Chicago Travel Resources

IHSP Chicago Destination Guide

Looking for Suggestions of Things to Do?

Check out this resource page for all things Chicago!

Links to Chicago’s Top Online Resources:

Choose Chicago – Chicago’s Official Tourism Guide:

Do312 – Search Nightlife & Events by Day or by Neighborhood:

Chicago Reader – Chicago News, Culture & Entertainment Guide:

Time Out Chicago – Local Guide of Current Events:

Metromix - Chicago Guide of All Types of Events:

Chicago CityPASS – Ticket Booklet of Chicago’s Top Attractions:

Trip Advisor – Recommended Attractions by Fellow Travelers:

Chicago Hotspots

IHSP Chicago Hostel is located directly on the CTA Blue Line train and these popular attractions are very easy to get to from our Wicker Park intersection! Downtown or “The Loop” is just a 10 minute train ride from our location at the Damen Blue Line station.

The Magnificent Mile, or the most famous downtown city strip, is easily accessible from the train and just about 15 minutes from us using public transit.

Navy Pier, one of the most popular tourist attractions, is just off Chicago Avenue on Lake Michigan, where we recommend riding the big Ferris Wheel for great lake shore views.

Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower, is now the second tallest building in North America (tallest if you don’t count the radio towers!), where you step out on glass over 1,000 feet in the air on the famous Skydeck.

Millennium Park is one of our best city parks, where you can see crazy reflections in “The Bean” (The Cloud Gate sculpture) or catch an amazing free concert in the summer.

Daley Plaza is home to The Chicago Picasso (a huge gift from the man himself), and many seasonal festivals and activities like Farmer’s Markets, the huge Christkindlmarket, or holiday events.

Chicago Beaches, like our favorite, North Avenue Beach, is just a short bus ride from our doorstep and is packed with activities & events in the summer. The free Lincoln Park Zoo is also right there!

World Famous Museums:

Iconic Sports Attractions:

  • Wrigley Field (Cubs)
  • United Center (Bulls)
  • Soldier Field (Bears)
  • US Cellular (White Sox)

Our Top Picks for Chicago Tours*:

Chicago Greeter & Instagreeter are free walking tours all around the city

Free Chicago walking tours that are by donation only with Tours By Foot

Get a unique Chicago experience with the tour company Chicago Detours

Explore Chicago’s amazing architecture with the Chicago Architecture Foundation

Explore the city by boat with Chicago Line cruises

*Remember to stop by the front desk for coupons and current deals!

Ideas of FREE Things to Do in Chicago:

A long list of ideas of free things to do from –> National Geographic

Try Broke Hipster for free daily events that have free food and/or drink

Endless suggestions of random free things going on in Chicago with “Free Things to Do in Chicago

Updated list of events going on that are free from The Local Tourist

Welcome to Our Neighborhood:

Wicker Park

Wicker Park has a colorful history and is now one of the hottest places to hang out in the city of Chicago, sometimes referred to as “The Polish Gold Coast” and also neighboring Chicago’s largest Puerto Rican community. Roaming the lovely nearby residential streets, you can see where it was once one of the richest neighborhoods and is now home to some of the oldest mansions in Chicago and very classic architecture.

Modern day Wicker Park is home to many venues and bars leftover from the artsy punk era of the 90’s; Double Door, Subterranean, Rainbo Club, Gold Star. It’s also great for shopping, especially local and independent boutiques, plus full of new and exciting drink and foodie adventures; Myopic Books, Reckless Records, Violet Hour, Big Star.

IHSP’s Top 5 Nearby Food Recommendations:

Sultan’s Market – Cheap BYOB Mediterranean Restaurant and Deli with a fantastic salad bar

Dimo’s – Cheap pizza by-the-slice with any sort of topping you can imagine and open super late

Feast – Amazing food for breakfast or dinner and best yet, it’s right downstairs!

Piece Pizza & Brewery – Award-winning pizza and microbrewery

Lucky’s Bar & Restaurant – Gigantic one-of-a-kind sandwiches, plus shuffleboard & darts

*Stop by the desk for our unique “Cheap Eats” guide to the cheapest deals within a couple block radius of us!

Download PDF’s of Our Staff Picks & Guides:

Favorite Things in Chicago

Calendar of Favorite Weekly Events

IHSP Chicago Brochure & Travel Guide

Looking for a Place to Stay During a Big Festival or Event?

IHSP Chicago Hostel is a great place to stay for festivals going on anytime of year here in Chicago. Whether it’s the massive music festival, Lollapalooza, or the very popular Taste of Chicago, we have easy access to anywhere in the city with Chicago public transit and will probably be one of the most economical choices for accommodations here in the city of Chicago.

For a great list of updated yearly festivals, visit Do312’s Festival Guide!

Our most popular festival is the new Riot Fest going on right next to us in Humboldt Park; during that weekend, Riot Festers use our accommodations and we turn into a great big riot (in a good way)!

If you’re going to a festival in Union Park, like Pitchfork or North Coast Music Festival, we are also located just west of downtown and the CTA train system will take you right there, or just hop on the Ashland Bus #9 and you’re there in about 15 minutes.