Where To Stay in Chicago (2024): 6 Best Areas For Every Budget

Where To Stay in Chicago (2024): 6 Best Areas For Every Budget

Are you planning a trip to Chicago but have no idea where you should stay? Don’t worry because you have found the best guide to all the Chicago neighborhoods and top hotels in the city! All the work has been done for you with this detailed guide on all the best areas to stay in Chicago, with hotel options and price ranges to suit every budget. So sit back, relax, and keep scrolling until you see a hotel that’s right up your alley.

Best Places To Stay In Chicago 

As the third-largest city in the United States, Chicago can be overwhelming to newcomers. Whether it’s your first or fifth visit, deciding where to stay in Chicago is difficult. First, you should figure out what you would prefer for your trip—a hotel close to all of the city’s best tourist attractions or something in a more serene part of the metropolis with scenic views of Lake Michigan. 

Once you’ve sorted that out, deciding on the right neighborhood will be easy. And don’t stress about booking hotels outside the city center—Chicago has an excellent network of public transportation that will help you get around the city with ease. From the best budget hostels to the most opulent five-star hotels in the Second City, here’s everything you need to know about the best places to stay in Chicago! 

Chicago Loop

where to stay in chicago the loop
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Chicago Loop is the area of downtown Chicago where all the most famous landmarks and attractions are. If this is your first time in the city and you want to be within easy walking distance of all the top sights, this is by far the best neighborhood for a hotel stay. 

The Chicago Loop encompasses several downtown neighborhoods, including Millennium Park and New Eastside, while Michigan Avenue runs through the central area of the district. Some of Chicago’s best hotels are in this area, and they’re all a short walk from The Art Institute of Chicago, Willis Tower, The Rookery Building, and other iconic sights. 

Also, the Chicago Loop borders two bodies of water – the Chicago River in the west and Lake Michigan in the east. Stay near either edge, preferably in a high-rise hotel, and you’ll get to experience marvelous views from your hotel room. 

Luxury: JW Marriott Chicago

JW Marriott Chicago is one of the best luxury hotels in the Chicago Loop district. The hotel is in a high-rise building and the rooms on higher floors offer nice city views, thanks to the large floor-to-ceiling windows. Also, all the rooms have extra high ceilings and are very spacious. Guests can make use of the indoor pool, fitness center, and spa services, plus there are two restaurants on-site. 

Every JW Marriott hotel room features a private bathroom, TV, minibar, and coffee machine. Guests also get a desk and a nice seating area. The beds are extra large and very comfortable, promising a good night’s sleep. And because all the rooms are soundproof, you won’t be bothered by the nonstop noises of downtown Chicago. 

Mid-Range: Virgin Hotels Chicago

Virgin Hotels Chicago is one of the best options in the downtown area if you want to stay in a nice hotel but don’t want to spring for a luxury option. This four-star hotel features spacious rooms with extra-large beds and big ensuite bathrooms. Every guest has access to a desk and a state-of-the-art flat-screen TV in their hotel room. 

The boutique hotel offers generous wardrobe space in the rooms, which is refreshing. It also has three restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor terraces are simply lovely for casual drinks in the evening and offer a stunning view of the Chicago skyline. Oh, and this hotel is also pet-friendly, so you’re welcome to bring along your furry best friend. 

Budget: HI Chicago Hostel

HI Chicago Hostel is the best option for travelers looking for cheap accommodation in Chicago. I really like that this hostel offers beds in dormitories and private suites, plus a small bedroom with a private bathroom. The options are better than in standard hostels, and the price is excellent for such a central location. 

Dormitory beds are just under $50 per night, which is a great deal for a stay in the heart of Chicago. Private suites are more expensive, especially those with an ensuite bathroom, but it’s still one of the cheapest stays in the Windy City. The hostel’s common areas are also really good, including a pool table, lounge, dining room, small office space, and much more. 

Where to stay in the heart of Chicago
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Pros of Staying in Chicago Loop

Walking distance to popular landmarks
Easy access to public transportation 
Many hotels to choose from 
Lots of bars and restaurants

Cons of Staying in Chicago Loop

The neighborhood is busy and noisy
Hotels are pricey 
High-rise buildings often block the views 

1. Lincoln Park 

Where to stay in Chicago Lincoln Park
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Lincoln Park is an upscale neighborhood in Chicago, great for travelers who prefer staying in a high-end area of a new city. Here, you can find some of Chicago’s best bars and restaurants, and you’ll have easy access to the city center by public transport. 

