Where to Dive in Chicago

Chicago - The metropolis on Lake Michigan

Chicago and its suburbs are located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, one of the 5 large inland lakes known as the Great Lakes. The third largest city in the USA (almost 2.7 million inhabitants) is considered the birthplace of skyscrapers - the first high-rise in steel frame construction was built here in 1884 - and these still shape the cityscape today.

Table of Contents
Ethnic residential areas | Tips | Tickets for attractions and activities | Climate and Weather | Airports | Chicago Courts | Sights | Hotels, apartments and holiday homes

Willis Tower

The nickname "windy city" refers to the climatic conditions in the city - since there are no natural borders such as mountains and hills, the city is largely exposed to wind and storms, but has its origins in once "windy" politicians. Today the Chicagoans prefer to see themselves as the “cheesecake capital” of the world.

Chicago is an important one Business and science location, 7 nationally known universities can be found here, many large companies have their headquarters here. The convenient location on the transcontinental route from New York via the Great Lakes to the Pacific coast meant that an important railway junction was created here at an early stage; the train station is still the largest in the world today. The airport and inland port form the economic center of the American Midwest and are at the top of the world rankings.

The gang crime of the 20s with Al Capone and another is history. Nevertheless, Chicago is still considered one of the safer cities in the United States and the crime rate is relatively high.

The Chicago Loop Alliance (website) provides a great deal of information on the Loop on its website (event calendar, hotel and shopping information, cultural tips). New are three so-called audio tours in English in mp3 format, which can be downloaded and used together with an associated map as an individually explained city tour.

The most popular holiday is March 17th - St. Patrick's Day. The Chicago River has been colored green on this day since 1962 and the Irish rule the city.

Ethnic residential areas

Chicago was and is a reservoir for People of different origins and so neighborhoods have emerged that are dominated by certain population groups, among others Chicago is the largest Polish city after Warsaw:

ChineseCermak Rd. And 22nd St.
GreekHalsted St.
ItalianTaylor St.
PolishMilwaukee Ave.
Ukrainianbetween West Chicago and West Grand Ave.



  • Chicago Greeters (www.chicagogreeter.com)
    Chicago locals guide those interested through their city to hot spots and attractions for free. The tours last 2 or 4 hours.
  • Chicago from the water
    Numerous companies offer Sightseeing Boat Tours at. A list of providers with links to further information is available from the tourist office (website) under the keyword "Sightseeing Boats".
  • GoChicago Card (www.gochicagocard.com)
    The GoChicago Card offers free entry to more than 25 attractions and tours as well as savings and discounts on shopping, in restaurants, etc.

Tickets for attractions and activities

Tickets for attractions and activities in Chicago can be found at www.getyourguide.de.

Climate and Weather

The summer months in Chicago are usually very warm, occasionally hot with high humidity and a lot of rain. Winters have little snow but can be very cold with icy winds. The best travel times are late spring and early autumn with warm, dry days and cool nights.


Chicago O'Hare International Airport (code ORD) is 18 miles northwest of downtown and is one of the busiest airports in the world. The John F. Kennedy Expressway (I-90) runs from the airport to the city center. Fast trains from Terminal 3 offer a fast and inexpensive connection to the city center. Chicago Midway International Airport (code MDW) is smaller and is 10 miles southwest of downtown. Official website: www.flychicago.com

Chicago Courts

The most famous dish from Chicago is that Pizza, especially the thick Chicago style pizza. Pizza with a thin crust is called “tavern pizza” here. The Chicago Style Hot Dog, a frankfurter in a bun, was born at Fluky's.

Tourist Attractions

State of Illinois Center, 100 W. Randolph St.
Masterpiece by the German star architect Helmut Jahn, huge atrium mall with shops, cafes, and restaurants; outside a sculpture by Jean Dubuffet. Besides, here is the State of Illinois Art Gallery housed.

Magnificent Mile (Website)
The portion of Michigan Avenue that runs north of the Chicago River to Oak Street with numerous galleries, restaurants, boutiques and Niketown, 669 N. Michigan Avenue.

