Chicago, Illinois, is the third city in the United States in terms of size, and it is the economic center of the Midwest area. It is also called The Windy City and it is notorious for its unique skyline of skyscrapers, its art, science museums, and culture. Chicago has always been the front-scene for numerous Jazz and Blues bands.
A history of violence
Since the 1990s, this city has registered a decline in crime, although the history of disorder remains, starting from Al Capone’s mafia to the rival gangs of the 1970s and 1980s.
Anyway, this city cannot be called the safest place in the United States, as there are a few neighborhoods where violence is right at home, and many thieves operate in the subway. These areas are best avoided as much as possible.
Common risks in Chicago
This city is overall secure, but being a victim of pickpockets or muggers is a high possibility, especially in public transportation, like buses and subways, and while walking alone at night. It is recommended to use a personal car, rather than walking at late hours.
Scammers also represent a risk, so try to avoid persistent homeless people or others who offer to help with your luggage — you might end up missing them.
Regarding transportation, fake taxis can become an issue sometimes, so make sure you know about the company of the cab you get into.
The risk of natural disasters is quite low, although some occasional strong blizzards have been recorded. Terrorism does not pose a real threat, as the city has not been targeted by terrorist attacks recently, but it is good to stay alert.
Five areas to avoid in Chicago
Are you dreaming of moving to Chicago, buying a beautiful house and gathering with your family for a barbecue made on your new gas grill on Sundays? Would you like to come home from your job and exercise on your workout machine? Maybe you are just planning a trip to this city for the first time.
That is all possible, as Chicago can be a safe place for you and your family. Before you move, however, it is best you know about which areas to avoid.
Three of these regions are from Downtown — The Loop, Near North and Near South. These areas make up the city’s business district, where many national and international companies are headquartered. Here, you can find museums, shopping centers, movie theaters, and beaches on Lake Michigan.
Although you might think you are more than safe in such a crowded place, the truth is that the streets get really empty very fast, especially after working hours. Beggars sometimes display aggressive behavior, so it is best you try to ignore them or immediately enter a shop or a restaurant.
The Fuller Park and nearby neighborhoods from the South Side are among the most precarious of the city. Tourists should definitely avoid them, especially at nighttime.
The neighborhoods of the far West Side, after the West Avenue, are distinctly dangerous and are very poor in touristic attractions.
In case you are wondering where the safe places in Chicago are, you can consider the North Side, with its upscale neighborhoods such as Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Boystown, and Old Town, where you have many choices in clubs, restaurants, and bars.
Compared to the rest of The Windy City, these areas are secure, but usual precautions should be taken by sticking to crowded, well-lit places.
South Side is home to the Museum of Science and Industry, University of Chicago, and Chinatown. Here you can find many great Jazz and Blues bars.
The Near West Side is a relaxed region, and the area around Logan Square is home to a lot of concert venues and bars.