Other Chicago Neighborhoods

Although the best way to learn about a neighborhood is to explore it in person, we have compiled some information on the eight neighborhoods after Hyde Park that are the most popular to live in among UChicago graduate students, arranged from south (closest to Hyde Park) to north (farthest away).

Public Transit

Students who live outside of the University’s transit service areas often choose to use public transportation to commute to campus. The city of Chicago is served by several public transit options, including buses and trains that are part of the CTA, as well as Metra Electric trains. Traveling via the CTA using their Ventra Card system has the advantage of allowing you to transfer between buses and trains all over the city, while the Metra train runs on a fixed schedule and is the fastest route if you are only headed as far as downtown. For each neighborhood below, some options for public transit to campus are listed.

More information on public transit:
CTA
Metra

South Loop

South Loop

The South Loop is part of the Near South Side of Chicago, and is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the city. It is in close proximity to some of Chicago's most popular attractions, including Soldier Field, the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium. In addition to UChicago students, the South Loop is also a popular location for students and young artists from other colleges and universities in the city, including DePaul, Columbia College Chicago, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

With several shopping areas and downtown within walking distance, and most apartments located in new, high-rise buildings, rent prices in this area can be very high. However, it is also among the most convenient neighborhoods in the city for a commute to Hyde Park.

Transportation to Hyde Park:

Trains: CTA Red Line (Roosevelt, Cermak/Chinatown), Green Line (Roosevelt, Cermak/McCormick Place), or Metra (Museum Campus/11th Street, 18th Street)
Buses: #55 Garfield (connecting Red and Green lines to Hyde Park), #2 Hyde Park Express (rush hour only), #192 U of C Hospitals Express (rush hour only), #6 Jackson Park Express
Distance: 6 miles
Estimated Travel Time: 20-30 minutes

Pilsen

Pilsen

Pilsen is located west of the South Loop, and is also home to many students interested in arts, culture, and music. Because of its proximity to the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Chicago, and other colleges in the city – as well as its affordable rent prices – there is a large student population in the area. Pilsen, known historically as a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood, is now blended with artists and students, making it one of the most diverse communities in Chicago.

Housing options include single-family homes, apartments, and new construction, which are often large and reasonably affordable. Pilsen is a quick drive to UChicago’s campus, but public transportation offers no direct connection to Hyde Park; the most direct routes are primarily by bus, and you can expect to transfer at least once between Pilsen and Hyde Park.

Transportation to Hyde Park:

Trains: Bus to CTA Green Line (Cermak/Paulina, then transfer to bus), CTA Pink Line (Damen, 18th, then transfer downtown to bus or train)
Buses: #8, to #55, or #60, #7, #21 to the Loop (transfer to #192, #2, #6, or train)
Distance: 8 miles
Estimated Travel Time: 50-60 minutes

 

The Loop

The Loop

As Chicago’s official downtown area, the Loop - named after the elevated train tracks which circle the area – is a hub for finance, transportation, government, shopping, tourism, and culture. The Loop is one of the busiest areas of Chicago for commerce and the arts, and has also become a popular residential neighborhood. Condominiums and studio apartments constitute the majority of the options in the Loop, and they generally have luxury amenities such as a gym, doorman, storage, and in-unit laundry. However, since you are in the heart of Chicago's downtown, apartments will be smaller and much pricier than other areas.

With five train lines, several buses, and the Metra all running through the Loop, you should find that a car is not necessary.

Transportation to Hyde Park:

Trains: CTA Red Line (Lake, Monroe, Jackson, and Harrison) and Green Line (Adams/Wabash, Randolph/Wabash, State/Lake, Clark/Lake); Metra (Millennium, Van Buren)
Buses: #6 Jackson Park Express, #2 Hyde Park Express (rush hour only), #192 U of C Hospitals Express (rush hour only), #55 Garfield (connecting Red and Green lines to Hyde Park)
Distance: 7 miles
Estimated Travel Time: 25-35 minutes

Near North Side

Near North Side

The Near North Side is composed of a handful of other, smaller neighborhoods—Streeterville, River North, Gold Coast, and Old Town. The area is situated between the Loop to the south and Lincoln Park to the north.

The Near North Side is very popular with shoppers and tourists, playing host to the Magnificent Mile shopping district, Navy Pier, the comedy clubs of Old Town, and innumerable restaurants, bars, parks, and nightclubs. There are even a few beaches, and the Lakefront Trail connects the area both to neighborhoods to the north as well as Hyde Park to the south.

The Near North Side is a mix of old mansions, luxury high-rise condominiums, and renovated walk-ups. As one of the most exclusive and expensive areas in Chicago, the rent in Near North can be quite high. Public transportation makes the area easily accessible - the Red, Brown, and Purple Line trains all run throughout the neighborhood, along with several bus lines.

