As an international city drawing thousands of tourists each year, Chicago offers plenty of affordable accommodation choices for budget-wise travelers in several prime locations in the city. There are many benefits to staying at a hostel in Chicago. Many of the better-known Chicago hostels offer rooms comparable to those at the lower-priced hotels found throughout the city, along with numerous convenient amenities and a chance to meet like-minded travelers.
One of the most popular hostels in the city is the Chicago International Hostel, located roughly three blocks from both Loyola and Granville metro stops along the red line. This translates into a 30- to 40-minute ride to the downtown area or only a 20-minute ride to the colorful community of Evanston, where Northwestern University is located. The trade-off for lower costs at the International Hostel is taking public transportation to city attractions rather than walking. But for many travelers on a budget, this situation is more than adequate. This Chicago youth hostel offers dorm-style accommodations only along with a unique, bohemian feel throughout roomy, common spaces complete with eclectic decor. The common kitchen is well-equipped for cooking, and there are a piano and a television available for guests. There is also free luggage storage and a laundry room.
HI Chicago Youth Hostel is one of the top-rated city hostels, consistently getting great reviews from travelers of all ages. Being one of the better-known hostels in Chicago, HI Hostel is only one of two Chicago hostels located in the downtown area, making it extremely popular with backpackers and money-wise tourists. This is the best of all Chicago hostels when it comes to location. Visitors can easily walk to the city's main attractions such as the Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, The Loop, and other vibrant Chicago neighborhoods. Great shopping, galleries, and museums are also within walking distance of the HI Chicago Youth Hostel. The loft-style, nineteenth-century building has been renovated inside to include a guest kitchen, restaurant, Chicago tours desk, luggage storage, and excellent common areas. This hostel also offers easy and quick access to Chicago's O'Hare Airport, train stations, and bus stations.
Located near the famous Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and Hancock Observatory in downtown Chicago, the AAE Chicago Parthenon Hostel is another great choice for visitors. Within walking distance of a variety of public transportation options, getting to attractions outside of the downtown core, such as the National Museum of Mexican Art, is easy. Luggage storage, bicycle parking, vehicle parking, a guest kitchen, and a restaurant with a buffet are on-site. Anyone looking for a hostel in Chicago offering private rooms can look no farther than the AAE Chicago Parthenon. Both private rooms and dorm beds are available, offering a good selection of accommodations for travelers' different needs.
With so many things to do in Chicago, along with scores of attractions, saving on accommodations affords the ability to enjoy a full itinerary laced with all the best of the city. With popular events happening in downtown Chicago throughout the year, such as the Chicago Blues Festival, staying in the city's core provides quick and easy access. Walk or take a short metro ride to Grant Park or Millennium Park for a relaxing day outside, tour the Shedd Aquarium, enjoy the Taste of Chicago, and explore the Field Museum with ease when staying in an excellent hostel in Chicago.
Image: Brad Smythe