Chicago, Illinois, is the 3rd largest city in the United States and the economic center of the Midwest. The windy city, as it was nicknamed, is famous for its architecture (it has a unique skyline for its skyscrapers), its museums of art and science and culture (Chicago was and is known for its blues and jazz bands). If the city has a history of violence (the Al Capone mafia in Chicago and rival gangs during the 70/80), there has been a sharp decline in crime since the 90’s. However, the city has some de-targeted neighborhoods where violence is very common, and thieves usually operate in the metro. Avoid as much as you can the red areas on the following map.
For some years they have placed a network of security cameras in Chicago of the most modern and effective, in fact, the criminality undercut with this system. In any case, as in any city in the world, it is advisable first of all to keep an eye on their relevance in high tourist areas, since they are often frequented by pickpockets.
Chicago is also known for having been one of the cities where he gave his business Al Capone also known as Scarface. Although Al Capone was born in New York and died in Florida, the city where he could develop all his business and mafia was in Chicago, the city where he went to live in 1920. When he arrived in Chicago he became part of the Torrio mafia who detected His potential and when he decided to go back to Italy, he passed the Chicago deal to Al Capone, which basically consisted of smuggling, in the period of the Prohibition.
His mafia remained the most important in the US until he was arrested, once he left the prison his business was completely ruined and he moved to Florida where he died. Anyway, he is buried in Chicago, where he developed his entire mafia, in the Mount Carmel Cemetery.
In general, Chicago is a safe city but it has some dangerous neighborhoods. With a rating of 69%, the United States is ranked 51 out of 162 in the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries.
Pickpocket Risk: Medium
There is a bit of risk related to pickpockets in Chicago. The gangs of thieves who work in public transportation in Chicago, as in the Blue Line. A few simple precautions will minimize the chances of being a mailman.
Assault risk: High
Chicago is a dangerous city due to the risks of assaults. It is best to avoid some areas seen on the map at night, and it is recommended to travel in private cars instead of walking at night.
Scams risk: Low
Almost no scammers in Chicago. Be aware of the vagrants who can deceive you, and the people who offer help with your luggage.
Transport and taxi risk: Medium
There may be some risk in public transportation in Chicago and fake taxis can be a problem.
Natural disasters risk: Low
Occasionally, there are some natural hazards like the strong blizzard in Chicago.
Terrorist risk: Medium
Chicago has not been a victim of terrorist attacks recently, but it’s better to stay alert.
Women traveler risk: Low
Chicago is generally very safe for women.
What to Do?
Downtown Chicago is the business district of the city where national and international corporations are based. In this area, you can find shopping centers, theaters, museums, and beaches of Lake Michigan. The three areas that make up the center (the loop, near the north and near the south) can be emptied very quickly after working hours, so try to avoid “shaded” areas. Some beggars may have aggressive behavior towards tourists, in that case simply ignore them or enter a nearby store or restaurant.
The north side of Chicago is an area of exclusive neighborhoods such as Lakeview, Boystown, Lincoln Park and Old Town, with a variety of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. They are very safe areas compared to the rest of Chicago. Even so, use the usual precautions and stay in well-lit and populated areas.
The south side of Chicago is a more popular area. It houses the University of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry and Chinatown. It is ideal to find a jazz bar or Blues. The nearby neighborhoods and Fuller Park are some of the most dangerous areas of the city, tourists should avoid these areas, especially at night.
The nearby west side is a relaxed area that has recently become gentrified. The area around Logan Square is very modern and has a lot of bars and concert venues. On “the far west side” there are several neighborhoods that are located on West Avenue, these are highly dangerous and do not have many tourist attractions.
One of the toughest Entry policies is the one for the U.S. Sometimes, it is very common to be asked for an interview even for e tourist visa. In order for you not to be negatively surprised, you’d better prepare for paying taxes that can reach up to 160 for your applications. There are countries like the EU or Australia that have visa extension programs that are possible to be filled online.
The currency in the United States is the US dollar. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted throughout the country, and ATMs can be found in almost every city. Costs can vary widely among states, but it is fair to assume a budget of $ 100 per day on average, $ 150 if you rent a car and around $ 300 for upper-end accommodation. A 10% service tip is common in many sectors, such as airport porters and hotels, waiters, hotel maids, restaurant servers and taxi drivers.
The climate in the United States varies a lot between the states: from the Mediterranean climate of California to the glaciers of Alaska or subtropical Florida, each region has its best time to visit; although the main cities can be visited throughout the year.
The main international airports are in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Denver and San Francisco.
As in any country, we advise travelers to get travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also the theft and loss of personal items.