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CITY OF Chicago

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About Chicago City

Environment

Things to do in Chicago

Time Zone

Tipping

Currency & Exchange


About Chicago City


The Chicago City Flag. The three white stripes represent the North, West, and South sides. The top blue stripe represents Lake Michigan and the North Chicago River. The bottom blue stripe represents the South river and the canal. The four red stars represent major historical events: Fort Dearborn, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, and the Century of Progress Exposition of 1933–34.

The City of Chicago, nick-named "The Windy City", is the third-most populous city in the United States. From incredible nightlife and dining to world-class museums and a full contingent of teams from all the major professional sports in America, there’s no shortage of ways to spend your time in Chicago. Since its rise to fame in the 1800's, Chicago has been the economic and cultural heart of Illinois. Chicago is the home of improvisational comedy, house music, blues, hip hop, gospel, jazz, and soul.

Chicago is a multicultural city that thrives on the harmony and diversity of its 77 distinct neighborhoods. The city features a wide selection of internationally inspired cuisines. However, Chicago is most famous for Chicago deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs.

Incorporated in 1837, Chicago was ideally situated to take advantage of the trading possibilities created by the nation’s westward expansion. Since then, Chicago has remained one of the most important business centers in the world. Today, 50 percent of U.S. rail freight continues to pass through Chicago, even as the city has become the nation’s busiest aviation center thanks to O’Hare and Midway International airports.

Chicago overs an area of 600 km2 and sits 176 meters above sea level, on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. At 190 km wide and 495 km long, Lake Michigan is the 5th largest body of fresh water in the world. The city is traversed by the Chicago and Calumet rivers. Chicago's extensive parklands, including 30 km2 of city parks, attract an estimated 86 million visitors annually.

(Summarized from iexplore.com and cityofchicago.org)


Things to do in Chicago

Millenium Park

Discover a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and art that provide the backdrop for hundreds of free cultural programs including concerts, exhibitions, tours, and family activities. In Millennium Park, you’ll find a new kind of town square – a lively, spectacular gathering spot located in the heart of the city and a destination for Chicagoans and visitors alike.

Skydeck Chicago

Step outside the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. At 412 meters (1,353 feet) in the air, the Ledge’s glass boxes extend out 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) from the Skydeck. Offering spectacular views spanning up to four states, visit this one-stop Chicago experience full of interactive exhibits on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower.

Art Institute of Chicago

Founded in 1879 and located in Chicago's Grant Park, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Over the years the museum has stayed true to its founding mission: to collect, preserve, and interpret art of the highest quality from across the globe. Today their collection comprises approximately 300,000 works of arts — ranging from ancient art through to those created by today’s foremost artists.

The Field Museum of Natural History

The Field Museum was founded in 1893 as the Columbian Museum of Chicago and has spent more than 120 years in the pursuit of scientific knowledge about the world around us.

Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium, the first planetarium in the western hemisphere, opened to the public on May 12, 1930. Follow the Universe from its humble beginnings and see how galaxies, stars, planets — and all the atoms in your body — were created as the Universe grew. The mission of the Adler Planetarium is to inspire exploration and understanding of the Universe.

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium is home to 32,000 animals. This one-of-a-kind aquarium has a dazzlingly diverse array of animals that inhabit freshwater, marine, terrestrial, and even aerial environments. Shedd combines the best of early 20th-century “age of aquariums” characteristics — a diverse, global animal collection surrounded by eye-popping architecture with 21st-century advances in animal care, environments, and interpretation.

The Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile in the Michigan Avenue District includes Chicago’s best attractions and more than 50 landmark structures. Enjoy a night out amidst dozens of comedy clubs, theatres, museums, tours, and shopping options. Whether you are sightseeing, enjoying the famous nightlife, or taking a tour of downtown by bus, boat or trolley, the infectious energy of the city will make it a trip to remember.

(Summarized from choosechicago.com)


Tipping

Tipping is required for many services in Chicago. Please refer to the table below for quick reference.

Service

Recommended Tip

Waiter (Restaurant) 15-20%
Wine steward (Restaurant) $2-$3 (optional)
Taxi driver 15%
Bartender 15%
Bellhop (Hotel) $1/bag
Room clean-up (Hotel) $1-$2/day
Concierge (Hotel) $5-$10 (special service only)
Valet (Any venue) $1-$2 (upon car return)

(summarized from fodors.com)


Environment

The average temperature in May is 10°C to 25°C over the course of the day, with a 33% chance of rain daily.
The average length of day in May is around 14.5 hours; sunrise at 5:30am, sunset at 8:05pm.
The average water temperature (lake) in May is 7°C.


Time Zone

The local time zone is Central Time (GMT -6:00)


Currency & Exchange

Local currency in Chicago is the USD. Approximate exhange rates* for common currencies are listed below:

Currency

from 1.00 USD

to 1.00 USD

Euro 0.899 1.11
British Pound 0.792 1.26
Australian Dollar 1.32 0.758
Canadian Dollar 1.33 0.755
Japanese Yen 111.5 0.00897
Chinese RMB 6.83 0.146
Indian Rupee 64.6 0.0155

*Last updated June 2017