Nicknamed the “Windy City,” Chicago is the largest city in Illinois and the third most populous city in the United States. The city remains at the forefront of industry as the metropolitan area has the fourth largest gross domestic product in the world. Chicago experienced some of the fastest population spikes in the world, but its people remain some of the friendliest locals that travelers encounter.

What to Do

Chicago visitors can start their trip with a visit to Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. The city’s architecture is one of the main draws for tourists as Chicago is home to a wealth of cathedral architecture and the two tallest towers in the country: Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and Trump International Hotel and Tower. There i also plenty of shopping in the city. Two of the most famous shopping streets are the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue, which offers 460 storefronts, and State Street. Chicago has plenty of nightlife, too. From classical theaters to live music and a variety of pubs, there is something for every visitor to do at night. Chicago is also home to a wealth of culture. Ethnic districts in the city include Greektown, Chinatown, Little Italy, Little Seoul, and the Puerto Rican Paseo Boricua. These enclaves are home to some delicious ethnic restaurants for visitors to try. And if there’s one thing Chicagoans are passionate about, it’s their pizza. No trip to Chicago is complete without sampling some of the best deep dish pies the city has to offer. Summer tourists can treat themselves to The Taste of Chicago festival held in July.

Where to Stay

Chicago is a big city, and while public transportation is good, travelers should consider accommodations near the city’s center. Staying outside this area means visitors will spend hours each day on public transportation to get to their destinations. Accommodations in Chicago include historic, trendy, high-end and romantic hotels. Hostels are also available for travelers on a budget.

Getting There

Chicago is accessible by air through Chicago O’Hare International, Midway and Gary Airports. Travelers can get from Chicago to O’Hare by airport shuttle or commuter train. Chicago is also serviced by train.