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Hostels start at about
$25 per night for
small private rooms.
More luxurious sites
near the downtown
Loop and major
attractions usually are
available in the
$150 to $200 range.
run from about $125
per night for a budget
hotel to more than
$700 a night for a
5-star hotel on the
prices run the gamut,
with many menus
offering selections for
less than $20.
For pub grub and pizza,
figure on about $10
per meal, give or take a
couple of dollars.
options are plentiful,
with subway and
“L” train single rides
costing $2.25 and bus
rides $2. Longer-term
passes are $10 for a
day pass, $20 for
three days, or
$28 for a week.
ranges from $8 to
$25 for the most
and the aquarium and
planetarium. A Chicago
CityPASS for $98
covers VIP admission to
five top attractions.
CONSIDERING A TRIP TO CHICAGO?
Here’s a quick look at typical costs, some money-saving tips and travel hacks, and recommendations for things to see and do while visiting.
Note: Prices were in effect as of October 2016 and are subject to change.
CHICAGO TRAVEL GUIDE
Buy the CityPASS to save on major attractions.
Use ride-sharing services instead of renting a car.
Make use of Chicago’s Divvy bike-sharing system.
Walk — many top downtown attractions are within a short radius.
Take advantage of “happy hour” specials, no longer banned statewide.
Get “daily deal” coupons from your favorite e-commerce marketplace.
Visit Lincoln Park Zoo — it’s free and open every day.
Stay in the suburbs and visit downtown via the Metra train system.
Walk the lakefront (an attraction in itself) for free.
Leave your vehicle behind — parking rates are exorbitant.
Buy groceries/snacks to reduce your number of restaurant meals.
Search online for free comedy shows.
If Chinatown is on your to-do list, take a water taxi.
Blizzard? Use the underground Pedway system.
Use a transit system app for help getting around.
Dare to drive downtown? Use an app to find parking spaces.
Track restaurants on social media for better deals, wait times.
Chicago weather changes quickly; pay attention to forecasts.
Avoid a wait by bringing your own ice skates to Maggie Daley Park.
Multiple museums are within walking distance of the lakefront.
City has the largest collection of Impressionist paintings outside of Paris.
CHICAGO TRAVEL GUIDE
20 TOP SIGHTS TO SEE AND THINGS TO DO
1 Navy Pier: The Ferris wheel is the only one of its kind in the U.S.
2 Millennium Park: Home of the world-famous “Bean” sculpture.
3 Helicopter tour: There’s no better way to view the amazing skyline.
4 Eat pizza: Deep-dish done right is a signature selection.
5 Keep eating: World-class and ethnic food options aplenty.
6 Take a boat tour: On Lake Michigan or the Chicago River.
7 Theater districts: The Belmont district is even bigger than downtown’s.
8 Ride up a skyscraper: Willis Tower is the hemisphere’s tallest building.
9 Walk or bike the lakefront: Save this sightseeing sensation
10 Hit a jazz club: Some consider the city’s clubs the lifeblood
of the genre.
11 Attend a sports event: Chicago is represented in every major
12 Museum of Science and Industry: Don’t miss Colleen Moore’s
13 Field Museum: Explore the history of dinosaurs, mummies and more.
14 Shedd Aquarium: Home to coral reefs and the Oceanarium.
15 Adler Planetarium: Shows, exhibits and events refresh often.
16 Robie House: National Landmark is a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece.
17 Art Institute of Chicago: Collections feature world-class works.
18 The Magnificent Mile: Designer boutiques, award-winning restaurants.
19 Find a festival: Neighborhoods host dozens of music and food fests.
20 Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: See lush gardens and
a butterfly haven.
CHICAGO TRAVEL GUIDE