Solo Female Travel in Chicago

Chicago, often referred to as the "Windy City," is a metropolitan hub located in the northern part of Illinois, in the United States. Nestled on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, the city is famed for its bold architecture, visible in landmarks like the Skydeck of Willis Tower, and the cloud-like curves of Cloud Gate in the Millennium Park. Chicago glimmers with cultural richness which is manifested in its vibrant arts scene, numerous museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum, and distinctive culinary dishes like the deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs. Not to forget its pulsating nightlife and iconic music festivals like the Chicago Blues Festival and Lollapalooza, Chicago is a celebration that never ceases.

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Is Chicago good for solo travel?

Safety:

Safety:Safe

Chicago, like any major city, has both safe and less safe areas. Downtown and the popular tourist areas are generally secure, especially during the day. However, it's essential to remain aware of your surroundings at all times. Personal safety can largely depend on which neighborhoods you are visiting and at what time of day. It's advisable to research the areas you plan to visit, use trusted forms of transportation, avoid less populated areas at night and always keep your belongings secure.
Transport:

Transport:Easy

Navigating Chicago as a solo female traveler is generally smooth. There are numerous modes of transportation, ranging from buses, trains, to hiring a bike. The city planning is grid-based, which also aids in making navigation a breeze. However, like any big city, certain areas can be less safe especially late at night, so situational awareness is recommended. Overall, travelers are likely to find getting around fairly easy with a bit of caution.
Things to do:

Things to do:Fascinating

Chicago, offers an extensive array of activities and unique experiences for all types of travelers. It is home to a number of world-renowned museums, such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry. Architecture enthusiasts will be delighted by the city's impressive skyline, including Willis Tower, and tours that explore Chicago's rich architectural history. For outdoor enthusiasts, Chicago offers beautiful parks, including Millennium Park and Navy Pier, as well as stunning views by Lake Michigan. The city is rich in music heritage, specifically blues and jazz, with many venues offering live performances. Additionally, Chicago's diverse food scene, from its legendary deep-dish pizza, to the foods of its many ethnic neighborhoods, offers a unique culinary exploration. So yes, Chicago is abundant with activities and experiences.
Food:

Food:Excellent

Chicago's food scene is incredibly vast and varied, offering a multitude of diverse cuisines. From world-famous deep-dish pizzas to Chicago-style hot dogs, the city is a food lover's paradise. Apart from its traditional treats, you'll find a mix of cultures reflected in the food, including Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Greek, and more. High-end dining options cater to fancy nights out while cozy pubs and food stalls cater to casual, comfort-food seekers. The city caters to different dietary requirements too. Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, you're likely to find several high-quality options.
Budget:

Budget:Moderate

Chicago provides a range of experiences suiting various budgets. Though accommodation and dining can be relatively expensive in this city, there are several free or low-cost attractions like Lincoln Park Zoo, Millenium Park, Chicago Cultural Center and public beaches. Public transportation is also quite affordable. So, if savings are managed well, it can be moderately budget-friendly.

Is Chicago worth visiting?

Overall rating

4.1 /5

based on 10 experiences

Things to do

4.3/5

Safety

4.1/5

Food

4.6/5

Budget-friendly

3.2/5

Group travel experience

Did a quick weekend trip to Chicago with the girls for a bachelorette party. We had dinner at the Dearborn and Wakamono, both 5/5. We tried out The DISCO since it has 4 levels but it was pretty small and crowded so we ended up at Three Dots and A Dash and the vibe there was much more chill but fun! We mostly traveled by Uber but when we did walk around we felt safe.

Posted: May 14, 2024Experienced: May, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 4/5Safety: 5/5
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Group travel experience

I felt very safe in Chicago, it is a wonderful city, although many people say it is a dangerous city, I felt safe. In Chicago, you must try their famous pizza, visit the beach and Skydeck. I can say that is the most beautiful city.

Posted: February 10, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Nina

Nina (28)

United States

Solo travel experience

It has a lot of things to do even when you explore the city alone. I did not use public transport as it was fun and easy to walk around. There are many impressive theaters, bars etc. that are worth visiting especially in the night hours. A bit expensive but it was worth it.

Posted: January 15, 2024Experienced: January, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 2/5Safety: 4/5
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Abril

Abril

Spain

Solo travel experience

I enjoyed this trip so much. The city is amazing, I highly recommend the ferry architecture trip, to avoid staying in the downtown!! The Getaway Chicago Hostel is a great option. Food in Chinatown is really cheap and delicious. People is friendly, I had an amazing time there.

Posted: November 18, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Solo travel experience

Here are my recommendations: 1. Willis Tower Sky Deck - you can see the entire city from a glass box 2. Art Institute of Chicago Museum 3. Pizza - deep dish. There is a pizza tour in Chicago that is super fun, worth considering 4. Portillo's - Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef. Must try the cheese fries 5. River North - cool neighborhood for going out. Lots of clubs, bars, restaurants 6. Wrigley Field (where the Chicago Cubs play. It's a famous baseball stadium) and Wrigleyville - neighborhood next to Wrigley Field with lots of bars and restaurants 7. Chicago architecture tour - this is the coolest thing I've done in Chicago 8. Visit Lake Michigan

Posted: September 12, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Family travel experience

Great city with a great vibe. Stunning architecture. Highlights of the trip were the architecture cruise, sunset river cruise and Art Institute. For food I loved London House (cocktails were also amazing here) and Broken English Taco Pub.

