We list the best hotels, hostels, B&Bs and guesthouses in Chicago as recommended by travel experts from CNN, Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Fodor’s, New York Times and more. All hotel recommendations have been referenced with customer reviews and we only listed places that have at least a 4 out of 5-star customer review rating.
“The affordable, well-situated Acme Hotel Company has a cheekily hip, rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic that’s targeted at the Internet generation. It fulfills a need in the neighborhood, which has plenty of chain hotels and expensive lodgings lacking personality.”
“Across from Lincoln Park, this historic hotel’s cool, kitschy vibe still feels authentic, thanks to details like the original Hotel Lincoln sign in the lobby. Guest rooms combine vintage and modern elements, including original art.”
Featured as Fodor’s Choice in Chicago.
“The 247-room Thompson Chicago has a Gold Coast address with the casual opulence and views — of both city and lake — to match. A stylish, splurge-worthy hotel with an excellent location, thoughtful perks and destination-style dining without having to leave your room.”
“The Godfrey boasts a Cubist-inspired facade and a marble-clad elliptical lobby. The modern design aesthetic extends to the 221 rooms and suites, many of which have skyline views. A youthful atmosphere pervades the stylish hotel, as evidenced by the high-energy music playing in the lobby day and night.”
“Humming, industrial-vibe magnet for Google employees who work across the street, and urban nomads checking in to check out the banging West Loop—and the city’s cultural attractions beyond. Well worth it for the insider access to a great restaurant, skyline-framing rooftop bar, and exposure to local art.”
Featured in CN Traveler’s 2018 Hot List.
“This unique property makes you feel like a road-tripper of yore. The dark-wood-paneled rooms strike the right balance of retro vibe and modern amenities. The central location puts you near the river, Magnificent Mile shops and Millennium Park.”
Fodors, New York Times, Frommers, Telegraph
New York Times, Lonely Planet, Telegraph
Fodors, Frommers, Telegraph
Frommers, Fodors, Telegraph
New York Times, Telegraph
New York Times, Telegraph
New York Times, Telegraph
Lonely Planet, Telegraph
CN Traveler, Telegraph
Chicago is a city in the Midwestern U.S. state of Illinois and is the third largest city in the U.S. by population.
Some of the best neighborhoods in Chicago are:
Bridgeport is a working-class neighborhood that is transforming with the establishment of bakeries, bars, and restaurants. The area is acclaimed for its bars and breweries that serve best drinks in the city. Schaller’s Pump, the oldest bar in the city, is located in the neighborhood.
The Chinatown neighborhood in Chicago is not as big as the Chinatowns located in San Francisco or New York but is large enough for you to remain entertained all through your stay. The neighborhood has Chinatown Square that houses the biggest Chinese shopping mall in the Midwestern region, Chinatown Gate, or Wentworth Avenue for delicious dim sum treats.
Hyde Park is a neighborhood that is located in the southern side of the city and is a cultural throve and is the home to the Museum of Science and Industry, the University of Chicago campus, the home of former President Barack Obama, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, among several other places.
Uptown is a neighborhood in the city that is a lively blend of old and Chicago. The neighborhood offers some of the best Vietnamese food that can be found in the city. The neighborhood is the home to Aragon Ballroom, Riviera, Art Deco architecture, and restored movie palaces.
Wicker Park is a neighborhood that is replete with vegetarian restaurants, vintage boutiques, artisanal donut shops, tree-lined streets, and other beautiful features.
Also check out our guide about the best areas to stay in Chicago.
Hotels in Chicago aren't cheap. For a 3-star hotel you have to pay around $170 per night and for a 4-star Chicago hotel you would be looking at $225 per night. If you're after a luxury 5-star hotel then you can expect to pay around $400 per night.
If money isn't a problem and you're looking for a luxury hotel in Chicago, then go for Langham Hotel. The hotel offers excellent service, it's in a top location, it has been rated very highly by previous guests and renowned travel critics have recommended it.
Also check out our list of the best luxury hotels in Chicago, it's a manually curated list of the most exclusive 5-star hotels in the city.
You like some luxury but don't like the famous chain hotels. If you're looking for the best boutique hotel in Chicago, you should check out Viceroy Chicago. It's a very cool hotel that has been highly recommended by travelers and experts.
Also check out our list of the best boutique hotels in Chicago, it's a manually curated list of the most unique and romantic hotels in the city.
If you're looking for a cheap hotel in Chicago, then try Acme Hotel Company. It's an excellent budget hotel offering great value for money. It's in a good location, it's been recommended by travel experts and the hotel has excellent customer reviews. Also check out our list of the best cheap hotels in Chicago.
If you're looking for a great hostel in Chicago, then you should check out Hostel Holiday Jones. The hostel has magnificent reviews by backpackers, it has been recommended by well-known travel experts and it's in a good location. Also check out our list of best hostels in Chicago.
The Langham Hotel is probably your best bet if you're looking to start the day with a great breakfast. Customers have rated the breakfast buffet there as excellent.
Chicago River Architecture Cruise: Skip-the-Ticket-Office. Cruise along the Chicago River on a 75-minute tour, and discover hidden architectural gems among the city’s renowned landmarks. Led by a docent providing live narration, the tour passes more than 40 structures, and sails under historic bridges. Price: $36.
Gangsters and Ghosts Tour in Chicago. With a historian as your guide, you’ll step back to the roaring 20’s, when the Chicago Loop was a hub for bootleggers, speakeasies, and gangsters like the infamous Al Capone. Price: $27.
Bikes, Bites, and Brews: Chicago's Signature Dishes Bike Tour. Chicago dogs, deep-dish pizza, cupcakes and craft beer are all sampled on this half-day bike tour through the Windy City. Cover about 13 miles (21 km), following an informative guide at a moderate pace. Price $80.
