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Hostelworld Guide for Chicago

By Colm Hanratty

The Essentials Getting There
By plane: Chicago is served by two airports O'Hare and Midwest. The former is the city's flagship airport and where most international flights arrive. It's connected to the city via the train. The latter is mainly used by budget airlines to domestic destinations. It is also connected to the city via train. By train: If your chosen mode of transport when getting to Chicago is the train then you will arrive in the city's Union Station at 500 W. Jackson Blvd in the West Loop area of the city. It has excellent connections with all other major US cities. By bus: The USA's main bus company is Greyhound - their station in Chicago can be found at 630 West Harrison St in the West Loop. Other bus companies operate from Union Station. All have good connections with other US cities.

Weather in Chicago is extreme - winters are bitterly cold and summers extremely hot. Aside from those are mild enough springs and autumns. Temperatures in winter drop well below zero - the lowest on record is -29°C. In summers the average temperatures is in and around 30°C and it can get extremely humid. Like in many cities with climates like Chicago, the most pleasant times to visit are spring and autumn. The wettest month is August.

Good to know...
Language: English Currency: US Dollar Electricity: 220 volts, 50 cycles Telephone Code: +1 (USA), 0312 (Chicago) Emergency Code: 911 (Police / Fire / Ambulance) Time Zone: Central Standard Time Central Post Office: 433 West Harrison St, West Loop Main Tourist Office: Chicago Cultural Center Visitors Center, 77 East Randolph St, Loop

Getting Around
With its lake shore location, countless skyscrapers and abundance of iconic traits and characteristics, Chicago is one of the great American cities. Along with skyscrapers, the windy city (a nickname which has nothing to do with the weather incidentally) is famous for hot dogs, pizza, sports teams and more. It possesses a big city feel similar to that you'd find in New York, but boasts a landscape that's far more open than its east coast counterpart. One minute you're in the middle of a thriving city when walking down Michigan Avenue, while the next you're enjoying some peace and quiet overlooking Lake Michigan. Even though it's not as accessible as other North American cities, it's ultimately worth the effort to get to as Chicago is unlike any other city in the country. On foot: Downtown Chicago is easily traversable on foot. From there you can get to other city centre neighbourhoods and attractions easily. By train: Chicago's train network, which is run by the CTA, is known as either the subway or the 'L' (some of it is elevated). It's by far the easiest way to get to Chicago's neighbourhoods along with attractions also. By bus: The CTA also runs Chicago's bus network. They'll take you to all those places that the train won't.

Embassies *
UK: +1 202 588 6500 Canada: +1 202 682 1740 Australia: +1 202 797 3000 South Africa: +1 202 232 4400 Ireland: +1 202 462 3939 Germany: +1 202 298 4000 Spain: +1 202 728 2371 Italy: +1 202 612 4400 New Zealand: +1 202 328 4800 France: +1 202 232 6854 * Embassies in Washington DC

In this Guide...
Useful Information After Dark Places to Eat Top Attractions Budget Tips Where to Shop

Chicago facts
Location: Chicago is located in Illinois, a state in mid-north USA Population: The population of Chicago is just over two and three quarter million people. Area: Chicago covers an area of 228 square miles. Founded: The first settler in the city was Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable in 1779, although it wasn't until 1837 that it was incorporated as a city.

