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Traveler's Reviews & Photos

10
Exceptional
Chicago is a very authentic city. You would love every part of it. I would highlight its music, its food and its parks. Beautiful architecture and essence. Quite Unique. It was a surprise.
Beatriu
United States of America
February 16, 2017
10
Exceptional
Fabulous city! World class museums. Great restaurants and fabulous parks nearby. Take your walking shoes and enjoy this great city!
United States of America
February 15, 2017
10
Exceptional
I'm love with this city. Fortunately it was a mild winter this February which makes this city even more fun to explore.
Nirav
Germany
February 16, 2017
10
Exceptional
Simply take in and breathe, get into the spririt of Chicago which is great! Lovely vacation i had there!
Florentina
Romania
February 15, 2017
10
Exceptional
What an amazing city, it's a huge area to cover. Willis tower, the loop, art Deco and all the unique architecture buildings are all great to visit.
Josh
Australia
February 18, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in Chicago

Raffaello Hotel

8.5 Very Good

Score from 2,152 reviews

$89

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    328 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    192 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    176 related reviews
Congress Plaza Hotel

7.3 Good

Score from 7,078 reviews

$76

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    1243 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    495 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    481 related reviews
The Langham Chicago

9.5 Exceptional

Score from 526 reviews

$305

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    80 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    57 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    43 related reviews
Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront

8.8 Excellent

Score from 3,533 reviews

$110

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    574 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    459 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    437 related reviews
Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago

9 Wonderful

Score from 1,310 reviews

$139

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    157 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    109 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    100 related reviews
Dewitt Hotel and Suites

8.3 Very Good

Score from 2,664 reviews

$68

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    639 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    299 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    166 related reviews
Virgin Hotels Chicago

9.4 Wonderful

Score from 1,516 reviews

$124

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    195 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    176 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    141 related reviews
Central Loop Hotel

8.4 Very Good

Score from 2,144 reviews

$84

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    265 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    122 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    86 related reviews
Hyatt Regency Chicago

8.7 Excellent

Score from 2,433 reviews

$119

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    341 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    233 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    118 related reviews
Discover Chicago

Popular Neighborhoods in Chicago

Downtown Chicago

196 properties

Fly by the 9-5ers and straight to the Chicago Cultural Centre. Visceral, inspirational – look up at the triumphant Tiffany Dome – this building’s visitor centre is a plum resource for what’s hip and happening in the windy city. The Art Institute of Chicago’s elite collection is an essential stop, as is Magnificent Mile for shops-a-plenty.

Chicago Loop

101 properties

Go loopdy-loop on ‘The Loop’ with bakers, bankers and holiday-makers. Downtown is a jostle-fest day in and day out because it’s home to the city’s top spots. Skip the skyscrapers, but see The Rookery’s ‘light court’ – architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s magnum opus. Dine with the ladies who lunch on Rush Street, or museum-hop ‘til the sun drops.

Magnificent Mile

73 properties

The name says it all, darling. Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth, Neiman Marcus, Apple’s svelte flagship store and designer brands-a-go-go. Spare a dollar for the bucket-drumming street musicians, have drinks at the John Hancock Center’s Signature Lounge (95th floor, views galore) … or crown yourself King (or Queen) shop-a-lot.

River North

38 properties

Everyone’s an art critic. Especially round Superior and Franklin. Fall head over feet with art galleries here, with loft after loft lined with works by the USA’s prime talent. Mix your media at David Weinberg Photography, take a free art tour (usually 11:00 at 750 N. Franklin Street, Saturdays) or dine chic at chef Rick Bayliss’ fab Topolobampo.

Near North Side

34 properties

Boom - you’ve found the fabled land of fun! Shop ‘til the credit stops along Magnificent Mile, a street with every commercial bell and whistle. Go on a kid-friendly jaunt to Navy Pier for fun rides and thrills on the giant Ferris wheel, or just walk around the Water Tower, a listed building that’s a stark contrast to the skyscrapers around it.

