The city of Chicago is located in the north of the state of Illinois and on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1885, the Home Insurance Building, the world’s first skyscraper, was built there. Today, its horizon plagued with them is one of its hallmarks.
How to get
The only airline that offers direct flights to Chicago is Iberia from Madrid. Prices vary a lot depending on the season, but with some flexibility we can find options for around €550 – €600. Making a stopover, there are offers from €350.
A few days before starting our trip, we must apply online for the ESTA visa, essential to travel to the United States.
The best time to travel is summer or autumn, since the winters are extremely cold, thermometers can drop to -15º and the springs are very rainy.
Where to stay
The ideal is to stay as central as possible, to be able to move easily around the city and be close to the main tourist attractions. Downtown Chicago, The Loop or the Magnificent Mile are undoubtedly the best areas. In any of them we can find options for all budgets, from luxurious hotels to hostels with shared rooms.
What to visit
– Willis Tower. With its 442 meters it is the tallest skyscraper in Chicago and was for more than two decades the tallest in the United States. On its 103rd floor is the Skydeck, the most famous observatory in Chicago, from which we can have the entire city at our feet.
– TheLoop. It is the financial district of Chicago and where the most emblematic skyscrapers are located, including the Williams Tower. It is advisable to visit it during the week, which is when it has more life.
–Grant Park. One of the lungs of Chicago, on the shores of Lake Michigan and very close to Downtown and The Loop. Precisely in the area closest to The Loop is Millennium Park and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, an open auditorium for 14,000 people, designed by R. Gehry.
It is essential to take a photo in the Kapoor Sculpture, the gigantic metallic drop by the Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor, colloquially known as “the bean”. Since its inauguration in 2006, it has become one of the city’s emblems.
– Magnificent Mile. Located north of the Loop, it is the most elegant neighborhood in Chicago. On its main street, Michigan Avenue, we find the most exclusive shops and the most luxurious hotels. At the end of it is the John Hancock Center. If we get lost in its secondary streets, we find stores more adapted to all pockets.
– John Hancock Center. Less crowded than the Willis Tower, with its 344 meters it is another of the great viewpoints of the city, offering a 360º perspective.
–Navy Pier. Popular recreational pier on Lake Michigan. In its vicinity we can find restaurants, shopping centers and museums. It is also the departure point for Lake Michigan cruises..
–The Art Institute of Chicago. Considered one of the best museums in the world, it covers all artistic periods up to the present day and houses works by artists such as Renoir or Monet.
In front of the museum is the sign that indicates the beginning of the famous Route 66, which begins in Chicago and ends in Los Angeles.
Recommendations for the trip
If we are going to spend several days in Chicago and plan to visit several attractions, there are cards that allow us to avoid queues and pay less. The most famous are the Go Chicago Pass and the City Pass Chicago. Its price varies depending on the days and the number of attractions, but if you plan to visit several it is always less than the price of buying the tickets separately and includes the advantage of avoiding queues, which can sometimes last for hours, especially in the most popular monuments.
Before starting the trip, it is also important to pay attention to our luggage, taking into account the time of year and the size of American cities. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, since to see Chicago well we will have to walk a lot.