Chicago trip
The city of Chicago - the third most populated in the United States, after New York and Los Angeles - is a fascinating place to visit.

Known as "The Windy City", Chicago has something to offer for everyone. It is a modern city full of attractions, with a skyline that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who witnesses it. Among its many delightful destinations are a number of great parks, several world-class museums, and more than 20 beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan, where you can sunbathe and take a dip (weather permitting!).

The city is full of iconic sights, neighbourhoods and shopping areas. You will also be able to choose from hundreds of restaurants and sample the wonderful local food. In fact, taking a secret food tour in Chicago is an excellent idea, allowing you to tour the city’s most iconic venues and sample the best local foods.

Of course, one can't talk about Chicago without mentioning its renowned theatres and sports stadiums. There really is a lot to do and see! That’s why, in this article, we have compiled some tips so that you can save some money during your stay in the Windy City, and still be able to experience everything it has to offer.

How to save some money during your trip

The United States is not a cheap country by any means, and travelling to Chicago requires some deep pockets. But there is always a way to save cash without having to miss out on once-in-a-lifetime experiences! Here are some money-saving tips for your trip:

How long should you stay?

As we have already mentioned, Chicago is a huge city, full of things to see and do. The minimum time we recommend to fully experience the city is three days, but if you intend to visit the surrounding areas as well, then you should definitely stay for at least a week.

Where should you eat during your stay in the city?

Chicago is a foodie’s dream! The city’s typical dishes are a reflection of its multiculturalism, originating in the different communities which immigrated to the city decades ago. Chicago is known for its creative fusion cuisine – so much so that several of its restaurants have been awarded Michelin stars.

To get a taste of all the delicacies on offer, we recommend taking a Chicago Food Tour. It doesn’t come cheap, but it is an authentic experience that will allow you to sample the best of Chicago’s local cuisine, from the Deep Dish pizza and Italian Beef Sandwich to the veal hot dog.

Of course, you don't have to go bankrupt in order to eat well, and you can even save money if you seek out the right places. Here are some recommendations:
  •  Chicago-style Hot Dog stands. There are hundreds of these all over the city. They are delicious. Inexpensive, and well worth getting to know.
  • To try authentic Chicago Style Pizza, check out Giordano's Pizza - the most famous chain in the city - or PizzeriaUno.
  •  The Purple Pig is a highly recommended restaurant, with consistently excellent reviews. It’s fancy, but not overly expensive: their most expensive dish costs $20, and the portions are epic...
  • Yolk is another inexpensive restaurant with a great variety of dishes, each of which costs about $15.
  • Wildberry Pancakes and CafĂ© is a great choice for breakfast, with the average dish costing roughly $12. Make sure you get there early though, or you’ll be waiting in line for a long time.

Where should you stay during your trip?

The most expensive hotels in Chicago are located in the centre of the city, but there are many other more affordable options. We recommend staying in a more remote neighbourhood, but still close enough to most of the city’s main attractions, such as River North, The Loop, Magnificent Mile and the Old Town.

As for hostels, there are many options in the city, with Freehand Chicago and Hostelling International Chicago among the most popular and cost-effective.

Sometimes the savviest option is to rent temporary lodgings through Airbnb - from a single room to an entire property. The cheapest option of all, however, is Couchsurfing - an application that lets you find people willing to host you for free!