Chicago. The ultimate guide to the Windy City

Chicago. The Ultimate Guide to the Windy City

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Did you know that Chicago is the third biggest city in the United States after New York and Los Angeles?
It has a population of 2,719 million and enough attractions to satisfy the 50.2 million tourists who come here every year.

If you will soon be one of those tourists bear in mind that when travelling to the Windy City, there are certain things you are not allowed to miss. Here are some of the things you must do if you are around:

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Sightseeing

Millenium Park is a public space located in the Loop (an famous area of Chicago) and it was initially built to celebrate the second millenium (which is where it gets its name from).It is a great venue for outdoor activities all year round. In summer there are concerts organised in the park while in winter is where you can watch some of the most attractive Christmas lights from the city. The park has a futuristic look which is how the future or the 2000’s were seen by people in 1997 when the construction of the park began.

panorama park

the bean

The Cloud Gate or as Chicagoans call it, The Bean (because of its legume shape), is a public sculpture designed by Anish Kapoor which quickly because a landmark for the city after its completion in 2006.

Willis Tower or again, as Chicagoans call it, Sears Tower is the tallest building in America and it used to be the tallest building in the world from 1973 until 1998. The tower is representative for the International Style architecture which emerged around 1920-1930 which are considered to be the formative decades of moden architecture. The most significant characteristic of the 20th century, International architectural style are: rectilinear forms, plane surfaces, open interiors and the heavy usage of glass and steel. It is located on 233 S. Wacker Drive and it is also famous for the Skydeck, a glass balcony located on the 103rd floor of the tower. The tickets cost $22 for adults and it is open for tourists usually from 9:00 to 22:00. For more details visit their website at www.theskydeck.com

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The Magnificent Mile which is often reffered asthe Mag Mile (Chicagoans really seem to love nicknaming their landmarks) is part of the Michigan Avenue and it runs from the Chicago Rive to Oak Street. I recommend you talk a walk on the Mag Mile because along the way you can glance at some famous landmarks of the city such as: the John Hancock Center, the Trump International Hotel and Tower (both landmarks are some of the tallest buildings in America), Wrigley Building (which houses the headquarters of the Wrigley Company), The Tribune Tower (home of the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Media, Tribune Publishing and WGN radio and a beautiful example of neo-Gothic architecture), The Chicago Water Tower and the Allerton Hotel.

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Navy Pier is a great place for people of all ages as it offers everything for everyone: parks, gardens, shops, restaurants, family parks, shops, restaurants, gardens and the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel on which you can take a ride and see the city from above.

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This picture was taken from Navy Pier Wheel

Architecture Tour is something I highly reccomend. The architecture tour will save your legs from some pain and you get to see some of the most significant buildings from the city while the tour guide is telling you all you need to know about them. Not to mention that you have a killer view from the boat and if you are passionate about photography this will be your chance to take some pretty unique shots. Prices start from $44- at first I didn’t want to go thinking that it’s not worth the money but my boyfriend decided to take me on the tour because he knew how much I wanted to go and I realised that it is worth every cent. Visit architecture.org for more details.

Visit

Chicago Art Institute is the place to go for any art lover. The insitute houses an impressive collection of European, American, Asian, Islamic, Ancient, Egyptian, modern and contemporary art. It is located on 111 S Michigan Ave and ticket prices start from $29. Visit their website for more m.artic.edu

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This is me, posing next to George Seurat’s painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

The Field Museum of Natural History is by far one of the best places a history lover could visit but it is also a great place for children and anyone who wants to learn about the past. My favourite exhibitions from the museum were the ones about Native Americans where my boyfriend and I spent around 4 hours, followed by the Vikings exhibiton which was only a temporary exhibition. The museum has educative exhibitions about Dinosaurs, about Asia and Africa too. However, the best part about the museum in my opinion which is also what made me go to the museum was Sue- a huge (and real) Tyrannosaurus rex scheleton. So go see it with your own eyes on 1400 S Lake Shore Dr. Ticket prices start from $38 for adults and you can find out more information here: www.fieldmuseum.org.

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Shedd Aquarium is one of the biggest indoor aquariums in the world and it is the first inland aquarium to have a permanent collection os saltwater fish. The Amazon Rising, Caribbean Reef, Abbott Oceanarium, Polar Play Zone, Waters of the World and The Wild Reef are some of the most famous exhibits from the museum. There are also places where you can touch certain fish and sea stars, perfect for the curious visitors. Ticket prices start from $8 and you can find more information on their website at www.sheddaquarium.org or at the museum which is located on 1200 S Lake shore Dr.

Alder Planetarium is a museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics and it is also America’s first planetarium. It is located on 1300 S Lake Shore Dr and as well as The Field Museum and The Shedd Aquarium, it is located in the Museum Campus of Chicago (so they are right next to each other). Admision prices start from $24.95 for adults but visit their website for more information: www.adlerplanetarium.org

Lincoln Park Zoo is located in Lincoln Park, 2001 N Clark St. It houses about 1100 animals from 200 different species, from big cats, gorillas and monkeys to penguins and reptiles. The entry is free and you can explore the primate house, Sea Lion Pool, the bird house and more. Find out more information here: www.lpzoo.org.

Eat

Giordano’s is a pizza place which serves the traditional Chicago style pizza and I know that Italians will hate me for saying this but it is the best or at least one of the best pizzas I ever had.  Visit their website to get a “taste” of what they serve: www.giordanos.com

Portillo’s is where I had the best chocolate milkshake in the world- any other milkshake I tried after I tried the Portillo’s one seemed fade. They also serve the Chicago style dog, so go get your Portillo’s hot dog and milkshake, you will not regret it (and they have good prices). Visit their website for more: www.portillos.com

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Corner Bakery has simply the most yummy sandwiches. I think they are a good pick for tourists who don’t want to spend a ton of money on a lunch out but still want some good food. How does an omelette and bacon sandwich sound? Or what about a hazelnut flavored coffee? Check them out at  www.cornerbakerycafe.com

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What attractions are you most excited about? Or if you have been to Chicago, what is your favorite place in the city? Favorite place to eat? Drink? If you enjoyed the article, please share 🙂

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