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Die Skyline von Chicago, Bild: Rudy Balasko / shutterstock

Chicago – From A for Al Capone to Z for Zoo

Chicago is as diverse as its inhabitants. The metropolis in the USA on the impressively large and beautiful Lake Michigan in the state of Illinois welcomes its visitors from far away with its breathtaking skyscraper skyline. Some of the oldest skyscrapers in the world can be admired in the city, which is also called the “Windy City” due to its location on the water and the climate associated with it. Numerous parks loosen up the imposing cityscape and offer green local recreation areas for the 2.7 million inhabitants.

Chicago, located in the state of Illinois , is full of surprises worth seeing. For example, bikers from all over the world gather in front of Grant Park on Adams Street to ride the famous and historic Route 66 , which starts there. With its mix of architecture, skyscrapers and the bright blue Lake Michigan , the city provides countless fascinating photo opportunities and unforgettable memories. Attractions for all ages make a visit worthwhile in any weather.

Chicago is a city steeped in history, the underground of which was once controlled by the famous mafia boss Al Capone. Today, you can walk in the footsteps of the gangster in museum exhibitions or on a historical tour.

Today, Chicago is driven by a thriving economy, much of which the metropolis owes to its location on the 58,016-square-kilometer lake. The Illinois Waterway, a waterway between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River, a wide rail network, and two airports have made Chicago an important commercial center since the mid-19th century. Visitors to the city benefit from this in particular through almost unlimited shopping opportunities and attractions. The industrial skyline of impressive skyscrapers promises unforgettable views over a city that never stands still. Chicago pulsates with life, culture and history. Sights, interesting facts and experiences are waiting around every corner to inspire young and old.

Things to see in Chicago on Lake Michigan

Probably the most spectacular view can be enjoyed from the so-called Skydeck of the Willis Tower. With a height of 442 meters and 527 meters with antenna, the skyscraper is the tallest building in the United States and the fifth tallest structure in the world. The Skydeck is a vantage point with balconies made of safety glass, where brave visitors can look through the ground a full 103 stories deep. You can see up to 80 kilometers on a clear day and admire 4 states at the same time from a bird’s eye view. Other high-rise buildings with breathtaking views over the city and the turquoise-blue Lake Michigan are the Trump International Hotel and Tower at 423 meters and the John Hancock Center at 344 meters. The latter offers a floor with an overwhelming 360-degree view.

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Formerly a marshalling yard and parking lot, Millennium Park now sits enthroned at the foot of the skyline. The green local recreation area directly on Lake Michigan combines nature, architecture, art, music and adventure. The statue by the British artist Anish Kapoor with the poetic name “Cloud Gate” is particularly popular. The curved metal artwork is made of reflective steel, so that admirers of the statue can see themselves and the city distorted in it. Events such as the ten-week Grant Park Music Festival or a large outdoor cinema attract three to four million visitors every year.

On the large Chicago River, boat tours can be made through the city. To the left and right, the skyscrapers stretch to dizzying heights and present their impressive architecture. You can relax and explore the city from the water with a café and save yourself public transport. If you want to capture the skyline on a souvenir photo, a boat tour across Lake Michigan is recommended. The backdrop with the light blue water and the numerous skyscrapers in the background is a highlight for tourists and residents alike.

Chicago, The Bean
“The Bean”, a sculpture by British artist Anish Kapoor, Image: SGDPhotography / shutterstock

The Navy Pier juts out one kilometer into Lake Michigan. The wide pier, built in 1916, is now one of the city’s most popular hotspots. Families with children in particular appreciate the extensive range of attractions for young and old. A botanical garden, a maze, a Ferris wheel and numerous rides attract young and old visitors. On rainy days, the Children’s Museum, the Shakespeare Theater or the IMAX cinema provide entertainment.

Lincoln Park is the largest park in the city and, like Millennium Park, is located on the shores of Lake Michigan. In addition to its beautiful nature, the park impresses above all with its exciting zoo, a wide range of sports facilities, beaches, a conservatory, museums and a golf course. Children can let off steam in the playgrounds, while parents can take a break from sightseeing in the city.

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If you love shopping, Michigan Avenue is not to be missed. The main shopping street with its many shops, boutiques and restaurants is a true shopper’s paradise amidst historic and architecturally impressive buildings.

Culinary delights made in Chicago

Chicago is home to a variety of cultural influences. Italian culture in particular has had a lasting impact on the city, which is also reflected in the traditional dishes of the metropolis.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
The Deep-Dish Pizza Chicago Style, Image: Brent Hofacker / shutterstock

A popular dish bears the name of the city. The Chicago Style Pizza, also known as Deep Dish Pizza, is the slightly different version of the Italian cult food. The edge of the pizza is much higher here, similar to a quiche or pie. It is filled with sausage, tomatoes and cheese and gratinated. Tomato sauce and Parmesan are often added to the “pizza cake”.

America and sandwiches go together like stars and stripes A particularly delicious variant can be found in Chicago under the name Italian Beef. Boiled beef is cut into wafer-thin slices and served in fresh white bread.

A popular food is and remains the hot dog. Countless food stalls sell the sausages with cabbage, fried onions and gherkins in bread on almost every corner of the city. Hot dogs are practical, easy to eat on the go and are a welcome refreshment after long excursions in the city.

Steaks and ribs, called “ribs”, are also very popular with French fries or potato wedges. In general, Chicagoans love grilled food, which is why there is a wide selection of steakhouses and restaurants with grills.

If you like sweets, you will be thrilled by the wonderfully creamy Chicago Cheesecake. The cheesecake is usually served with strawberry jam or sauces and is a delicious taste experience.

More information about the city can be found on Wikipedia.