Chicago Travel Guide

  • Chicago River Cruise
    Chicago River Cruise
    by riorich55
  • The Bean in Millennium Park
    The Bean in Millennium Park
    by riorich55
  • Another Cloud Gate View
    Another Cloud Gate View
    by riorich55

Chicago Things to Do

  • Navy Pier

    4 out of 5 stars

    Another must see in Chicago. I like coming here when the weather is great .. I love the vibe and all the activity, Sometimes theres street performers which can be fun .. there are restaurants and shops inside ... some of the best is Garretts popcorn which is amazing and makes like cheap gift to take back to family and friends ... One of the top 10...

    more
  • Millennium Park

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    We stayed at the Silversmith Hotel at 10 South Wabash Avenue in the Jewellers Row District in Chicago. It sits two blocks away from Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. We weren't impressed with the hotel at first sight for it looked like a warehouse but apparently it was originally constructed to house jewellers and silver craftsmen...

    more
  • Michigan Avenue

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Walking along Michigan Avenue you can see Water Tower Plaza - a huge shopping mall that has a Disney store and other stores. "Filenes Bargain Basement" is supposed to be discount name-brands. You will see the Old Water Tower that is one of only two buildings to have survived the great Chicago Fire. There is a nice bookstore on the corner called...

    more

Chicago Hotels

See all 284 Hotels in Chicago

Chicago Restaurants

See all 1398 Restaurants in Chicago
  • Signature Room at the 95th

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    just more pics from our special dinner at top of the world. Super great meal and drinks .. and service and view. Just a great experience. We eat out a lot and some of the places are nice but this was REALLY super expensive so I don't know if we will ever be able to do this again ... very special night.

    more
  • Pizzeria Uno/Pizzeria Due

    4 out of 5 stars

    I discover this place last week, when I was on vacations with family in Chicago. Trust me that was the best pizza I ever had and the atmosphere was phenomenal . Also, the painting on the walls was awesome. They really have an art to catch the interest of anyone who likes Pizza

    more
  • Giordano's

    4 out of 5 stars

    Last visit to Rosemont location October 2015 Giordano's comes up a lot as one of people's favorite pizzas, I hadn't been to one in many years, not because I don't like their pizza, just because I always seem to be taking people to Lou Malnati's for deep dish or because Edwardo's is more convenient for us for stuffed. But when Peter (loisl) came to...

    more

Chicago Nightlife

See all 367 Nightlife in Chicago
  • Signature Lounge-Hancock

    located in the 96th floor of the john Hancock Center in the Magnificent Mile and is one of the most spectacular and romantic views around the city of chicago and lake michigan aroundso it is ideal for romantic dates or proposal but even for just chit chat and hanging around. For the price of a trip to the John Hancock tower observatory ($15, two...

    more
  • Green Mill

    This place has a long history, so it is well worth a visit. They do have a no talking during the performance rule that was being pretty strictly enforced while I was there. And since I'm not huge into jazz, made the night seem to go pretty long. Get there by 8:00 for a seat for the 9:00 show. Drinks are pretty well priced. I had to pay $15 for...

    more
  • Comedy Clubs

    The UP Comedy Club is in the same building as Second City. I had been seeing discounted tickets for "What the Tour Guide Didn't Tell You" for months and we finally booked tickets through Hottix for a Thursday night. The space holds 285 people, on a Thursday night it was not crowded but there was a decent size crowd of people considering it wasn't...

    more

Chicago Transportation

  • CTA (city trains & buses, the EL)

    Chicago has a great public transport system with the famous El (Elevated Train), tied-in underground/subway/metro lines, and buses. One can get individual rides or buy tickets for extended periods of time such as several days giving unlimited rides. This makes getting around town easy and enjoyable. The El in particular is a fun way to get around...

    more
  • Trolleys (some are FREE)

    We are currently on vacation in Chicago and using the free trolley with no problems other than finding an actual map! Here is our gift to you: http://www.navypier.com/visit_us/pdf/Trolley_Route_Map12.pdf Enjoy!

    more
  • Driving/Parking

    Check out the website listed below for current information on travel times and construction within the Chicago, Gary, Indiana and Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. Usually there is some type of construction going on in the greater Chicago area between March and November. The other months are a bit too cold for major construction.

    more

Chicago Shopping

See all 210 Shopping in Chicago
  • Magnificent Mile/Michigan Avenue

    North Michigan Avenue, the Magnificent Mile, is one of the world's best shopping destinations, rivaling US streets like 5th Ave. in New York and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Shopping centers such as Water Tower Place and 900 N. Michigan offer hundreds of stores, along with plenty of other stores on the street, including: Hugo Boss, Armani, Louis...

    more
  • Marshall Fields - 111 N State St -...

