Steely skyscrapers, top chefs and rocking festivals – the 'windy city' will blow you away with its energy and all it has to offer.
The start of the famous 'Route 66' and home to some of the world's best food, awesome architecture and days of shopping, Chicago has something for everyone.
The city buzzes with energy and excitement, especially during the autumn season of weekend festivals, alongside beautiful parks and trails that beckon every day.
The possibilities in this distinctive city are endless.
- Enjoy sweeping views of the city from the Skydeck ChicagoOpens external site in a new window at Willis Tower or 360CHICAGOOpens external site in a new window
- Wander through Millennium ParkOpens external site in a new window and relax under the stainless steel beams of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion
- Grab breakfast at Lou Mitchell’sOpens external site in a new window, a city institution located near Union Station at the beginning of Route 66
- Visit the Art Institute of ChicagoOpens external site in a new window
- Grab a drink and sway to some jazz at Blue ChicagoOpens external site in a new window, which features different performers every night
- Don’t miss Hyde Park, home of President Barack Obama, and the Museum of Science and IndustryOpens external site in a new window, the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere.
Known as a 'city of neighbourhoods', Chicago has 77 diverse communities bursting with their own distinctive vibe, culture, attractions and cuisine.
The South Loop
Located just south of downtown, this neighbourhood has blossomed in recent years bringing fine dining, boutique shops and chic condo complexes to the area.
Just steps away from the vibrant streets of the South Loop is Museum Campus, which features the Adler PlanetariumOpens external site in a new window, The Field MuseumOpens external site in a new window and Shedd AquariumOpens external site in a new window. Its deep history can be seen in many local attractions, such as the 128 year old Glessner House Museum, anchor of the Prairie Avenue Historic District and the Clarke House Museum, Chicago’s oldest home built in 1836.
A popular destination, largely because of its close proximity to the lake and downtown.
Victorian-era buildings, brick alleyways and narrow tree lined streets are a charming backdrop to Wells Street, featuring family owned restaurants and unique shops and boutiques.
Old Town is home to The Second CityOpens external site in a new window, opened in 1959, and considered the birthplace of improvisational theatre while Zanies Comedy ClubOpens external site in a new window hosts renowned stand-up acts.
Lakeview and Boystown
Lakeview is one of Chicago’s largest neighbourhood communities and features dozens of busy streets with great shopping, dining and entertainment.
Groups can enjoy live music and theatre at numerous venues, catch an independent film at Music Box TheatreOpens external site in a new window or get splattered with paint at Blue Man Group at the Briar Street Theatre.
The Lakeview East area is marked with rainbow flags, indicating the entrance to Boystown which is famous for its large LGBT population.
One of the most popular neighbourhoods in Chicago, Lincoln Park offers a healthy mixture of family-friendly attractions such as the Lincoln Park ZooOpens external site in a new window and the Peggy Notebaert Nature MuseumOpens external site in a new window.
Learn about the city's past at the The Chicago History MuseumOpens external site in a new window and then head out for some nightlife at Steppenwolf Theatre CompanyOpens external site in a new window.
For great shopping head to Armitage Avenue and Halsted Avenue.
Chicago’s Chinatown is one of the largest in the USA and is home to dozens of traditional restaurants, grocery stores and shops.
The neighbourhood consists of the two areas of Wentworth Avenue and the two-level Chinatown Square. Imposing bronze gates frame the square making it hard to miss. There's also Ping Tom Memorial Park, a 12 acre oasis along the south branch of the Chicago River.
Known as one of the hubs of Mexican American culture in Chicago, Pilsen is a vibrant neighbourhood featuring innovative and classic Mexican restaurants, a number of galleries and unique shopping experiences.
It's also home to the highly regarded National Museum of Mexican ArtOpens external site in a new window.
This neighbourhood acts as a living monument to African American culture. It's been home to a number of famous people including legendary singer Louis Armstrong, civil rights activist Ida B. Wells and Pulitzer Prize recipient Gwendolyn Brooks.
Throughout the area are significant pieces of public art and architecture including The Victory Monument, The Monument to the Great Northern Migration and the IIT Campus.
Home of the esteemed University of Chicago, the popular Museum of Science and IndustryOpens external site in a new window and the DuSable Museum of African American HistoryOpens external site in a new window, Hyde Park is rich in culture, architecture and history. The past mixes with the present as students, scholars, and visitors mingle at local attractions like Robie House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, or the Hyde Park Art Centre, a powerful force in the city’s art scene for more than seven decades.
