Skip to Content

Where To Stay in Chicago for an Authentic Local Experience

Where To Stay in Chicago for an Authentic Local Experience

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.

What are some of the first things to consider about living in Chicago? For some, it might be skyscrapers and pizza (both entirely valid), but for others, it might be the opportunity to experience a whole new city from a local's perspective. How can you ensure that you get to live in the big city as a true local and not a tourist? Keep reading below for our top tips on where to live.

1. Andersonville

First on our list, is perfect for someone who wants to live in the ‘small-town’ type neighborhood, which is incredibly cozy and charming. When looking for a room for rent in Chicago, it might seem like the obvious choice to go for high-rise apartments overlooking the city, but we also appreciate that that isn’t for everyone. Instead, you might prefer something a little cozier, like Andersonville, located on the city's North Side. It is mainly known for showcasing its proud Swedish heritage all across the neighborhood, and it can be seen everywhere, from the shops and restaurants to the specific Swedish festivals that happen every year. So, if you’re looking for a cozy neighborhood that pays homage to Europe, Andersonville might be the place for you.

2. Old Town / Lincoln Park

Considered to be perhaps one of the most desirable areas to live in Chicago, Old Town, and the surrounding Lincoln Park neighborhood will keep even the most active explorers busy and occupied, thanks to how much there is to do and see. With public spaces like the Nature Museum and Chicago History Museum within walking distance and North Pond, there’s plenty to do in terms of leisure. There’s even the Green City Farmer’s Market, so you can be sure to work out when you’ll get the freshest produce possible.

These are just a few of the activities available in the Lincoln Park area that are within walking distance. Still, nothing beats walking to Lincoln Park, which is the largest park in Chicago, accessible to you whenever you want.

Lincoln Park chicago

Photo by Benjamin Rascoe on Unsplash

3. Wicker Park

Another neighborhood named after a park, the Wicker Park area is especially well-known for having an incredible arts and music scene, with some of the trendiest restaurants and bars in the area and incredible live music almost every night. This neighborhood has been known to attract aspiring musicians and young artists, with plenty of opportunities for you to showcase your talent if you’re trying to catch your big break, whether in art or music.

The hustling and bustling area has excellent live music and is home to the iconic Flat Irons Art Building, which contains many art galleries and independent studios you can visit. It’s safe to say that there’s no shortage of inspiration in Wicker Park, no matter where you look, so there are plenty of opportunities to collaborate with other artists or even simply be inspired by their works for your projects as well.

wicker park chicago

Photo by Kirstin at the ShoppingKim team

4. Pilsen

Each neighborhood in Chicago seems to have little pockets of culture from around the world, and Pilsen is no exception. If you want to immerse yourself in the richness of Mexican-American heritage, Pilsen is the neighborhood for you. Evident from the vibrant murals on the walls, you can see the Mexican influence as soon as you enter the area. Of course, the restaurants and the authentic Mexican foods within them will quickly become a source of comfort for you. A source of rich cultural heritage, Pilsen is proud to showcase the rich history and culture of Mexico, and the National Museum of Mexican Art is further proof of that as well.

Street Art in Pilsen

Photo by Kirstin at the ShoppingKim team

5. The Loop

If you consider yourself to be a city person and you want to be in the midst of everything, then The Loop might be for you. Some consider this to be the heartbeat of Chicago, which is situated in the heart of downtown, right next to the river. Still, it’s safe to say that if convenience is your biggest priority, then The Loop has it all. With full access to public transportation to get you anywhere you want within the city, walkability along the Chicago Riverwalk whenever you’d like, and plenty of seasonal festivals all along the year, you can maximize your time and energy as you’ll spend more time attending rather than just looking at such events. If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life, then the commercial core of Chicago might just be the neighborhood for you.

the loop chicago

Photo by Lance Anderson on Unsplash

Ready to Move?

We hope this has narrowed your search down, and if you were completely unsure of where to move, you now have five neighborhoods, each with charm and appeal to consider. All of these keep you in mind as someone who wishes to live in Chicago instead of just visiting it as a tourist, and there is a big difference between the two. All the above neighborhoods offer unique and long-term benefits, whether that be in terms of your work, leisure options, or accessibility to things, and they all have plenty of advantages to them as well.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.