    I do not find anything especially unique or interesting about Water Tower Place. It's a big mall, that is about it. I would have you go to State and Washington for the 'original' department store (now a Macys)...Marshall Fields...This is truly one of the orginal dept stores in the country. There is a beautiful domed cieling with cermaic design by...

    more
  • Gurnee Mills Outlet

    A question I see frequently on forum boards is regarding outlet shopping, mainly from visitors from overseas. There are no outlet malls located within the city of Chicago, most of them require that you have a car or take a commuter train and then a bus and quite honestly, I just don't think you get that good of a deal at the outlet malls. Many of...

    more

Chicago Local Customs

  • Festivals & Holidays

    Christkindlmarket is a German Christmas market at Daley Plaza that runs from around Thanksgiving to Christmas each year. If you are in Chicago around this time, be sure to stop by. Sample a variety of food and drink from Germany, including bratwurst, schnitzel, leberkaese, potato pancake, stollen, and gluehwein. There are also a variety of vendors...

    more
  • People

    Chicago lies in the midwest of the US and is considered an almost exemplary city of this region. As such, it tends to carry those midwestern values such as being helpful. Of course, you'll still find rude people in Chicago (some taxi drivers, some bus drivers) but you'll find rude people anywhere you go. For the most part, I found people were...

    more
  • History

    On May 24, 1924 14 year old Bobby Franks was walking home from school when he was kidnapped and killed by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, who were looking to commit the perfect crime. Bobby Franks could have been anyone, he wasn't their particular target, just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Leopold and Loeb were wealthy, they were young, 19...

    more

Chicago Warnings and Dangers

  • Common Sense Advice / Sketchy...

    I've lived in Chicago for most of my life and know the city well. Down town area is fairly safe but watch out for groups of teenagers as they have been jumping and mugging people the last few years. Put your IPhone away in transit stops. If someone comes up to you and starts to talk to you at a bus stop etc watch around you for others. Do not go...

    more
  • Parking

    Updated 9/16/13 Parking in Chicago is expensive, especially during the week. Sometimes you can get early bird specials on the weekdays if you come early enough. If you are coming in by plane, you should not need to have a car. If you are lucky enough to find a free or metered spot on the street, check all the signs very carefully. There are...

    more
  • The EL (Elevated Train)

    Chicago is a great city but great cities have there problems also. When on the train keep your eyes and ears open, don't fall asleep on the train and try not to travel alone, especially at night.... for the most part the trains are safe and easy to get around, if your attending an event then you have nothing to worry about since there is tons and...

    more

Chicago Tourist Traps

  • Navy Pier

    I want to start with the notion that I absolutely understand why tourists would visit Navy Pier, Chicago's #1 tourist draw, but I am sticking under tourist traps for three reasons: 1) 90% of the people you encounter here are tourists 2) Restaurants and shops are overpriced and not the best in the city 3) Parking is obnoxiously priced, currently...

    more
  • Sears Tower or John Hancock Building

    Getting up there is not all too cheap. And before you get on the elevator, they force you to pose for a picture with a fake background. On your way out, they try to sell you that picture for nearly $30. Then they force you to pass through a long hall of gift shops instead of walking straight out. Take in the views at the top though. That's one...

    more
  • Restaurants

    I cannot take credit for the name - I read it in a recent article about the new McDonalds. Boy is it accurate though. I hate this strip of Ohio/LaSalle/Clark. It is NOT at all representative of Chicago as a city. This includes the Rain Forest Cafe (jungle theme- good for little kiddies with limited attention spans), The Hard Rock Cafe (basically a...

    more

Chicago What to Pack

  • Combined Suggestions

    I like luggage with many pockets, but you can use about anything. When I get to a new place, I usually buy a bag from that place to carry around and put in all the miscellaneous maps, brochures and postcards inside. In Summer, it's generally warm, so I would suggest some light clothing and swimsuit for the beach, but beware! In Chicago, you never...

    more
  • Clothing - Winter

    It gets really cold in Chicago in the winter, and I mean *really cold*! You will need a good coat, a hat, gloves, a scarf and anything else to keep wam and out of the wind. During the weekend in December 2008 we visited a bar in downtown Chicago and left around midnight, when we left the bar it was around -15 Celcius, which in itself is pretty cold...

    more
  • Footwear

    If you are just here for a holiday then a suitcase will be fine, if you are going to be travelling on then a backpack is probably better. Also bring a small back or rucksack to carry your day things in ie. down at the lake or park. Two seasons - freezing cold or boiling hot. Generally October-April is the time that you will need very warm clothes...

    more

Chicago Off The Beaten Path

  • Suburban delights

    Willowbrook Park, a unit of the Forest Preserves of DuPage County is a wonderful oasis in this urban area. The rehabilitation center houses numerous animals For more pictures see my marsh, and rehab center.

    more
  • Neighborhoods-other

    Printer's Row is located south of Congress Parkway, a section of what is becoming known as the South Loop, an area of Chicago that most visitors to Chicago don't wander into. But if you find yourself at the Harold Washington Library, Printer's Row is just south of the library and a walk down Dearborn Street to Dearborn Station will showcase some of...

