Much of the hostel accommodation in Chicago now goes beyond the traditional bare necessities of budget travel; the increasing competition means each stopover spot is stepping up to entice the patronage of travellers by offering an extensive range of facilities and extras. Budget accommodation ensures comfort and great value, leaving you money that can be spent enjoying the great restaurants and entertainment scene of the city.
Nightlife is a huge part of the Chicago experience, but sometimes visitors want to escape this when it comes to their sleeping arrangements so we’ve selected hostels across the city to cater to the needs of different travellers. We recommended here the best five hostels that offer great facilities, value and comfort.
DORMS FROM $32/ NIGHT. PRIVATES FROM $81/ NIGHT
This central, family run hostel is an ideal choice for those looking to explore the history and culture of Chicago. Situated in the city’s dynamic South Loop district, visitors based here have easy access to the city’s top attractions. Given the selection of convenient sights, the hostel has an onsite tour service and regularly organises its own trips and activities for guests. Alongside this service, hostel amenities include a shared kitchen, vending machines and on site cash machine. Convenience is key at the HI Chicago and it is recognised for its accessibility for everyone: from the multilingual staff to easy wheelchair access and visual aids, every aspect of the service here ensures that all guests are welcome and have a comfortable stay.
DORMS FROM $22/ NIGHT. PRIVATES FROM $86/ NIGHT
Just a short walk from Montrose Harbor beach, Wrigley Hostel’s social atmosphere welcomes guests. Offering a free breakfast everyday, their air conditioned rooms, outdoor terrace, BBQ and shared kitchen facilities ensure the high quality of this hostel. Sports fans may enjoy games of billiards and darts as well as visiting the famous Wrigley Field sports stadium that neighbours the hostel. The neighbourhood itself is a social and entertainment hotspot; brightly lit crowded streets host a selection of local bars, restaurants and nightclubs. For those wanting to explore further afield, regular trains depart from nearby transport links so guests can easily access shops and sights located across the city.
DORMS FROM $41/ NIGHT. PRIVATES FROM $148/ NIGHT
At the higher end of the the budget, staying at the Freehand Chicago offers a full American experience. Inside the classic 1927 façade guests will find an innovative, modern hostel with hotel facilities: a fitness centre, the award winning cocktail bar Broken Shaker, a cafe and restaurant. For those wishing to avoid extra costs, there is a shared kitchen to make homemade meals in. The design and furnishings are cosy and modern and regularly host evening entertainment. Guests can also relax in the lounge or escape to the peace of the library. Dorms are clean and spacious privates have ensuite facilities. Chicago is quite a flat, accessible and easily navigable city and this central location, home to independent galleries, boutiques and restaurants, allows guests to explore on foot or utilise the bike rental facility in order to take in the city on two wheels.
DORMS FROM $21/ NIGHT. PRIVATES FROM $41/ NIGHT
Uniquely designed cosy rooms are a top feature of Holiday Jones, each exhibiting artwork by local artists and custom designed interiors, bedding and furnishings. This echos the vibe of the trendy Wicker Park area, where it is easy to explore and find popular attractions, cultural hotspots, live music venues and eateries. With such stylish, comfy furnishings it is difficult to leave, so guests can enjoy food at the on-site restaurant that specialises in classic South American empanadas, as well as using the shared kitchen and relaxing in social lounge area. This contemporary urban rest stop offers clean private, dorm or family rooms all with free wifi access.
DORMS FROM $23/ NIGHT
The Chicago Getaway Hostel proves that hotel service and amenities can be given at budget prices. A stay at one of their clean and comfortable rooms includes access to wifi, a communal kitchen, continental breakfast and access to organised social activities. The vending machines, cash machines and ticket service are all handy onsite amenities and there are shared spaces to relax in: lounges, an outdoor terrace and a picnic area. Guests can wander through neighbouring Lincoln Park, stroll just 15 minutes to the beach or visit the nearby golf course. The hostel also offers bikes to rent at an additional charge so it is easy to explore destinations across Chicago.