The neighborhood is best known for the sprawling Lincoln Park, a vast green space on the shore of Lake Michigan. It’s home to the Lincoln Park Zoo and quite a few walking trails that will quickly make you forget you’re in the third-largest city in the United States. 

Stay in Lincoln Park for cheaper hotels and fewer crowds. It is a mostly residential neighborhood so you will need to go into Downtown Chicago for museums and attractions, but you’ll be able to enjoy peace and quiet. Lincoln Park is also one of Chicago’s safest areas, so it’s great if you want to avoid trouble at all costs during the trip.  

Luxury: Hotel Lincoln

Hotel Lincoln is the best and priciest option in this Chicago neighborhood. Located next to the sprawling Lincoln Park, the hotel’s rooftop bar is the perfect place to enjoy a scenic sunset in Chicago. The hotel is set in a historic building but features modern room furnishings. 

The guest rooms are spacious and each one has an ensuite bathroom. All the rooms also have a coffee maker, flat-screen TV, and desk. Spring for a room on one of the higher floors, and you’ll get to enjoy beautiful views of Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan throughout your stay. 

Mid-Range: Villa D’ Citta

Villa D’ Citta is an interesting bed and breakfast in this posh Chicago neighborhood. The rooms are named after Italian towns and the decor is thoroughly inspired by the towns, with one exception. It’s the Cesare room, which has a bust of Julius Ceasar in the room and I absolutely love it. 

The rooms are spacious and clean, and you get more amenities than you would in a standard hotel room. Every suite has a private bathroom, mini kitchen, seating area, desk, and TV, plus all guests are welcome to use the hot tub and outdoor barbecue facilities. If you’re looking for a unique stay in Chicago, definitely consider this B&B. 

Budget: Chicago Getaway Hostel

Chicago Getaway Hostel is one of the best options for travelers on a tight budget. You can get a bed here for as little as $40 (with tax), which is a seriously good deal for such an expensive city. What’s even crazier is that breakfast is included in the nightly rate. The hostel offers beds in dormitories and private rooms, and there’s even an option with a private half bathroom. 

If you like meeting new people, you’ll love this pristine hostel’s shared spaces. There’s a barbecue area, a cinema room, a pool table, and guitars. Bike rental is available in the summer, and the hostel is very close to public transport so you can choose how to get around. By train, it’s only 20 minutes from the Chicago Loop, so you can be in the heart of the city in no time. 

Where to stay in Chicago near Lincoln Park Zoo
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Pros of Staying in Lincoln Park

A very safe area of Chicago
Affordable hotels 
Upscale restaurants and bars 
Easy access to the city center by public transport 

Cons of Staying in Lincoln Park

Fewer tourist attractions 
Not as many options for hotels 
Quite far from Chicago’s downtown 

2. South Loop

where to stay in chicago south loop
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South Loop is a good neighborhood for tourists who want to be close to downtown Chicago but don’t want the hefty price of hotels in such a central location. Many hotels in South Loop are still within walking distance of the top Chicago attractions, and you’re never far from the nearest train station or bus stop. 

This vibrant district is a hub for jazz bars and eclectic restaurants, plus it’s right next to the Museum Campus. Whether you want to go on long walks in the vast park or enjoy cocktails in the trendiest bars in Chicago, it will all be just a short walk from your hotel in South Loop. 

This Chicago neighborhood is home to the Prairie Avenue Historic District, which features 19th-century houses and mansions. Discover the landmark buildings that survived the devastating fire of the late 19th century, and you’ll see some truly special attractions that are much more interesting than the modern statues.  

Luxury: The Wheeler Mansion

The Wheeler Mansion is a special hotel in Chicago. It’s set in a historic building that dates back to 1870 and which is one of a few survivors of the great Chicago fire that ravaged a huge portion of the city just a year later. Staying in this hotel means experiencing a special part of the city’s history, and I highly recommend the hotel to all travelers who enjoy unique stays. 

The guest rooms are all decorated with vintage furniture so that the mansion’s interior matches its exterior perfectly. They’re also all equipped with private bathrooms and even feature TVs, although they are hidden in the cabinets. Breakfast is included in the nightly rate of all rooms, and you can enjoy it in the historically furnished dining room. 

Mid-Range: Marriott Marquis Chicago

Marriott Marquis Chicago is a high-end four-star hotel in South Loop. It is a little farther away from the city center, but right next to McCormick Place, so you can easily get around the city in no time. The Mariott Hotel features spacious and modern rooms with very comfortable double beds and big windows. 

