Chicago weather can be extreme. During the summer it can feel like you are in a tropical rainforest with temperatures up in the 40’s °C and in the winter it might feel like you are in Alaska with snow drifts so high, you can’t get out of your house. Chicago is also called the Windy City, due to the lake effect from Lake Michigan.
Chicago, like many other cities around the world, experiences a humid continental climate. This means that the city has four distinct seasons with hot summers, cold winters, and relatively mild spring and fall seasons.
Summer (June to August): Summers in Chicago are warm and humid, with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 35°C ( mid-70s to mid-90s Fahrenheit). However, the humidity can make it feel even hotter. Thunderstorms are common during this season.
Fall (September to November): Autumn in Chicago brings cooler temperatures, with highs ranging from 10°C to 25°C (50s to 70s Fahrenheit). It’s a pleasant time to visit the city as the foliage changes, creating beautiful colors.
Winter (December to February): Winters in Chicago are cold, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. Snow is common during this season, and the city can experience significant snowfall. Temperatures can range from-7°C to 4°C (teens to 30s Fahrenheit).
Spring (March to May): Springtime in Chicago is characterized by milder temperatures and increasing precipitation. Highs can range from 4°C to 20°C (40s to 60s Fahrenheit), with occasional rainfall.
Chicago has an extensive public transportation system. The buses and trains of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) are a fast and cost-effective way to get into and around the city. Known as the “L” (though the tracks may be elevated or underground) the trains are a fun way to see The Loop from a new vantage point.
CTA visitor passes offer the best value, with unlimited rides on all CTA trains and buses and passes are easy to use. The passes activate the first time you use them and are valid for the number of consecutive days purchased. Just scan your pass at the bus fare machine or the train station turnstile. Check the CTA website transitchicago.com for the latest fares, travel alerts, and trip planners.
Insider Tip: You can’t add money onto your pass while on the bus, so be aware of how much is remaining on your card if you don’t opt for an unlimited pass. However, you can add money with Mobile Pay Apps, at train stations and at drugstores.
Chicago has many famous attractions worth visiting. Here are just a few:
The Bean (Cloud Gate) at Millennium Park
The sculpture is a work of public art in the heart of Chicago. The Bean, which is officially titled Cloud Gate, is one of the world’s largest permanent outdoor art installations and was unveiled in 2004. It quickly became one of Chicago’s most iconic sights.
Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago was founded in 1879 and is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the world. It is located in Chicago’s Grant Park.
Navy Pier offers a diverse and eclectic range of activities. It is where you go in Chicago for events, attractions, culture, dining, shopping and more. The extensive event calendar features something for everyone, from free fireworks displays throughout the year to live music, theater, art exhibits, dance performances, cultural celebrations, lake cruises and kids’ activities.
Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) Skydeck
The Willis Tower (originally the Sears Tower) is a 110-story, 442.3 m skyscraper in the Loop community area of Chicago. It opened in 1973 as the world’s tallest building, a title that it held for nearly 25 years. It is the third-tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the 23rd-tallest in the world.
Located on the 103rd floor, 412.4 m above ground level, it is the highest observation deck in the United States and one of Chicago’s most famous tourist attractions. You can experience how the building sways in the wind and see far over the plains of Illinois and across Lake Michigan to Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin in clear conditions. Elevators reach the top in about 60 seconds! You will feel the change in pressure as you ascend.
In 2009, retractable glass balconies were installed, which extend approximately 1.2 m from the facade of the 103rd floor, overlooking South Wacker Drive. The all-glass boxes allow visitors to see the street below.
Situated in the heart of Chicago adjacent to the Loop’s business and entertainment district, the site occupies an urban lakefront oasis unique among the world’s global cities.
The Campus offers a variety of sites, such as
Field Museum – a major hub for research, educational and cultural programming, and environmental work.
Shedd Aquarium – it houses more than 100 animal species from around the globe.
Adler Planetarium – the space science center includes the institution’s landmark museum and observatory complex; two planetarium dome theaters; one of the world’s leading collections documenting the history of astronomical science; and an award-winning digital platform that engages millions of people around the globe.
Soldier Field – The oldest stadium in the NFL. After its 2003 renovation the capacity increased from 45,000 to 61,500. Soldier Field hosts an estimated 194 events annually, welcoming almost 1.4 million people. It has two primary tenants—the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer. It regularly hosts major concerts and other entertainment events.
McCormick Place Lakeside Center – a convention and event space with a total of 580,000 square feet of exhibit space and 141,000 square feet of meeting space. It includes a ballroom, a landscaped deck, and a state-of-the-art theater. Lakeside Center is part of the McCormick Place Convention Center, the largest convention center in North America.
McCormick Place Bird Sanctuary – the Bird Sanctuary opened as part of the Burnham Wildlife Corridor in 2003. An important migration stop for millions of birds, it comprises native prairie and woodland plant species.
The Magnificent Mile for shopping and dining
The Magnificent Mile is Chicago’s premier commercial district and is home to upscale shops, luxe fashion outlets, cool restaurants and posh hotels. Landmarks include the historic Chicago Water Tower, the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower, the terracotta Wrigley Building and the 100-story John Hancock Center, which has a rooftop observation deck with fine dining and panoramic city views.
Architecture: Chicago is renowned for its architecture, and you can take architecture boat tours or walking tours to learn more about the city’s impressive buildings and history.
Food: Chicago is famous for its deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs. Don’t miss the chance to try these local specialties. Additionally, the city has a diverse food scene with various international cuisines.
Taste of Chicago festival has been held for over 40 years and hosts pop-ups across three Chicago neighborhoods with free-admission events featuring local food, live music, and more. Check online for dates!
