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Chicago, Illinois

 More than 42 kilometers of lakefront frame Chicago's stunning urban skyline. Here in the heart of the Midwest, the nation’s third-largest city boasts soaring skyscrapers and colorful neighborhoods against a backdrop of sandy beaches and beautiful parks. This cosmopolitan playground bursts with things to do. Sightseeing options range from Chicago icons – such as Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate, Grant Park’s Buckingham Fountain and Navy Pier’s Ferris wheel – to fascinating history and architecture tours.

currency

Dollar, 1 $ (USD) = 100 cents

phone

911

newspaper

Chicago Tribune
Chicago SunTimes
The Reader
Time Out Chicago
(weekly magazine with event listings)

population

2.84 million

info

Chicago Office of Tourism

Chicago Cultural Center
77 E. Randolph Street

Chicago Water Works
163 E. Pearson Street

website

www.visittheusa.com/destination/chicago

Chicago at night

The City

Chicago, the third largest city in the U.S., nuzzles the shores of picturesque Lake Michigan, which reflects the dazzling skyline. As a vibrant and international city, it boasts world-class museums, cuisine and nightlife. The numerous outdoor parks and miles of lakefront paths are a wonderful attraction for sporty types, while the exclusive theatres, shops & restaurants appeal to the sophisticated visitor. Chicago is also the birthplace of modern jazz and blues, so an excursion to one of its many clubs is a must for music novices and aficionados alike.

If you are a sports fan, Chicago’s world-class venues can accommodate almost every professional and amateur sport discipline imaginable. Whether you’re watching or playing, sports are an integral part of life in Chicago.
During the baseball season the town is split. The South Side lives and dies with the White Sox while the North Side cozies up with the Cubs. The National League Cubs play at historic Wrigley Field while the American League White Sox call U.S. Cellular Field home. The NFL's Chicago Bears take to the gridiron at Soldier Field and the United Center is home of the NBA's Chicago Bulls. Hockey fans can watch the NHL Blackhawks, also at the United Center, or the minor-league Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena. And soccer fans can see the MLS Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. There are numerous college sports teams in the area, as well as horse racing and auto races in the suburbs.

And if the Performing Arts are more to your taste, Chicago is the home of over 200 theatres hosting the Chicago Symphony, Chicago and Joffrey Ballet Companies, world renowned and “up and coming” local artists and musicians, Tony Award winning Broadway world premiers, Improvisation at Second City, and edgy original plays. Plan on spending a few hours somewhere like the State Street or Downtown Theatre Districts when you’re in Chicago, and be prepared to journey through fairytale wonderlands, discover dazzling sights and sounds, soak up thought-provoking story lines, and even laugh ‘till it hurts on any given day or night.

stage at festival

Events

If it’s music you’ve come for, you’ll find every genre at live music clubs and outdoor events like Millennium Park concerts, Lollapalooza and the Chicago Blues Festival. Chicago’s calendar is packed with local street festivals, holiday celebrations and special events year round.

Learn more at: www.visittheusa.com/destination/chicago

Blues Festival (June)

Gospel Music Festival (June)

Taste of Chicago (July)

Chicago Jazz Festival (August-September)

Chicago Gourmet (September)

World Music Festival Chicago (September)

Chicago Marathon (October)

Chicago International Film Festival (October)

Christkindlmarket Chicago (November-December)

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo (December)

Chicago Bus Tour

Do & See

Chicago is renowned for its cultural offerings with more than 40 museums and a dedicated Museum Campus, home to The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium. Don't miss the Art Institute of Chicago, which contains 300,000 works in its permanent collection, and Museum of Science and Industry, the largest in the Western Hemisphere. As the only U.S. city with five regional Tony Award-winning theaters, Chicago’s theater scene takes center stage.

With several of the world’s tallest buildings located here, Chicago is a showcase for modern masterpieces and historic landmarks by America’s greatest architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham and Louis Sullivan. Go above the view at 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck in the John Hancock Center (be sure to try the TILT experience, which leans you out over Michigan Avenue). Stay grounded but still take in the beautiful cityscape with a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk, where you can enjoy a delicious meal or grab a drink right on the water. The Riverwalk can also serve as your launching point for an architecture tour or canoe trip down the Chicago River. Take the kids to Lincoln Park Zoo and Wrigley Field, two iconic and family-friendly attractions.

Learn more at: www.visittheusa.com/destination/chicago

Architectural River Cruise

The Field Museum

Shedd Aquarium

Navy Pier

Robie House

Willis Tower (Sears Tower)

Cloud Gate

Lincoln Park Zoo

Grant Park

Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier

Lake Michigan

Museum of Science and Industry

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Museum of Contemporary Art

Auditorium Building and Theatre

Brookfield Zoo

Wrigley Field

Soldier Field

United Center

Chicago Fire Soccer Club / Toyota Park

Adler Planetarium

360 CHICAGO Observation Deck

Unity Temple

Art Institute of Chicago

Big Bus Tours

Couple in Chicago

Excursions

Explore Illinois and experience both the nonstop energy of a big city and the charm of friendly small towns. Beyond Chicago, shop at outlet malls for fabulous bargains, hike on wooded trails through scenic state parks and tour incredible Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. Take a nostalgic road trip on legendary Route 66, stroll historic small-town Main Streets to stop at diners and soda fountains for a glimpse of true Americana and visit Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield. Watch Illinois makers in action as they hand-craft beer at more than 80 breweries across the state and follow an Illinois wine trail.

