Known for its cultural diversity, architecture and art, Chicago is also called the ‘Windy City’. The city is considered lucky to have marks of famous artists such as Dubuffet, Picasso, Miro and Chagall.
Climate and Best Time to Visit:
Chicago`s weather has been classified as continental and humid. The summers are hot with humidity level fairly high. Springs and autumns are pleasant with low humidity levels. The winters are very cold and snowy. The temperature in summer goes as high 75 °F and in winter it goes as lows as 28°F below freezing.
Major Attractions and Sights to see:
With a lot of sites related to art and history, there are also some other tourist attractions you would be interested in.
Art Institute of Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago has a great collection of artwork including sculptures, paintings, textiles, prints and photography. The institute is a world-class facility owing to its collections. The building of the institute was built in 1893 and designed by Rutan, Shepley and Coolidge. Since then, many more buildings have been added to the facility.
Field Museum of Natural History: Founded in 1893, the Field Museum of Natural History features almost 20 million specimens and relics. They cover a wide range of subjects like botany, zoology, geology and anthropology. Permanent exhibitions include cultures of North America, Central America, South America and Ancient Egypt.
Museum of Science and History: Dedicated to the application of industrial and technological development, the Museum of Science and History is considered the best museum in Chicago. The distinct feature of this museum is the ``hands on exhibits``. People are allowed to touch and interact with the exhibits. Moreover there is also an OMNIMAX theatre.
Oriental Institute Museum: The Oriental Institute Museum is dedicated to the art and archeology of the Near East. The exhibits include quarries from Iraq, Israel, Turkey, Sudan and Egypt.
Shakespeare Theater: The Shakespeare Theater has been built to portray Shakespeare`s style of storytelling. The facility has 500 seats in the courtyard theater and a 200-seat flexible black box theater.
Navy Pier: The Navy Pier is Chicago`s most popular tourist attractions. When it was opened in 1916, it was an amusement area and a shipping facility. Now the whole area covers about 50 acres and features various attractions such as gardens, parks, concert venues and restaurants. The 150 feet Ferris makes it easily recognizable from a distance. There is also an IMAX theater nearby.
Willis Tower SkyDeck: Want to experience the view of Chicago from a high point? The Willis Tower SkyDeck is around 1450 feet tall and the highest observation area is on the 103th floor at the height of 1350 feet. There is a glass box with glass floors that allow you to view the ground from under your feet. On a clear day with very good visibility, the view is visible up to 50 miles around the area and you get a bird`s eye view of Chicago.
Michigan Avenue: Considered to be one of the most attractive boulevards of the US, the Michigan Avenue has many attractions such as the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and Hancock Center. The road is also known as the Magnificent Mile which has various galleries, high-class shops and boutiques.
Shedd Aquarium: Opened in 1930, the aquarium contains around 30,000 sea creatures. It was once the largest aquarium in the whole world and recently it has had record annual visits, the most recent one was in 2007.
Lincoln Park Conservatory: The Lincoln Park Conservatory is a botanical garden located in Lincoln Park. It contains thousands of plants including seasonal flowers and tropical species all in a glass doomed structure.
Hotels and Accommodation:
Chicago, being one of the major cities of US, has no shortage of classy hotels. Here are some hotels you may be interested in:
Waldorf Astoria Chicago: The Waldorf Astoria Chicago features a very elegant design and theme. The rooms are stylish with fashionable furnishings. Previous customers have given very positive feedback due to its outstanding customer service.
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago: The biggest upside to Four Seasons Hotel Chicago is its convenient location. All the popular restaurants shops and clubs are here. Moreover, the spa is a great place for relaxing. The rooms have elegant themes with modern updates installed such as LCD TVs and sound systems.
The Peninsula Chicago: The Peninsula features a Hong Kong`s multicultural theme with a touch of the Midwest. The rooms have a very comfortable theme; lavish furniture and all the modern luxuries such as a station that helps you manage temperature, lights and TV. Moreover, there is a fitness center, a spa and the Shanghai Terrace restaurant.
