If you are thinking of traveling to Chicago, USA, you are in the right place. Chicago, which is called the “City of the Wind” because almost every street gets windy and is also the address of political turmoil, is a city located in North America.
There are certain ascriptions about where the name of Chicago, which is the third largest city in the country, comes from. One of them is that the name comes from “shikaakwa”, a plant that grows in this region, and the other is that it was inspired by “chicagau”, which means strong in the Native American language.
While the history of the city started with the Indians, the region, which was bought by European missionaries in 1795, increased its commercial activity over time and gained political importance with the meetings held under the leadership of Abrahim Lincoln supporters. After the civil war and the Second World War, Chicago, which had a hard time, became the living space of black people coming from Germany, Ireland, Italy, Scandinavia, Mexico and the south after the war and witnessed a huge population explosion.
In this period, Chicago, where there were about 90 thousand homeless people, recovered in a short time and gained a planned appearance. Thus, the city, which gained the appearance of a modern city, went through separatist times as a result of the race wars, but with the welfare, the problems were greatly reduced and the city became a leading center of the country.
Today, with its skyscrapers as an example of modern architecture, the magnificent view we are accustomed to from movies, an advanced transportation system, musicals, historical and touristic places, Chicago is a city that you want to see and even live in.
Chicago, which was a workers’ city where giant factories worked for many years, has transformed and enriched over time and has become a financial city. The city, which received immigration before this transformation, had a cosmopolitan structure. It is possible to see the effect of its cosmopolitan structure especially in the food culture of the city. Like every major American city, Chicago has a Chinatown, where it is possible to taste delicious Chinese food.
Where Is Chicago?
Let us share with you some of the things you need to know when traveling to Chicago. Chicago is a city in the US state of Illinois. It is located southwest of Lake Michigan.
When To Go To Chicago?
The US city Chicago, which is beautiful in all four seasons, shows humid continental climate characteristics. Therefore, the summers are humid and hot, and the winters are cold and snowy. While the average temperature is 24 degrees in summer, these temperatures drop to -4, -5 in winter. In July, temperatures can approach 30 degrees. In winter, the number of sunny days is less and snowfall is common. The best time to visit the city is between April and October.
Best Places To Visit In Chicago
There are many places to visit in the modern and organized city of Chicago, whose streets and avenues even resemble an art gallery. Some of the places to visit are close to each other, while others are located in the suburban part of the region. It is possible to do many activities, especially in the area of the city known as Downtown, from shopping to movies.
Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower, is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world. There are various offices in this 440-meter-high 110-floor skyscraper, but the terrace section of the Sky Deck floor, which is an important part of tourism, has a 360-degree view of Chicago. It is possible to feel Chicago under your feet and to see all four states on clear days.
If you want to enjoy a bird’s eye view on this terrace, you should reserve your ticket in advance. Otherwise, you can see the queue and give up. Especially in summer, there is a very long queue at noon on weekends. In this skyscraper, where you can watch the city from a bird’s eye view in a glass cabin, there is also a cafeteria and a gift shop.
The tallest tower in the world until 1996, Willis Tower was designed in 1970 by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Today, it is the second tallest building in North America and the 14th tallest building in the world. Names such as Alain Robert were also able to climb to the top of the tower. Two large antennas were built at the top of the tower so that the aircraft could detect the building.
These antennas are lit in red or green according to special days. On days and events such as Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, Fight Cancer, it is colored red, Earth Day, St. It also glows green on days like St. Patrick’s Day.
Navy Pear is a peaceful place with recreational areas located along the shores of Lake Michigan. The area, which used to be the largest pier in the world in the past, is now an important travel point for tourists in the city with its fast food shops, ballroom, concert stage, congress and exhibition hall. Ferris wheel, an 18-person cruise balloon called the Aeroballoon, the IMAX Theatre, the 525-seat Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the Stained Glass Windows Smith Museum.
The fountains in Polks Bros Park are a cool place for children who are overwhelmed by the heat during the summer months. If you get tired of the heat, you can cool off under these fountains like children. Navy Pear, an area where Chicagoans enjoy their time, has started to green the port as part of its sustainability project. A walk in the afternoon, a meal at a nice restaurant with lake view and sunset, and a nice event you will attend afterwards will give you a good experience.
