Chicago Travel Guide

Chicago's impressive architecture, wealth of public art installations and an effortlessly cool culture make it endlessly popular with locals and tourists alike. Once known as the city of gangsters, the 'Windy City' is now a thriving metropolis where there's never a dull moment. Indeed, the many things to do in Chicago are as exciting and diverse as the city itself, and include visits to world-class galleries and superb theatres, dining experiences at marvellous restaurants, and fantastic shopping. Anyone and everyone will enjoy a holiday in a city that offers amusements, entertainment and interesting sights to suit all tastes.

Best time to visit Chicago

If there's anything that might put off visitors who travel to Chicago it could be the weather, which can be unpleasant for most of the year. It's called the 'Windy City' for good reason. Summers, between June and August, are overly hot and humid, and winters, between December and February, are unbearably cold, windy, and snow-covered. The best time to holiday in Chicago is during early autumn, when the air is frosty but it sparkles under blue skies and sunshine.

What to see in Chicago

-Admire the views from the Hancock Observatory or the Willis Tower.

-Enjoy the many attractions of Navy Pier, a good starting point for a boat tour.

-Find out what's going on in Millennium Park, the heart of Chicago.

-Marvel at the heavens in the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum.

What to do in Chicago

-Spend a sunny day on one of Chicago's Lake Michigan beaches.

-Walk the Chicago Loop, a downtown stretch packed with public art and interesting architecture.

-Shop and eat along the aptly named Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue.

-Treat the kids to a day of thrills at Six Flags Great America.

Beyond Chicago

The city of Rockford is very close to Chicago, and boasts a barrage of cultural attractions. Those keen to track the historic Route 66 begin their pilgrimage in Chicago.

Getting there

Flights to Chicago most commonly land at O'Hare International Airport, which is located 17 miles (30km) northwest of the city. Chicago Midway International Airport, somewhat closer to the city, also handles some international flights.

Did you know?

-Chicago encompasses more than 500 parks, making it a surprisingly green city.

-The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) is one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere.

-Chicago was the birthplace of the Twinkie, the Ferris wheel, and Walt Disney.