The party never seems to stop in this lively neighbourhood which gets its name from its main attraction of Wrigley FieldOpens external site in a new window, home of the Chicago Cubs.
The stretch of Clark Street through Wrigleyville is packed with sports bars and restaurants. From the aptly named Cubby Bear to the arcade game filled Sluggers, there’s no shortage of options for groups eager to grab a bite or watch a game.
West Loop and Greektown
This area has transformed in recent years to become the place for culinary stars to set up shop, including Stephanie Izard (Girl and the Goat, and Little Goat), Graham Elliot (GEB) and Paul Kahan (avec, Blackbird, and Publican).
Just to the south is a string of Greek restaurants known as Greektown, serving as the centre of Greek culture for more than a century. The National Hellenic Museum and Cultural Centre joins the classic bakeries, energetic tavernas and reputable restaurants serving fresh tzatziki, flaming saganaki and gyros among other traditional eats.
Chicago’s Italian roots show prominently in Little Italy. Taylor Street houses most of the eateries like The Rosebud, Pompei and Francesca’s on Taylor.
Alongside the restaurants are a smattering of wine bars, Roman Catholic churches and cultural institutions like the Italian American Sports Hall of FameOpens external site in a new window and the Jane Addams Hull House MuseumOpens external site in a new window.
Arrigo Park features a statue of Christopher Columbus, while Piazza DiMaggio is inspired by a traditional Italian piazza and features a statue of the Yankee Clipper (Joe DiMaggio) himself.
Characterised by the historical boulevards and large-scale greystone homes, Logan Square is a dynamic neighbourhood just west of Wicker Park/ Bucktown.
The area is a major link in Chicago’s Historical Boulevard System and at the centre of Logan Boulevard is the Illinois Centennial Monument.
The trendy neighbourhood has welcomed many great restaurants such as Lula Café and Fat Rice, as well as craft beer maker Revolution BrewingOpens external site in a new window.
Lincoln Square and Ravenswood
Lincoln Square is a historically German area with many ethnic businesses such as the Chicago BrauhausOpens external site in a new window, Merz ApothecaryOpens external site in a new window and the HuettenbarOpens external site in a new window. Giddings Plaza is a popular place for local events and festivals.
Ravenswood, an entity of Lincoln Square, features a number of great shops and eateries along Montrose Avenue including Fountainhead, a neighbourhood hot spot for craft beer and quality food.
Lillstreet Art CentreOpens external site in a new window is the largest visual arts centre in Chicago and can also be found here.
US Dollar (US$)
110V / 60 Hz
Expect mild temperatures, blooming flowers and bright greenery in spring. Summer brings warm weather, cooler near the lake, and beaches buzz with activity. Autumn is a colourful season, and December to February marks the winter season, filled with snow, sparkling lights and cold weather adventures.
From the airport
From Chicago O’Hare International airport, shuttles and taxis are available to downtown. Public transport can also get you into the city via the Chicago Transit Authority buses and rail lines. Alternatively, book a Private Arrival TransferOpens external site to take you straight to your hotel.
In and around the city
The city's grid system is easy to navigate and find your way either on foot or by public transport.
If you’re feeling energetic you can hire a bike from Bike and RollOpens external site in a new window or Bobby’s Bike HikeOpens external site in a new window. With more than 320 kilometres of on road bike lanes, numerous dedicated paths and more than 13,000 bike racks, Chicago is one of the country’s bike friendliest cities.
129 bus routes crisscross Chicago making it easy to get about. Alternatively the well connected ‘L’ trainOpens external site in a new window has eight lines running around the city with more than 145 stations for quick and easy connections.
If you’re leaving central Chicago head for the high speed Metra trainOpens external site in a new window that connects with Chicago's outlying suburbs.
Chicago car hire
Book car hire with Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty. Qantas Frequent Flyer members could earn Qantas Points^ with Avis and Budget.
Your flight with Qantas
Book on qantas.com and enjoy the best deals on flights, car hire, activities, hotels and more.
Enjoy the freshest seasonal flavours on your flight to Chicago, with Neil Perry inspired menus in Premium cabins.
Enjoy our on-demand inflight entertainment in every seat, with the latest movie releases, TV shows, music and more.
Pack more into your trip with complimentary checked baggage allowance on every flight.
^ You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.
** Prices are per room, per night and vary depending on date of check in, length of stay and room type. Conditions apply.
~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.