Chicago is a city of world-class status and unsurpassed beauty, drawing visitors from around the nation and the globe. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan in the heart of the Midwest, Chicago is home to world championship sports teams, an internationally acclaimed symphony orchestra, renowned architecture, and much more. Visitors to Chicago experience a virtual explosion of cultural activity, civic pride, and multicultural expression. From stunning architecture and world-famous museums to lakefront parks and vibrant ethnic neighborhoods, Chicago offers a range of attractions, which keep visitors coming back again and again. Whatever your interests, come explore Chicago and discover everything this beautiful city has to offer. Learn more about Chicago.
Springtime in Chicago means blooming flowers and a lively lakefront. Temperatures really start to warm up with May typically in the 60’s °F (10-18°C) and may even warm up to around 70°F (21°C). Rainfall averages 3.5 – 3.8 inches (92 – 94mm).
Getting to Chicago
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is located just 17 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. A complete list of airlines and local ground transportation servicing the Chicago O’Hare International Airport can be found here.
Chicago is supported by an excellent public transportation system made up of an extensive network of buses and trains called the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). In the downtown area trains and some buses operates 24 hours a day. Exact fare is required on the CTA system, specifically on the buses, as operators do not carry change. Additional information can be found on the CTA website.
Taxis are also readily available and provide quick, reliable service:
Yellow Cab 312-TAXICAB (312-829-4222)
Checker Taxi 312-CHECKER (312-243-2537)
The monetary system in the United States is based on dollars and cents. Most U.S. businesses also accept travelers’ cheques. International currency exchange services are available at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport and throughout the city.
Sales Tax is generally not included in the listed price of items for purchase. Sales tax in the city of Chicago is 9.25%, depending on the item purchased.
Tips or gratuities are not typically added to a bill in Chicago. In general, a tip of 18% of the total amount is considered to be a suitable gratuity. This applies to waiters, waitresses, and taxi drivers. At hotels and airports, doorman and porters are generally offered $1 per item of luggage.
The United States operates on 110V, 60-cycle electric power. Non-North American visitors should bring a plug adaptor if they wish to use their own small appliances such as razors and hairdryers from home. If you are visiting from countries such as Australia that use a higher voltage, you may encounter problems charging your re-chargeable batteries. U.S. electrical goods come with either a two-pronged plug, or a three-pronged plug; most sockets accommodate both.