Every guest room has a private bathroom, seating area, and dedicated working space. Every room also has a 55” flat-screen TV, which will make staying in bed in the mornings extra enjoyable. The Mariott mostly caters to business travelers, and it has more than 93,000 square feet of meeting space, four restaurants, a fitness center, and a bar on-site. 

Budget: Bluegreen Vacations Hotel Blake

Bluegreen Vacations Hotel Blake is a four-star hotel on Chicago’s historic Printer’s Row. This area borders the downtown, so it’s super close to all the top tourist attractions in the heart of the city. In addition to the excellent location, Hotel Blake also features clean and spacious rooms with large windows that let in a lot of light.

The rooms are very nice and decorated with contemporary furnishings. Every guest room has a spacious private bathroom, TV, a desk, and a small seating area. You’ll also get a coffee maker in the room, and you can take advantage of room service if you wish to get something to eat. There’s an on-site restaurant; however, breakfast isn’t included in the nightly room rate. The hotel also features a bar and a fitness center but no pool or spa. 

Where to stay in Chicago South Loop Winery
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Pros of Staying in South Loop

The neighborhood is home to historic landmarks
Very close to downtown Chicago 
Affordable hotel stays 
Lots of great bars and restaurants 

Cons of Staying in South Loop

Some hotels are not within walking distance of the city center 
Not as many options for hotel stays 
The area around McCormick Place is often crowded

3. River North

where to stay in chicago navy pier
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River North is an upscale neighborhood north of the Chicago Loop. It’s home to high-end hotels, luxe restaurants, fancy bars, and many boutique stores. This is one of Chicago’s best neighborhoods for an upscale stay, especially for travelers who want to stay close to the top attractions in the downtown area. 

If you stay in this part of Chicago, you’ll usually be just a short walk across the river from all the historic landmarks in the Chicago Loop. And if you’re not in the mood to walk, you’ll always be near a train or bus stop that will take you south in just a few minutes. 

River North is a great district for both luxury hotel stays and budget travelers. If you’re not too picky about your accommodation and care more about location and cleanliness than hotel amenities, you’ll be glad to know that there are some great affordable options in this area. 

Luxury: The Langham

Exceptional is the only adjective that can do justice to the Langham Hotel. It is one of the best luxury hotels in Chicago, and the place to book if you want to feel like royalty in the city. Stay in one of the sprawling suites on the high floors, and you’ll get to enjoy wonderful scenic views of Lake Michigan from the comfort of your extra-large double bed. 

All the rooms at The Langham feature a spacious private bathroom, dedicated working space, seating area, and a flat-screen TV. My favorite thing about The Langham is probably the extra-wide shower with a rainfall showerhead. Hotel guests can also enjoy the indoor pool, fitness center, and award-winning wellness center. 

Mid-Range: The Westin Chicago River North

The Westin Chicago River North is a top choice if you want to stay in a high-end hotel near downtown Chicago. This hotel is right next to the Chicago River, and only a bridge separates it from the Chicago Loop. It’s a four-star hotel, so it features all the amenities you would expect from such an establishment. 

The rooms are spacious, with modern furnishings and large windows. A seating area, desk, and TV are included in every room at The Westin, as well as a coffee maker with Starbucks capsules, which is a nice touch. The hotel also features a fitness center and two restaurants, one of which is a popular sushi bar. 

where to stay in chicago River North near the Navy Pier
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Budget: Moxy Chicago Downtown

Moxy Chicago Downtown is a great three-star hotel with sleek, modern rooms in the heart of River North. It’s a 15-minute walk from Chicago Loop, so the location is great for exploring the popular attractions and landmarks in the city. The Moxy Hotel features contemporary rooms with smart furnishings and bathroom facilities. It offers a fitness center, bar, and two restaurants to all the guests. 

However, it’s important to note that the rooms are very small, averaging just 150 square feet for the basic rooms. The shower is in the room, and even though there is a door, it’s not ideal if you’re traveling with friends and you want privacy. However, this hotel is very affordable, especially considering the location and the beautiful decor. All the rooms also feature a flat-screen TV and large windows. 

Pros of Staying in River North

Close to downtown Chicago 
Lots of options for hotels 
High-end bars and restaurants 

Cons of Staying in River North

Fewer landmarks in the district 
It’s a pricey neighborhood 
A busy and noisy area 

4. Streeterville

Where to stay in Chicago Streeterville
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Streeterville is a busy neighborhood close to Downtown Chicago best known for the Magnificent Mile. The upscale area is home to some of the city’s best luxury shops, restaurants, and high-end hotels, and it’s the place to be if you want to live lavishly in Chicago. 

