Chicago: quick city guide for expats
Oh, Chicago, as windy as it gets and as pretty as can be. Welcome to your new home!
Chicago is the third-most-populated city in the United States (after NYC and LA). The Windy City needs no snazzy acronym to present a perfect mix of skyscrapers and waterfront. Cold in winter, warm in summer – Chicago embraces expats with reckless abandon.
However, just like any other city, there are a few secrets that you might want to consider before making your next move.
We welcome techies
If your heart beats for new media and technology, you probably already know that Chicago is a great city for tech enthusiasts and start-ups. According to various studies[AK1] , if you work with new technology or innovative ways of communicating, Chicago is the place-to-be.
The city offers incredibly high salaries to those working in the tech industry and in the emerging start-up scene a whole. Chicago is ranked the 5th best city in North America to move to with respect to wages.
Even if you’re moving to the city before job-hunting, you have good chances of finding a job that you love.
Finding a place to live
When you move to a big city, especially one like New York or Chicago, finding yourself a new home can be overwhelming. The market moves fast, the offers are endless and not all properties meet your expectations. Furthermore, you might find it hard to understand the local market if you are moving from another continent.
In these cases, online platforms like Nestpick help you overcome these headaches. They offer you completely furnished homes and apartments all around Chicago. That means no personal engagements with any real estate agents since everything is taken care of online.
All you have to do is bring your bags and your enthusiasm. Isn’t that the perfect way to start your new life in Chicago?
Moving around the city
Unlike LA – where even your morning coffee might require a 15-minute car ride –Chicago has a large public transportation system. The second largest in the United States to be exact. And it includes a 24-hour rail system and +140 bus routes. It is a very walkable city too, so a car might not be as necessary as you think.
If cycling is your thing, you’re in luck. Chicago is considered the 6th best city for cycling in America by Bicycling Magazine. So, by all means, take your bike with you when moving to Chicago.
The capricious weather
If you had forgotten what it was like to have 4 distinct seasons, Chicago will happily remind you. Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring each have a profound effect on the city.
The summers will feel like summer, the colors of the falling leaves in fall will mesmerize you year after year, however the winter… will be winter! Make sure you stock up on warm boots, scarfs, jackets, and gloves because winters in Chicago are cold (from November to April).
Added benefit: a white Christmas is highly likely in Chicago!
Beach in the city
Even though Chicago is not a true coastal city, the size of Lake Michigan makes it look and feel that way. So make sure to take your beach equipment for the summer. The beaches around Chicago will not let you miss the ocean at all. Except for the huge ocean waves, of course.
Vibrant culture and nightlife
Chicago is well known for its musicals, jazz, art and… food. If you are an art lover, you should visit the Art Institute of Chicago and go back every now and then to check on new exhibitions.
If jazz is in your soul, Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is a staple. Live jazz, drinks and a time travel experience back to the 30’s and 40’s – straight out of an Al Capone-movie.
On top of all these, you should keep your eyes open for incredible urban scenery and the street markets throughout the city. According to locals, there is always something going on in Chicago! (But don’t call it The City That Never Sleeps.)
Chicago is the real deal
Once you have unpacked your bags in your new apartment in Downtown Chicago, it’s time to discover the real secrets of the city… food. Most specifically, deep-dish pizza. Living in Chicago and not having a good bite of a deep-dish pizza, is simply a no-go. So get it out of the way as soon as possible. We predict it will be one of the main reasons for falling in love with the city of jazz.