Neighborhoods: Each neighborhood in Chicago has its own unique charm. Explore areas like Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, and the West Loop for trendy shops, restaurants, and bars.
Lake Michigan: Chicago’s lakefront is stunning, and you can enjoy leisurely strolls along the lakefront path, rent bikes, or even take a boat cruise on Lake Michigan.
Music and Nightlife: Chicago has a vibrant music scene, especially for blues and jazz. Check out local venues for live performances. The city also has a lively nightlife, with bars, clubs, and lounges throughout.
Events: Check if there are any festivals, events, or concerts happening during your visit. Chicago hosts numerous festivals and cultural events throughout the year.
Chicago offers a plethora of fun activities and attractions for visitors. Here are some more fun things to do in Chicago:
Chicago Riverwalk: Take a leisurely stroll along the scenic Chicago Riverwalk, which stretches along the Chicago River. Enjoy the views, grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants, or hop on a river cruise.
Lincoln Park Zoo: Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the country, and it’s completely free! It’s a great place to see animals from around the world.
Buckingham Fountain: Head to Grant Park to see Buckingham Fountain, one of the largest fountains in the world. It’s especially beautiful when it’s illuminated at night.
Comedy Clubs: Chicago has a thriving comedy scene, with many famous comedians starting their careers here. Catch a show at renowned comedy clubs like Second City or iO Theater for some laughs.
Gangster Tour: Take a gangster tour to learn about Chicago’s notorious past during the Prohibition era. You’ll visit historic sites and hear stories about gangsters like Al Capone.
Adler After Dark: If you’re visiting on the third Thursday of the month, consider attending Adler After Dark at the Adler Planetarium. It’s a 21+ event with stargazing, cocktails, and entertainment.
Kayaking on the Chicago River: If you enjoy outdoor activities, consider renting a kayak and paddling along the Chicago River for a unique perspective of the city’s architecture.
Garfield Park Conservatory: Escape to the Garfield Park Conservatory, a beautiful indoor botanical garden with a vast collection of plants from around the world.
Graffiti and Street Art Tours: Discover the city’s vibrant street art scene by joining a street art tour that takes you to see colorful murals and graffiti.
These are just a few of the many fun things to do in Chicago. The city’s dynamic energy, cultural diversity, and rich history ensure there’s something to suit everyone’s interests. Enjoy your time in the Windy City!
Safety: Like any big city, be mindful of your surroundings and take usual safety precautions. Stick to well-lit and populated areas, especially at night.
Remember to check if there are any specific COVID-19 guidelines or restrictions in place during your trip, as the situation may change. Enjoy your time in Chicago and make the most of your visit to this wonderful city!
Now that you are planning on traveling overseas and want to stay in touch with your family and friends, or need to stay connected on your business trip, how do you avoid excessive roaming fees? Ever considered an eSIM? Download the RedBull Mobile Data App to avoid expensive fees. https://esim.redbullmobile.com/
eSIMs also allow for more flexible mobile plans, as users can switch carriers or plans without needing to physically swap SIM cards. This can be especially useful for international travel, as users can switch to a local carrier or data plan without needing to purchase a new SIM card.
How do you get an eSIM?
With an eSIM you do not need to physically swap out SIM cards to stay connected to the internet and avoid expensive roaming charges.
Simply download the Red Bull MOBILE Data app, choose your data plan for your destination, and follow the instructions on how to activate the Red Bull MOBILE eSIM data plan. Your device will prompt you to set up your eSIM, which typically involves selecting a mobile plan and confirming your activation. Once your account is activated you are ready to connect to the world without any basic or roaming fees. You will be able to email, chat, set up video conferencing and use your social media accounts. Connecting with your family and friends around the globe is instantaneous.
You don’t have to switch out SIM cards, just switch to your eSIM plan for data on your device while traveling and when you get back you just switch to your regular SIM card.
Are there more advantages to an eSIM other than traveling around the globe?
One of the many advantages of an eSIMs is that it can support multiple profiles, allowing you to use different carriers or plans on the same device. This can be useful if you travel frequently or have different needs for different situations. You could use it to separate your business account
from your personal account for emails and phone calls by switching between those profiles. Please note, you can only use one profile at a time.
Another advantage of an eSIM is that you can access the Red Bull MOBILE Data app wherever you are. So if your travel plans change or you decide to go to a new country simply log in to the app, and choose a new destination and bundle, and you are all set!
Do all devices support eSIM?
Not all devices support eSIM, so you should check if your device is compatible with eSIM technology. You can usually find this information in the device specifications under Settings.
iOS devices: Go to Settings > Mobile Data or Cellular Data, if you have the Add Mobile Plan or Add Data Plan option, your iPhone supports eSIM.
Supported devices include iPhone XS, XR and newer models
Android devices: Go to Settings > Connections > SIM card manager. If you have the “Add mobile plan” option, your smartphone supports eSIM.
The majority of newer Android smartphones are supported including the Samsung Galaxy S20 or newer models, Google Pixel 3 or newer models, Huawei P40 and many more.
It’s worth noting that the exact steps to use an eSIM may vary slightly depending on your device and mobile carrier. So, it’s always a good idea to refer to the specific instructions provided by your carrier and device manufacturer.
Here are some tips on how to avoid expensive fees with eSIM for traveling:
Turn off automatic app updates: To avoid unnecessary data usage, turn off automatic app updates on your phone. This can be done in your phone’s settings.
Turn off background data: Many apps use data in the background even when you’re not actively using them. To avoid unnecessary data usage, turn off background data for apps that you don’t need.
Use a data monitoring app: Download a data monitoring app that can help you keep track of your data usage. This can help you avoid exceeding your data plan and incurring additional fees.
By following these tips, you can avoid expensive fees with eSIM for traveling and stay connected without breaking the bank.
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