Go shopping on Oak Street, enjoy the view from the city’s best five-star hotels, and check out Ohio Street Beach. Streeterville has plenty of interesting attractions to keep the tourists busy including museums, historic buildings, and even piers. And it’s just across the river from Chicago Loop, so you’ll be very close to the city center no matter which hotel you stay in. 

This buzzing neighborhood is great for experiencing the art and culture of Chicago. And it is well connected to other districts with public transport, so it will be very easy to get around town. Although I like the vibe and feel of this district quite a bit, I don’t recommend it for budget travelers. 

Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago

The Ritz-Carlton is one of the best five-star hotels in the city and the obvious choice for travelers who are looking for luxury accommodation in Chicago. All the rooms are spacious and modern, with a pristine private bathroom and large windows. Choose between rooms with views of the city or the lake – either one is a great option because both views are fabulous. 

Guests staying at The Ritz Carlton will have a flat-screen TV in the room, as well as a desk and a dedicated seating area. I love that the couch is next to the window, so you can fully relax and unwind to spectacular panoramic views of Chicago. This fantastic hotel also features an indoor pool, fitness center, and two restaurants. I must say that if you work out at their fitness center, it will probably be the most scenic workout of your life. 

Mid-Range: Sable At Navy Pier Chicago

Sable At Navy Pier Chicago is a top hotel if you’re looking for unique stays in Chicago. You can find it on the historic Navy Pier, far from the bustle and noise of the city center. But it’s not too far – the hotel is just a 20-minute walk from Downtown Chicago, so you can still be at the center of the action in no time. 

This Hilton hotel features spacious rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows offering uninterrupted views of Lake Michigan. The beds are extra large and very comfortable, and every room features a TV, desk, and a seating area. All guest rooms have an ensuite bathroom, and everyone staying at this hotel can use the fitness center. There are two on-site restaurants and a bar, and many affordable fast-food joints are available at the pier, just a couple of minutes from the hotel. 

Budget: Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago

Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago is a good option with an affordable nightly rate in Streeterville—well, as affordable as it can be in one of the most expensive districts of this metropolis. The four-star hotel is set in a lovely historic building, one of the rare old hotels in Chicago. 

The rooms are spacious and decorated with classic furniture. Every guest room has a private bathroom, desk, TV, and a small seating area. But the furniture is a bit outdated, and the TVs are quite small, which is why the nightly rate is lower. The hotel also offers a fitness center but the selection of exercise equipment is very limited. It has a bar and a restaurant on-site with seasonal operating hours. 

Where to stay in Chicago Magnificent Mile
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Pros of Staying in Streeterville

Great for luxury hotels
Upscale restaurants and shops 
Views of Lake Michigan 
Very close to Downtown Chicago

Cons of Staying in Streeterville

Fewer affordable hotels 
Restaurants and bars are expensive 
No metro access in the neighborhood 

5. Gold Coast

Where to stay in Chicago near Skydeck Downtown
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Gold Coast is a prestigious neighborhood that stretches from Oak Street in the south to Lincoln Park in the north. Back in the 1980s and along with Streeterville, it was the United States’ second-most affluent neighborhood, surpassed only by the Upper East Side in Manhattan. It’s no longer quite as rich, but you get the gist. 

Gold Coast might not offer many affordable hotels, but it does offer many excellent restaurants, bars, and luxury shops. The entire neighborhood is also a historic district thanks to rows of houses dating back to the 19th century. The iconic original The Wheeler Mansion and Charnley-Perksy House are some of the most notable homes here, which legend Frank Lloyd Wright partly designed.

This is also generally a safe area in Chicago for tourists, which makes it one of the better places in the city for a hotel stay. There are plenty of landmarks and attractions to explore on the Gold Coast, and you can even catch glimpses of Lake Michigan while strolling through the city streets. 

Luxury: Viceroy Chicago

The Viceroy Chicago is an upscale five-star hotel with luxurious rooms, a rooftop bar, and a seasonal outdoor pool. Stay here, and you’ll wake up to some of the best scenic views of Chicago through the floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s great to enjoy them from the bed, which is so comfortable you’ll never want to get up. 

All the guest rooms at the Viceroy feature private bathrooms, coffee makers, a desk, and a seating area. I love that the bathroom mirror has LED lights, which makes it so easy to get ready in the mornings and is especially convenient for putting on makeup. This excellent hotel also features a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and two on-site restaurants.  

