Where to Stay in Chicago: The Best Places

Updated On October 2, 2023
Chicago fountain

The Mud City, the Windy City, the Chi-Town…


The most populous city of actors, businesses, and romance.

It is located on Lake Michigan which is one of the famous Great Lakes.

Did you know that Chicago is one of the centers of US architecture too?

Chicago is famous for five of the 10 tallest buildings in the United States.

When you are in Chicago, don’t miss the chance to visit the Willis Tower known as the Sears Tower until 2009.

Besides majestic architecture, Chicago will delight you with its historic quarters.

In particular, the Old City features a rich history with its Gothic-style cathedral.

But of course, you are not limited to cultural and architectural wonders in Chicago. 

It will amaze you with the diversity of activities – from pubs and clubs to parks and theatres.

We are here to introduce you to the five most popular neighborhoods in Chicago and shortly guide you through.

Guide to Chicago Neighborhoods

Given that Chicago is the third-largest city in the US by population, you will never feel lonely in this city. 

About 13 million people live both in the city of Chicago and in the metropolitan area.

Among the two hundred neighborhoods that have their own cultural and historic attractions.

The greenest Chicago neighborhood is Lincoln Park.

So if you want to feel part of nature in the megapolis, you should stay here.

First, this area has lots of activities for kids.

Then you can visit museums and the zoo.

Lincoln Park is located to the North of the central district.

Streeterville and River North are closer to the downtown and tourists stay here to sample foods and enjoy walks at night. 

The most prominent neighborhood in Chicago is the Loop or the Downtown. 

Obviously, the heart of the city has everything from restaurants and pubs to historic and cultural landmarks. 

If you want to stay in the west, choose Wicker Park. 

This can be called a great shopping area with lots of boutiques and luxurious restaurants. 

Locals and visitors call this neighborhood the coolest in the city.

Chicago at night
Chicago at night

5 Best Chicago Neighborhoods to Stay in

Google search and google maps is a good thing, no doubt, and they help you to navigate any city in the world like a pro.

Still, you want the information brief and fast, so we have this offer.

Take a look at the 5 greatest neighborhoods in Chicago and let us know where you would be more likely to unpack your suitcase.

1. The Loop or Downtown

Why is Downtown so famous?

Does everyone really love tall business centers, stone jungles, and skyscrapers?

We say, Yes, because they are amazing and breathtaking. 

We also think you’ll agree that there’s nothing better than watching a live performance in one of the theatres, then having a drink or two in the most iconic restaurants in Chicago.

Your staying in the Loop is a must if you are in Chicago for the first time or showing it to your friends.

Public transport allows you to travel cheap around the city and this is rather convenient. 

Or you can walk along the streets and feel the majestic atmosphere of the city.

The Loop To-Do List

  • Cloud Gate, the iconic Bean sculpture
  • Millennium Park
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Willis Tower with breathtaking views of the city
  • Numerous eateries, cafes, bars, and restaurants
Bean sculpture
Bean sculpture

2. Streeterville

For those traveling on a budget, Streeterville is the best decision to stay in.

This neighborhood is located on the territory between Magnificent Mile and Lake Michigan. 

The number one place in the district to visit is Navy Pier which is a very lively and entertaining area.

Having fun in the parks, walking and shopping are available here.

And you should not be concerned about money because Streeterville has lots of cheap hostels that will save you a fortune.

Streeterville To-Do List

  • Navy Pier rides and games
  • Lakefront Trail for cyclists
  • Chicago Sports Museum
  • Winter’s Jazz Club
  • Sampling pizza, burgers, cocktails, and beer in different places in Navy Pier and around the neighborhood
Navy Pier Chicago
Navy Pier Chicago

3. River North

Undoubtedly, River North is one of the best places in Chicago for nightlife lovers. 

You are here in the right place if you come for amazing entertainment options, clubs, and fun.

Friendly shopping in numerous boutiques and cultural going outs to a few museums and art galleries make this neighborhood to the west of Streeterville a place for youngsters and gourmets.

River North To-Do List

  • Disco Chicago for dancing
  • PRYSM Nightclub buzzing hot spot
  • 10pin Bowling Lounge for designer beers and upscale snacks
  • Baptiste & Bottle for New American cocktails, plates and brown spirits
  • Bar Lupo for best Italian cuisine
  • The Bassment, a clubby spot with live blues in moody, underground digs
  • House of Blues concert hall
  • The Comedy Bar
Chicago skyline
Chicago skyline

4. Wicker Park

Not only famous musicians and pop stars, but also newcomers often play live music in this vibrant Chicago area.

It is here that music lovers and fun lovers like to spend their time.

Despite the fact that in this area of the city there are a lot of shops and restaurants, you can enjoy tacos from the stand or donuts on the way to the next concert.

It is cool and good for everyone – from fashionistas to lovers of national heritage.

Wicker Park To-Do List

  • Mindy’s HotChocolate for delicious breakfasts
  • Flat Iron Arts Building for arts
  • Quimby’s Bookstore for reading
  • Subterranean for music
  • Big Star for tacos
  • Dove’s Luncheonette for best dishes
  • Presidio for burgers
  • Bloomingdale Trail for Instagram photos
  • Whiskey Business & Fry Bar, best rooftop bar
Chicago streets and buildings
Chicago streets and buildings

5. Lincoln Park

As little as ten years ago this place where the park is was occupied by a public cemetery.

But who would want to put up with a gloomy neighborhood?

In 1860, the city council decided to create a lake park on this swampy shore.

So was the history of the creation of Lincoln Park. 

Now, this is the best place in Chicago for cultural life.

If you come in the summer, you can see a carnival, visit open-air concerts, and watch theater performances here.

There is a greenhouse, a zoo, a nature museum, a historical museum, a North Avenue beach, and a conservatory.

Obviously, the neighborhood is not only famous for natural and sports facilities.

Lincoln Park To-Do List

  • Visit lions, tigers, birds, reptiles, and diverse fish at the Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Walk around Lincoln Park
  • Botanical gardens at the Lincoln Park Conservatory
  • Chicago History Museum
  • North Avenue Beach 
  • Eat local food

Monkey in the tree

Before You Leave

In the incredible city of Chicago, which you have seen hundreds of times in advertisements and films – or maybe from your everyday life in the city – there is still a lot of incredible and unknown.

Great restaurants, interesting museums, lively nightclubs, people, and inspiring architectural structures are worth your savings.

You can stay in an expensive or cheaper area, take public transport to Chicago’s most famous areas then walk around.

Take care of the heritage, take care of yourself and nature.

We hope you enjoy the city as much as we do.

Dinosaur skeleton in a museum
Dinosaur skeleton in a museum

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