Posted: June 28, 2023
Things to do: 4/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 3/5Safety: 4/5
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Solo travel experience

I embarked on a solo trip to Chicago and was thrilled. I visited the Art Institute (lots to see, definitely recommend), the Willis Tower (great views), the WNDR museum (super fun), a boat cruise of the city's architecture (a bit expensive, but worth it) plus tons of walks everywhere. I liked Yolk as a place for a casual breakfast and felt obliged to try Lou Malnati's pizza - strange, but I would eat it again. I also happily walked to the Navy Pier and the planetarium, mainly for the great views of the city.

Posted: June 18, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 3/5Safety: 5/5
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Solo travel experience

I loved the boat tour of the architecture, I found a great deal for one of them on Groupon. The Art Institute was amazing, definitely a must-see. Girl & The Goat and Rose Mary were my favorite restaurants. Book your spots early.

Posted: July 9, 2022
Things to do: 4/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 3/5Safety: 5/5
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Is Chicago safe for women?

Safety rating

3.2 /5

Based on 7 experiences

Crime rates rating

1.4 /5

Based on 7 experiences

Maggie

Maggie

Depending on the neighborhood, Chicago can be extremely safe, or a bit sketchy. I frequently walk alone at night, and like any big city, if you keep your wits about you then you should be fine. Say go next time you’re in the Windy City!

Posted: May 15, 2024
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All is good! Awareness is key. Would not recommend walking alone at night at all. Day time is perfectly fine to explore. Stay in the busy areas and don’t go wandering down random allyways or streets! Such a vibrant city especially in the summer time.

Posted: May 13, 2024
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Meet locals in Chicago

Meet local women in Chicago who are open to meet up for a coffee or a drink, show you around, give local advice or practice a language with.
Christina

Christina

About Me

Hello! I am solo traveling out of the country for the first time and am very excited! If anyone is going to be there at the same time as me and would like to meet up, message me!

Speaking

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Lini

Lini

About Me

Hi my name is Lini and I’m an aupair in Chicago. I love to travel around and getting to know new people! I usually read a lot, go to concerts or festivals and meet with friends. I just graduated back at home in Germany and wanna see a lot of the world now.

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Local tips

In the winter I highly recommend the Christkindlmarket! It’s a fun German-style Christmas marker with products from all over the world. If you are in the loop and looking for a nice place to relax (or maybe get some work done), check out the Drawing Room on the second floor of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. Great ambience, and fire places for warming up in the winter! Lou Malnati’s is the best place for authentic Chicago deep dish pizza! Great pizza but the Malnati Salad and the bruschetta are also great!

Posted: December 11, 2023
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Haley

Haley

United States

Born and raised in Chicago. It is a magical city with lots of fun things to do outside during the summer and many sporting events to take part in during all seasons. Travel with extra caution at night and avoid south side areas. Enjoy many restaurants and bars in all neighborhoods which have a different look and feel to them.

Posted: November 5, 2023
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If you enjoy blues music, visit Kingston Mines one evening, the music is always good and you're sure to have a good time there. On warm days, it's worth checking out the architecture by boat. Also try the hot dog and cheese fries from Portillos, Italian beef from Johnny's, gyros from practically anywhere and Polish food (if you're there when it's cooler), Kumas (original location) or Lockdown for a really good burger (note, they play heavy metal loudly there) or Au Cheval for a more sophisticated option. Downtown is cool, but in my opinion, you need to go to the neighborhoods to truly get to know Chicago. The International Museum of Surgical Science is less known than many others (Chicago has undoubtedly many world-class museums), but if you are interested in the history of medicine, you can't miss it! Navy Pier is worth seeing as you pass by, but for me nothing more than that. Wrigley Field offers tours if you're a baseball fan, and there's a Tiki bar called 3 Dots and a Dash which is pretty cool. I think that Lincoln Park is probably the most beautiful neighborhood in Chicago and it's worth taking a walk there, seeing stunning homes on impressive tree-lined avenues.

Posted: November 3, 2022
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Bars with a pleasant atmosphere, such as Utopian Tailgate, Happy Camper, The Up Room at the Robey, Violet Hour, Paradise Park, Hampton Social, Deuces, Whiskey Business, Recess, The J Parker & Cindy's. Activities: Take a city tour on a Segway! I recommend the sunset tour, as you can also see the city lights. If you can, go to a Bulls basketball game or a Blackhawks hockey game if they are still scheduled. The Museum of Science and Industry is a lot of fun, and the Shedd Aquarium is a nice place for a short walk. Be sure to visit Millennium Park to see the bean and take a walk through Maggie Daley Park. Also definitely go to the Navy Pier. If you have time, walk around the North River area/neighborhoods. You can also go along the lake. Food: Portillo's (American, but a Chicago classic), Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder, Three Dots & a Dash, Lou Malnati's, Beatrix, Etta, Aba, Girl & The Goat, Velvet Taco, Carniva, Small Cheval, Topo Gigio.

Posted: June 18, 2022
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Stay with locals in Chicago

Stay with local women in Chicago who offer free accommodation as part of cultural exchange. Couch surfing is a great way to meet new people, learn more about new cultures and experience destinations like a local.
Ambria

Ambria

Chicago

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Hello my name is Ambria. I am on a cuisine/culture tour around Europe to experience authentic food and meet like minded people. I love to meet new people and be spontaneous. Obsessed with coffee and live to try new coffee places anywhere I visit. Passionate about art and music and seeker of conversations about different perspectives on life and the world. Curious and goofy soul excited to see the world.

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Nimra

Nimra

Chicago

Can host for:

3 days

About me

I am 26 year old Nimra here I am a traveller I have been travelling from a very long time I am looking for some couch surfing person who can host me I am adventure fun loving caring and social person and looking more to travel

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