The Langham: This hotel just opened recently and already it has received very positive reviews. The location is very convenient and the service is also brilliant. The rooms are fitted with 55-inch TVs and washrooms have soaking tubs and rain showers. The on-site restaurant is also praised for its great services.
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Flights and Travel Guide to Chicago
Why travel to Chicago?
Known to be one of the largest cities of the United States, Chicago rests near the Lake Michigan in Illinois. The bold and fascinating architecture that dots the city and the ever rising skyscrapers are some of the attractions that Chicago is popular for. The iconic skyscrapers include the John Hancock Center which rises to over 1400 feet and following its lead are the Willis Tower and the neo Gothic Tribune Tower making its mark on the skyline of the city. Explore the wide range of museums that make this city stand a part from the rest. From the Grant Park to the Lincoln Park Zoo, there are many natural wonders that are worth visiting in Chicago.
The extensive collection of the Art Institute houses more than three hundred thousand pieces of treasure. Known to be one of the best museums in the world, the Art Institute of Chicago is a must visit for those who crave art and literature. The collection takes you back hundreds of years and includes paintings, sculptures, textiles, decorative arts and architectural arts. The main building of the museum is worth visiting as well as it was designed by the famous Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge.
Head over to the Millennium Park and experience the Jay Pritzker Pavilion which is an outdoor wonder. Venue for many important events and concerts, this pavilion is without doubt the biggest attraction of the park. Visit Chicago to view one of the most beautiful boulevards in America, the Michigan Avenue is located on the northern part of the Chicago River. It houses innumerable galleries, luxury shops and many other boutiques that will be perfect for your shopping spree. The Hancock Center and the Tribune Tower makes this avenue even more amazing.
Opened during the year 1916, the Navy Pier was originally an amusement park however now it is known to attract thousands of tourists every year. Stretching for about 50 acres, the Navy Pier now has shops, gardens, parks, restaurants and much more. The theatre plays classics at the famous Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the Crystal Gardens provide over an acre of greenery. This is a must visit for those who are visiting Chicago for the first time and desire to indulge in outdoor excursions.
The seven story Shakespeare Theatre is not only pleasing to the eyes because of its exterior however, it hosts some of the most beautifully staged performances. The glass curtain walled theatre can sear over 500 people and also has a flexible black box.
Home to the Chicago Clubs, the Wrigley Field was built in 1914. This stadium has witnessed many amazing games as over 39 thousand people come flocking every time there is a match. It is also known as the oldest ball park in the whole country.
Founded in 1933, the Museum of Science and Industry is one of the most impressive museums of Chicago. A building devoted to technological and industrial wonders, this museum has hands on exhibits and many interactive displays that would amaze anyone.
A city that is home to numerous museums, the Columbian Museum of Chicago was founded in 1893 and holds significant collections of anthropology and biology. With a collection of over 20 million artifacts, this museum covers a variety of disciplines. In addition to this, it is also home to one of the largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. Visit Chicago during the opera season which starts from October and lasts till March and experience one of the classics at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Oriental Institute Museum is another jewel of the city which is dedicated solely to archeology and displays some of the most unique pieces taken from Egypt, Turkey, Sudan and many other countries.
The Willis Tower Sky Deck were once known to be the tallest building in the world, until other buildings like Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur took over. However the Willis Tower Sky Deck still provides a stunning view of the entire city and its marvelous architecture. With 103 floors and 1453 feet tall, the building was built in 1974 and is still one of the most loved attractions of Chicago.
A part from the museums and skyscrapers, Chicago also has historic botanical gardens. One of the oldest is the Garfield Park Conservatory which was built in the 1900s. the wide collection of flora and fauna makes it the prime destination of natural landscapes and beauties.
What are the air operators providing cheap flights to Chicago from UK?
Some of the leading airlines offering cheap flights to Chicago from the UK are British Airways, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, KLM, Air France and Aer Lingus.
Are there any direct flights from London to Chicago?
Yes, 10 airlines are offering direct flights from London to Chicago. Some of the popular airlines offering direct flights to Chicago from London seven days a week include United Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
What is the Average flight time from London to Chicago?
It takes an Average flight time of 8 hours 25 minutes to reach Chicago from London.
