The 13 Best Cheap Hotels in Chicago, Illinois [2021]

Chicago Skyline

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Sprawled along Lake Michigan’s shore, Chicago is famous for its vibrant arts scene, multiple cultural attractions, interesting architecture, excellent shopping, and lively nightlife scene. From the wide-open spaces of Millennium Park to the amazing views from Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower, the Windy City has plenty to offer every kind of visitor, no matter what their budget.

Best Cheap Hotels in Chicago, IL

Acme Hotel Company Chicago

Acme Hotel Company Chicago
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $140

Just blocks away from the Magnificent Mile, this boutique hotel offers trendy accommodation that is great value for money.

Bedrooms are compact but cleverly designed and offer lots of tech-friendly features, including super-fast Wi-Fi, PC-compatible hookups, and wireless audio systems. Guests will also enjoy the novelty of being able to rent an Apple Watch from reception to use during their stay.

The Acme Hotel Company Chicago has some quirky extras touches too, including an alpine-themed hot tub experience called the Bunny Slope, the West Town Bakery & Diner, and the Bodega cocktail bar.

Bottom Line: With many of Chicago’s most famous attractions just a few minute’s walk away, the Acme Hotel Company Chicago is a brilliant hotel for style-conscious urban explorers.

Amber Inn Chicago

Amber Inn Chicago
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $98

Located in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood of the city, this hotel is within easy reach of the natural open spaces of Grant Park, Hyde Park, and Millennium Park, as well as the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago and Field Museum. Bedrooms are basic, but clean and well looked after, and come complete with air conditioning, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi.

There is also free parking available on-site. The CTA bus stop outside the Amber Inn Chicago offers easy access to downtown Chicago and a wealth of attractions, including the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, and the Willis Tower.

Hot Tip: If you’re looking for things to do in Chicago why not check out one of these great tours: River Architecture Cruise, Gangsters and Ghosts Walking Tour, or a Daytime Helicopter Tour.

The Chicago Hotel Collection River North Mag Mile

FieldHouse Jones Chicago
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $88

This retro-style hotel is situated in a historic building at the heart of downtown Chicago. Uber cool bedrooms feature comfortable beds and mid-century style furnishings and come with clean, modern bathrooms.

The Chicago Hotel Collection River North Mag Mile has been designed to socialize in mind and offer a warm and welcoming coffee shop and seating area, as well as a lively speakeasy-style bar in the basement.

Located in the trendy River North part of down, there are plenty of bars and eateries close by, while the Navy Pier, Willis Tower, and Millennium Park are also just a short distance away.

Chicago Lake Shore Hotel

Chicago Lake Shore Hotel
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $116

Situated just 2 miles away from the Museum of Science and Industry, and close to the University of Chicago, this mid-range hotel is well placed for those looking to explore the city on a budget. Guests can take advantage of the free local shuttle service, and there is also guest parking for those with their own cars.

The Chicago Lake Shore Hotel also has an on-site restaurant that serves up American cuisine and offers live entertainment with views out across Lake Michigan. Lots of local shops, bars, and restaurants are close by, and the Navy Pier is just a 10-minute drive away.

Found Hotel Chicago River North

Found Hotel Chicago River North
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $128

In the trendy River North neighborhood, there are tons of great bars, restaurants, and shopping facilities to enjoy. This hotel is housed in a historic building just a 10-minute walk from the Magnificent Mile.

Offering private double rooms with ensuite bathroom facilities, as well as dorm rooms, Found Hotel Chicago River North provides guests with upscale hostel-style accommodation in a great location.

Take advantage of the on-site restaurant, coffee bar, and Asian-inspired karaoke bar that is popular with locals and visitors alike, or head on out to explore the attractions and eateries available close by.

Freehand Chicago

Freehand Chicago
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $106

This hip and trendy budget hotel offers private queen rooms, or shared dorms, right at the heart of River North.

Bedrooms are surprisingly stylish, and guests can enjoy a range of amenities, including free Wi-Fi, a shared kitchen, and a cafe that serves up gourmet coffee and homemade treats. Freehand Chicago is also home to The Broken Shaker cocktail bar that is popular with both visitors and locals alike.

Within easy walking distance of the Magnificent Mile with its fashion shops and cool bars and restaurants, as well as the Navy Pier, the Centennial Wheel, and other famous Chicago attractions.

Gateway Inn

Gateway Inn
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $89

This family-owned hotel offers clean, cozy, and affordable accommodation close to Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) and the Advocate Christ Hospital.

Comfortable bedrooms come complete with private bathrooms with both a shower and a bathtub, and the owners ensure that all bedrooms have an authentic home-away-from-home feel. Gateway Inn offers its guests free tea and coffee, daily newspapers, and the use of a fax machine and photocopier.

There is also a pretty garden area for enjoying when the weather is warmer. Situated in the town of Oak Lawn close to Toyota Park, the attractions of downtown Chicago are around a 20-minute drive away.