360 CHICAGO (formerly the John Hancock Center), 875 N. Michigan Avenue (website)
343 m high, tapering towards the top, conveyor tower-like building, Completed in 1970 according to the ideas of the SOM architecture office and the tallest building in the world in the 1970s; Viewing platform on the 94th floor (314 m above ground; accessible 9 a.m. - midnight). Two 105 m high telecommunication antennas protrude from the roof into the sky.

Terra Museum of American Art, 666 N. Michigan Ave. (Website)
extensive collections of American art spanning more than two centuries. Paintings by J. S. Sargent, W. M. Chase, Mary Cassat, Samuel F. B. Morse, Winslow Homer, and Edward Hopper. Opening times: Tue. 12 noon - 8 p.m., Wed - Sat 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Ave (website)
Outstanding collection contemporary art. The museum building was designed by the German architect Josef Paul Kleihues. Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 6pm, Wednesday to 9pm, Sunday 10am to 5pm.

Wrigley Building, 410 N. Michigan Ave (website)
In 1924, a 32-storey building with a bell tower was built for the chewing gum company in the style of the French Renaissance.

Tribune Tower, 435 N. Michigan Ave (website)
Built in the thirties with reminiscences of Egyptian pyramids, Gothic cathedrals and Greek temples.

International Museum of Surgical Sciences, 1524 N. Lake Shore Drive (website)
Extensive medical history collection from the primitive aids of indigenous peoples to the most modern technical devices.

Marina City (Website)
Built on the Chicago River in 1963/1964 according to plans by Bertrand Goldberg; 61-storey office and apartment complex with a theater, ice rink and marina, towered over by 179 m high twin towers; in the 1960s, the Marina City Towers were the tallest buildings in the world.

Merchandise Mart (Website)
Furniture and other supermarket built in 1928 and constantly enlarged with 1,800 exhibition rooms, the largest department store in the world.

Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, 1852 W. 19th St., (website)
Largest facility of its kind in the northern United States.

United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., (website)
Home of Chicago Bulls.

Chicago Board of Trade, S. LaSalle St./141 W. Jackson Blvd. (Website)
the oldest and largest Grain Exchange the world, visitor gallery on the 5th floor. Opening times: Mon - Fri 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Civic Center for the Performing Arts, 20 N. Wacker Dr.
Home of the Civic Opera (website), the Civic Theater and the Chicago Lyric Opera (website).

333 West Wacker Drive Building (Website)
The Chicago River is reflected in its steel and glass facade.

State Street Mall (Website)
With the 450 departments Large department store by Marshall Field & Company.

Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St. (website)
Largest public librarythe earth.

Willis Tower - also Sears Tower named, 233 S. Wacker Dr.
443 m high with 110 floors, 1974 for the Department store group Sears, Roebuck & Co. finished, still that tallest building in the US and the tallest building in the world until the 1990s; 103rd floor observation deck (theskydeck.com) with views of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin on a clear day. Opening times: March - September daily 9 a.m. - 11 p.m., Oct - February until 10 p.m.

Navy Pier (Website)
Festival and amusement area with rides and other leisure facilities, over 20,000 square meters in size. The ChicagoFest takes place here in August, with an overwhelming view of the Chicago skyline.

Grant Park (Website)
Grade II listed Grant Park extends from S. Michigan Ave. east to Lake Michigan and south to the Field Museum of Natural History, about 2 mi / 3 km away. Some of Chicago's must-see museums are gathered here. With the Buckingham Fountain, the park offers an oasis of calm for the numerous employees in the surrounding offices.