Since this is also the port, you can take a nice river tour by boat in the region. It is also possible to have a romantic dinner on some boats.
The Downtown area, also known as The Loop, is considered the center of the city. Consisting of nine vertical and eight horizontal streets, the district is a business center with most of the city’s iconic skyscrapers. Randolph Street, which is a street of the region where the finance and economy of the city is carried out in these skyscrapers, is the street where the world-famous theaters of Chicago are located.
You can see famous theaters such as The Paradise and The Oriental on the street. It is the second most important business center in the United States after Midtown Manhattan in New York.
It is thought that the name of the area known as the “Loop”, namely the Ring, comes from the old tram that was put into service in 1882 and circulated in this area by making loops. The Chicago River, which empties into Lake Michigan, runs through Downtown. The business centers rising along the river are modern buildings that were not built in the early 1900s.
The scenery created by these buildings, which are the pioneers of modern architecture, with the river is beautiful both day and night. In addition, tours of these buildings are organized along the river by boats. Located in Downtown, Grant Park is a large park with both beaches and green spaces. During the summer the park hosts free concerts.
Taste of Chicago food festival, attended by approximately 3 million people every year, and Lollapalooza music festival, which includes music genres such as alternative rock, punk rock, and heavy metal, are also held in Grant Park.
Also in the area are the Chicago Cathedral, the most important place of worship of the city, the 15-meter Picasso Statue built in 1967, the Four Seasons Mosaic, the Federal Center with a simple but magnificent design combined with glass and steel, and the Willis Tower. Art centers such as Civic Opera House, Chicage Theatre, Fine Arts Building, Art Institute of Chicago are also located here.
Science And Industry Museum
Located near Hyde Park in the South Side area, the Museum of Science and Industry is the city’s most famous museum. It is a museum that Chicago students visit on tours to get acquainted with science. There are also interactive sections in the museum that can attract the attention of visitors of all ages. The building where the museum is located is the former Palace of Fine Arts, where the World Columbian Exposition was held in 1893.
The entrance section of the museum, which was insufficient for the increasing number of visitors, was later renewed by developing a system similar to the pyramid in the Louvre Museum. More than 2000 objects and mechanisms are exhibited in 75 different halls.
The coal mine, a five-metre human heart and a German submarine from the Second World War are among the points of interest in the museum. All kinds of things have been thought of to make you feel like a miner in the mine, which is created in a way that is no different from a real mine. In this place where you can learn more about understanding miners and their work, they also show their work to minimize mining fatalities.
The German submarine U-505, which is in the museum, is the only submarine captured in World War II without breaking down. A separate fee is required to enter and tour the submarine. Colleen Moore’s gigantic Fairy Castle and The Great Train Story, which is built on an area of 330 square meters, are among the most interesting parts of the museum. Yesterday’s Main Street, where the streets of Chicago in the early 1900s were recreated with models, is located on the 2nd floor.
You can visit the place, which is an interesting museum where people of all ages can find something to have fun and have a good time, both to have fun and to be informed.
Chicago Art Institute
The Art Institute of Chicago, located in Downtown Chicago, or the Loop, is the second largest art museum in the United States. There are more than 300,000 works in the museum, where artifacts from different periods from all over the world are collected. However, there are predominantly modern, impressionist, classical and post-impressionist works in the museum. The main entrance of the museum is from Michigan Avenue and the view of Millennium Park at the back is also worth seeing.
The Chicago Art Institute was founded in 1879 as an art museum. Later, in 1893, it was moved to its current building under the name of Art Institute. With the opening of the Modern Wing designed by Renzo Piano in 2009, it became one of the world’s largest art museums. Since it takes a long time to properly tour the museum, you can look at the collections on the website and focus on the sections you are curious about. Contemporary sculptures are displayed on the terrace on the 3rd floor and the view from the terrace is also mesmerizing.
The modern art section of the museum, where you can find pieces from Byzantine, Greek, Asian and African arts, is particularly interesting. The works of many world-famous American artists are exhibited here. Grant Wood’s American Gothic and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks are among the notable works in the museum’s Gallery of America.
This work of Grant Wood, drawn in 1930, has become one of the cult works of American art. Decoration products such as furniture, ceramics and glass in the European part of the museum are pieces collected from the Middle Ages to the present.