What is the distance from the airport to the city center?
Chicago O'Hare International Airport is located at a distance of approximately 18 miles northwest from the city center.
How to get to the city center from the airport?
Chicago O'Hare International Airport offers a number of convenient and efficient transport options. An efficient and modern train network, from the Blue Line of the CTA's 'L', departs the terminal from an underground station. These trains connect the airport to the Loop and the West Side of Chicago city. The underground station for the trains can be accessed via the pedestrian tunnels from Terminals 1, 2, and 3. CTA rides also boasts to be one of the easiestand cheapest modes of reaching the airport as it doesn’t entail extra charges charged for parking or taxis.
Shuttle and bus center is located on the ground level of the Main Parking Garage that can also easily be accessed via the pedestrian tunnels from Terminal 1, 2, and 3. Regional buses to Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin also operate from this bus center. Shuttle service companies connect the airport to downtown Chicago and usually charge an approximate of $15 to $25 for a one-way ride to/from downtown Chicago.
Commuter trains from the Metra North Central Service at the O'Hare Transfer station also offer an efficient transport option. These commuter trains are connected to the Airport Transit System via a shuttle bus.
Taxis and limo service also operate from outside of Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Fares charged by the taxicabs are approximately $35 to $40 to downtown Chicago.
Many Car rental agencies also have their booths at the airport. This will be a more convenient option if your stay in the city is for a longer period of time.
How to get around Chicago?
Chicago city is easy to get around. Most of the city's major attractions are located at an easy walking distance in downtown Chicago. But to reach places beyond the city's downtown the best option of getting around the city is via the public transit (CTA). The "L" Train, short for "elevated train"is also one of the cheapest modes of getting around the city. The Metra regional train system offers another one of the easy transport options making stops throughout downtown Chicago.
Taxis are also abundantly available and can easily be hailed from the taxi stops or from the streets provided they are empty. Fares charged start from $2.25 and increase by around $1.80 per mile. Taxis can easily be hailed from the streets from within the Loop and the Near North. Around 100 bus routes traverse through Chicago, with stops located near most of the city's major attraction.Buses also offer another one of the cheap modes of getting around the city.
While rentingyour own vehicle maybe a more convenient option, it can prove to be difficult when it comes to parking especially in the downtown area.
What are the Hotel and Accommodation options in Chicago?
Chicago offers a range of accommodation options catering to the varied tastes and budget preferences of all. Chicago hotels are also frequently rated as one of the best in the world. Of the high-end category Chicago boats some of the world's most luxurious hotel towers known for their extravagant living topped with an impeccable service. Chicago is also home to an abundance of some of the leading international chain of luxury hotels and resorts so it makes it easy to find accommodation in one of your favourite hotel chains. Hotel towers near the riverfront, the airport and some of Chicago's known attractions are easy to find.
Downtown Chicago is where you will find a wide range of hotels to choose from. Manyfamily-friendly properties are also scattered throughout downtown. Rooms usually come with an indulgent view of the surrounding skyscrapers of the city.
Handy tips To Know before your departure flight to Chicago!
- Always consider using the train (EI) for travelling within the city. It is cost-effective and also offers you some of the best views of the city.
- Travelling during the summer months is advisable especially if you're seeking some beach action.
- Visiting the famed Navy Pier can get quite expensive. Expect it also to be very crowded during the summers.
- Make sure you check upon the prevalent weather in Chicago during your intended days of travel and pack accordingly. Winters in Chicago can get extremely chilly while summers hot. Be sure to pack your sunblocks and hats if travelling during the summer months.
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FAQs about Chicago
I am flying to Chicago this week, can you recommend any hotels?
The exciting city of Chicago has numerous contemporary hotels ranging from 4-star to 5-star accommodations that are located in the downtown areas of the city. The top rated 4-star hotel of Chicago is Sofitel Chicago Water Tower situated at the Magnificent Mile. Other 4-star hotels are Hilton Chicago- Michigan Ave Cultural Mile, the Drake Hotel and the Silversmith Hotel. Hotels like Belden Stratford Hotel and Conrad Chicago include in the list of 5-star hotels of Chicago.