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Discover Chicago

Chicago is one of the world’s greatest cities!!!

The experienced staff and volunteers at the hostel will help
you discover Chicago. Start planning your trip right now.

neighborhood around the hostel

of Chicago
– See the beauty of our city by the lake

Explore Chicago

Inside information on what’s happening in Chicago right now!

Summer is Festival Season!

When you visit Chicago in the summer you will find festivals, big and small, throughout the city and on every weekend from May through September. The big city festivals kick off with the Gospel Music Festival, June 2-4, at Millennium Park. BluesFest follows the next weekend, June 8-11 in Grant Park, only a few steps from the hostel. The Grant Park Music Festival has a full summer of concerts almost daily.

The Taste of Chicago in Grant Park is the largest food and music festival in the world. This free, 10-day event begins June 30 and runs through July 9! Gay Games is coming to Chicago July 15-22, and we are very excited to host many of the athletes coming to compete from all over the world! Book soon to secure your reservation during this exciting event in Chicago.

Chicago’s Venetian Night is July 29th. Pack a dinner in the hostel’s kitchen and picnic on the lakefront while watching the boat parade and fireworks. From August 3-9 is Tall Ships Chicago, a celebration of maritime history with tall ships from around the world. The wild Chicago Air Show is August 19-20, and the inside tip is that the airplanes practice along the lakefront on Friday, August 18.

Throughout the city are wonderful street festivals featuring music, food, art and always plenty of fun. A few street festival favorites of the hostel staff are: Taste of Randolph on June 16-18; Chicago Folk & Roots Festival, July 8-9; Sheffield Garden Walk on July 22-23; and North Halsted Market Days, August 5-6.

Music Festivals Rock the Summer!

The big one, Lollapalooza, is even bigger this summer with more stages and a third day. A massive 120+ bands including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, Kanye West, Flaming Lips, Common and Poi Dog Pondering. August 4-6.

Two smaller independent fests are Intonation, June 24-25, and then one week before Lolla is Pitchfork Music Festival, July 29-30, with Spoon and Yo La Tengo.

Book your nights at the hostel now! Lollapalooza sold over 60,000 tickets last year and Intonation had 30,000. It’s going to be a rockin’ busy summer in Chicago. Don’t miss out!


The hostel works hard to get you the best discounts in Chicago!!!
Find out about all of our current offers when you check in.

Discount Price at Sears Tower – Tallest Building in
North America

You can purchase your tickets at the hostel, and you get in
without waiting in line. Just for you, a discount plus special
access courtesy of the hostel and the Sears Tower Skydeck.

What will I see from the Skydeck? You’ll see the best view
and best overview of Chicago. At 1,353 feet (412 meters), the
Skydeck is the highest observatory in Chicago. The view is amazing!
You can see 40 – 50 miles (65 – 80 kilometers) on a clear day.
Imagine seeing Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, just
by walking around the Skydeck. And there’s no finer view of
Chicago architecture.

Discount Price to The Hancock Observatory
You can purchase your tickets at the hostel and get in without
waiting in line to The Hancock Observatory located on Chicago’s
Magnificent Mile. Visit Hancock Website. The observatory boasts
views covering up to 80 miles and a four state area, and it
offers a great entertainment option for both daytime and evening
hours. Plus there is an outdoor observation deck to really experience
the “Windy City”!

Discount Price for Bobby’s Bike Hike Tours
$10-15 off for hostel guests! Come see Chicago the best way around, on a bike! Choose from 3 different 3-hour guided tours that are casual and lots of fun, with many stops at most of the major sites. Price includes bike rental and helmet. Mention the hostel when booking your reservation or when you show up at their new location at 465 N. McClurg Court, near Navy Pier, for the discounted price. Check out their website for more information about their great tours! Tours run April – November. Bobby’s Bike Hike, North Pier Docks, Chicago.