It is said that the best impressionist and post-impressionist works found outside of France are in this museum. There are more than 30 works in the section devoted to the famous artist Claude Monet. One of the most striking points of the museum is reserved for the American artist Narcissa Thorne. Consisting of 68 rooms, Thorne Miniature Rooms sheds light on these cultures.
Transportation In Chicago
When you travel to Chicago, you should also know how to get there. In Chicago, urban transportation is very convenient and comfortable, and especially for the Down Town area, the opportunity to travel is provided without any problems. Those who come to the city and the people of the region can use their own vehicles for transportation, as well as prefer taxis, metro, CTA system and buses. Many of the tourists do not prefer to rent a car due to the difficulty and cost of finding a parking space in the city.
You can obtain the magnetic card that you can use in urban transportation from the box office and automatic machines of each station of public transportation vehicles. These cards, which can be refilled or re-purchased, have daily and weekly options, and will also allow you to pay more discounted fares on public transportation.
The metro, which provides transportation between the suburb and the city center, has an appearance like a 2-storey train. The fares of these 12-line trains vary according to the distance to be traveled.
CTA (Chicago Transit Authority)
CTA, which is a rail system network, is a service vehicle that provides urban transportation by going both underground and above ground. The basis of transportation in Chicago is the CTA. There are 7 lines and 7 colors in this system, which provides the convenience of recognizing the route of the transportation network with its colors. Red and blue lines work 24/7.
Pace Suburban Bus Service
Pace Suburban, the bus system that provides transportation from the suburbs outside the city center, includes shuttle services that provide service especially at the beginning and end of working hours. Some passes are valid on both the CTA system and Paca.
Transportation From Airport To City Center
The city center is 29 kilometers from Chicago O’hare Airport, the city’s busiest airport. It is possible to use transit trains, taxi, bus or car rental services to go from the airport to the city center.
By Transit Train,
The best alternative for transportation is transit trains. You can have a comfortable and economical journey by taking these 24-hour trains. Travel by train is free and provides the possibility to go to a different terminal or metro station.
With The CTA Chicago Transit Authority,
You can reach the city center with a 45-minute journey by transit trains that provide 24-hour transportation from the airport.
Another alternative to travel to the city center from here is buses. There are two private bus services operating on the airport line. Of these, Continental Airport Express operates between 06:00 and 23:30, while Omega Airport provides service between 05:00 and 23:45.
It takes about 30 minutes to go to the city center by taxi.
With Car Rental,
You can rent a car suitable for you and reach the city center by contacting the car rental companies at the airport.
Your trip to Chicago continues, if you can’t decide what to eat, then it’s time to talk about what to eat in Chicago. American flavors are very important in Chicago cuisine. The city not only contains the cuisines of many countries. Chicago, which has the best restaurants in the world, is also the homeland of fast food culture. American cultural and regional delicacies: Hamburger, Chicago pizza -also known as deep plate pizza- hot dog, orange chicken, egg rice and milkshake. The most preferred food by the public is barbecue products and soups.
It is possible to find and taste Chicago’s most well-known and special flavor thick-rimmed pizza as “Chicago-style pizza” in restaurants all over the city. Sandwiches are also one of Chicago’s favorite snacks. Hot dogs and Italian style sandwiches are the unique foods you can eat here. What makes these sandwiches delicious and unique is the special beef. Pickled cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and mustard are also added to the hot dog.
Putting ketchup in a hot dog is very offensive to Chicagoans, and they say it spoils the taste of the meat because it contains sugar. You can see Chicagoans waiting to buy donuts in front of the Donut Vault.
The restaurant Avec, where you can eat Mediterranean delicacies, will satisfy you. Fast food restaurant Au Cheval also offers affordable menus. For a dinner where you can eat seafood, you can choose GT Fish&Oyster. Also, for a nice dinner, chef Stephanie Izard’s Little Goat restaurant is a suitable option. Especially the desserts they make are very delicious.
If you don’t like these options and want to eat something else, you can find German, Korean and Middle Eastern cuisines in Lincoln Square, Greektown and Albany Park. The address you should go to for a good Indian meal is the restaurants on Devon Avenue in Rogers Park.
