Moving to Chicago Guide: A Guide to the City’s Secrets

Illustrative hero image of the city Chicago, Illinois, highlighting a single building glowing with a fuschia aura.Moving to Chicago Guide: A Guide to the City’s Secrets

Chicago is a city of surprises, a place that never ceases to amaze. Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned resident, there’s always something new to discover in Chicago. From its diverse neighborhoods to its rich cultural offerings, the Windy City is a place with boundless energy and endless opportunity. In this comprehensive guide to moving to Chicago, we take you through the best-kept secrets of Chicago, showing you the hidden gems that make this city so special, with tips for moving to Chicago sprinkled along the way.

Understanding Chicago’s Neighborhoods

Chicago is a city that’s known for its iconic skyline, but it’s the neighborhoods that really give the city its unique character. Each neighborhood has its own personality, quirks, and attractions that make it worth exploring. Here are just a few of the many neighborhoods to consider when moving to Chicago:

North Side Gems

The North Side is perhaps the most famous neighborhood in Chicago, home to Wrigley Field, Lincoln Park, and a host of other attractions. But there’s much more to the North Side than just tourist destinations.

For example, Old Town is a charming neighborhood known for its Victorian-era architecture and trendy shops. It’s also a great place to catch a show at one of the city’s many theaters.

If you’re looking for a quieter residential neighborhood, try Ravenswood, which features quaint tree-lined streets and a strong sense of community. You can spend an afternoon exploring the local shops and eateries, or take a stroll through the nearby parks.

Exploring the West Side

The West Side is a more residential neighborhood, with a mix of historic homes and new construction. The Ukrainian Village, for example, is a community known for its beautiful churches, trendy bars, and humble coffee shops. You can spend an afternoon exploring the local art galleries and shops, or grab a drink at one of the many neighborhood bars.

Meanwhile, Little Italy is home to a large Italian-American community and features some of the city’s best Italian cuisine. You can spend an evening indulging in a delicious meal, or take a stroll through the neighborhood to appreciate the historic architecture.

South Side Highlights

The South Side is a diverse and vibrant area, with a mix of historic homes and public housing projects. Hyde Park, for example, is a college town that’s home to the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry. You can spend a day exploring the exhibits at the museum, or take a stroll through the beautiful campus.

Meanwhile, Bronzeville is a historic community that was once home to a thriving African-American cultural center. Today, Bronzeville is home to a mix of affordable housing and boutique stores. You can spend an afternoon exploring the local shops and restaurants, or take a tour of the historic landmarks.

Chicago is a city that’s full of surprises, and each neighborhood has its own unique character and charm. Whether you’re looking for a bustling tourist destination or a quiet residential neighborhood, there’s a neighborhood in Chicago that’s perfect for you.

Navigating the Windy City’s Public Transportation

Getting around Chicago is easy thanks to its robust public transportation system. Here are a few of the most popular ways to get around the city:

The “L” Train System

The “L” train system is perhaps the most famous mode of public transportation in Chicago. It’s a network of elevated trains that crisscross the city and provide easy access to many popular neighborhoods and attractions. Some of the L’s most popular lines include the Brown Line, which runs from downtown to Ravenswood, and the Red Line, which runs from 95th Street to Howard Street.

While riding the “L,” you’ll get a unique perspective of the city, as the trains run above ground and offer great views of the surrounding neighborhoods. In addition to being a convenient mode of transportation, the “L” is also an iconic symbol of Chicago’s history and culture.

If you’re visiting Chicago, be sure to check out some of the famous landmarks that are easily accessible via the “L.” The Chicago Theatre, Millennium Park, and the Willis Tower are just a few of the many attractions that are just a short ride away.

Buses and Beyond

If you prefer to travel on the ground, Chicago’s bus system is a great option. The city has an extensive network of bus routes that can take you virtually anywhere you need to go. Plus, buses are a great way to see the city up close and personal, as you’ll be able to take in all the sights and sounds of Chicago as you ride.

For those who prefer to pedal their way around town, Chicago also has a network of bicycle lanes and bike rental stations. Biking is a great way to explore the city at your own pace and get some exercise while you’re at it. Plus, with so many bike rental stations throughout the city, it’s easy to pick up and drop off a bike wherever you need to.

No matter which mode of transportation you choose, getting around Chicago is a breeze. With so many options available, you’ll be able to explore all the city has to offer with ease and convenience.

Chicago’s Unique Culinary Scene

Chicago is at the heart of the Midwest, but its culinary scene is anything but ordinary. Here are a few of the city’s unique food offerings:

Deep-Dish Pizza and More

Chicago is famous for deep-dish pizza, a style of pizza that’s baked in a pie tin and features a thick, buttery crust. But the city’s culinary scene is much more than just pizza. Visitors can also enjoy hot dogs at Portillo’s, Chicago-style popcorn at Garrett’s, and a wide variety of street food.

International Cuisine Hotspots

Chicago is a melting pot of cultures, and that’s reflected in its diverse range of international cuisine. The city is home to some of the best Mexican food outside of Mexico, as well as a thriving Chinatown. There’s also a thriving Indian food scene in Devon Avenue and a number of restaurants that serve dishes from across the Middle East.

Local Farmers Markets and Food Festivals

Chicago is home to a number of farmers markets, where visitors can find fresh locally-grown produce. The city also hosts a number of food festivals throughout the year, including the Taste of Chicago, where visitors can sample a wide variety of Chicago-style food.

Arts and Culture in Chicago

Chicago is a city that’s steeped in art and culture. Here are a few of the city’s top cultural attractions:

World-Class Museums

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the world’s best art museums, with an extensive collection of artwork that spans centuries and cultures. The Museum of Science and Industry is also worth a visit, with interactive exhibits that showcase the world of science and technology.

The Theater Scene

Chicago has a thriving theater scene, with dozens of performances happening every night. The Goodman Theater and Steppenwolf Theater Company are two of the city’s most famous theaters, but there are many other venues that offer a wide variety of performances.

Music Venues and Festivals

Chicago is home to some of the world’s most iconic music venues, including the Metro, the Empty Bottle, and the Green Mill. The city also hosts a number of music festivals throughout the year, including Lollapalooza and Pitchfork Music Festival.


Chicago is a city of surprises, a place that constantly reinvents itself. It’s a city that’s full of energy and life, and there’s always something new to discover. Whether you’re a foodie, an art lover, or simply someone who loves to explore new neighborhoods, Chicago has something for everyone. With its unique combination of urban energy and Midwestern charm, Chicago truly is a city that’s unlike any other.