Discount Price for Chicago from the Lake boat tours
Receive $7 off an adult ticket and $3 off a youth ticket for a 90-minute architectural or historical river boat tour with a coupon from the front desk. For more information about these great boat tours, please visit Chicago from the Lake’s website. Chicago from the Lake, North Pier Docks, Chicago.

Chicago Architecture Foundation offers discount to hostellers!
The CAF provides the best and most in-depth architecture tours to visitors and locals alike. The ArchiCenter is located only three blocks from the hostel. Hostel guests receive $3 off one of six walking tours of downtown Chicago. Pick up your coupon at the Registration Desk. For more information about all of their tours throughout Chicago, visit their website. Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

Adler Planetarium offers discount to hostellers!
Aliens? Stars, planets, galaxies! See it all at the Adler Planetarium, located on Museum Campus. Hostel guests receive 20% off regular admission to both the museum and one theater presentation. Pick up your coupon at the front desk. For more information about their exhibits and shows, visit their website. Adler Planetarium, 1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Museum Campus, Chicago.

Museum of Contemporary Art offers 2-for-1 admission
to hostel guests!

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) is one of the nation’s largest facilities devoted to the art of our time. The museum is located just off of the Magnificent Mile. Hostel guests can pick up a coupon at the front desk for 2-for-1 admission during regular museum hours. For information on the latest exhibitions, visit their website. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Ave., Chicago.

Discount Price to IMAX Theatre at Navy Pier
You can purchase your tickets at the hostel before heading down to Navy Pier to check out the latest IMAX film. The Navy Pier IMAX Theatre provides you with a larger-than-life escape putting you in the heart of the action! Check out the IMAX website for what’s currently playing.

Kingston Mines
Come see some legendary blues performances at Chicago’s best
blues club for the past 8 years. Enjoy great food and drinks,
all while listening to great live blues bands. $3 off of the
regular cover charge when you present a coupon from the hostel.
Kingston Mines, 2548 North Halsted, Chicago.

Free Museum Days!

Chicago Historical Society: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm – ALL YEAR
Adler Planetarium: Sept 12 – Dec 20

Field Museum: June 5-10 (Museum Week) , Sept 19 – Dec 20

Shedd Aquarium: June 5-10 (Museum Week), Sept 12, 19, 26, Oct – Nov
Museum of Science and Industry: June 5-10 (Museum Week), Sept 12 – Nov 22


The Art Institute of Chicago: 10:30 am – 4:30 pm – ALL YEAR
Museum of Contemporary Art: 5 pm – 8 pm – ALL YEAR

Adler Planetarium: Sept 12 – Dec 20

Field Museum: June 5-10 (Museum Week), Sue’s Birthday: May 17, Sept 19 – Dec 20

Shedd Aquarium: June 5-10 (Museum Week), Sept 13, 20, 27, Oct – Nov
Museum of Science and Industry: June 5-10 (Museum Week), Sept 12 – Nov 22
Swedish American Museum: the 2nd Tuesday of the month, 10 am – 4 pm
International Museum of Surgical Science: 10 am – 4 pm

Clarke House Museum : 12 pm , 1 pm , 2 pm – ALL YEAR
Glessner House Museum : 12 pm , 1 pm , 2 pm – ALL YEAR

Chicago Children’s Museum: 5 pm – 8 pm – ALL YEAR
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: 9 am – 4:30 pm – ALL YEAR

Spertus Museum: 1 pm – 3 pm – ALL YEAR

DuSable Museum of African American History: 12 pm – 5 pm – ALL YEAR

Chicago Architecture Center, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Center, City Gallery at the Historic Water Tower, Gallery 37 – 5th Floor Galleries, Jane Adams Hull-House Museum, Martin D’Arcy Museum of Art, Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Photography, The Oriental Museum, the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows.

Do you live in the Chicago area?

Do you want to meet people from around the world and help them
to explore what makes Chicago such a fantastic place to live and
visit? If you answered yes, then you should join our team of volunteers
that share their Chicago experiences with our guests.

Contact Thomas Applegate today by email for more information:

And visit our Get Involved section
on our site.