The city is an absolute delight to visit throughout the year, but if you prefer a more moderate temperature, the best time to visit Chicago is October and early November. April and May are also good options, although it is advisable to book your tours and tickets well in advance as the popular experiences might get sold out.
There are options aplenty when it comes to getting around Chicago. The L trains (covering 145 stations around town) are cheap and easy to use and the buses keep Chicago well-connected. Sections of the city can be explored on walking tours and there’s a bike share system that’s always there if you want to grab a set of wheels.
Among the must-see attractions in Chicago are Millennium Park, which is renowned for its iconic sculpture "The Bean," the Art Institute of Chicago, Navy Pier, Museum Campus (comprising the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium), the Willis Tower Skydeck, and Grant Park.
Visiting Chicago on a budget is definitely feasible. The city offers various cost-effective options such as free attractions like Millennium Park and the Lincoln Park Zoo, affordable dining establishments, and discounted or free museum days. It is worth considering options like the Chicago CityPASS for additional savings or exploring the diverse neighborhoods of the city to find budget-friendly experiences.
Chicago has gained fame for its culinary delights, including deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, Garrett Popcorn, and a diverse range of culinary offerings found in neighborhoods such as Greektown and Chinatown.
Chicago’s gang violence has made headlines in recent years. But, don’t worry. You’ll be quite safe if you remember our safety tips. Spike Lee directed a film called Chi-Raq, depicting Chicago’s warlike violence on the south side. Avoid these neighborhoods at all costs. Tourist areas are usually rather safe. Common crimes near tourist areas are pickpocketing, smartphone snatching, and gambling scams, such as Three-card Monte. Avoid gathering crowds and secure your valuables in your front pocket or money wallet. Plan your travel route for a Chicago day trip ahead of time, have your ticket/passes ready, and try to appear confident and purposeful so as to avoid the attention of would be pickpocketers.
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