Skip Navigation

Chicago safety

Travel Forums North America Chicago safety

1. Posted by fiona79 (Budding Member 14 posts) 10y

I'm going to be in Chicago in a few days and i know that one part of the city is not as safe as the rest. Where should i avoid?
I'm Australian and we don't have muggings at all, so i am so naive on this subject. I don't plan to be out on my own though...
I think i have my activities planned, but if anyone wants to tell me "special Chicago secrets" they know. Feel free

Fiona

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Fiona - Chicago is a pretty cool city! Beerman and I lived there for years, and still make the trip month (if not more) to visit family and friends - it's only 2 hours away for us. In fact, Beerman's brother-in-law and I just had this discussion recently. He stated he feels safer walking around Chicago at night than he does the small town where he grew up.

Yes, there are particular parts of the city, mainly the south side, where it's not wise to be at any time - but there really is no reason for a traveler to be in the area anyway. As with any metropolis, common sense will see you through just fine. Public transportation is quite easy to use if you should need it. If you need help finding you destinations, ask the staff at your hotel/hostel - they are (usually) knowledgable enough to get you where you need to go. Chicago is also a great city for walking. Again, just be aware of your surroundings, don't pull out large amounts of money when shopping, and use common sense. Chicago is filled with travelers so you are never alone.

As far as some great things to do - if not on your list already - The Museum of Science and Industry, The Museum of Natural History, The Shedd Aquarium, The Adler Planatarium, Milennium Park, Lincoln Park Zoo (a free zoo and really nice) are all worth seeing. For shopping or just window-shopping - Oak Street and Michigan Avenue are great fun. If you like blues, there are several clubs with great musicians playing nightly.

When exactly will you be in Chicago? There may be some festivals and special events going on at the same time. Let me know and I'll see what's on the events calendar. ;)

3. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 10y

Fiona,

Isadora's right, but I would add parts of the west side (past the United Center where the Chicago Bulls basketball team plays) as being considerably dangerous.

Downtown (the Loop) is where you want to be....you can get to anywhere from there. Keep your money in your pocket, keep an eye on your wallet (pickpockets are universal), and use common sense. Chicago is a pretty safe city by most standards, but you should always be aware of your surroundings.

BTW, the Natural History Museum is called the Field Museum, and there is a great art museum called the Art Institute of Chicago.

Google "Chicago sights" for a wealth of information and discount coupons offered by the city.

Have fun

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting beerman

BTW, the Natural History Museum is called the Field Museum, and there is a great art museum called the Art Institute of Chicago.

Knew I forgot something in the museum name - and had the Art Institute in my head but not in the response. D'OH!!!!! (Can't miss it - has two very large lions guarding the entrance.) What I don't think of - Beerman does... ;)

5. Posted by bvheide (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

I'd agree with what both Isadora and Beerman said about safety. Like anywhere you go, just be smart. Chicago is quite safe and as long as you stay downtown or somewhere else similar.

Depending on what you're looking for as far as tourism, I'd add my thumb's up for the Museum of Science and Industry as well as suggest the Shedd Aquarium. Also, taking a day to just walk up and down Michigan Avenue might be worthwhile if shopping is your thing. (If you're concerned about too much walking, take the train to the north end of Michigan Avenue, and walk the mile back south or vice versa.)

Don't miss the deep dish pizza, and if you get a chance, go see a show or something. I'm not sure if Goose Island Brewing Company still does tours, but if they do, that might be a good time as well depending on your interests.

Finally, my wife and I really enjoy the trip up the Hancock Building to the observatory...followed, of course, by cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory which is located on the first and second floors of the Hancock Building.

6. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting bvheide

Don't miss the deep dish pizza, and if you get a chance, go see a show or something. I'm not sure if Goose Island Brewing Company still does tours, but if they do, that might be a good time as well depending on your interests.

Ah - deep dish pizza! You will find Chicago-style deep dish pizza at several pizzarias around the city. I can also recommend Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. in the Lincoln Park area. It's pizza like you have never seen it before. ;) The restaurant is downstairs. Here is their website (which also has a link for a map of the area and directions):
Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinders Co.

Yes, Goose Island is still giving tours at the cost of $5.00/person. They are given every Sunday at 3:00pm. Here's their website:
Goose Island Beer Company

7. Posted by beth203 (Budding Member 3 posts) 10y

This is great. I will also be in Chicago in July to see a game at Wrigley field! Thanks for all the tips. I plan to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel and check out all of the local sights!

Fiona have a great time.

8. Posted by acanalos (Budding Member 12 posts) 10y

HI Fiona,
I suppose you are here by now! Listen, don't count out the west side, really! sometimes when people say unsafe what they mean is that its not all white people! While i dont want to deny that there are dangerous areas in the city for all people, I dont think you should totally avoid the whole south and west side, thats just really silly! check out the neat west for cool coffe shops are bars (wiker park and bucktown) there are completely safe areas. go a bit south of that to Humboldt park, where you can grab some great puerto rican food. check out the Green Mill for authentic blues/jazz too
check out www.metromix.com to find nightlife. this city really has a lot to offer
have fun!
Alexis

9. Posted by acanalos (Budding Member 12 posts) 10y

opps...meant near west not neat west! that sounded kind of cheesy...

enjoy!