Hot Tip: Renting a car at Midway or O’Hare for your Chicago trip? Check out our guide on how to book cheap car rentals in Chicago, including price comparisons!

HI Chicago Hostel

HI Chicago Hostel
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $80

This upscale hostel is housed in a historic building in an excellent South Loop location. Private rooms with ensuite facilities are modern and clean, and there are larger shared dorm-style rooms available for those looking to bunk down for less.

HI Chicago Hostel offers trendy interiors, an on-site cafe, internet access, a common room, a games room, and a TV room.

Within walking distance of some of the best bars, shops, attractions, and nightlife the city has to offer, this is a great place to stay in the heart of the city.

Rodeway Inn Chicago

Rodeway Inn Chicago
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $63 or 12,000 Choice Privileges points

Offering fuss-free motel-style accommodation, this hotel is located in Skokie on the North Shore, which is home to a wide range of world-class arts and cultural entertainment, as well as a wide range of bars, restaurants, and great shopping venues.

Bedrooms are basic but clean with dark wood furniture and private bathrooms, while the hotel also offers free parking and free Wi-Fi.

Guests at the Rodeway Inn Chicago will be well-positioned to explore the delights of Skokie or take the 15-minute drive into downtown Chicago to explore the wide range of famous attractions, awesome shopping, and lively nightlife on offer.

Sleep Inn Midway Airport Bedford Park

Sleep Inn Midway Airport Bedford Park
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $84

This cheerful hotel is located close to Midway in the residential area of Bedford Park. Perfect for those who need to travel onwards, the hotel offers free transportation to the airport and the CTA Orange Line Midway Rail Station.

Bedrooms here are clean and modern with oversized showers in the private bathrooms, and the hotel is also home to a dining room that offers a daily breakfast buffet.

Guests staying at the Sleep Inn Midway Airport Bedford Park can also take advantage of the 24-hour fitness center and the copy, fax, and scanning services for those who need to work while they are away.

The St. Clair Hotel

The St. Clair Hotel
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $99

Situated just off the Magnificent Mile, this historical, European-style high-rise hotel offers great views across Chicago.

Bedrooms are bright and spacious and come complete with premium cable TV and modern bathrooms. Guests can enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi and laundry facilities, but it is the downtown location that sets this hotel apart.

The St. Clair Hotel is not only close to a wide array of cool bars, trendy restaurants, and great shopping facilities, it is also just a short walk from Navy Pier, Water Tower Place, Chicago Riverwalk, the John Hancock Center, and much more.

Travelodge by Wyndham Downtown Chicago

Travelodge by Wyndham Downtown Chicago
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $62 or 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points

This chain hotel is located just 1 block away from Millennium Park, in the South Loop neighborhood of the city. Bedrooms are clean and spacious and come with air conditioning and cable TV. The hotel also offers a range of amenities including a business center, on-site parking, a regional restaurant, and a sushi bar.

Centrally located, Travelodge by Wyndham Downtown Chicago is just a 10-minute drive from some of the city’s most famous attractions, including the Navy Pier and the Magnificent Mile, and offers easy access to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and I-94.

The Willows Hotel

The Willows Hotel
Image Credit: Booking.com

Price per Night: From $87

If you want to stay in an upmarket neighborhood without paying upscale hotel prices, then this hotel could be the place for you. Situated in a tree-lined street in the prestigious Lakeview area of the city, bedrooms here are clean and cozy, and the hotel also offers a fitness center and laundry facilities.

Guests at The Willows Hotel will love being just a short distance from Wrigley Field and the Lincoln Park Zoo, and the scenic Lake Michigan coastline is also only minutes away. For those who enjoy the great outdoors, there are lots of walking and hiking trails close by.

Final Thoughts

As is often the case in big metropolitan cities, finding budget accommodation can be a challenge. In Chicago, though, there are lots of hostels and budget hotels, both close to the heart of the city and further out in the suburbs.

Wherever you choose to stay, Chicago has a great transport network that will get you to where you want to be, and there are lots of great neighborhoods to explore away from the main tourist routes and famous attractions.


Frequently asked questions

Where are the popular areas to stay in Chicago?

There are many great areas to stay in the city of Chicago. Many first time visitors opt to stay in downtown, otherwise known as The Loop. For a combination of nightlife and shopping, River North will set you up close to the clubs and the shops of the Magnificent Mile. For foodies, the West Loop is popular, putting you close to Greektown and Little Italy.

How much does a cheap hotel cost in Chicago?

A cheap hotel in Chicago will generally cost anywhere between $80 and $120. Location and amenities will vary significantly in that price range.

What's the best accommodation for a budget-friendly stay in Chicago?

Even as a bustling metropolitan city, there are still budget-friendly hotel options available. Some options to consider are:

What are the cheapest hotels near the Magnificent Mile?

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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