Chicago

Welcome to Chicago

Locals call it ‘America's giant little town’ – where Midwestern friendliness meets big-city bright lights, world-class arts and theater, unbeatable blues and jazz clubs, and some of the best eating and drinking in North America. Be in no doubt, while it suffered a mid-20th century dip in fortunes – and remains a big city with big-city problems today – Chicago is back as an economic and cultural force to rival New York and Los Angeles.

The Windy City, or Chi-town (don’t call it the Second City), boasts outstanding architectural heritage, a peerless skyline that includes the Willis and Trump towers (the tallest buildings in the US), miles of beautifully manicured parks and lakefront beaches, and hundreds of diverse and fascinating ethnic enclaves that stretch well beyond the city limits.

Perhaps the city’s defining characteristic is its multifaceted music scene, which has informed America’s – and the world’s – tastes for the past 100 years. In the 1940s, blues and jazz legends like Muddy Waters and Benny Goodman made the city’s clubs their home, while in the 1980s, the alternative rock scene spawned acts as diverse as Ministry, Veruca Salt, and the Smashing Pumpkins. The 70s and 80s also bore witness to the magic fingers of Larry Heard, Frankie Knuckles, and Marshall Jefferson, who brought house music (aka electronica) to the world.

This iconic American metropolis was almost completely destroyed by the great fire of 1871 – yet by 1885, it became the site of the world’s first skyscraper. Chicago’s resilient citizens have been looking up ever since.

Editor's picks

Download



Quick facts

  • Inhabitants in United States:
    abt. 313.9 million
  • Inhabitants in Chicago:
    City: 2.7 million, Metro Area: 9.5 million
  • Official language
    English
  • Currency
    US Dollar
  • Time zone
    CST (UTC -6)
  • Emergency number
    911
  • Constitution
    Republic
  • Country phone code
    +1
  • Country code
    US
  • Local transportation
    Train, subway, bus, taxi