Chicago's North Shore

Heritage Corridor & Route 66

Rockford

DuPage

Deep-dish pizza

Dining

Chicago’s culinary scene is filled with star chefs, unique ethnic eateries and award-winning fine dining restaurants known around the world. Just as famous is the Chicago-style hot dog and deep dish pizza. As a top food destination, the city boasts 7,300 restaurants in every price range and cuisine.

Learn more at: www.visittheusa.com/destination/chicago

Gino’s East Pizzeria

Le Colonial

Spiaggia

Portillo's Hot Dogs

Tempo

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Morton's

Everest

Uno Chicago Grill

Frontera Grill

The Purple Pig

Ditka's

Shaw's Crab House

Big Bowl

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!

Beet Salad

Cafes

Locating a great cafe in Chicago poses no difficulty. Choose from large American chains or smaller, more intimate cafes that serve artisan coffee and hand-made pastries. They are scattered across the city, so enjoy one while taking a break from sightseeing and shopping.

Argo Tea Cafe

Cafe Selmarie

Atwood

Gallery Cafe

The Wormhole Cafe

Pick Me Up Cafe

Bridgeport Coffee Company

Intelligentsia

Star Lounge Coffee Bar

Julius Meinl

The Coffee Studio

Asado Coffee Co.

Beverly Bakery

Grand Lux Cafe

Ipsento

The Perfect Cup

Barman making drink

Bars & Nightlife

For nightlife, head to the many cocktail lounges, sports bars or dance clubs that dot the entertainment landscape. Or get tickets to legendary comedy club The Second City. Famous jazz and blues clubs abound, as well as smaller venues that represent local musicians and quiet bars with small bands playing music from around the world. Keep in mind that the legal drinking age is 21.

Learn more at: www.visittheusa.com/destination/chicago

The Signature Room/Signature Lounge

Le Colonial Lounge

Luxbar

The Original Mother’s

House of Blues

Buddy Guy’s Legends

Jazz Showcase

The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

Cubby Bear Lounge

Redhead Piano Bar

Kingston Mines

Metro/SmartBar

Davenport's Piano Bar and Cabaret

The J. Parker

Three Dots and a Dash

Billy Sunday

The Berkshire Room

Parson's Chicken & Fish

Punch House

Couple shopping

Shopping

Shopping is a big deal in Chicago. Don’t miss Michigan Avenue’s 13-block stretch, The Magnificent Mile, with more than 300 stores to explore, including major department stores, luxury boutiques and the can't-miss, multi-level Water Tower Place mall.

Learn more at: www.visittheusa.com/destination/chicago

The Magnificent Mile

Bloomingdale’s Building

Water Tower Place

Broadway & Clark Street

Piper's Alley

Andersonville Galleria

Block Thirty Seven

Century Shopping Centre

Randolph Street Market

ikram

Goorin Bros.

Leaders1354

Chicago Premium Outlets

The Shops at Northbridge

Woodfield Mall

Garrett Popcorn Shop

American Girl Place

Fashion Outlets of Chicago

Lakefront Chicago

Essential Information

Passport / Visa

Citizens of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Kingdom of Brunei can visit the United States for up to 90 days without applying for a visa (as well as citizens of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco and San Marino). Citizens of these countries must obtain an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before traveling. All other travelers must obtain a visa before visiting the United States. International travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the country.

Airport

Chicago has two airports: O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport. O’Hare is approximately 18 miles (30 km) northwest of the city center. Midway Airport is 6.5 miles (10 km) southwest of the city center. The Blue Line train takes passengers to and from O’Hare and downtown Chicago and runs 24 hours a day. The Orange Line train takes passengers to and from Midway airport and downtown Chicago and also runs 24 hours.

Taxis take about 20-30 minutes to get to the city center.

Website: www.flychicago.com

Best Time to Visit

Contrary to what its nickname – "Windy City" – implies, winds aren't too much of a concern of a concern, and the nickname itself ties in with Chicago's political history more than its climate. The best times to visit are around Christmas season (for the festive lights and holiday atmosphere), or, if higher temperatures are what you prefer, any time from late spring (April) to early fall.

Public Transport

Chicago has an excellent system of trains, buses and a commuter rail. Pay in cash on the bus and in exact change. Transit cards may be purchased at selected outlets, which eliminates the hassle of needing exact change. You may also call and get exact directions on public transport to and from any destination in the city. RTA Travel Information service is available seven days a week, including holidays, 04.45-1.00 for travel information on CTA, PACE, and Metra.

Phone: +1 312 836 7000

Website: www.transitchicago.com

More Information: For Hearing Impaired +1 312 836 4949

Taxi

It is very easy to find a taxi downtown or near the Miracle Mile. There is no extra charge for baggage or credit card use, and tipping is optional.

Yellow Cab Company: +1 312 829 4222

Checker Taxi Company: +1 312 243 2537

Pharmacy

Walgreens is open 24 hours, seven days a week and there are a number of Walgreens in downtown Chicago.

Address: 757 North Michigan, Chicago

Phone: +1 312 664 8686

Website: www.walgreens.com

Post

The Main Post Office is located on 433 West Harrison Street. Visit the website for more information.

Address: 433 West Harrison Street, Chicago

Phone: +1 312 983 8030

Website: www.usps.com

More Information: Toll free +1 800 275 8777

Telephone

Country Code: +1

Area Code Chicago: 312 or 773

Electricity

110 volts, 60 hz
Standard two-pin plugs

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