Travel Budget for Chicago Visit Chicago on a Budget or Travel in Style

Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

How much does it cost to travel to Chicago?

You should plan to spend around $288 per day on your vacation in Chicago. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $49 on meals
  • $37 on local transportation
  • $397 on hotels

A one week trip to Chicago for two people costs, on average, $4,026. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
    $288
  • One Week Per person
    $2,013
  • 2 Weeks Per person
    $4,026
  • One Month Per person
    $8,627
  • One Week For a couple
    $4,026
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
    $8,052
  • One Month For a couple
    $17,254
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.


How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to Chicago cost?

A one week trip to Chicago usually costs around $2,013 for one person and $4,026 for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to Chicago on average costs around $4,026 for one person and $8,052 for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Chicago will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to Chicago on average costs around $8,627 for one person and $17,254 for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.




Independent Travel

Traveling Independently to Chicago has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Is Chicago expensive to visit?

Prices in Chicago are reasonable and comparable to your average travel destination. Hotels, food, and sightseeing are generally within normal price ranges.

Within North America, which is known to be an expensive region, Chicago is a moderately priced destination compared to other places. The overall cost of travel here is fair for the region and comparable to Honolulu or Napa Valley.

For more details, and to find out if it's within your travel budget, see Is Chicago Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to Chicago?

The average Chicago trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these Chicago travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.


Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) $397
Local Transportation 1 $37
Food 2 $49
Entertainment 1 $47
Tips and Handouts 1 $3 - 9
Alcohol 2 $13 - 38
Accommodation Budget in Chicago
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Chicago is $198. For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Chicago is $397. This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.


  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
    $198
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room
    $397

Hotel Prices in Chicago

Looking for a hotel in Chicago? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.

 

Actual Hotel Prices
The average hotel room price in Chicago based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $160. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.


Recommended Properties


Transportation Budget in Chicago
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in Chicago is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $37 per person, per day, on local transportation in Chicago.


  • Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    $37

Recommended Services


Flights to Chicago
How much does it cost to go to Chicago? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all airlines.

Rental Cars in Chicago
The price of renting a car in Chicago will depends on dates, the type of car, the location, and your age. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all car rental companies.


What did other people spend on Transportation in Chicago?

Typical prices for Transportation in Chicago are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the prices in Chicago, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.


  • Parking
    $19
  • Taxi Ride
    $10
  • Taxi from Airport
    $45


Food Budget in Chicago
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in Chicago can vary, the average cost of food in Chicago is $49 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Chicago should cost around $20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Chicago is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food2 Meals for one day
    $49

Recommended

What did other people spend on Food in Chicago?

Typical prices for Food in Chicago are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the prices in Chicago, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.


  • Dinner for 1
    $24
  • Dinner for 3
    $118


Entertainment Budget in Chicago
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The Go City Chicago Pass offers great discounts on attractions in Chicago. With the Go City Explorer pass, you can choose to visit specific sights and attractions at a discount. Or, you can visit as many included attractions as you like with a multi-day All-Inclusive Pass. The average visitor saves 30% off of the regular admission prices.


Recommended Activities

What did other people spend on Entertainment in Chicago?

Typical prices for Entertainment in Chicago are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the prices in Chicago, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.


  • Sears Tower (family of 4)
    $102
  • Aquarium for 4
    $118
  • Water Taxi (family of 4)
    $22
  • IMAX Movie for Two
    $35
  • Shakespeare Play (2)
    $116
  • Art Institute (2)
    $36
  • U-Boat Tour (2)
    $8.00


Tips and Handouts Budget in Chicago
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average cost for Tips and Handouts in Chicago is $6.25 per day. The usual amount for a tip in Chicago is 10% - 20%.


  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers
    $6.25


Alcohol Budget in Chicago
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $25 on alcoholic beverages in Chicago per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
    $25

Recommended


Water Budget in Chicago
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend $2.53 on bottled water in Chicago per day. The public water in Chicago is considered safe to drink.


  • Water2 Bottled water for one day
    $2.53


Last Updated: Mar 1, 2024
Expert Advice from Local Travelers

We're asking our community members and registered users to contribute their experiences about Chicago.

What makes Chicago a budget-friendly destination? Or not?

We didn't think it was as expensive as places like New York, but hotels can still be pretty pricey.

gabe_942
-
Apr 9 2024

Public transportation is good. There are also a number of free attractions and a great restaurant scene that isn't overpriced.

Leah
-
Sep 13 2023

How can you save money during your time in Chicago?