Hostelworld Guide for Chicago

1400 S. Apr-Sept) and the Chicago Bears (American football. Nothing beats chilling out for a few hours along its shores. it boasts views of Lake Michigan you can't get from its main competitor. 600 East Grand Avenue. music and food in the one space. Fri & Sat 8pm-4am (5am Sat). Open since 1968 where it began as a coffee house. even when the Cubs aren't playing. Budget Tips Visit the free museums There are many museums in Chicago worth checking out. Lakeview) is said to be the 'heart of Gay Chicago'. Don't Miss Skydeck Chicago. Similar to the traditional Italian type where toppings are spread on top. free flowing booze and singing along to old and new tracks. These include the city s IMAX as well as the much-photographed ferris wheel. State Street. It's house music one night. Roscoe's (3356 N. while other points of interest include the breathtaking auditorium and the intriguing 'human-gargoyle' fountains. Willis Tower. most of them can be found in the aptly named 'Boytown' area in the Lakeview neighbourhood. If there's a game on when you're in town make sure to catch one. Field Museum. Sat & Sun 11am-late. 3525 N. Soaring 1. it's worth staying for a couple of beers when you're done. Open Sun-Thurs 8pm-4am. 1118 West Fullerton Avenue. along with views of the competitor itself. season Oct-Apr).rather than buy alcohol on the premises. The Loop Not only the tallest building in the United States.. Open Mon-Fri 10pm-2am (3am Sat). They achieve this. which stands for 'bring your own beer'. the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) is the tallest skyscraper in North America. Near North If you want your Saturday night to entail dancing on tables. Branko's Sandwich. Lakeview). while taking in unforgettable views of the city's celebrated skyline. Portillo's is something of an institution when it comes to hot dogs. over the years it has staged some of the biggest names in blues. here you'll encounter bars. Open daily 9am-11pm. the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex on the planet. and staff are too. 805 S. better known as 'the Bean' (pictured).. www. Gay / Lesbian Chicago While there are many gay bars throughout Chicago. admission $21. A sports bar true and true. Halsted St. admission $29. Lincoln Park Branko's has been serving the students of nearby De Paul University since the 1960's. Sun 11pm-4am. with something different happening every other night. Other collections focus on Ancient Egypt and Native Americans. Shenanigan's. a sliced pickle. What makes it different are a host of ingredients. Open Mon-Sat 11am-11pm (midnight Fri & Sat). it's still extremely lively and a good Saturday night option. closed Sun..30am and the Field Museum is free the second Monday of every month. Sports game Chicago is home to some of America's most famous sports teams . Chicago sizzles in the summer. Wrigleyville Dating back to 1937. the Chicago Cubs (baseball. You have to try one. It applies to wine too.. metal the next. 100 West Ontario Street. visitors can visit 'Skydeck'. Open 9am-10pm (Apr-Sept). the views from the floor to ceiling windows are spellbinding. but it's a tasty one. an observatory deck offering breathtaking views. this sandwhich shop is packed to the rafters every day at lunchtime. 875 North Michigan Ave. Debonair's mission is to showcase art. and if you're looking to while away an afternoon without spending a cent then go to the beach. Near North Once the tallest building in Chicago. It is one of the 'Great Lakes'. The Chicago History Museum is free every Monday from 9. Lincoln Park No visit to Chicago is complete without visiting a blues club.95. so we advise checking out the latter.30am). Lakeview) and Kit Kat Lounge (3700 N Halsted. Open daily 11am-12. it gets shaded quickly. 875 North Michigan Avenue. Most notable is Cloud Gate. Millennium Park isn't particularly large. you can bring your own. Open Mon-Sat 3pm-4am. making pizzas here extremely hearty. Lake Michigan. South Loop Chicago's flagship museum is said to have over 21 million specimens. Other popular spots include Bobby's Love (3729 N. closed Sun. it gets packed.the Chicago Bulls (basketball. this popular chain is where to go for Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Open daily 9am-5pm. 1575 North Milwaukee Avenue. but there is lots to see. Those who flock there enjoy enormous sandwiches and affordable prices. Division Street. 1531 North Damen Avenue. Wicker Park One of Chicago's newest restaurants is also now one of its most popular. Lake Shore Dr. and lots of variations to choose from. 16 W. But it isn't. Clark St. such as chillis. The Adler Planetarium is free on Tuesdays. it may be a heart attack on a plate. Get ready for the food sweats. Red Ivy is one of the liveliest bars in Wrigleyville. and this bar on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Centre is certainly one of them. Open Mon-Sat 9am-9pm. here the base is a far thicker affair.30am (Fri & Sat 1. What this entails is choosing a selection of ingredients which are then stuffed into the crust and base of the pizza rather than placed on top of it. meaning exactly that . but touristy is good sometimes make sure to check it out. passing yacht clubs and beaches. while Sidetrack (3349 N. Near North There are many bars in the world that boast breathtaking views. there's still room for getting down to the chart tunes the DJ plays. Halsted St. Popular for cocktails and as a place to start the night. while the Art Institute of Chicago is free on Thursday evenings between 5pm and 8pm. and while there are many to choose from. the John Hancock Center is now the third tallest building in the city. Despite of its location. Hostelworld Guide for Chicago On the waterfront Chill out in Millennium Park Arguably one of the most enjoyable parks to visit in the United States. As the former of the two is on the doorstep of the Near North area. Open daily 11. although obviously only a small section are on display. It's touristy as hell. and thankfully many offer free days or times. Bucktown Something of a 'concept bar'. John Hancock Observatory.hostelworld.451 feet into the Illinois sky. Not your average Irish bar (only the name is particularly Celtic-themed). Relax on the beach Cold as it gets in the winter. diced onions and chopped tomato. 233 South Wacker Drive. This is one of the best places to sample a 'Chicago-style' hot dog. The crowd is a good spirited one. Lakeview) is a popular spot that hosts 'drag races' and 'wet boxer shorts' nights. Granted.30am-2am (3am Sat) Lou Malnati's. then Shenanigan's is for you. Open daily 11am-midnight. Near North Originating as a hot dog stand back in 1963. There are too many to single out. 10am-8pm (Oct-March). The two you should set your sights on are the Ohio Street Beach and North Ave Beach. Eat in 'BYOB' restaurants All over Chicago are 'BYOB' restaurants. Covering over 50 acres. Conveniently located just seconds from a L train station. That's why we recommend you visit both. and fashion the other. Halsted. Kingston Mines. so do a bit of Googling for them before hitting the town and you'll discover lots. After Dark Debonair Social Club. Signature Lounge. Sept-Jan). Near North Every city has one tourist hub and Chicago's is Navy Pier. The best known of all is 'Sue'.30am-4. Different from every angle Giordano's. Near North Giordano's is home to the self-titled 'world-famous stuffed pizza'. admission $15. this one in the city's Lincoln Park neighbourhood is less touristy than most. restaurants and attractions too.. here you can enjoy reasonably prices portions of tacos. Stroll along the shores of Lake Michigan Look east from most places in downtown Chicago and you'll see what looks like the open sea. Sun noon-10pm. Open Tues-Fri 5pm-late. Navy Pier.Cheap Eats Portillo' . Open till late. Big Star. Still. South Loop Where Giordano's specialises in stuffed pizza. 730 N Rush St. Red Ivy. 2548 North Halsted Street. Open daily 10am-11pm (midnight Fri & Sat).

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