Meet Chicago (Illinóis)
The third largest city in America, Chicago is known for its brutally cold winters, deep pizzas and Malört.
But there’s a lot more to this Midwest metropolis.
Public transport takes you everywhere
It is extremely useful to maintain a map of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) with you on your journey, as many locations on your itinerary will likely have a nearby CTA stop. With eight L lines and 140 bus routes, you can move as a venue at the CTA.
Ventra Cards is your best friend
The Ventra cards are the passes required to board the CTA.
There are kiosks in Ventra at both airports, where you can buy passes for one day, three days or seven days.
Visitors also have the option to load Ventra cards with a specific amount of money.
Simply pass the card reader above the cards in L tourniquets or inside the bus doors and wait for the green Arrow.
Be prepared for the effect of the lake, with its chills and winds
Lake Michigan borders the entire east side of Chicago, which contributes to beautiful landscapes, but also drastic changes in temperature.
The people of Chicago notice temperature drops and stronger wind gusts as they approach the lake all year round.
Keep this in mind if you are planning a trip during a particularly cold winter.
You can determine where you stand or what you do.
Dish Pizza Background is not the only item on the menu
Yes Yes yes. Chicago loves deep dish pizza.
But there are also 22 Michelin-starred restaurants in the city and a wide variety of ethnic cuisines to choose from.
In addition, Devon Avenue, in Edgewater, is famous for Indian cuisine, and Chinatown and Pilsen, on the South side, house the city’s finest Chinese and Mexican restaurants.
For Vietnamese, head Uptown. It is Old Town for Italian beef and Ethiopic Beef in Andersonville.
Simply put, if you stick to the bottom dish, you are losing.
There are tons of things to do and see in winter
Winter is definitely cold in Chicago – there is snow, ice and freezing sensation every year.
However, the skating strip at Maggie Daley Park offers visitors the opportunity to rent ice skates and enjoy the outdoors during the colder months.
The Lincoln Park Zoo also features Zoo Lights every holiday season, during which visitors stroll through the gardens as they drink hot wine and enjoy the huge exhibitions of festive lights.
World-class comedy is everywhere
Chicago is really the best place to watch a comedy show.
Of course, the second city started here, but there are hysterical performances all over the city every night of the week.
If you are in the mood for original wild musicals, go to the Annoyance Theatre at the Belmont Theatre District.
Check out the CIC Theater in Lakeview.
You can even interview a celebrity or professional athlete at the iO Theatre’s the Armando Diaz Experience, after which the improvisers perform the sets based on the guest’s responses.
The weather is always unpredictable
Chicago had 24C days in November and snowstorm in April.
In a single week-or even in a matter of hours-the climate can turn from damp rain in cold sunshine.
Even lifelong residents cannot predict what will come next.
The solution? Use easily removable and replaceable layers.
Don’t get a neighborhood
Spending all your time in a neighborhood in Chicago is like limiting yourself to eating salty crackers for the rest of your life.
It’s worth exploring to get the full effect of Chicago.
The historic district of Pilsen, on the south side, houses delicious Mexican cuisine and many art galleries, while Andersonville, on the north side, features the Swedish-American Museum.
Greektown in the West Loop is the best place for imported gyros and cheeses. The list goes on!
You don’t need to spend your savings
Chicago offers tons of free and cheap activities for people travelling on a limited budget.
Many museums have free admission, including (but not limited to) the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the National Museum of Art and Culture of Puerto Rico.
Again, the CTA provides super cheap transportation throughout the city, and many restaurants are BYOB, which means spending as much as you want in a bottle of wine instead of US $10 or more per cup.
There’s probably a festival going on
No matter what month, you can find a festival in Chicago.
Most people have heard of Lollapalooza, a three-day musical event in August, which is typically the biggest festival in the city.
However, there are many fairs throughout the year.
The South Side Irish Parade is in March, while the Lincoln Park Wine Fest is in May.
In Andersonville, the Midsommarfest takes place in June, and the West Town Food Truck Social takes place in October, together with the West Town Art Walk.
This is the tip of the iceberg, so be sure to check out what’s going on during your stay.
Explore the city via water taxi
Venice, Italy, is not the only city that offers water taxis.
Passengers and tourists can take water taxis from the South Loop to the city centre, in addition to the Goose Island, which is close to Lincoln Park.
It’s a fantastic way to see the city from a completely different angle.
Go to the beach for fun and sunshine
A common misunderstanding about Chicago is that it’s always cold in here. Fake!
The average high temperature in July is 28C, and there are several beaches along Lake Michigan that are open to the public between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The most picturesque is undoubtedly the Oak Street Beach, which offers the bathers unparalleled views of the urban landscape of Chicago.
Further north, Montrose Beach has a large expanse of sand for families, as well as beach activities such as volleyball and football.