Chicago is the third most populated U.S. city (after Los Angeles and New York), and it’s also one of the most visited. From restaurants to parks and museums, there’s so much for tourists to do and see when they visit. This poses the issue of transportation and which methods are available and the best. In general, there are six different ways to get around the city of Chicago, and each way has both pros and cons.
Visitors to Chicago may not think that walking is a great way to get around the city, but it’s actually one of the best ways to see everything the city has to offer. This is because many of the attractions are concentrated in one area, so you won’t have to walk to see everything. Chicago also has many scenic walking trails, and most of the land is flat, making it easy to walk.
Just keep in mind that you still have to be physically fit and able to walk when choosing this method of transportation. It’s also best when the weather is nice, as Chicago is prone to heavy rain and tornadoes in the spring, and snow in the winter. It’s also essential to stay hydrated when walking in the summertime.
Locals will say that Chicago’s train system is one of the best methods of transportation. It’s fairly affordable and easy to navigate. However, there is the risk of delays, so it’s not recommended if you’re in a hurry.
Rideshare services are becoming increasingly popular all over the U.S., and Chicago is no exception. Both locals and visitors choose this method of transportation, and this is your best option when you want to visit other parts of the city that are too far to walk and the trains don’t run to. One of the downsides to Uber and Lyft is that they can become pretty expensive, especially when going out of the way of public transportation routes. There’s also the risk of being involved in a traffic accident, but Chicago does have Lyft and Uber accident lawyers to handle cases related to rideshare and traffic accidents in general.
With various transportation options available, many locals still prefer to drive their own cars, and visitors can do this as well. Whether you’ve driven your own car to the city or if you’ve rented a car, driving yourself will be the most convenient way to travel around Chicago. The traffic isn’t as bad compared to other major U.S. cities, but that doesn’t mean it’s nonexistent.
However, you should practice extra caution when driving— especially if you’re not used to driving in a big city. Traffic accidents aren’t rare in Chicago, but they’re also not in the top 10 U.S. cities for traffic accidents. If you’re not ready to drive in Chicago, it’s recommended that you choose another method of transportation.
Like the train system, the bus system in Chicago also has a fairly positive reputation, and it will take you to all of the major tourist spots. The routes are easy to navigate and it’s more affordable than some of the other options listed above. However, bus delays are usually more frequent than train delays, so it’s not recommended if you’re on a tight schedule.
If you want to find more healthy and environmentally friendly ways of transportation but may not be fond of walking, you can try biking through Chicago. You’ll reap many of the same benefits as walking, plus you’ll get to your destination a little quicker. Chicago even has bike rental options for those who didn’t bring one with them.
Again, you still have to be somewhat physically fit and able to bike through Chicago. It’s also pretty hard to bike in stormy and snowy weather. Don’t forget that you will have to pay for a bike rental, so you’ll save money by bringing your own.
Of course, you can combine two or more methods of transportation when visiting Chicago. It all depends on where you’re headed and what’s safest for you at that moment. Using public transportation is generally unsafer at night than it is during the day, and walking or biking is best when it’s sunny and not too hot. Also, some methods will cost more than others, so keep that in mind as well.