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If you are planning to visit Chicago alone, don’t miss this. In this article, BestLifeTips will share with you all about travelling to Chicago and suggest some best things to do in Chicago alone.
Is Chicago safe to visit alone?
Before getting to know things to do in Chicago alone, let’s see whether Chicago is safe to visit alone.
Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States, also known as “Windy City”, is located in the Midwest along the Great Lakes shoreline.
It has a population of nearly 3 million people and a huge annual influx of tourists.
It’s a beautiful city filled with everything: world-class museums, sandy beaches, huge parks, public art, and perhaps the finest looking downtown in the world.
It’s the perfect place to visit on a solo trip.
Chicago is generally safe for tourists, though some neighborhoods are not.
Source: Unsplash/Guillaume Issaly
To help you solo travel in Chicago like a pro, here are some tips for you:
- Research your accommodation before you go
There are a lot of hotels and budget-friendly accommodation to stay in.
- Ask for local insight
They might have some great tips on where it’s safe to walk around; where you should be keeping away from; and what recommendations they have on what’s good to do in the city as a solo traveler.
- Try not to make yourself a target
For example, your phone can go missing easily if you carry it in your hand 24/7; leave it on a table in a coffee shop; or dangle your bag on a chair.
You can join a tour to visit the city.
- Do not party too hard
Chicago has great nightlife, especially when it comes to jazz and blues bars, but don’t get really drunk or dabble in a lot of weed. You could put yourself at risk of being in a dangerous situation.
- Make sure you have different ways to access your money
Leave some emergency cash somewhere in your bag, have two different cards that you can use, and think about an emergency credit card.
Don’t keep everything in one place!
- Keep in contact with your friends and family
It’s safer for you to not cut contact with people back home.
It will also help you if you are feeling homesick and lonely.
- Getting bored won’t be a problem in Chicago
Don’t push yourself too much and burn out trying to do absolutely everything. Give yourself days off to chill out and have a great time.
So what are the best things to do in Chicago alone? Find out in the next sections!
Is Chicago safe for solo female travelers?
Chicago is a cool, interesting, never boring, and fun city to explore for solo female travelers.
However, like many of the cities all around the world, spending time in Chicago can pose more of a risk to women by themselves than to men.
You should know a little bit more about the destination. And here are some curated tips for solo women in the Windy City:
- Don’t get distracted
Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Things like checking your maps regularly, texting while walking aren’t smart. Stay alert even in daylight hours.
- Dress to fit in
Depending on what you do in the city, you’ll want to dress for the occasion. However, dressing down is probably better than dressing up.
- Research on the places
If you want to go out drinking and dancing by yourself, make sure you do research on the venue before you go there. Plan your route home if you are out after dark.
- Say no to people
Do not be afraid to say no to people if you are in a situation that is making you feel awkward or uncomfortable. Remove yourself from the situation.
Similarly, do not tell a stranger any unnecessary information about yourself.
- Read the reviews
You need to research your accommodation options thoroughly. Read what other women have said before you about your options, then go with somewhere well-reviewed what suits your travel style.
- Let people know your travel plans
You can tell the staff at your hostel what you plan to do for the day; share your itinerary with a good friend or family member back home
It is safer that people know where you are and what you’re up to than not at all.
- Join in a tour
If you are worried about wandering around Chicago by yourself, hire a guide or joining a tour. It is a good way to see the city safely and learn things about it at the same time.
- Exercise some street smarts
The city is safe to visit, but you should still be paying attention to your surroundings and making good judgement calls.
Is Chicago safe to travel for families?
Chicago is a fantastic city for a family break. Chicago is also a kid-friendly city. It even hosts Kidzapalooza, the child-friendly of music festival Lollapalooza.
However, Chicago could feel overwhelming, especially if you are not from a big city yourself. So it is helpful to know a few things before you go.
Depending on what season you travel to Chicago in, you will need to pack for the weather. In the winter, from November to March, the weather can bring freezing conditions. Summer months can mean sunny days with high humidity.
It’s fine to take Chicago’s public transport with children.
There is a lot to see and do for families in Chicago, but you should try and be flexible with what you do, know when to take a break, and think about eating dinner earlier to avoid crowds.
Keep reading to find out best things to do in Chicago alone.