    more
  • Oak Park/Frank Lloyd Wright

    Maher may have inspired with, or competed with Frank Lloyd Wright, both of which featured this style of Prairie home in late 1800's. This home was built in 1897, and is on 217 Home Ave, Oak Park. It is just south of the CTA rail tracks in a different section of town.There are 30 rooms. It is $5 to enter, and has a lot of wonderful looking wood...

    more

Chicago Sports & Outdoors

  • MLB - Chicago Cubs

    On our last visit to Chicago, we decided to take in a Cubs game because LJ had never been to a professional baseball game. Knock another thing off the bucket list!!! Was a wonderful day with lots of sun and a cool breeze. Sets were perfect and all has a great time.

    more
  • MLB - Chicago White Sox

    Last visit June, 2012 The White Sox started playing at the new Comiskey Park in 1991, renamed US Cellular Field or the Cell in 2003. Many Chicagoans still refer to it as Comiskey, frequently mispronounced as ComiNskey, or Sox Park. My interest, along with many other Chicagoans, was renewed when playoff fever spread in 2005 and the Sox chewed up...

    more
  • Football - Chicago Bears

    such irony that Soldier's Field is home of both versions of football. The Major League Soccer Team of the Chicago Fire up to 2005 (Soccer is known as FOOTBALL all over the world ok and is the most popular sport in the WORLD! and it the ORIGINAL football while American Football was copied from it and rugby and modified by Walter Camp and is Just...

    more

Chicago General

See all 445 General in Chicago
  • City Pass

    The Chicago City Pass was quite a disappointing experience for my family. We picked up our passes from the John Hancock building since it was one block from our hotel. Since we were there we thought we might as well go up and check out the view. When we came down it was explained to us that the coupon we used to go up was an either or coupon and...

    more
  • Navy Pier

    When my sister, Ronda, came to visit me from my hometown, Robinson, Illinois, a few years ago, one of the most fun activities that we shared was an afternoon cruise on Lake Michigan. We caught a taxi from our hotel near the Miracle Mile, which took us to Navy Pier. I had already booked our trip via the Ugly Ducks' Website. We went to the ticket...

    more
  • Local Specialities

    Chicago is really a foodie paradise and they have many native food concoctions than the new yorkers hehehe and one of this really good native invention is the Italian Beef which I watched from the Discovery Travel Channel so thanks a lot Adam Richman for the info hence I must try this delight before leaving chicago right! Italian beef is a sandwich...

    more

Instant Answers: Chicago

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

24 travelers online now

Comments (4)

  • riorich55's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    If you are planning to come to Chicago let me know and I'll help you put together a personal agenda based upon your interest.

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Lollapalooza tickets are on sale, the lineup will be available April 9th. August 2-4, 2013 www.lollapalooza.com

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Jan 2, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Is this where we are supposed to post things like the CTA rate hike that is scheduled for January 2013? Or the new block of tickets that is going on sale for the very popular "Book of Mormon"?

  • riorich55's Profile Photo
    Jan 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Let me know if you are coming to Chicago! I've given several personal tours to other VTers when they have landed in our town. If I'm available I can give you a personal guided tour also.

    • giampiero6's Profile Photo
      Jan 2, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Non commercial and just a VT member in good standing :)

    • ranger49's Profile Photo
      Jan 2, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      riorich55 -That sound fine to me and the sort of useful information I would have hoped/expected to find here!

 
Explore Deeper into Chicago
Willis Tower (Formerly Sears Tower)
Things to Do
Beggars & Scam Artists
Warnings and Dangers
Shedd Aquarium
Things to Do
Field Museum of Natural History
Things to Do
METRA and South Shore Line (suburban rail network)
Transportation
Dishonest Taxi Drivers
Warnings and Dangers
John Hancock Center
Things to Do
O'Hare International Airport
Transportation
Art Institute
Things to Do
Grant Park - Buckingham Fountain
Things to Do
Taxis
Transportation
Weather
Warnings and Dangers
Greyhound/Megabus (U.S. bus system)
Transportation
Architecture & Public Art (outdoor)
Off The Beaten Path
Bahai Temple
Off The Beaten Path
Minor Frustrations
Warnings and Dangers
Museums
Off The Beaten Path
Airport Shuttles
Transportation
Amtrak (U.S. train network)
Transportation
Harry Caray's
Restaurants
Cheesecake Factory
Restaurants
Hyde Park/Washington Park
Off The Beaten Path
Billy Goat Tavern
Restaurants
Lou Malnati's
Restaurants
Greek Islands
Restaurants
Beaches and Parks
Off The Beaten Path
Gino's East
Restaurants
Rosehill Cemetery
Off The Beaten Path
Lake Michigan
Warnings and Dangers
Other Crimes
Warnings and Dangers
Shedd Aquarium
Tourist Traps
Eating & Drinking
Local Customs
House of Blues
Nightlife
Chicago B.L.U.E.S
Nightlife
Underground Chicago
Nightlife
Chicago Theatre
Nightlife
Navy Pier
Shopping
Rush and Division
Nightlife
Transportation
Tourist Traps
Hockey - Chicago Blackhawks
Sports & Outdoors

View all Chicago hotels

Map of Chicago