More things to do in Chicago
One of the most popular cities in the United States, Chicago is a hit with visitors of all stripes. The city is known for its natural beauty and has been called the “City of Big Shoulders.” It welcomed over 53 million visitors in 2017, making it one of the top destinations in the country.
When visiting Chicago, you’ll have no shortage of things to see and do. From major cultural landmarks to hidden gems, this city has it all. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting the Windy City.
There are many reasons to visit Chicago. For starters, it’s one of the world’s most livable cities. What does that mean? It means that you can walk around without fear (most of the time), enjoy some authentic deep-dish pizza, and experience a truly diverse culture.
Chicago also has one of the largest economies in the United States. That translates to lots of jobs and opportunities for residents. The city has an average commute time of just 20 minutes, which means more time with family, friends, and hobbies.
Die-hard sports fans will love this city as well. Chicago is home to four major league teams: The Chicago Bears, The Chicago Cubs, The Chicago Blackhawks, and The Chicago White Sox.
Finally, there are plenty of things to see and do for visitors in Chicago. From seeing the city’s beautiful skyline at sunset or enjoying world-class shopping opportunities on Clark Street; there’s no shortage of unique attractions in this city!
One of the best ways to see the city is by taking a walking tour. There are plenty of guided tours offered in Chicago, with varying lengths and interests. You can go on a self-guided tour or sign up for one that provides commentary about various attractions and neighborhoods. Either way, you’ll learn more about the history of Chicago while also seeing some of its most famous landmarks.
If you want to explore the natural beauty that surrounds Chicago, head to Millennium Park. The park offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and is home to many attractions like Cloud Gate, aka “the Bean.” Don’t forget to visit Buckingham Fountain, which is located just north of the park.
The Magnificent Mile is another popular attraction in the city and features high-end stores as well as world-class restaurants and hotels. There are also plenty of outdoor activities available in this area like kayaking along Lake Michigan or boating on Navy Pier.
Many visitors enjoy dining at some of Chicago’s top restaurants like Topolobampo or Alinea. If you want to try local cuisine, be sure to check out these spots for delicious food with a twist!
Chicago has plenty to offer visitors looking for both culture and adventure!
There are many museums in Chicago. Some of the most popular ones include the Field Museum, Art Institute of Chicago (one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country), and Adler Planetarium. These are some of the best places to visit for a glimpse into Chicago’s world-renowned culture.
Regardless of your tastes, The Chicago Art Institute is a must for any Chicago visitor. It houses one of the largest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in the world, as well as American and European paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum also has some fantastic temporary exhibitions that are worth checking out.
Navy Pier is a cultural landmark on Lake Michigan that has been around since 1916. There’s something for everyone at Navy Pier. You can take in the views from its observation deck, go shopping in its stores, take a boat ride, or enjoy some entertainment at its theaters and amphitheater.
Millennium Park features an outdoor ice skating rink (during winter), a public art installation with lights called Crown Fountain, and a beautiful garden called Lurie Gardens on top of all the other attractions it has to offer visitors like Grant Park (Chicago’s Central Park) and Cloud Gate (the so-called “Bean”).
Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) is an iconic skyscraper standing at 1,450 feet high – higher than any other building in America except One World Trade Center in New York City! The tower was originally built by Sears Roebuck & Company but was purchased by local real estate firm Willis Group Holdings in 2004 who promptly changed its name to reflect the new ownership. Its observatory is open.
Find the perfect souvenir of your trip at one of these Chicago shopping destinations. You have a lot to choose from when it comes to shopping in Chicago. In fact, the city’s major department stores carry some of the biggest brands in the world. You can find brand names like Nike, Adidas, and Victoria’s Secret at stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom. If you are looking for something more niche, there are also small boutiques scattered throughout the city that specialize in high-end clothes and jewelry.
As far as destinations go, you can’t be blamed for thinking that Michigan Avenue is the place for all your shopping needs in Chicago. This famous street boasts a number of major department stores including Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, and Saks Fifth Avenue. It also houses popular retailers like Gucci and Tiffany & Co., not to mention plenty of other smaller shops that make up “The Magnificent Mile” – a stretch with over 500 shops in total!
You might also want to consider taking a stroll down The Gold Coast – traditionally Chicago’s wealthiest neighborhood. This would give you the opportunity to check out prestigious Chicago landmarks such as Water Tower Place or The Drake Hotel while browsing luxury boutiques like Chanel or Hermes on Illinois Street.
No matter what kind of store you prefer, this article should have given you an idea of where to start looking when visiting Chicago!
Many visitors to Chicago head straight for the city’s two most iconic attractions: Navy Pier and The Bean. Located on the city’s waterfront, Navy Pier is a mixed-use entertainment complex with an amusement park, aquarium, shops and restaurants.
The bean is more of a question mark than a monument. John Tauranac designed this modern sculpture in collaboration with artist Anish Kapoor in honor of the World Trade Center. When it was unveiled in 1989, it became an instant hit with photographers who delight in capturing its reflective qualities.
Chicago’s skyline is also a major sight to see as you enter the city by way of Lake Shore Drive. You’ll be able to spot several buildings from this vantage point, including Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) and even Trump Tower Chicago!
Chicago, with its rich culture and iconic landmarks, is one of America’s most popular destinations. Chicago is also a trendsetter; it saw the creation of the first standardized futures contracts at the Chicago Board of Trade which today now accounts for 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures.
Want to get to know the city a bit better? Check out our guide about where to stay in Chicago, it includes recommendations about the best areas, museums, attractions and other things to do.