: Best hotels near the 2 Chicago Airports

Chicago has 2 international airports – O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport. If you have an early or transfer flight, you may want to book a hotel close to your airport! 

Below, I’ll give you the best hotel options for each of them:

1. O’Hare International Airport

The interior of O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, adorned with a display of international flags, bustling with travelers beneath a geometric glass ceiling

O’Hare International Airport is a more popular option for international flights. This airport is around 17 miles from the city center, about 1 hour away by car. Here are 3 amazing options:

2. Midway International Airport

A World War II fighter plane exhibit hanging in the concourse of Midway International Airport in Chicago, with passengers and the American flag in the foreground

Midway Airport is more popular for domestic flights, so you’ll most probably land here if you come from a different part of the USA. This airport is 11 miles from the city center, around half an hour by car.

Here are 3 great hotels close to this airport (one for each type of budget), and all of them offer free shuttle services!

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

A row of traditional Chicago brick row houses with colorful facades and front porches, shaded by mature trees on a sunny residential street

Chicago has quite a reputation, and it’s considered a bit dangerous due to violence and conflict, especially in Downtown Chicago. 

However, contrary to what the media reports, Downtown Chicago is one of the safest areas!

Just like in any other city, be cautious of your belongings and surroundings and practice common safety procedures wherever you are.

It might help to know that violent crime in Chicago (for which the city has a “reputation”) doesn’t target tourists!

Usually, the most dangerous areas are the poorest and are located off the tourist path, like:

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

So just play it safe like you would in any city, but generally speaking, Chicago is a fantastic city for tourists!

If you want my recommendation for the safest hotels in Chicago, I found really good ones in safe neighborhoods and sorted them by price below:

  • Luxury: Hotel Zachary – Chicago’s luxurious hotel with fabulous décor and amenities in Lakeview, one of the safest areas in town with a very low crime rate
  • Mid-range: Best Western Lakeview – A cute 3-star hotel in Lakeview for a comfortable stay if you’re looking for excellent value for money
  • Budget: Ohio House Motel – A top-rated budget stay in River North, another one of the safest areas in Chicago 

FAQs about where to stay in Chicago

The iconic Chicago Theatre marquee sign glowing in red and yellow, with busy city streets and modern skyscrapers around

📍Which is the best area to stay in Chicago?

The best neighborhood in Chicago, especially for first-time visitors, is Chicago Downtown, where you’ll find excellent 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 neighborhood to stay in Chicago for lively nightlife is River North. Here, you can find all the best bars for young adults and those young at heart. Stay at Ohio House Motel or Hampton Inn & Suites, both with great value!

❓Where is it safe to stay in Chicago?

Downtown, River North, Streeterville and other neighborhoods mentioned in this blog post are all safe to stay in for tourists! 

✖️ What are the areas to avoid in Chicago?

The most dangerous areas are also the poorest, located off the tourist path, like Riverdale, Fuller Park, Englewood, Pullman, South Deering and Grand Crossing. It is essential to exercise caution in these areas or avoid them overall. 

🚙 Where Is the best area to stay in Chicago without a car?

River North or anywhere around the Magnificent Mile are the most convenient places to stay without a car! Chicago has a pretty good public transport system, so you should be fine!

🎄 Which neighborhood should i stay in Chicago for Christmas?

Streeterville or River North (anywhere close to Michigan Avenue) is a perfect place to stay for Christmas! You’ll be close to where all the action is (think choir performances, holiday concerts, and similar), and The Loop will be a short drive away!

🪩 Which are the best hotels in Chicago for a bachelorette party?

The Langham Hotel and Godfrey Hotel in River North are fabulous hotels for a bachelorette party! They have all the luxurious amenities you could need for the perfect event!

🏈 Where is the best area to stay in Chicago for a bears game?

Anywhere near Michigan Ave will work! You can take a bus directly to the stadium and won’t have to worry about parking. If you’d rather walk to the stadium, choosing a hotel like Hilton Garden Inn in South Loop by caris your best option.


The Chicago skyline at twilight with the John Hancock Center standing tall, reflected on the serene waters of a park pond surrounded by autumn foliage

You have reached the end of my complete guide on where to stay in Chicago! I told you everything you need to know about the 11 best neighborhoods to stay in the city, with hand-picked hotel recommendations in each!

I hope you picked the perfect accommodation for your upcoming trip! If you’re still indecisive, here are my 2 top hotels in Chicago:

  • The Langham Chicago – the best Chicago hotel in the city center for an upscale stay, with a lavishly decorated interior and beautiful indoor pool
  • Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop – excellent value for money near State Street with a fitness center and a games room

Finally, don’t forget to book your stay in Chicago in advance! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!

Happy travels,


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