By Meredith Lyons
Chicago is an amazing place to visit and you can do it on a budget. The city has many free and inexpensive touristy areas and a local hostel is a great way to save money on a place to stay, especially if you’re not going to be in the room much anyway. If you want to meet other travelers, a hostel is often your best bet. Start planning your Chicago adventure today with one of these great hostel offerings.
Chicago Getaway Hostel
616 W. Arlington Place
Chicago, IL 60614
Right in the heart of Lincoln Park, Chicago Getaway Hostel is situated near access to the red, brown and purple lines as well as numerous buses. The location is ideal for travelers who want to be able to access downtown quickly, but enjoy a more local and neighborhood feel and may want to meet new people. Near the DePaul campus, there is a vibrant nightlife and plenty to do. The rooms are clean, the staff is friendly and a free breakfast is offered as well as free wifi and free printing. The kitchen is well equipped and has ample storage for its occupants. The dining hall includes games for ice breaking, there is a piano in the lounge and a common area with a TV equipped with video games.
24 E. Congress Parkway
Chicago, IL 60605
If you’d prefer to experience the bustle of Chicago’s downtown, Hi-Chicago is right in the middle of the tourism. Easily accessible by all train lines and within walking distance of Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute, Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium, Hi-Chicago is in the heart of the activity. The hostel is open 24 hours a day and guests do receive discounts to a few tourist attractions. There is free breakfast and free wifi included, but bring your own lock to lock up your valuables. If you plan on spending most of your time out and about seeing Chicago rather than trying to connect with other travelers in your hostel, Hi-Chicago should be your accommodation spot.
Urban Holiday Lofts
2014 W. Wabansia Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
Trendy Wicker Park is the place to be for hipsters or hipster-watchers. Right near the most trendy bars and boutiques of Chicago and steps from the O’Hare blue line, Urban Holiday Lofts has a location that can’t be beat. Guests can choose between dorm-like accommodations or private rooms (many of which boast en-suite baths). They even have private loft apartments if necessary for large groups and families. The loft apartments are equipped with a private modern kitchen and bathroom. Urban Holiday Lofts offers a standard free breakfast, wifi, lockers and luggage storage as well as transport from the airport (the hostel will reimburse you). There’s also an on-site food market if you need to cook on your own.
1616 N. Damen Ave., 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60622
If you’re looking for newer accommodations in a hip urban setting, IHSP Chicago is less than a year old and just blocks from the Damen stop on the blue line in trendy Wicker Park. This hostel features dorm beds, private rooms with shared semi-private bathrooms and private rooms with en suite baths. IHSP’s founders are former students who did their fair share of traveling abroad, saw what they liked about the hostels of Europe and decided to try and replicate it in the US. They will reimburse your CTA fare if you present your ticket and if you book a private room, you’ll get free parking out of the deal.
Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.