Staying in Chicago without spending much is not complicated. The capital of Illinois is not an especially expensive city to sleep in, although it’s not the cheapest either. We were very surprised by the beauty of this city. Even though Chicago has the reputation of being one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, you have to be calm. If you sleep in the areas we recommend, you should have no problem.
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Where To Stay In Chicago: Best Areas And Hotels
Magnificent Mile, the best place to sleep in Chicago
If we had to recommend an area to stay in Chicago, it would certainly be along the Magnificent Mile. Also known as N. Michigan Avenue, it is the commercial artery of the city. Just so we understand each other, it would be for Chicago what 5th Avenue is in New York. They are very similar! There are lots of hotels all over the avenue. Although the luxury hotels predominate, there are also some cheaper ones. However, it’s the most expensive area to sleep in Chicago.
If you sleep on the Magnificent Mile, you will have the main stores next door and you will be right in the middle of the city. As we have said, Chicago is one of the cities with the most homicides in the United States, but the crimes happen far from the center of the city. So on the Magnificent Mile you’ll be very safe. It’s definitely the best area to stay in Chicago.
Good hotels on the Magnificent Mile:
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River North Gallery District, the smartest area to stay in Chicago
The Magnificent Mile starts from the Chicago River and heads north to Oak Street Beach. As we have said, this avenue is mostly home to luxury hotels. But the smartest thing to do is to sleep in the vicinity. On the west side of the Magnificent Mile is the beautiful district of River North. We stayed there and were very happy.
It is a commercial district with a great nightlife. In this district there is the largest concentration of art galleries in the United States only surpassed by Manhattan. In the last decades it has evolved a lot and there have been big buildings, night clubs and many restaurants that have given it another feel and made it a good area.
It seems that the spirit of the avenue has spread to the oldest part of the city. As you can imagine, if you move away from the Magnificent Mile and find a hotel in one of the streets of the district you will find better prices. To give you an idea, we stay there and pay about 70 euros per night for a good hotel.
It’s a very safe area to stay in Chicago. Both day and night there is a great atmosphere and the streets are almost never lonely (unlike the Loop). So if you’re looking for the best value for money, we think you need to sleep in the River North district.
Our recommendations in the North River Gallery District:
Streeterville, east of the Magnificent Mile
And across the avenue, closer to Lake Michigan, is the Streeterville district. It also has many hotels, although we think it has a quite different feel to the River North District. Although it’s home to some restaurants, we think it’s a much quieter part. It is a quieter area to stay in Chicago, with universities, hospitals… but also very safe.
If you don’t find anything that convinces you in the above areas or you are looking for tranquility, Streeterville is also a very good area to sleep in Chicago.
Good options in Streeterville:
Theatre District, a good alternative
North of the Loop, as Chicago’s Downtown is known, is the Theater District. It is a commercial and entertainment area. As its name suggests, some of the city’s most famous theaters are located there. You can’t miss the beautiful Chicago Theater, which is perfectly lit up at night.
It’s a pretty good area. There are many hotels and it is very close to everything. You are only a 5 minute walk from Millennium Park and the Magnificent Mile. Having shops and theatres is a bit of an exception in the Chicago Loop as there is an atmosphere at all times. If you find a hotel that you like in the Theater District, you will have chosen well 🙂
The best hotels in the Theatre District:
Chicago Loop, the financial district of Chicago
And finally we can’t forget about the Chicago Loop. It is the city’s Downtown, its financial district, where the big businesses of one of the most important cities in the United States move. Besides the headquarters of very important companies, there are also several museums, universities and interesting parks like Grant Park.
We sleep in the downtowns of the big cities, but we don’t like it too much because at night the atmosphere changes completely. When people come home after work, the area gets a bit lonely and can give a feeling of insecurity. We still think it is a good area to stay in Chicago because there are many and very good hotels, but if you are going to leave and want to return late to the hotel we think there are better areas.