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Chicago - A tourist's guide

Updated on September 18, 2012

I have lived in Minneapolis for quite some time and Chicago is a mid-Western city that has some similarities with Minneapolis but is a bigger metropolis. In this tourist's guide, I want to share not only the great attractions to see in the city of Chicago, but also ways to cut costs and travel inexpensively. I have plenty of experience traveling to the Windy City as it is a close getaway for anyone living in Minneapolis.

Getting There

There are two airports to get to Chicago and they are the world famous O'Hare International and Midway. I promised to suggest ways to cut back and so I will say that Midway is a great option too that should not be overlooked. But for any first-time visitor O'Hare is a lot more convenient and it is such a landmark of an airport that it might be a good idea to see it.

The other option is to get to Chicago by bus. But this can be a bit risky for some given that it is prone to accidents.

Ground Transportation

This really depends on how much time you have on your hands. A lot of Chicago's attractions can be seen within walking distance of the downtown area unless you are particular about something in the suburbs.

Metra is a great way to get to the Chicago suburbs and the Chicago Transit Authority is the best way to get downtown from the airport and also to move around a big city like Chicago.

Buses are good too and I want to suggest a day pass that will cost you only $5.75. You would really want to limit the taxi rides as they will be expensive and this is an unnecessary traveling cost for someone who could have otherwise planned everything out well in advance.

Must-See Attractions

United Center

I started with the United Center because of that Jordan Statue and also due to the fact that I am such a big basketball fan. The United Center is also home to the Chicago Blackhawks. You may also want to visit Soldier Field and the baseball stadium.

Navy Pier

If you've got the money, I encourage you to go on a dinner cruise on the Odyssey. It costs around $130 for an adult and I can tell you that it is once in a lifetime experience. The best way to see Chicago is by water and any cruise or boat down Lake Michigan will do this for you.

Sears Tower

Obviously, the Skydeck that overlooks the city of Chicago is the primary reason to visit the Sears Tower. But tourists will also enjoy looking at the tallest building in the entire Western Hemisphere.

Millenium Park

A lot of people visit Millenium Park to take the picture of the shiny silver ball, but definitely take a look at the attractions such as Cloud Gate, Lurie Garden and Crown Fountain.

For all you job seekers out there that are visiting Chicago, it is a great way to get a sense of what the city is like. Chicago is one of the most key Worldwide Centers of Commerce and trade. With the state of Illinois being home to as many as 66 Fortune 500 companies, many of which are located in Chicago or the suburbs, this city is a very promising job market.


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