Chicago is definitely one of our favourite cities that we have visited. But how can the home of the Chicago town pizza not be a good place to visit? It is very clean, has a great atmosphere and a wide variety of things to see and do that are totally free. Whether you would like to take a nice boat trip exploring the architecture, visit the free zoo or relax on one of many beaches, Chicago has everything and getting around on foot is easy. The city has a nick name of “the windy city” and this was actually given to it by New York, who were concerned with it’s growing popularity and wanted to discourage people from visiting.
We spent two very long days in Chicago and that is enough to do most of the attractions. It would have been great to spend a few days on the beach, but with the cost of accommodation so high we can wait!
Architecture Boat Tour
We don’t have the first clue when it comes to architecture and went on the boat tour to mainly see the city by water. We was not expecting to be hanging on every word the tour guide was saying. Who knew architecture could be so interesting. Did you know that most of Chicago burnt down and had to be rebuilt? After the fire the city pushed all the rubble in to the lake and extended the Chicago land mass by hundreds of meters!
The parks in Chicago are packed with things to see. Being small you don’t have to go very far before you are greeted with a sculpture or something bizarre like large pillars covered in LED screen with faces on them, pouring water out of their mouths and over the heads of children crazy enough to get wet! Seriously that is a thing! The most popular attraction in the parks is the Cloud Gate. A large statue that was inspired by liquid mercury and is very popular with tourists taking photos due to its unique reflections. Think 10 meter high squashed ball bearing and you will have some idea of what it looks like.
The art and history museum
We are not into art or history and we didn’t really enjoy our visit here because you can buy a lot of hot food for the cost of the entrance fee! But if this is your thing apparently it’s world class and worth a look, we had to admit the paintings were amazing and the suites of armour really interesting but on the other hand the photos of damaged plasterboard is not art, its ridiculous!
Owch, we got stung here. We ended up having to spend £150 on a hotel for one night but using a hotels.com voucher it only cost us £12. Because the hotels were so expensive we stayed in a motel about an hour from central Chicago, got up at the crack of dawn and drove in. Parking our car at the hotel car park, dumping our bags in the baggage room and setting off. We then put our bags back in the bag room early morning and after another full day sight seeing collected the bags and car, driving a few hours out of Chicago to another cheap motel. Now I think we got unlucky, there must have been some kind of event on. Normally you can get hostels for about £25 per person, still not cheap, but you need to be central.
Chicago is the best place for food that we have encountered, for us, it even beats New York. Do you know that we are both obsessed with Pizza yet? If you are in Chicago and like pizza you have to try the local Pizza Pot Pie. Its a strange upside down pizza that is absolutely delicious. Then head over to one of the many famous deep dish pizza restaurants to see why if you want a deep dish pizza its Chicago every time. The great thing about pizza is that it’s a cheap dish, one Chicago deep dish pizza was more than enough for us and only came in at £15. Bargain.
As with most big cities in the US taxis and buses are abundant but Chicago is actually just small enough to get around entirely on foot. The small streets, quaint little restaurants and shops we discovered just getting lost in the city added to the enjoyment of being here.