Discover Chicago
Skyscrapers, Mafia, and jazz

The city with a capricious character

Districts of Chicago

According to the administrative division, the city consists of 77 districts. They are geographically united into four zones: Central, North Side, West Side, and South Side. The Committee for Social Research from the University of Chicago offered this configuration and the city accepted it. Every district has its strict boundaries. This administrative topography was finally admitted in 1980. Since then, the boundaries of the districts have never been changed or reconsidered.

Map Chicago

The population of Chicago - gangs or cultural diversity?

For historical reasons, thousands of immigrants from all over the world rushed to America after the continent had been discovered. They searched for adventures and a better life. What another place they could choose if not the flourishing Chicago!  Owing to the huge flows of immigrants, the city did not only get a cultural diversity but also the organized crime in the form of 1000 gangs. Such gangsters like Al Capone brought “honor” to the city even beyond the USA. 

At the same time, the immigrants from Africa presented Chicago with jazz. It’s a unique combination of African rhythms and European harmony. It included the Windy City to the history of music forever. 

Nowadays, the Aframericans conclude one-third of Chicago’s population (33%). The other two-thirds are shared between the white Americans (32%) and Latin Americans (29%). There are 5.5% of Asians in this city. The remaining 11.5% are the representatives of other ethnical groups.

The history of the “city of winds and big lights”

A small settlement Windy City was founded in 1833. Four years later, the world knew it like Chicago. The city got its name thanks to the Frenchmen. They altered the word “shikaakwa” from the language of the local Indians which means wild garlic or onion. The advantageous geographical location made Chicago one of the main transportation connection point in the USA. It triggered its rampant development and the flow of immigrants.

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed the majority of the city. However, this tragic event caused the building boom. As a result, Chicago rose from the ashes like a Phoenix and became the architectural center of the country. In the period from 1880 to 1890, the first skyscraper in the world was built in the city. At the same time, the University of Chicago was founded that eventually became one of the best educational establishments in the world. This is a period of industrial and economic uplift of Chicago. It grew to the second in size city in the country.

Chicago acquired the modern shape in the second half of the XX century. It became more comfortable for life. The suburbs were formed and famous constructions appeared. The Willis Tower was one of them.

Nowadays, the city on the southwestern coast of Lake Michigan is the second major financial center of the country, the largest transportation junction, and tourist center.

Trip budget

Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:

What’s the best time to visit Chicago?

Winters in Chicago are cold while summers are rainy with thunderstorms and heavy showers. It’s perfect to visit this magical town either at the end of spring when the streets and parks are in bloom or at the beginning of October and till the first half of November when the city dives into the autumn atmosphere. It’s especially beautiful in Chicago.

Useful notes

How to get the most from your trip to Chicago?

  • Enjoy the views! This incredible city became the prototype of Gotham from the famous DC comics about Batman. It definitely offers places to admire. First of all, stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk, feasting your eyes on the sparkling facades of the modern skyscrapers and grand spires of the tower-blocks from the previous century. After that, watch this splendor from the height of the 103rd floor. The observation deck of the Skydeck Chicago will assist you in this. It’s made in the form of a transparent capsule and will let you evaluate the beauty of the city from a mesmerizing perspective.
  • Admire the panorama of Chicago in a more original way. Take a look at the city through the reflection of the renowned Cloud Gate. This iron sculpture which resembles a huge mirror-like bean is located in Millennium Park. Here you can also explore a charming Lurie Garden with a diversity of plants and watch the show of the interactive Crown Fountain.
  • Check out the Museum Campus of Chicago and don’t hurry to leave it. This place can entertain anyone. The territory of 230 thousand square kilometers offers the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and Field Museum of Natural History. Here you shall see the skeleton of a T-Rex, celestial spheres, and over 25 thousand fish.
  • Visit the Art Institute of Chicago. It has the largest collection (after the Louvre) of the Impressionists’ paintings: from Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir to Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.
  • Get a cuteness overload at Lincoln Park Zoo. Animals here live in open-air cages behind a fence. The inside cages for the winter period match as closely as possible the environmental conditions.
  • Buy yourself something new at one of the shops on the Magnificent Mile. It’s one of the most renowned shopping streets in the world, located on Michigan Avenue. You can buy anything in this shopping district: jewelry, clothes, perfumes, cosmetics, homewares, dishware, and even furniture.
  • Experience an adrenaline rush with the Untouchable Gangster Tour which reflects the old stomping grounds of Al Capone. The tour is in an old school bus. The guides are professional actors who turn the ride into a unique show. And don’t forget to stop by The Green Mill! It’s the favorite jazz-bar of the Chicago gangsters led by Al Capone.
  • Give yourself unforgivable memories and enjoy a ride on a 45-meter Ferris wheel in Navy Pier. There is an amusement park, cafes, and a museum with dinosaurs for children on its territory.

Hotels in Chicago

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