Is Chicago Safe for Travel in 2024?

Chicago, United States
Safety Score

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois and the third most populous city in the United States. Chicago is an international hub for finance, culture, commerce, industry, education, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. It is the site of creating the first standardized futures contracts, issued by the Chicago Board of Trade, which today is part of the largest and most diverse derivatives market in the world, generating 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures alone.

Warnings & Dangers in Chicago

Overall Risk


Like any major city, Chicago can be dangerous if you don't take precautions. The suburbs and poorly lit streets are best avoided during the dark hours of the day.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Public transport is well developed, but at night it can be less safe at the end stations of the metro than during the day. Use only licensed taxi services.

Pickpockets Risk


As with any major city in Chicago, pickpockets do happen. Especially on public transport during rush hour. Also, always keep an eye on the beaches and not leave your bags unattended.

Natural Disasters Risk


The city is practically not exposed to any risk of serious natural disasters. Strong winds are possible during certain seasons; check the weather before your visit.

Mugging Risk


Robberies and armed attacks can happen in Chicago. They usually happen in disadvantaged areas and are sometimes associated with showdowns by local gangs. Avoid walking alone late at night, and don't mess with local drug dealers.

Terrorism Risk


The risk of terrorism is low in Chicago. Of course, the risk of attacks still exists, due to the international position of the city. The global risk of terrorist attacks in public areas exists worldwide, so tourists should be vigilant.

Scams Risk


The most common scam in Chicago involves fundraising or signing petitions. Under the guise of good intentions, scammers are actually deceiving tourists and collecting donations in their pockets.

Women Travelers Risk


Women traveling alone can feel quite safe in Chicago. The main thing is to adhere to the usual precautions and monitor your surroundings.

How Safe Is Chicago for Tourists?

Chicago is not the safest city to travel to.

The crime rate here ranges from medium to high.

The main problems are related to drug trafficking, theft, assault, and vandalism.

As with many of America’s big cities, the city has a clear contrast between safe, well-to-do neighborhoods and poor, gang-infested, and crime-ridden neighborhoods.

Chicago has seen a rise in violent crime and has made it on many of the top ten violent crime lists in cities.

Tourists can be uncomfortable with the constant presence of protesters on the streets of the city.

Often these clashes are directed against the police.

Try to avoid and participate in such demonstrations.

While most of the city’s tourist attractions are well away from high crime areas, it is important to understand where in Chicago you will visit and avoid areas you hear have a bad reputation.

North Chicago is generally safer and more reliable than the South.

As elsewhere, try to follow common sense, do not walk late at night in places and districts of the city remote from tourist routes.

If homeless people cling to you, try to simply refuse them and do not engage in dialogue.

Do I Need a Visa to Visit Chicago?

The United States visa policy consists of foreign nationals’ requirements to travel to, enter, and remain in the United States. Visitors to the United States must obtain a visa from one of the U.S. diplomatic missions unless they come from visa-exempt or Visa Waiver Program countries. A valid passport is a must.

Which Currency Is Used in Chicago?

The United States dollar is the US currency, one of the main reserve currencies in the world. One dollar is divided into 100 cents.

How's the Weather like in Chicago?

In Chicago, the summers are warm, humid, and wet; the winters are freezing and windy, and it is partly cloudy year-round. The best times to visit for milder weather is in late Spring and early summer.

What Do I Need to Know about Airports in Chicago?

O’Hare International Airport typically referred to as O’Hare Airport, Chicago O’Hare, or simply O’Hare, is an international airport located on the Northwest Side of Chicago, Illinois, 23 km northwest Loop business district.

Should I Get Travel Insurance for My Travels?

A travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country or city. Make sure you got it before starting your journey; the customs officer may ask for it.

What Are Some Things to Do in Chicago?

On Lake Michigan in Illinois, Chicago is among the largest cities in the U.S. Famed for its bold architecture, it has a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Center 1,451-ft. Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. The city is also renowned for its museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago with its noted Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. 

Is the Water in Chicago Safe to Drink?

Chicago tap water is generally safe to drink and tastes great.

Is Uber Safe in Chicago?

There is an Uber taxi in the city; you can call a taxi from your smartphone application. The fare will depend on the time of day, and the distance traveled.

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