chicago

broken clouds icon for current weather in chicago broken clouds
72°

Overview

Chicago, Illinois, is a bustling city known for its vibrant arts scene, numerous cultural attractions, iconic architecture, and varied culinary experiences.

History

Founded in 1833, Chicago grew rapidly in the 19th century due to its strategic location for transportation and commerce. It's known for its architectural innovation and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Culture

Chicago is a culturally rich city with a diverse population including a mix of ethnic neighborhoods, a variety of cultural institutions, and festivals celebrating this diversity throughout the year.

Interesting Facts

  • Chicago is called 'The Windy City', not just for its breezes but for its 19th-century political climate.
  • The first ever Ferris wheel was built in Chicago in 1893.
  • Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world.
  • The Twinkie was invented in Chicago in 1930.
  • Chicago River is the only river in the world that flows backwards, a result of an engineering marvel.
  • The city's lakefront shoreline is lined with public beaches and parks.
  • Chicago has some of the tallest buildings in the United States, including the Willis Tower.
  • The Chicago Public Library was created directly from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire.
  • It has an extensive public art collection, with works by Picasso, Chagall, and Miro on public display.
  • The city has a special dyeing of the Chicago River green for St. Patrick's Day.
  • Chicago is known for its contributions to the development of blues and jazz music.
  • The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is one of the oldest zoos in North America.
  • The city was instrumental in the creation of improv comedy.
  • It is home to the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere, the Museum of Science and Industry.
  • The L (elevated train system) is one of the oldest in the world.

Expert Advice

  • Visit the iconic Millennium Park and take a photo with the Cloud Gate sculpture.
  • Explore the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the leading art museums in the world.
  • Enjoy views from the Willis Tower Skydeck.
  • Take an architecture river cruise to learn about the city's famed buildings.
  • Try deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs.
  • Go to a jazz or blues club for live music.
  • Attend a sports event, as Chicago is home to several major teams.
  • Visit the historic Navy Pier for entertainment and food.
  • Shop along the Magnificent Mile.
  • Use public transportation or rent a bike to explore neighborhoods.

People on Budget

  • Purchase a tourist pass for discounts on attractions.
  • Use public transportation instead of taxis or ride-shares.
  • Eat at local diners and food stands instead of high-end restaurants.
  • Visit free attractions like the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Chicago Cultural Center.
  • Stay in accommodations outside of the city center.
  • Look for free days at museums and conservatories.
  • Walk or rent a bike to explore the city.

Emergency Details

  • 911 for police, fire, and medical emergencies
  • 311 for non-emergency city services and information
  • Poison Control Center: +1 800-222-1222
  • Chicago Police Department Non-Emergency: +1 312-746-6000
  • Chicago Fire Department Non-Emergency: +1 312-745-3705
  • Nearest hospitals with emergency rooms can be located via Google Maps or local directories

Weather

Chicago experiences all four seasons, with cold, snowy winters, warm to hot and humid summers, and mild springs and autumns.

Ideal time to visit

Late spring to early fall (May to October) when the weather is warm and the city offers numerous festivals and outdoor activities.

Top Places to Visit in chicago

chicago caters to all tastes. Below, we have picked some crowd favorites. Prepare for memorable experiences that will leave a lasting impression:

  • Explore Millennium Park and Cloud Gate.
  • Admire art at the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • View the city from the Willis Tower Skydeck.
  • Take a Chicago River architectural boat tour.
  • Relax at Navy Pier.
  • Shop on the Magnificent Mile.
  • Enjoy live jazz or blues music.
  • Visit the Museum of Science and Industry.
  • See animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
  • Attend a Chicago Cubs or White Sox game.
  • Bike along the Lakefront Trail.
  • Stroll through the Chicago Botanic Garden.
  • Discover history at the Field Museum.
  • Watch a show at The Second City comedy club.
  • Spend an evening at the Adler Planetarium.
Image for Willis Tower Skydeck

Willis Tower Skydeck

Live on the ledge

Image for Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

Encyclopedia of Arts

Image for Millennium Park & Cloud Gate

Millennium Park & Cloud Gate

Chicago's crown jewel

Top Places to Eat in chicago

chicago boasts a plethora of exceptional dining choices. Below, we highlight a few must-try options not to be missed during your visit. Prepare to savor the culinary delights that await you:

  • Deep-dish pizza: A Chicago staple, known for its thick crust and generous fillings.
  • Chicago-style hot dog: An all-beef frankfurter on a poppy-seed bun, topped with a specific set of ingredients.
  • Italian beef sandwich: Thinly sliced beef in a roll, often dipped in au jus.
  • Jibarito: A sandwich made with flattened fried green plantains instead of bread.
  • Pierogi: A nod to the city's Eastern European population, these dumplings are often filled with meat, cheese, or potatoes.
  • Garrett Popcorn: A famous Chicago snack, try the Garrett Mix - a combination of caramel and cheese popcorn.
  • Malort: A local, bitter liquor that's a rite of passage for many Chicagoans.
  • Chicago Mix pizza: A combination of various pizza styles from the city.
  • Gyros: Reflecting the city’s Greek influence, these sandwiches are made with rotisserie-cooked meat.
  • Corned beef sandwich: Found at many of the city’s delis.
  • Chicago-style ribs: Typically seasoned with a dry rub and slow-cooked in a pit.
  • Rainbow Cone: A famous ice cream cone with a mix of five flavors.
  • Chicken Vesuvio: A one-pan dish made with chicken and potatoes in a garlic, white wine, and olive oil sauce.
  • Paczki: Polish doughnuts that are a Fat Tuesday tradition.
  • Tamales: A nod to Chicago's Mexican community, these are often sold by street vendors.

Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe

130 E Randolph St, chicago

Brunch, Cafe, Coffee Tea

Xoco

449 N Clark St, chicago

Mexican Restaurant, Cafe

Chicago Diner

3411 N Halsted St, chicago

American (traditional), Comfort Food, Vegan Vegetarian Restaurant

Lula Cafe

2537 N Kedzie Blvd, chicago

American (new), Brunch

Plan Your Trip to chicago

Ready to visit chicago? We can get you started! Choose how many days youd like to stay and well start an itinerary for you.