Where should I avoid in Chicago?
Chicago is well known for its crime. No one has tried to argue that Chicago is a safe place to live. Even the safest parts of Chicago still have more crime than the average city.
So, one of the first things to do in Chicago alone is to avoid these dangerous places.
The most dangerous neighborhoods of Chicago are:
- West Garfield Park
- Washington Park
- East Garfield Park
- North Lawndale
- Grand Crossing
- West Englewood
- South Shore
These places have high crime rate and are top 10 places that are the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago.
So if you’re planning to visit Chicago alone, avoid these places.
Where should a solo traveler stay in Chicago?
Source: A Dangerous Business
The next thing to do in the list of things to do in Chicago alone is to find a safe and reasonable hotel to stay.
Chicago has a huge number of hotel options. There are several different hotels in The Loop, River North, and Gold Coast neighborhoods. Most of these neighborhoods are quite safe for solo travelers.
You can look for hotels in a city like Chicago with the following things:
- Hotel amenities: free Wi-Fi, parking options, 24-hour front desks, and extras like on-site restaurants or cool spaces for guests.
- Proximity to public transport.
- Surrounding amenities: a hotel that is close to restaurants, shops, and other venues that will be open and busy throughout the day or night.
Best things to do in Chicago alone
Here are 10 best things to do in Chicago alone:
The first one of the list is to get around. Chicago is easy to navigate. Neighborhoods are easily explored on foot.
There are tons of taxis and shared ride services available, and the public transportation system, known as the “L,” is very reliable. It can take you to anywhere.
The perfect way to see the entire city is from the top. You’ll be able to explore the interactive exhibits that provide a history of the building and the city.
SkyDeck Chicago offers some of the best 360-degree views of the skyscraper-filled metropolis.
So one of the best things to do in Chicago alone is visiting SkyDeck Chicago.
Shoreline architecture river cruise
Chicago is well-known for its unique architectural. As you sail down the river surrounded by gorgeous buildings, your guide will provide a history of the most famous landmarks in the skyline.
History buffs and art lovers alike will enjoy this informational tour down the Chicago River.
Chicago Museum Campus
Source: Unsplash/Chris Nguyen
Another place to visit on the list of things to do in Chicago alone is Chicago Museum Campus.
Part of Grant Park, Chicago’s Museum Campus is a 57-acre stretch along the Michigan Lake waterfront, which is home to some of the city’s best cultural institutions.
For animal lovers, the Shedd Aquarium is a can’t-miss.
For those intrigued by the galaxy and our planet, visit the Adler Planetarium. There’s plenty to learn when the Universe is at least 91-billion years across.
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is a must-see for any and all visitors in the Windy City. The museum is home to an impressive collection of many different types of art.
Peruse modern art, contemporary styles, architectural marvels, design and photography pieces and much more.
Rent a bike
If you want to make the most of your time in Chicago and get around to as many landmarks as possible, rent a bike. This is one of the best things to do in Chicago alone.
Bike along the Chicago River, head over to Grant Park or cruise through the different sculptures and art installations at Millenium Park.
Chicago Theatre tour
Source: Unsplash/Eliyah Reygaerts
If you’re a fan of the arts, theater, history, or all three, you have to take a tour of Chicago’s famous theater. The Chicago Theatre is a huge part of Chicago history.
Another must-go place on the list of things to do in Chicago alone is Millenium Park.
Millenium Park is the green heart of urban Chicago. From vast open spaces for walking, relaxing and playing to an eclectic variety of ever-changing special events, festivals, and performances, there’s something for everyone at this iconic park.
The park is most famously known as the home of the Cloud Gate Sculpture – aka The Bean.
Chicago river walk
Another relaxing way to spend some time in Chicago is to walk the picturesque strip that lines the river.
Enjoy a stroll down the south bank of the Chicago River and stop in at one of the many restaurants and shops lining the River Walk.
The last place to visit in the list of things to do in Chicago alone is Magnificent Mile.
The Magnificent Mile district is a popular destination for visitors with many hotels, shops, restaurants, bars, attractions, and more.
There are more than 50 landmark structures you can find on this strip.
In short, you should prepare carefully before visit Chicago. And remember to take note things to do in Chicago alone. Follow BestLifeTips for more helpful tips.