Chicago on a Budget

Chicago Budget Nightlife

Chicago is an amazing city to visit, but costs can add up quickly making it an expensive trip. If you’re looking to visit Chicago, keep reading and find out how we recommend touring the Windy City, without blowing your entire budget.

Accommodations
Finding affordable accommodations in Chicago can be extremely challenging. An average hotel in Downtown Chicago will set you back about $200 a night! Cheaper deals can be found though, try staying in the Greater Chicago metro area, public transit makes it easy to get around, even if you’re not right downtown. At InTown Suites, we have three properties in the Chicago Metro Area. Our prices start at $259.99 for the week!

Travel
Don’t rely on taxis to get around the Chicago. Try walking whenever possible, and when you need travel a longer distance, the Second City has a fantastic public transit system, which makes getting around easy and affordable. Transit tickets are $2.25 each. If you plan on moving around a lot during your stay (more than 2 round-trips per day) purchasing a transit pass may be the most economical solution. Transit passes for Chicago are available in 1-Day, 3-Day or 10-Day versions.

Food
Chicago is a great city for finding great food on a budget. The city is filled with ethnic neighborhoods where you’ll find all kinds of delicious foods from all over the globe. Head to Greektown in Northern Chicago for delicious, filling, and inexpensive gyros. UpTown Chicago is home to dozens of authentic South East Asian restaurants.

Throughout the city, you’ll find food trucks full of menu items that fit your budget, including English pastys and Argentinian empanadas.

You can’t leave Chicago without trying one of the city’s world famous hot dogs. The meat is all-beef, the bun is covered in poppy seeds and it’s covered in condiments, except ketchup. Chicago hot dogs never come with ketchup on them. 

Attractions
The best thing to do in the city is to just walk around! Chicago is filled with dozens of free parks to explore, including the popular Millennium Park and it’s crowd pleasing Cloud Gate. If you want a little history to go along with your walk, search iTunes for a free downloadable walking tour.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of only a few, free zoos in the country. Even though admission is free, you can still see world class animals including rhinos, tigers, giraffes and more!

Tiny Fey, Amy Pohler and much of the cast of Saturday Night Live got their start at Second City Improve. If you’d like to see some of the up and coming talent, each night (except for Fridays) Second City puts on a free improve set after the last performance of the night.

If you’re visiting Chicago in the summer, hit the beaches along Lake Michigan.

What are some of your favorite tips for visiting Chicago on a budget? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Credit: Hotzots