"Chicago on a budget" Top 5 Page for this destination Chicago Favorite Tip by Dabs

Chicago General: 445 reviews and 517 photos

Favorite thing: Chicago is a big city with big city prices. But bargains can be found if you know where to look for them

Priceline-great hotels for not much money. Check out Bidding For Travel before bidding. Another option Hotwire

Hostels-around $30 per person, J. Ira & Nicki Harris Family Hostel in the loop or Arlington House in Lincoln Park

All of the museums have free days, typically during the non tourist season. Check the museums' website to see which days.

1/2 price tickets to some Chicago area productions are available at the Hot Tix booths or online

From O'Hare or Midway airport, take the el for $2.25, no extra charge for luggage. If you plan on using a lot of public transportation, there are also multiple day visitor passes.

Many of the foods Chicago is known for are inexpensive-pizza, hot dogs, Italian beef are all good budget options. And the further you get away from the city center (North Michigan Avenue and the loop), generally the less expensive the food is.

There are many events during the year that are free including Venetian Night, the Air and Water Show, July 4th fireworks (actually on July 3rd), concerts in Grant Park, free movies in Grant Park and many events at the Cultural Center including the free loop train tour and guided tours of the Cultural Center.

The Chicago Greeter service is free, you can use them to visit parts of the city that are off the beaten path


One of the best resources for Chicago entertainment, the Chicago Reader, is free, available at book/record stores.

A good website to check out

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 26, 2009
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