Polo Cafe & Catering Bridgeport: If you are thinking of going to brunch, you can choose Polo cafe. If you are going to dinner, we recommend you to eat lamb chops.
Alinea: One of the good choices for a pleasant dinner is Alinea. Get ready for different surprises during the meal.
Tip:You should leave a tip in every restaurant where you get service, except for self-service fast food establishments in the city. If you do not leave a tip of 10% or 20% of the incoming account, you may be exposed to harsh looks. The places where you need to leave a tip in the city are not only valid for restaurants but also for places where you buy other services such as entertainment venues.
In addition, if you leave a few coins for a service you are not satisfied with, the service personnel will understand that you do not like the service quality, and another point you should pay attention to is whether the service fee is added to the incoming account.
Shopping In Chicago
Wouldn’t you like to beautify your Chicago trip with shopping? A shopping paradise, Chicago is a city where you can find anything you want. Here you can shop from many places such as shopping malls, boutiques, small shops, antique shops and bookstores. You can spend time in the stores of world-famous brands, especially on Michigan Avenue, which is located in the Near North District and is known as the city’s most popular shopping street, the Magnificent Mile. On the street are shopping malls such as the large multi-storey 900 N Michigan and Water Tower Place.
Another important place for shopping in the city is State Street. On State Street, you can find home apparel, electronics, jewelry, and jewelry stores. Manc’s, the world’s largest store, is also located on this street. Oak Street is a place with boutiques selling local and international items. You can buy souvenirs, choose colognes, soap and candles from the 135-year-old nostalgic pharmacy called Mertz Apothecary.
Wicker Park and Bucktown are centers for the hipster part of the city with their cafes and shops. In addition, there are shops for those who deal with music.
One of Chicago’s popular products is mint chocolate bars known as Frango Mints. Chocolates made with an old recipe of Marshall Field’s brand in Macy’s shops are delicious. After Manhattan, the place where you can find the most art in America is River North in Chicago. Here you can buy various paintings or home decoration items from many galleries and shops.
When you think of Chicago, one of the things that comes to mind is nightlife. The city is known as the second city in the United States with the most entertainment centers after San Francisco. You can find different bars and nightclubs on every street of Chicago.
In addition, the venues in Wicker Park, Logan Square, Bucktown, North Center, Roscoe Village contain the most beautiful entertainment venues of the city. The point to be considered is that you have your passport with you as ID checks are made at the entrances. Another issue is that there is a smoking ban in such places. Bars such as The Map Room, Hopleaf and Local Opiton have a wide selection of local and international beers.
In addition, there are bars and concert halls in the city such as Double Door, Empty Bottle, Rivier, Abbey Pub, Aragon Ballroom, where concerts of all music genres are held.
If you want a quieter night, there are clubs playing jazz and blues music in many parts of the city. Legendary names such as Louis Armstrong, Joe King Oliver, Johnny Dodds were in Chicago for a while. That’s why Chicago has a strong jazz and blues background. Jazz bars in Green Mill and Bronzeville in Uptown are very popular venues.
Comedy culture is also very developed in Chicago, and comedy clubs with various stand-up shows are available in the city. If you wish, you can reserve a seat for a show at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Theater or the Chicago Cultural Center. When you travel to Chicago, do not leave without tasting the nightlife!
- Jazz Showcase
- Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival (January)
- Chicago Restaurant Week (February)
- Chicago Theater Week (February)
- Crossroads Guitar Festival (June)
- Chicago Pride Fest (June)
- Blue Fest And Gospel Fest (June)
- Taste Of Chicago (July)
- Chicago Festivals (July)
- Chicago SummerDance (July-August)
- AleFest (July)
- Lollapalooza (August)
- Chicago Jazz Festival (September)
- EXPO Art Week (September)
- EXPO Chicago (September)
- Chicago Marathon (October)
Chicago Public Holidays
- New Year (January 1)
- Martin Luther King Memorial Day (January 18)
- President’s Day (February 15)
- Good Friday (March 25)
- Memorial Day (30 May)
Chicago Practical Information
- Chicago dialing code: +312
- Police: 911
- Fire Brigade: 911
- Ambulance: 911
- O’Hare Airport: (773) 894 9111