Mid-Range: Thompson Chicago

Thompson Chicago is a Hyatt hotel with beautifully decorated large rooms. It’s just a few steps from Oak Street, so it’s the closest hotel to Streeterville and Downtown Chicago. Stay here for easy access to the city center and all the top landmarks in Gold Coast. The Thompson Hotel features a bar and a fitness center, but unfortunately, it doesn’t have an on-site restaurant.  

The hotel rooms all have spacious private bathrooms, a seating area, a desk, a flat-screen TV, and nice city views through the large windows. Book a room on one of the higher floors, and you’ll get to enjoy wonderful panoramic views of Chicago’s skyline from the comfort of your bed. 

Budget: Ambassador Chicago

The four-star Ambassador Chicago is as affordable as it gets in the Gold Coast district of Chicago. It’s not really a cheap hotel, although you can book it for about $120 per night (without tax) at certain times, which I think is a seriously good this for this upscale neighborhood. For this fabulous hotel offers spacious modern rooms with extra large beds and spotless bathrooms.

All guest rooms have a desk, a small seating area, and beautiful artwork on the walls. Guests also get a TV and free WiFi in the room, but I doubt you’ll want to watch anything in the suite when you can go to the hotel’s screening room with a 110” screen. This hotel also has a 24-hour fitness center and a rooftop terrace with sweeping views of Lake Michigan.  

where to stay in chicago gold coast
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Pros of Staying in Gold Coast

Historic buildings and landmarks
Views of Lake Michigan 
Great for upscale hotel stays 

Cons of Staying in Gold Coast 

Expensive accommodation and restaurants 
Far from Chicago city center 
Few hotels to choose from 

Best Areas To Stay In Chicago FAQ’s 

Where to stay in Chicago Restaurant Row
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What part of Chicago is best to stay in? 

Chicago Downtown, also known as Chicago Loop, is the best part of Chicago to stay in. The central neighborhood offers many tourist attractions and hotels in every price range. 

What is the safest part of Chicago to stay in?

The safest part of Chicago for tourists is the downtown area including Chicago Loop, Streeterville, Gold Coast, and River North. These districts are also home to Chicago’s pricier hotels and are generally more affluent parts of the city.  

How many days do you need in Chicago? 

You need at least 2-3 days in Chicago to explore all of its famous attractions. It’s a big city with lots to do and see, and it takes a while to explore the city’s landmarks. 

Is 3 nights in Chicago enough?

Yes, three nights is enough time in Chicago. You’ll have plenty of time to see all of the city’s best landmarks, and you can even tour a couple of museums and historic buildings while you’re there. 

Where Not To Stay In Chicago 

Statistically speaking, Chicago is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. It’s also one of the biggest, spanning an area of 235 square miles. Common sense dictates it’s best to avoid the neighborhoods and districts with the highest crime rate in Chicago, and those are West Garfield Park, North Lawndale, East Garfield Park, Washington Park, and West Englewood.

These five districts have the highest crime rate in the city and are not safe for tourists. They’re also far from the city center, so there’s really no reason to go there unless you’re specifically looking for cheap accommodation. But I advise against staying in any one of these neighborhoods because you really can’t put a price on your safety. 

Also, there are plenty of other neighborhoods outside central Chicago that offer cheaper stays and are much safer. Consider Wicker Park, West Loop, or Hyde Park for better deals on accommodation, easy access to top landmarks in central Chicago by public transport, and a relatively safe atmosphere. One thing I will note is that most of Chicago is safe if you are careful and take all the standard precautions for traveling to a city with a population of 2,5+ million. 

Why We Love Chicago 

Where to stay in Chicago Ohio Beach Park
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Why wouldn’t we love Chicago? It’s a buzzing metropolis with countless historic landmarks, excellent museums, fabulous high-rise buildings, and over 20 Michelin-starred kitchens. Set on the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago offers a wide variety of things to do that can interest anyone, whether you want to tour 19th-century mansions or eat your way through Windy City. 

It’s a place you can discover in just 3-4 days, but also an excellent destination for longer stays. Stay a while in Chicago, and go on day trips to other cities in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and even Indiana to properly tour the Midwest. You can go on cruises, try kayaking, explore hiking trails, and even visit some of the best national parks in the US, and be back in Chicago in time for dinner. So yes, we absolutely love Chicago and we think everyone should visit the Second City at least once. 

Plan your trip to Chicago and other cities in the United States

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