Don't let a small budget stop you from exploring the Windy City.

By Cynthia Sciabica
May 30, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of Hilton

Editor’s Note: Travel might be complicated right now, but use our inspirational trip ideas to plan ahead for your next bucket list adventure. Hotels were chosen based on late summer/early fall 2020 dates and rates are subject to change.

Chicago has a ton to offer: world-renowned restaurants, stunning skyscrapers, charming historic architecture, museums of every kind, and affordable hotels to call home base as you explore it all.

Here, we've rounded up the top 10 affordable hotels (all under $200 per night) in the city, as determined by Ranging from locations in the downtown central business district to the northern suburbs along the coast of Lake Michigan, you’ll be able to take photos beneath Anish Kapoor’s iconic sculpture, Cloud Gate (a.k.a., the Bean), and soak up Wrigleyville’s energy — all without worrying about your budget.

Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown

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Located in Chicago’s liveliest and most artistic district, River North, this hotel puts you within walking distance of the Lake Michigan beachfront, as well as Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier, two of Chicago’s main attractions. But with a skylit indoor pool, the popular Weber Grill Restaurant (where chefs prepare favorites like Angus steaks and burgers on — you guessed it — Weber grills), you’d be fine to hang out at the hotel for the majority of your stay.

To book:, from $190 per night

Hampton Inn Majestic Chicago Theatre District

An activity-packed day in Chicago begins at this hotel with a complimentary breakfast buffet. Outside, the ornate 20th-century architecture of Chicago’s iconic theaters await; the hotel is under the same roof as the 114-year-old CIBC Theatre, after all. You’ll also have no need to splurge on expensive cabs, as this spot is close to the public rail lines (also known as the CTA or "the L") and only a 10-minute walk to The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, and the Willis Tower, the tallest building in Chicago.

To book:, from $189 per night

The Robey

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A historical Art Deco hotel once known as the Northwest Tower, The Robey is the only skyscraper in Chicago’s hip Wicker Park neighborhood. Stay in one of the property’s sunlit Tower Rooms, complete with sweeping skyline views, or check out the Annex Lofts for a modern warehouse-style stay (think: high ceilings, exposed surfaces, and sleek concrete flooring). All room bookings unlock full, free access to Bucktown Athletic Club right next door, which includes cardio equipment, a weight room, luxury locker rooms, and much more.

To book:, from $188 per night

Staypineapple, An Iconic Hotel, The Loop

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For a daily fee of $15, you can unlock amenities such as access to the hotel’s signature Beach Cruisers, bright yellow bikes to use in lieu of the city’s bike-sharing service. This fee also allows you to use the fitness center, Wi-Fi on unlimited devices, and streaming services through Chromecast.

To book:, from $187 per night

Hotel Chicago Downtown, Autograph Collection

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Modern, stylish, and affordable, this hotel features a fitness center with plenty of treadmills and the Chicagoan Lobby Bar, where you can eat healthy breakfast hits like homemade granola parfaits and steel cut Irish oatmeal. Located in the upscale River North neighborhood, the property also provides great river views as well as easy access to the beach.

To book:, from $186 per night

Hotel Julian

At this hotel, expect amenities such as laundry and dry cleaning, Peloton bikes in the fitness center, and handheld steamers and Nespresso machines in every room. Take your accommodation savings to the nearby Magnificent Mile for a little shopping and sightseeing.

To book:, from $143 per night

theWit, A DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

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Located on historic State Street, theWit offers breathtaking views of Downtown Chicago from its newly renovated luxury rooftop lounge. Indulge in a facial or massage at the luxurious Spa@theWit, then follow it up with a decadent mani-pedi and glass of Champagne.

To book:, from $172 per night

Margarita European Inn

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For a quiet and cozy stay, book a suite just a short train ride away from the city center at the Margarita European Inn in Evanston, the suburb that’s home to Northwestern University. Spend an afternoon cuddled up with a complimentary cup of tea and a croissant while taking in the beautiful tree-lined streets from the hotel’s charming grand parlor windows.

To book:, from $144 per night

Hyatt House Chicago/Evanston

Hyatt House Chicago/Evanston is a great spot for couples and families, thanks to the free grocery shopping service, complimentary custom breakfast omelettes, and a lobby full of board games. Parents can also make use of the 24-hour fitness center and business center.

To book:, from $134 per night

Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown

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Finding a great hotel that satisfies you, your pet, and your wallet is no easy feat. Enter: the Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown, where you and your furry companion can enjoy a pet-friendly room for a reasonable deposit. Take advantage of the hotel’s other amenities such as the complimentary evening social with small plates, drinks, and small talk with other guests.

To book:, from $179 per night