Art Institute of Chicago, Michigan Ave. & Adams Sts. (Website)
One of the most extensive Art collections the earth. The museum includes all collection areas from ancient times to today, paintings, graphics, sculptures and photographs, as well as objects of applied art and ethnographic exhibits from Asia, Africa and America. The exhibition of French impressionists and post-impressionists is outstanding, including works by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat, Degas and Van Gogh. The Thorne Miniature Rooms show 68 different living rooms from the farmhouse parlor to the palace including their furnishings on a scale of 1:12. Opening times: Mon. - Fri. 10.30am - 4.30pm, Tues. to 8pm, Sat. 10am - 5pm, Sun. 12pm - 5pm Clock

Auditorium theater, 430 S. Michigan Ave. (Website)
Conceived in 1889 by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, it impresses with its clear lines and excellent acoustics, and houses the private house, which was founded in 1945 Roosevelt University, the O’Malley Theater and the Quite Recital Hall.

Spertus Museum, 618 S. Michigan Ave (website)
Is dedicated to Jewish culture and owns a large number of art objects from synagogues around the world.

Field Museum of Natural History, on the south side of Grant Park (Roosevelt Rd. & Lake Shore Dr.), (website)
The most popular are the Egyptian mummies, the dinosaur presentation, the multimedia Africa section and the section on the development of life. Opening times: daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

John G. Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr. (Website)
one of the largest of its kind in the world over 6,000 different aquatic animals, an artificial coral reef (fed by divers daily at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.), sharks, sea turtles and other Caribbean Sea residents. In the "Oceanarium" are residents of the northwestern Pacific, including whales, dolphins and sea otters. Opening times: Tuesday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday to 6 pm; June - August also on weekdays until 6 p.m.

Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr. (Website)
Celestial demonstrations and accompanying exhibitions dealing with various aspects of astronomy and space travel.

Soldier Field (Website)
Huge sports stadium, laid out between 1922 and 1940, with space for 200,000 spectators

Prairie Avenue Historic District
Around the renovated noble street of the 19th century, where the rich of the city like the department store kings Marshall Field and Joseph Sears lived. The Glessner House (website) (1800 S. Prairie Ave.), Built in neo-Romanesque style in 1886, today the seat of the renowned Chicago Architecture Foundation. The Clarke House, built in the "Greek Revival Style", is one of the oldest houses in Chicago.

West Fulton Market
Chicago's slaughterhouse district is growing into one Scene district. Low rents attract artists and the art trade is flourishing. The trendy Victor restaurant is located in a former sausage factory. There are many galleries, bars, designer shops and restaurants.

Lake Front
Chicago has one on Lake Michigan 50 km long bank front. The 124-block stretch of river bank has withstood all efforts to build it up. In 1909, the architect Daniel H. Burnham presented a general design for the city, which provided for the free stretch of shore with space for beaches, islands and marinas. It was the hour of birth of the Lake Front, which still exists today.

Chicago area

Oak Park (www.oak-park.us)
An absolute must for anyone interested in modern architecture. Decisive for the development of the settlement were the ideas of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School of Architects, which among others .. George C. Maher, Robert C. Spencer jr. and Thomas Eddy Tallmadge were members. Of particular note are the Frank Lloyd Wright House & Studio, the Unity Temple (1908; one of the first concrete structures), the Fricke House and the Heurtly House (both 1902), the Martin House (1903) and that Cheney House (1904). Oak Park's most prominent son is the writer and bullfighting enthusiast Ernest Hemingwaywho is honored both in a museum (200 N. Oak Park Ave.) and in the house where he was born (339 N. Park Ave.) (both open only Fri-Sun).

Brookfield Zoo, Evanston (www.brookfieldzoo.org)
Enclosures with more than 2000 animal species, children's zoo, safari train and dolphin shows.

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Lake Cook Rd. (Www.chicagobotanic.org)
20 different subject areas, daily tours and tram rides.

Six Flags Great America
Via I-94, Rte 132. E., Gurnee (www.sixflags.com), largest theme park in the midwest.

George Pullman, the Inventor of the luxury railroad car, dreamed of a model settlement for the workers of his company and had it built between 1880 and 1884 22 km southeast of the city of Chicago. In the center is the Hotel Florence named after his daughter, now a museum.

Hotels, apartments and holiday homes

Hotels, apartments and vacation rentals in Chicago can be found at www.booking.com.