Chicago On Budget: The Windy City welcomes all types of travelers! Many of the best destinations in the city cater to those looking for luxury on vacation, and some cater to those looking for a cheap experience. You can easily get the best of both worlds with all of the inside tips that help you enjoy all the best things to do in Chicago for less! You can splurge a little on your trip to the city and your wallet will never even know!
Save when you eat
Instead of spending all the dough trying to find your favorite pizza place in Chicago, and there is a lot to try before you find the one for you, try multiple pizzerias and get an awesome experience on one of the Chicago food tours. Take an afternoon to walk around five of Chicago’s top pizza places and sample a slice at each place. Instead of sitting down for a meal at each place, you can knock them all out in one afternoon! As a bonus, your tour guide takes you through Chicago past some of the biggest attractions! What better way to experience Chicago than to eat your way through the city?
Save when you sightsee
In addition to all the food tours, there are also tours that are dedicated to Chicago’s architecture, Chicago’s history, city sights, and more! You can tour Chicago by boat, foot, bus, segway, bike, or even by helicopter! Check out the tours in Chicago best suited for you and those you’re traveling with, because certain ones are better for families, and some are good for those Chicago travelers who fly solo! Chicago tour guides are enthusiastic and entertaining and always keep you ready for more!
There really isn’t a bad way to see and learn about this beautiful city, especially since most of these tours offer special savings. Many of the boat tours in Chicago offer savings on select dates and special discounts for their holiday events like the 4th of July or New Years‘ Eve fireworks dinner cruises that are always a fun way to celebrate the holidays! Treat the whole family to a tour of Chicago when you can see the city at an affordable price!
Save when you sleep
For the most part, Chicago hotels aren’t cheap, especially when you want to stay somewhere convenient for all the things you want to do while you’re here. The good news is that most of them offer great hotel deals! All you have to do is shop around for the right savings to suit your trip! Find discounted rates, package deals, and limited-time seasonal promotions to make your trip to the Windy City extra special!
Several hotels in Chicago offer specials that include complimentary breakfast or have a shopping package that includes gift cards to local stores. These especially come in handy when you’re staying at one of the hotels near Magnificent Mile. Check out rooms at the MileNorth Hotel or Swissotel when you’re looking for a hotel with special discounts and savings, but don’t want to skip out on getting a luxurious room in a convenient location.
Save when you visit – Chicago On Budget
Some of the top attractions in Chicago are the museums. These are a must, especially when you’re traveling with kids! Everyone loves visiting Sue, the world’s most completely T-Rex at the Field Museum! If you prefer living animals, there are over 25,000 to see at the Shedd Aquarium, one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world! Or maybe animals aren’t your thing at all and you’d prefer a day at the Art Institute of Chicago. Either way, many places offer discounts on Chicago attractions that make seeing all of these places on your trip possible!
Save with the freebies. While many of the attractions in Chicago offer discounts and savings, some go even further with the deals! Many of the best things to do in Chicago are completely free! Spend the day at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Hang out at Millennium Park and take funny pictures of yourself in the Chicago Bean. If you’re visiting in the summer, spend the weekend at Grant Park and you’re likely to enjoy some free music. Make sure to see Buckingham Fountain while you’re there! On top of that, Chicago has beaches to visit, tons of activities at Navy Pier, and there are always events in Chicago that keep travelers and locals busy over the weekends!
Free Things to do in Chicago
The US state of Illinois is home to the magnificent city of Chicago, AKA the Windy City. Sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan, it is the third-largest city in the United States of America. There are plentiful things to see, do, and experience in the city, and a number of great free things to do in Chicago help to keep the costs down.
Some of the best free things to do in Chicago are as follows:
Museums and Galleries
There is an abundance of free museums and art galleries to visit in Chicago, with interesting exhibits and information based on a wide selection of different themes. The Hyde Park Art Center contains a rich variety of cultural exhibitions, as well as poetry recitals and presentations. Works by local youths are displayed at the Center space Gallery and there is a museum dedicated to Mexican Art as well as one that looks at the history of art. The Smart Museum of Art contains some pieces by renowned artists such as Rodin, Goya, Picasso, and Matisse.
The Oriental Institute Museum is home to many old items that were found during excavations. The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum tries to raise awareness about sociological issues within society. It looks at policies and efforts within the community. You can learn about the Cambodian Diaspora in the USA and the tragic genocide and brutal regime in Cambodia at the free-to-enter Cambodian American Heritage Museum.
Other free museums include those dedicated to photography, architecture and the unusual theme of stained glass windows! There are also those that offer reduced or free entry on certain days.
Beaches on Chicago
There are a number of free public beaches around Chicago that are all accessible during the warmer months. They are great for relaxing and bathing.
Chicago is home to two fantastic free conservatories; the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Garfield Park Conservatory. Each showcases a rich variety of plant life and beautiful flowers, with some rare and tropical species, also included.
Chicago Cultural Center
Here you can admire the building itself, with two huge and ornate stained-glass domes, as well as enjoy a variety of free events such as dance shows, music performances, movie shows, lectures, and theatre performances. It hosts complimentary events all throughout the year.
Lincoln Park Zoo
The USA does not have many free zoos, but this is one of the rare zoos that do not charge an admission fee. It is also one of the oldest zoos in the country. Set over a large area it houses a wide selection of different animals and makes for a great family day out. You can see lions, tigers, polar bears, rhinos, monkeys, zebras, giraffes, chimps, seals, beavers, and many more creatures. In addition, there are different birds, reptiles, and amphibians to observe.
There are literally hundreds of parks in and around Chicago, many of which contain various facilities and attractions for visitors. A favorite is Millennium Park with its inspiring displays of public art. The Lakefront Trail is great for free outdoor recreation.
Wander through different neighborhoods, each with its own character and charms, spend time alongside the glistening lake, visit Navy Pier, fill up on free food samples at many outlets across the city, see the impressive water show at the Buckingham Fountain, and see the only building to survive the great fire that gutted the city – the old Water Tower. With so many free things to do in Chicago, it should be easy to stick to your budget.