Chicago has something for everyone…

Chicago, often called the “Windy City,” is a vibrant metropolis known for its rich culture, diverse neighbourhood’s, stunning architecture, and a wide range of activities. Here are some popular things to do in Chicago:

1. Explore Millennium Park: Visit the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture, often referred to as “The Bean,” and catch free concerts and art exhibitions in this beautiful urban park.

2. Art Institute of Chicago: Discover an incredible collection of art, including works by Picasso, Grant Wood, and Grant Hopper.

3. Navy Pier: Enjoy the Ferris wheel, IMAX theatre, boat tours, and numerous restaurants and shops along Lake Michigan.

4. Chicago Architecture River Cruise: Explore the city’s stunning skyline and learn about its history on an architectural boat tour.

5. Lincoln Park Zoo: Visit this free zoo to see a variety of animals and enjoy the lovely park.

6. Field Museum: Discover natural history, including the famous Sue, the largest T. rex ever found.

7. Shedd Aquarium: Explore aquatic life from around the world and watch dolphin shows.

8. Willis Tower Skydeck: Take in breath taking views from the glass-floored Skydeck on the 103rd floor.

9. Museum of Science and Industry: A hands-on museum perfect for families, featuring interactive exhibits on science and technology.

10. Chicago History Museum: Learn about the city’s rich history through engaging exhibits and artefacts.

11. Magnificent Mile: Shop at high-end boutiques and enjoy dining in this upscale shopping district.

12. Grant Park: Relax in the “front yard” of Chicago, featuring gardens, public art, and Buckingham Fountain.

13. Sports: Catch a Chicago Cubs or Chicago White Sox baseball game, or cheer on the Chicago Bulls (basketball) or Chicago Blackhawks (hockey).

14. Food Tour: Taste iconic Chicago foods like deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and Italian beef sandwiches.

15. Neighbourhood’s: Explore diverse neighbourhoods like Chinatown, Pilsen, and Wicker Park, each offering unique cultural experiences.

16. Live Music: Chicago has a vibrant music scene; don’t miss live jazz and blues performances in local clubs.

17. Lakefront Trail: Rent a bike or go for a jog along the scenic Lake Michigan shoreline.

18. Cultural Institutions: Visit cultural institutions like the DuSable Museum of African American History and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Chicago has something for everyone, from cultural enthusiasts and foodies to sports fans and nature lovers.

What currency will I need?

The official currency of Chicago, like the rest of the United States, is the United States Dollar (USD), which is the widely accepted and used currency for all transactions within the state. It is issued and regulated by the U.S. Federal Reserve System, which is the central bank of the United States.

The U.S. Dollar is subdivided into 100 cents, and it is available in various denominations of banknotes and coins, including $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills, as well as coins of 1 cent (penny), 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime), 25 cents (quarter), 50 cents (half-dollar), and 1 dollar.

The U.S. Dollar is widely accepted and used in all types of transactions in Chicago, including for buying goods and services, paying bills, conducting financial transactions, and as a unit of account. Most businesses and establishments in Chicago, including banks, retailers, hotels, restaurants, and other service providers, accept U.S. Dollars as the standard form of payment.

Should I use travel cash or a card?

According to Mintel, 90% of British travellers take some travel cash with them. It’s perfect for tips, taxis, street-side vendors and locations which do not have card machines (or where they are not working). It’s easy to budget with, and share with other members of your party. It’s also not prone to technical faults, does not require internet access, and you won’t be charged to use it.

Having a debit card is also a great idea as backup – just make sure you know what fees the card issuer charges to make payments in the foreign currency (better still, find one that makes no charges at all). Bigger purchases should be made on a travel-friendly UK-issued credit card to get that additional Section 75 protection (see https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/everyday-money/credit-and-purchases/how-youre-protected-when-you-pay-by-card). Make sure when paying by card that you ALWAYS pay in the foreign currency – do not let the card processor do the conversion to GBP as you will always get a worse rate. That applies even if the foreign currency is already loaded onto a prepaid multi-currency card – the card issuer will decide whether to settle from your foreign currency wallet or not.

Where can I buy currency?

You will typically get a better deal buying your travel cash here in the UK before you travel. Look for the highest possible foreign currency exchange rate to indicate the best deal. For example, a rate of US$1.2312 is better than US$1.2015 when buying United States Dollar (USD). Airports tend to offer the worst rates – especially if you have not pre-ordered – and you may find a bureau de change on your High Street, in a supermarket or department store, in many travel agents, and at major transport hubs.

You can also buy United States Dollar from Travel Money Club for next business day despatch to home via fully insured Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm. Unlike the competition, we don’t hide fees and charges in our exchange rates – you just pay a fair and transparent handling fee based on how much you are exchanging. Get an instant quote now at https://yourtmc.link/quote-usd.

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