Chicago travel guide

People fall in love with Chicago very quickly. Visually stunning, with some of the most impressive architecture around, laid-back atmosphere and a great food scene. The Windy City will blow you away.

Chicago city view from River

High-flying architecture is everywhere. Chicago’s skyline is stunning from every angle, whether you’re on the street, in the back of a cab or cruising through the Loop on a train. One of the coolest ways to take in all the amazing architecture is a boat tour on the river. Hop on board and you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the most beautiful buildings in Chicago.

Sports stadium in Chicago

Sports Fans
Chicago is a sports town, with a pro team for every season (or two teams, in baseball’s case). Watching a game is a rite of passage, whether you slather on the blue-and-orange body paint for a Bears football game, join the raucous baseball crowd in Wrigley Field’s bleachers, or pop down to a sports bar to catch a game on TV and soak in the atmosphere.

Deep dish pizza Chicago

Most people associate the Chicago food scene with three things: pizza, hot dogs and steak. They wouldn’t be too far wrong. The Windy City has an ongoing rivalry with New York over who can serve up the better slice – while New Yorkers prefer wide and flat, Chicagoans like their pizza with a deep crust that can carry loads of toppings. For hot dogs, New Yorkers like their hot dogs simple with potato buns and ketchup, mustard or relish, while Chicagoans enjoy their beef franks on a poppy seed bun with yellow mustard, chopped white onion, tomatoes, dill pickles, pickled peppers and a dash of celery salt.

Chicago is also known for its steakhouses – the Loop and the North Side are littered with fine dining establishments that serve prime cuts of beef. Some of the best steakhouses include Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab and Benny’s Chop House just off The Magnificent Mile and Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf in the River North area.

The Bean, Chicago

The Bean
Since Millennium Park opened in 2004 it has become a firm favourite. That’s partly because of the skyline views, but mainly due to two pieces of public art. Anish Kapoor’s silver, ultra-reflective Cloud Gate (known to all as “the Bean”) makes for great photos, while Jaume Plensa’s Crown Fountain – two glass brick walls showing videos of faces that occasionally spit out jets of water – provides the laughs. Afterwards, head to Cindy’s Rooftop and treat yourself to a cocktail and take in the city skyline.

Magnificent Mile, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Shop ‘till you drop
Flagships and major department stores congregate along North Michigan Avenue (aka The Magnificent Mile), north of the river. Nieman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s are among the top dogs.

The Macys department store on State Street offers affordable fashion, but is most notable for its gigantic Tiffany glass mosaic vault.

Navy Pier, Chicago

Navy Pier
Drawing crowds for over 100 years, Navy Pier is a must-see on any visit to Chicago. One of the most popular stops for visitors is the south dock of Navy Pier, a 2,000-foot long pedestrian boardwalk. With a 196ft Ferris wheel and theme park rides, entertainment venues, bar and restaurants are open all year round. Check their events schedule before you visit for seasonal shows and bands, the Haunted house and Winter Wonderfest.

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