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The Best Neighborhoods for Commuting to Downtown Chicago

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For the majority of people, long commutes for work are a drag, so why not navigate around it? Whether you’re commuting to the larger central area of Chicago or specifically to The Loop, the city’s central business and downtown district, you’ll want the shortest and simplest commute possible. When it comes to finding the right neighborhood for your lifestyle, budget, and commute, we want to signal you in the right direction. Let’s discuss the commute times (depending on traffic and time of day), apartment rentals, perks and amenities, and cost of living that come with these Chicago neighborhoods, shall we?

Bridgeport will knock your Sox off

Situated on the South Side of Chicago, Bridgeport boasts a one-of-a-kind lifestyle for lovers of the Chicago White Sox, affordable living, local restaurants, and proximity to the big city. Located just four miles southwest of Downtown Chicago, your commute from Bridgeport to Downtown could take you anywhere from 10-20 minutes.

The apartments, condos, and houses for rent in Bridgeport offer basic amenities, cozy living, and affordable rent. However, there are a few fancier rental options, as well, if you have room for it in your budget. The neighborhood is affordable, traffic is bearable, and the commute is do-able!

You’ll shine bright in Brighton Park

As one of the most transportation-friendly neighborhoods outside of Chicago, Illinois, Brighton Park provides subway lines, bus stations, and access to I-55. Makes for a commuter-friendly neighborhood, wouldn’t you say? But it doesn’t stop there. Just four miles from town, you’ll find the Chicago Midway International Airport.

Brighton Park is situated six miles southwest of Downtown Chicago with a commute time of 15-30 minutes. What’s even better than a reasonable commute? Paying affordable rent for an apartment, condo, or house in your desired neighborhood.

If your lifestyle involves children, Brighton Park may be a good location for you, considering the various public and private schools in the neighborhood, not to mention access to the sprawling McKinley Park!

Try your luck, and get a bang for your buck in Bucktown

As the trendiest area northwest of Chicago, Bucktown is surprisingly one of the more affordable neighborhoods in the area. Located just five miles northwest of Downtown, Bucktown boasts extensive public transportation and easy access to I-94.

Commuting from Bucktown to Downtown can take you anywhere from 10-20 minutes, but affordability and commutability aren’t the only perks of this neighborhood.

Live music venues, art exhibits, and vibrant bars line the streets of Bucktown, and there’s always opportunities to get outdoors. This hip neighborhood consists of community parks and nature trails, as well as high-ranking public, private, and charter schools!

A purrfect commute from East Garfield Park

East Garfield Park may not be named after an overweight orange tabby cat, but it does house incredible rental opportunities with many apartments, condos, and houses, as well as a few townhomes. East Garfield Park boasts bustling residential streets, a popular community park, and an abundance of public transportation.

With Chicago’s Blue Line and Green Line rail stations paired with proximity to I-290, residents can rest easy knowing their commute to The Loop will be a breeze. This neighborhood sits five miles west of Downtown, with your commute lasting anywhere from 15-25 minutes, leaving you time to spare for exploring your new neighborhood!

Underrated Uptown is on the rise

What’s better than living Downtown? Living Uptown, of course! Fun fills this historic entertainment district, offering lively nightclubs, unique shops, and delectable restaurants, as well as walkable streets, memorable landmarks, and even waterfront views of Lake Michigan. After all, who doesn’t want direct access to Lake Michigan’s sandy shoreline?

This bustling urban oasis is located eight miles north of The Loop, so your commute should take around 10-25 minutes. With the plentitude of apartments and condos, in addition to various houses and townhomes, there’s no shortage of rental options. And let’s make one thing clear: this is the kind of neighborhood you’ll look forward to coming home to every day.

Discover your perfect apartment

If you’d like to continue your research and discover more neighborhoods around Downtown Chicago, here’s a quick rundown of how to navigate Apartments.com to find the ideal apartment in the best neighborhood for your commute.

On the home page, search “Downtown Chicago.” If you’d like, you can use the “Polygon” tool to draw your own lines around your desired area on the map. Then, click on “Filter,” where you can click or search for the amenities you’re hoping for in a rental. If you want to get straight to the commute, click “Plan My Commute” on the “Filter” page. Enter your work location, choose your travel mode, and enter the travel time you’re willing to commit to commuting, as well as the time of day you’ll be traveling. Apartments.com will then give you your best options based on your chosen filters!

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