Chicago is a real “cultural city” that is also known for finance, industry, technology and transportation. It is a highly modern city with many tourist attractions, and at the same time it is a large city – in fact, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States – only beaten by New York and Los Angeles. The city center itself is home to almost 2.7 million people, but if you count the metropolitan area (popularly called Chicagoland), you can increase the number to almost 10 million people.
According to DigoPaul, Chicago is the largest city in Central North America. It is located at the source of the famous Mississippi River, and has a climate with four defined seasons. In winter, the temperature often drops below 0 degrees, while in the period June to September it usually ends up above 25 degrees (the heat record is 43 degrees!). Consequently, it is during the summer months that one prefers to visit Chicago, possibly in the spring or fall.
Recommended hotels in Chicago
- The Langham, Chicago-This five star luxury hotel is probably the best hotel in Chicago. The hotel is centrally and nicely located in the center and has a lot to offer in terms of facilities. The Langham also gets very good feedback from previous guests.
- The Peninsula Chicago-Very nice five star hotel in the center of Chicago. This is the hotel for you who want to stay stately on a trip.
- Hotel EMC2, Autograph Collection–Very stylish, modern and trendy hotel in downtown Chicago! Cheaper alternative than the other two we recommend, but also here you get a high standard and good facilities.
Travel to Chicago
Traveling to Chicago does not necessarily take as long as other American cities. There are direct flights from most of the major airports in Europe, but you can also get to New York from Oslo Airport with three different airlines, and then fly domestically to Chicago. This flight takes just under two hours, and you can get cheap tickets for domestic flights if you are a little flexible.
The official currency in the United States is known to be the US dollar. If you are lucky, you visit the USA when the krone exchange rate is strong (it has been down to 5 kroner a few years ago), and consequently you can save a lot of money. By the way, Chicago is largely a safe city to travel in as a tourist if you stick to the tourist areas. Do not use pirate taxis and avoid deserted alleys in the evening, and the gang areas, as you travel mostly safely.
Overnight and eat in Chicago
As America’s third largest city, you can expect to pay a bit more for accommodation in Chicago than you do in the small and medium-sized cities, but you can still get away with a fairly affordable accommodation if you downgrade location. Because in the center there are only beautiful and luxurious hotels with a high standard, and then you have to count on prices of up to 1000 kroner per night. In any case, it is a good deal cheaper than the tourist magnet New York.
When it comes to food, you do not have to worry about going hungry in Chicago. It is a city of millions with a fantastic selection of restaurants. It is more difficult to decide where to eat than it is to find a good place to eat. Start your journey with a proper dinner at an American steakhouse, and then visit the international restaurants. It is next door to restaurants with both Italian, Indian and Chinese menus.
Attractions in Chicago
Chicago is a city of millions that in many ways is reminiscent of New York, with plenty of skyscrapers and a city center that never takes night. It’s definitely an experience in itself to just wander the streets here, but Chicago has so much more than that.
Willis Tower (tidligere Sears Tower)
What was once the world’s tallest building, when it was built in 1973, is now still the biggest tourist magnet in the city. It is a 108 storey high building where you can go all the way to the 103rd floor for an observation deck. Here you can enjoy the city’s best views of Lake Michigan, while you can look all the way over to the two states of Michigan and Wisconsin. If it blows a little, you can also feel the building swaying in the wind!
New York has its Broadway, and Las Vegas has its The Strip. In Chicago, the best shopping street is called Magnificent Mile, and it is also considered one of the best shopping streets in the world. Since 1940, it has been an extensive shopping street, and it is also here that you will find many of the city’s largest landmarks and tourist magnets.
Millennium Park is the largest green space and park in central Chicago. It is a very modern facility with lots of sculptures and entertainment, and there are also a good number of restaurants with outdoor seating here. A perfect place when you have had enough of the city break.
Chicago is in many ways a unique city, and it also appears through the river that runs across the city. Many boat trips are sold that you can take on, with good entertainment and easier dining. It is special to sail around between all the skyscrapers and it is recommended to experience Chicago from this perspective.
John Hancock Center
At 344 meters above the ground, the John Hancock Center is the fourth tallest building in Chicago. Its location offers a really nice panoramic view of the city, and at the top there is a platform where you can enjoy fresh air. A great alternative to Wills Tower.