Lincoln Park

31 properties

Lincoln Park – historic, conservative and thriving. Home to Ivy League alumni and ladies lovingly referred to as ‘Trixies’, it’s a hubbub of activity day ‘n night. Find a foodie scene for any budget (try “Wiener Circle” for hot-dogs, Chicago style), stroll-worthy Lincoln Park Conservatory for orchids galore, and shows at the Steppenwolf Theatre.

Wicker Park

17 properties

Get ready to lick your lips. Wicker Park packs in pancake joints, pizzerias and patio bars galore. Start the day with Irazu’s famous oatmeal shake, or try raspberry-and-Oreo flapjacks at Bongo Room. Stroll past the Victorian mansions of Hoyne Street, a.k.a “Beer Baron Row”, then sample trendy craft ales and thin-crust pizza at Piece Brewery.

Gold Coast

9 properties

Wealth meets privilege on the Upper East Side! Come here to stroll, unless you’re one of the lucky few buying in one of the USA’s most elite zip codes. You’ll see mansions in a litany of styles from Norman Gothic to Tudor. Michelin-star eateries abound. The area’s flanked by Lake Michigan and Oak Street (for all your spa and couture needs).

Local Tips for Chicago

Afternoon Tea - The Drake Hotel
Stephanie by Stephanie

Socialite Stephanie says good food and good friends are the keys to happiness.

Afternoon Tea at the historic Drake hotel is the perfect excuse to get dressed up and enjoy some close company in a classy atmosphere. I highly recommend the finger sandwich selection – it’s so cute and delicious! Be sure to make reservations, otherwise you don’t stand a chance of getting a seat.

  • 140 E Walton Pl, Chicago, IL 60611
  • Open Sunday-Saturday 13:00-17:00
North Avenue Beach
David by David

After 2 years, David is certain Chicago’s best spots are on the coast ofLake Michigan.

North Avenue Beach is a favourite local hangout, the perfect spot for a walk along the beach or to relax by the waves. There are also tons of activities – rent a jet ski, jump into a game of sand volleyball or give paddle boarding a try.

Green City Market
Sanja by Sanja

4 years in, Sanja has become a certified foodie who loves Chicago’s diverse dining options.

You’ll find me at the Green City Market on Saturday mornings during the summer. Check out this farmers' market for some fresh organic fruit and veg, and other speciality items. My favourites are the tinned beetroot from Bushel & Peck's and the croissants at Bennison's Bakery.

  • 2732 N Clark St #302, Chicago, IL 60614
  • greencitymarket.org
  • Open Saturday 07:00-13:00, Wednesday 07:00-13:00
Picnic - Museum Campus
Toriann by Toriann

Tori is a laidback adventurer who seeks out quiet retreats in the urban jungle.

If you want to enjoy a picnic with an iconic view of the city in the background, head to the stretch of greenery between the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium. Sprawl out and bask in the breeze coming off the lake. Hop on the ‘L’ to dodge the traffic congestions in this area!

  • E Solidarity Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
Steppenwolf Theatre
Veronica by Veronica

For 10 years, Veronica has been biking to Chicago’s best kept secrets.

There are no hit-or-miss productions at the Steppenwolf Theatre. Each performance is compelling and powerful, and you’ll witness ground-breaking productions like ‘Grapes of Wrath’ and ‘August: Osage County’. This Tony Award-winning theatre is driven by artists who pursue on-stage innovation.

Architecture River Tour
Patrick by Patrick

From lounging on the shore to partying on rooftop bars, Patrick’s 8 years in Chicago have been a blast.

Hop on a Chicago’s First Lady Architecture Tour to see all of Chicago’s architectural wonders. These riverboats run between April and November and will take you all around the city while your tour guide explains all the sights. Grab a drink from the full-service bar on board and take in some of the city’s best sights.

Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
Matthew by Matthew

An outdoor enthusiast at heart, Matt still appreciates an exceptional cocktail and good food.