We mostly relied on public transit to get around. We stuck the the touristy areas during the day time so we felt confident and safe.

travelinghannah
-
Nov 11 2023

Are you an experienced traveler?
Help other travelers! Answer a quick question about your past travels.

+ Add Comment

Chicago on a Budget
Chicago Chicago’s Elevated Train
Located in the Midwest, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. It has a population of almost 3 million and a metropolitan area that covers more than 10,000 square kilometers. It is also a hub for music, comedy and theater. It's skyline is beautiful with modern skyscrapers and Lake Michigan as a backdrop. It is easy to stay entertained in Chicago for weeks. There are world class museums, upscale or eclectic shopping opportunities, and impressive architecture.

Chicago is known for its cold winters and bitter wind. The city experiences four different seasons. Summers can be warm and humid with temperatures averaging around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and highs reaching above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for parts of the summer. Winters experience a lot of snow and highs can stay below freezing. Spring and fall are pleasant with low humidity.
Sights
Chicago has something for everyone. There are world class museums, adrenaline filled sporting events and beautiful architecture. Some of the more popular museums include Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History and Shedd Aquarium. Notable buildings and landmarks in the city include Sears Tower, the Old Water Tower, the Magnificent Mile, the Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain, John Hancock Center, and Tribune Tower. Also make sure you head to the shore of Lake Michigan and spend some time at the beach. On a nice day it's bound to be crowded with Chicago locals. Parks are also popular throughout the city. If you're in town on a beautiful day then head to some of the area's interesting parks which include Grant Park, Millennium Park, and Midway Park.
Neighborhoods
Most visitors to Chicago stay in the central area. The most popular neighborhoods include the Downtown, River North, Streeterville, Old Town, the Gold Coast, Central Station, the South Loop, Printer's Row and Greek Town and many more. In these neighborhoods you'll find many of the city's top attractions, impressive skyscrapers, and entertainment options. Don't limit yourself to these neighborhoods though. If you have time, explore outside of this central area and you'll find plenty of hidden gems that are worth a visit. Neighborhoods throughout the city each have their own character and history. The diversity within the city is fascinating and the character changes from neighborhood to neighborhood. Each area has something to offer visitors.

Activities
Chicago has no shortage of activities. From the theater to the sporting events, there's likely to be any number of options available when you're in town. Festivals also take place most weekends throughout the year. The city doesn't let its cold weather dampen the fun. One of the city's biggest festivals is Taste of Chicago in July. This is the largest outdoor food festival in the world. Popular music festivals include the Blues Fest and Gospel Fest in June, Lollapalooza in August and the Jazz Fest in September.
Food and Dining
Chicago is famous for its food. There are many famous restaurants around the city and there are a handful of local specialties that you must try while you're in town. Perhaps the most notable is the Chicago style pizza. It's a deep dish pizza that is made with a thin layer of dough that is layered with meats and vegtables, mozzarella cheese, and then a tomato sauce on top. It's hearty and delicious and a must try while you're in town. Also make sure you try a Chicago hot dog. They are all beef and served on a poppy seed bun. Toppings can get extravagant and include mustard, tomatoes, pickles, peppers and onions.

There is also a wide diversity of ethnic cuisines around Chicago. If you're looking for something specific, find the right neighborhood and then wander around until you find a good restaurant. Your options include Greektown, the Devon Ave Indian corridor, Chinatown, and Chatham's soul food and barbecue. You can find almost any type of ethnic food somewhere in the city so do some research and figure out what appeals to you.

Transportation
Chicago is relatively easy to explore. The blocks are numbered consistently throughout the whole city. Each block is about an eighth of a mile long and the street is given a number based on how far it is from the intersection of State Street and Madison Street. Streets that run north to south are labeled with a W (west) or E (east) and those that run east to west are labeled with a N (north) or S (south).

In general, the city is very walkable. If you're in town during the cold winter months, check out the Chicago Pedway System, which is a network of passageways that connect the downtown buildings.

If you're traveling a significant distance, public transit is definitely the best way to go. There's a good train system that is fast and efficient. It is referred to as the "L" and the train lines radiate from out from a loop. It connects with most places within the city. There are also buses that cover the areas that aren't reached by train. It's best to avoid driving in Chicago because it is not worth the hassle. Parking is expensive, and although the roads are relatively easy to understand, traffic can be slow.


Related:

Looking for a party hostel in Las Vegas or San Diego? Traveling alone to NYC or LA? Want a budget hostel in San Francisco?

We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works.



1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase. Thus, the overall daily average cost is not a summation of the individual categories.