On a budget? Stay at Chicago's inexpensive hotels, apartments and hostels

Visitors to Chicago don’t need to limit themselves to traditional hotels for accommodations, although there are plenty of budget-friendly hotels to stay at throughout the city with amenities like free WiFi and breakfasts to stretch your dollars even further.

For those who wish to stay at a hotel, finding one for less than $150 a night in a metropolitan city like Chicago isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either if you know where to look. Lucky for you, we’ve done the legwork and found several that meet your budget while still within walking distance or a quick CTA train or bus ride away from major attractions including the Museum Campus, Lincoln Park Zoo, Wrigley Field, theater district and the Magnificent Mile. In fact, to be truly budget-friendly, we considered more than just the room rate. We also took into account complimentary amenities and access to attractions either by foot or public transportation.

For those wishing to stay for extended period of time, Habitat Corporate Suites at Presidential Towers provides furnished corporate apartments rentals near the Loop making it an affordable alternative option. Or Chicago's new boutique hostel, Freehand, offers both shared and private accommodations in a hipster boutique-like setting. 

BEST WESTERN Plus Hawthorne Terrace Hotel

Nestled in vibrant Lakeview neighborhood and steps from Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs), this charming Chicago hotel feels like a boutique as you walk up its paved brick path and enter under its striped awning. Guests enjoy the...  Read More

Hotel Chicago-Illinois Medical District
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Hotel Chicago

This newly renovated hotel near is just one block from the Blue Line train, and located close to the United Center, Randolph Street restaurants, and University of Illinois-Chicago medical district. With rooms starting at $139, you get amenities...  Read More

Most people don't consider youth hostels because they think they are just for young people traveling but that's not true. Hostels are often a great value for accommodations and often are situated in historical buildings with a wide range of...  Read More

Days Inn Chicago

Just outside the bustle of the downtown area, the Days Inn Chicago offers a centered yet slightly off the beaten path for a Chicago hotel stay. The working group will enjoy easy and close proximity to the important financial district of Chicago,...  Read More

With its central location in the Loop, HI Chicago is within easy reach of most tourist attractions and business addresses in Chicago. A night in the 500-bed hostel includes free WiFi, sheets and towels, breakfast, and shampoo. Guests can also...  Read More

Hampton Inn Chicago Michigan Avenue
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Hampton Inn

Hampton Inn has three hotels in downtown Chicago, all of which offer excellent value. They have clean rooms, free WiFi and a gigantic free breakfast (eggs, bacon, waffles, oatmeal, and fresh juices are among the buffet items). But unlike the...  Read More

For those wishing to stay for an extended period of time in Chicago, Presidential Towers offers corporate apartment rentals near the heart of the financial district. This modern high-rise is a self-contained community with restaurants, a...  Read More

A downtown Chicago hotel - guests save even more with free hotel parking and free high-speed Internet access. Special hotel amenities include an exercise facility equipped with cardiovascular equipment, sun deck with skyline views, indoor heated...  Read More

Chicago's Essex Inn is directly adjacent to the famous Grant Park, giving business and leisurely travelers alike an advantaged starting point for their ventures into the city. Navy Pier, Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), Art Institute of...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Adrian Gaut

This ain't your daddy's hostel. This unique, hip, boutique hostel is located close to tourist attractions (less than a mile from Millennium Park in River North). There is a mixology bar serving signature cocktails and appetizers, a communal...  Read More


Meet Jamie Bartosch

Jamie Bartosch is a lifelong Chicagoan who thinks her hometown is the greatest city in the world. She is an award-winning newspaper reporter, a freelance travel writer, and the mother of two great kids.

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