Al Capone and his mobsters once made their lair in the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge – today, it’s the best place to hear Chicago’s famous jazz music. The music goes late into the night and the bartenders serve legendary cocktails. Beneath the floor, Capone’s underground tunnel network still exists…

  • 4802 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60640
  • greenmilljazz.com
  • Open Monday-Friday 12:00-04:00, Saturday 12:00-05:00, Sunday 11:00-04:00
State Street Shopping
Michelle by Michelle

For 3 years, Michelle's motto ‘just go with it’ has taken her to Chicago’s most unique places.

If you want to beat the swarms of tourist shoppers on Magnificent Mile, head over to State Street. You’ll find similar upscale boutiques and luxury retailers minus the crowds. Don’t miss the Great Clocks and mosaic Tiffany Ceiling at the Marshall Field and Company Building.

  • 111 N State St Chicago, IL 60602
Fashion Outlets of Chicago
Christina by Christina

Christina’s 2 years in Chicago have seen some epic shopping sprees at the most stylish shops.

I’m constantly on the lookout for unique styles that mesh with my unique personality. The Fashion Outlets of Chicago has incredible deals on loads of designer clothing. It’s located near O’Hare International Airport away from all the touristy areas. The Coach outlet has amazing deals on leather!

Southport Lanes
Ron by Ron

Ron has lived all over the US, but he’s convinced sweet home Chicago is the best.

Southport Lanes is the quintessential ‘neighbourhood bar’ with 4 vintage bowling lanes for some added excitement. Craft beer lovers will rave about the diverse selection of local Chicagoland brews and other brews from across the globe. You have to try the ‘Trendy’ – one of Chicago’s best burgers!

  • 3325 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
  • southportlanes.com
  • Open Monday-Thursday 16:00-02:00, Friday 12:00-02:00, Saturday 12:00-03:00, Sunday 12:00-01:00
Ping Tom Park
Jerome by Jerome

After 8 years of fast-paced life in Chicago, Jerome appreciates the city’s hidden gems the most.

I love this park! It was once a railway yard that has since been converted into a riverside community centre and children's playground. Hire a kayak nearby and admire the Chinese décor from the river. The best part about this park is the spectacular views of the Chicago skyline.

  • 300 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60616
  • Open Monday-Sunday 06:00-23:00

In retrospect should have bought one of those "fast passes" after Willis tower, fine art museum, field museum, shedd aquarium, etc- would save money if you are going to all of them.

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Chicago for food?

So many specialties, so many restaurants, all very good. Everyone there is a foodie with high standards. Stay away from chains.

Google tapas restaurants in the area. They are all delicious and can always seat you the moment you walk in.

If your able to travel during the week it was much less busy and we hardly waited in any lines for anything

Yes! There are indie retailers a bit outside downtown and they are worth visiting.

The Art Institute of Chicago

definitely

Transportation

Chicago Transportation

Air

Chicago O'Hare International Airport is the city’s main airport. The best way to reach the city centre is by taking the CTA ‘L’ Train. Follow the signs in your terminal to reach the station. Purchase your fare (about USD 5) at the blue Ventra Vending Machines. The Blue Line runs 24 hours and takes you to the city centre in 40-45 minutes. Taxis cost around USD 35 and line up outside the terminal along the lower-level kerb. It’s at least 45 minutes’ ride to the city centre.

Air

Chicago Midway International Airport is 18 kilometres from the city centre. The best connection to the centre is provided by the CTA ‘L’ Orange Line Trains (leaving every 10 minutes from 04:30–01:00, 7 days) which take around 25 minutes. Follow the signs in your terminal to the train station. Blue Ventra Vending Machines sell tickets for USD 2.25. Taxis line up outside each terminal and take around 25-30 minutes to reach the city centre, costing about USD 30.

Train

The CTA elevated ‘L’ trains are the best way to zip around Chicago. ‘L’ stations are located all over the city centre designated by signs with names and line colour. Purchase fare cards inside at the blue Ventra Vending Machines. Single-ride tickets cost USD 3 and full day tickets are USD 10. Each train line is designated by colour and runs on a different schedule, but the Red and Blue Lines operate 24/7. Touch your ticket to the platform’s gate to pass through.

