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Chicago Useful Facts
Flights and Transfers
Flights from London to Chicago take around 8 hours. Both O’Hare International and Midway International Airports offers readily available taxi services to downtown and the suburbs. The rates for such journeys vary between $40-50 from O’Hare and $30-40 from Midway.
You’ll need a visa in order to enter the USA. Citizens of the Visa Waiver Program, including the UK, can travel the USA without a visa as long as they hold a valid Electronic System Travel Authorisation or ETSA, which you can apply for online. This will be valid for up to two years or until your visa expires, whichever is sooner.
English is the primary language here but, as with many cities in the U.S, people of many ethnicities live and work here so other languages are spoken.
Bus and rail: The Chicago Transit Authority operates the trains and buses in the city. The ‘L’, the local term for the train system, is divided into different colours which all lead to the Loop – you’ll find route maps on board the trains, so once you know which station is closest to your destination and the colour of the train line, you’re good to go. Buses are readily available, with a number of routes available and many offering a 24hr service. The bus is a cheap and easy way to get around the city, with a number of ticket options available. Just remember, if you’re paying cash, you’re required to pay with exact change.
Taxis: Taxis are easy to find and are a convenient way to get around the city, and aren’t too expensive although a bus and rail ticket may be more cost-effective if you’re planning on visiting a number of locations throughout the day.
Water Taxis: If you’re sightseeing, you may want to ride on a water taxi for a fun way to travel – these water rides visit the popular tourist spots and are a great combination of transport and sightseeing. Fares range from $3-8 for a single ride, but day passes are also available.
The US Dollar is the currency used – credit cards are widely accepted.
Vaccinations and Health
There are no specific vaccinations currently required for visiting Chicago but as health requirements change regularly you should check with your GP or local travel clinic prior to your holiday.