Transportation to Hyde Park:

Trains: CTA Red Line (North/Clybourn, Clark/Division, Chicago, and Grand)
Buses: #55 Garfield or #192 U of C Hospitals Express (connecting Red and Green lines to Hyde Park, #192 rush hour only), #2 Hyde Park Express (rush hour only)
Distance: 11 miles
Estimated Travel Time: 50-60 minutes

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park includes both the park of the same name, as well as the residential areas to the west. Inside the park is the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the country and a popular (and free) attraction. There are plenty of bars, pubs, and other nightlife spots throughout the neighborhood, and with DePaul University in the center of Lincoln Park, it is a popular place for college students.

Lincoln Park real estate is a mix of three- and four-story apartment buildings, single-family homes, condominiums, and high-rises providing housing options for families, college students, and young professionals. A wide range of public transit options make it easy to get around the city, though parking everywhere on the north side is a challenge.

Transportation to Hyde Park:

Trains: CTA Red Line (Fullerton)
Buses: #55 Garfield or #192 U of C Hospitals Express (connecting Red and Green lines to Hyde Park, #192 rush hour only)
Distance: 12 miles
Estimated Travel Time: 55-60 minutes

Wicker Park

Wicker Park

Wicker Park has long been a popular community for young Chicagoans, but in recent years the demographics have evolved to include families and other individuals who enjoy the dynamic atmosphere of the area. Known as one of the hippest places in Chicago, Wicker Park is also one of the city's most popular destinations for culture and entertainment. Lying west of Lincoln Park, this is arguably Chicago's creative epicenter, with art galleries, theaters, performance art venues, bars, restaurants, and clubs.

The housing options in Wicker Park range from apartments and walk-ups to luxury mansions. While many of the vintage houses remain, plenty of new condos have sprung up. All these options provide affordable real estate to young professionals and families. Compared to nearby Logan Square, the rents tend to be higher and the spaces are often smaller.

Wicker Park is also an ideal location for commuters to downtown, as the Loop is only 10 minutes away on the Blue Line. Also, several CTA bus lines run through the neighborhood.

Transportation to Hyde Park:

Trains: CTA Blue Line (Western, Damen, Division; transfer to the Red Line or bus downtown - no direct transportation to Hyde Park)
Buses: #55 Garfield or #192 U of C Hospitals Express (connecting Red and Green lines to Hyde Park, #192 rush hour only)
Distance: 12 miles
Estimated Travel Time: 50-60 minutes

Lakeview

Lakeview

Just north of Lincoln Park is Lakeview, a student-friendly neighborhood that boasts an active nightlife and entertainment scene. Lakeview encompasses four distinct areas: Boystown, Wrigleyville, East Lakeview, and Central Lakeview. Boystown is known for its LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, while Wrigleyville is famous for the eponymous Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

The wide range of housing options in the neighborhood include high-rises, single-family homes, condominiums, multi-unit apartment buildings, and lofts. Keep in mind that the rents can vary widely in this area, depending on the location and amenities.

Lakeview also offers easy access to the rest of the city via the CTA – the Brown, Red, and Purple Lines all run through the area, as do many buses. If you opt for a location near the Red Line, your commute to campus might be long, but simple: one train will take you almost all the way to Hyde Park.

Transportation to Hyde Park:

Trains: CTA Red Line (Sheridan, Addison, Belmont), Brown Line (transfer to Red Line or bus; Addison, Paulina, Southport, Belmont, Wellington, Diversey)
Buses: #55 Garfield or #192 U of C Hospitals Express (connecting Red and Green lines to Hyde Park, #192 rush hour only)
Distance: 14 miles
Estimated Travel Time: 60-75 minutes

Logan Square

Logan Square

Logan Square is a diverse, family-friendly neighborhood west of Lakeview with a growing number of restaurants, nightlife, and retail. Like Wicker Park, it is very popular among students of all ages. It has long been a destination for many different immigrant communities, and despite rapid change in recent years, is still home to a very diverse population.

Logan Square housing options range from old mansions and new condos to affordable walk-ups and economy apartment complexes. Students mainly choose this neighborhood because of the relatively affordable rents and sometimes larger apartments.

Although there is no direct route to Hyde Park, the neighborhood has good public transit links, with stops on the Blue Line and many bus routes.

Transportation to Hyde Park:

Trains: CTA Blue Line (Logan Square, Western) to the Loop (transfer to Red Line or bus downtown), Metra (Healy, transfer at Union Station downtown to bus or train)
Buses: #55 Garfield (connecting Red line to Hyde Park), #2 Hyde Park Express or #192 U of C Hospitals Express (rush hour only, downtown to Hyde Park) or #6 Jackson Park Express (downtown to Hyde Park)
Distance: 14 miles
Estimated Travel Time: 75-85 minutes