Train

Metra trains are the easiest way to travel to and from the suburbs. There are multiple stations in the city centre clearly designated by a sign. Tickets can be purchased in the station from a ticketing assistant and cost between USD 3.50 and USD 10.50. You can also buy tickets on the train, but beware – a fee of USD 3 will be added to your total if a ticketing assistant was actually on duty when you passed through the station. Check online for operating hours.

Bus

The CTA bus system is best used to access places between the major stops on the ‘L’ train. Bus stops are located 1 or 2 blocks apart and clearly designated by a ‘cta bus stop’ sign – stand near the sign so the driver sees you. You can pay your fare with exact change when you board, otherwise buy Ventra fare cards from local retailers or the blue machines in ‘L’ stations (USD 2 for a single ride or USD 10 for a day pass). Check online for your route’s operating hours.

Taxi

Taxis are an expensive option, but can easily be hailed from anywhere in the city. Yellow Cab is the most popular Chicago taxi – you can request a ride online or download the 'Curb' app for your smartphone. There is a fixed rate of USD 3.25 per ride and additional fees are tacked on for time and distance travelled. A simple journey can become an expensive endeavour. Tips are also encouraged for exceptional service.

Car

Driving in Chicago can be a nightmare. Rush hour (07:00–09:00 and 17:00–19:00) creates massive gridlocks that can exponentially delay your journey. If you must drive, car rental is easy at either major airport. Drivers with an international licence or permit can easily rent cars with a valid credit card. Beware – use of handheld devices (including mobile phones) while driving is illegal and punishable by fine. Parking becomes scarce and expensive nearer to the city centre.

Food in Chicago

Top Restaurants in Chicago

Upscale Dining
American
The Gage
Cheap Eats
Desserts
Magnolia Bakery
Cheap Eats
Latin American
Cafecito
Cheap Eats
American
Ceres Cafe
Upscale Dining
Spanish
Mercat a la planxa
Mid-Range Fare
American
Howells & Hood
Cheap Eats
Indian
Naansense
Cheap Eats
Polish
Pierogi Heaven
Mid-Range Fare
Japanese
Ajida
Cheap Eats
Mexican
Spanglish
  • 555 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605
  • Open Monday-Thursday 10:00-22:00, Friday 10:00-01:00, Saturday 11:00-00:00, Sunday 12:00-22:00
  • 001 3126631668
Mid-Range Fare
Asian
Tamarind
  • 614 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
  • Open Monday-Sunday 11:00-23:00
  • 001 3123790970
Cheap Eats
Bakery
Glazed & Infused
Upscale Dining
American
Michael Jordan's Steakhouse Chicago
  • 505 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
  • Open Monday-Thursday 11:00-14:00 and 17:00-22:00, Friday-Saturday 11:00-14:00 and 17:00-23:00, Sunday 11:00-14:00 and 17:00-21:00
  • www.mjshchicago.com
  • 001 3123218823
Cheap Eats
American
Billy Goat Tavern
Mid-Range Fare
American
Hub 51
  • 51 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
  • Open Monday-Wednesday 11:00-00:00, Thursday-Friday 11:00-02:00, Saturday 10:00-03:00, Sunday 10:00-22:00
  • www.hub51chicago.com
  • 001 3128280051
Cheap Eats
Thai
Star of Siam
Cheap Eats
Middle Eastern
BenjYehuda
Cheap Eats
American
Perry's Deli
Upscale Dining
French
Everest Restaurant
Mid-Range Fare
American
Untitled
  • 111 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654
  • Open Monday 16:30-00:00, Tuesday-Wednesday 16:30-01:00, Thursday 16:30-02:00, Friday 16:30-02:00, Saturday 16:30-03:00
  • untitledsupperclub.com
  • 001 3128801511
Mid-Range Fare
Mediterranean
The Purple Pig
Mid-Range Fare
American
Sable
Mid-Range Fare
American
Bandera
Mid-Range Fare
Mexican
Xoco
Cheap Eats
American
Devil Dawgs
Find accommodations in Chicago