Chicago Warnings and Dangers
Violence in the City of Chicago is well documented. However, much of this violence is isolated to certain areas of town, so as long as you practice caution, you should be fine.
The South Side of Chicago is a Rough Neighborhood
The South Side of Chicago is where much of the city’s violence stems from. This is a very poor community, yet most of the violence is gang or drug related. There isn’t any true tourist destinations in this area of town, outside of a small hole-in-the-wall restaurants you might want to check out for lunch.
The Chicago White Sox are based out of the South Side, but the EL (Elevated Train), or L, has a stop right by the stadium. This way, you don’t need to park by the stadium or linger after dark. Plus, you’ll be traveling in a large group with other people leaving the stadium.
Practice Common Sense in Chicago
Most of the tourist areas in Chicago are located downtown off of the Miracle Mile. This area is tourist friendly with a large number of restaurants, bars and clubs. If you venture out from here you just need to practice common sense. Don’t wander off by yourself at night and stay to lit walkways. As long as you’re smart about it, you shouldn’t run into any trouble.
Possible Safety Issues on Public Transportation
The EL is a great way to get around Chicago. You can take a stop by the train station and take it all the way to the Chicago O’Hare or Midway airports. This is a typically safe way to get around, but you should still practice caution. Keep your eyes open, especially at night or when going through the southern suburbs.
Should you decide to take a cab, make sure the meter is running. If someone tries to quote you a price go to another cab. You may also want to consider an Uber or Lyft. These drivers are screened and you can rate them poorly for bad trips, which means they may be less likely to take you on a longer than necessary route.
Beggars and Scammers in Chicago
You’ll find most scammers near major tourist destinations, such as the Field Museum or the Art Institute. If anyone outside of the facility offers you anything, tries to showcase themselves as a guide or anything else, don’t listen. These are scammers. Anyone who is officially licensed to give tours will be inside the facility. In terms of beggars, you’ll be better off just ignoring them. Once you make eye contact and respond with any sort of answer they may very well continue and follow you. It may feel odd to ignore someone who is directly talking to you, but in a city of nearly three million (not included daily tourists), beggars are use to it.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Chicago Shopping – Shops, Stores, Best Buys & Inside Tips
- Chicago Travel Guide
- Parking in Chicago and other Warnings and Dangers
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Chicago warnings and dangers.
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