Chicago Neighborhoods To Visit to Let You Hit 5 Countries in 5 Days

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Chicago is a city of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and cultural background. With so many neighborhoods to explore, it can be hard to decide where to start. If you’re looking for a way to experience a variety of cultures in a short amount of time, consider Chicago neighborhoods to visit that represent different countries from around the world. In this article, we’ll show you how to hit five countries in five days by exploring some of Chicago’s most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods.

Chicago Neighborhoods Let You Visit 5 Countries in 5 Days

Chicago is a city made up of neighborhoods, informal when they were first settled, but now each represents a distinct global community where immigrants have settled and grown. With so many different areas creating a cultural smorgasbord, it can be hard to choose just a few to visit.

If you want to explore the world in Chicago with kids, try these five neighborhoods for the adventures that will keep them busy for hours and thrilled for days.

Key Takeaways

  • Visit Little Italy for authentic Italian food and charming architecture.
  • Explore Chinatown for a taste of Chinese culture and shopping.
  • Experience Mexican culture in Pilsen, a vibrant neighborhood with colorful murals and delicious food.

Chicago Neighborhoods To Visit to Let You Hit 5 Countries in 5 Days

chinatown chicago neighborhood

Chicago’s Chinatown

Chinatown, a vibrant and historic community located on the southwest side of the city. It is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Chinese culture, history, and cuisine. This neighborhood is home to a wide range of attractions, from beautiful parks and historic landmarks to bustling markets and authentic restaurants.

Here are some of the top things to see and do in Chinatown:

Ping Tom Memorial Park

Start your day off with a visit to Ping Tom Memorial Park, a beautiful public green space located along the Chicago River. This park is a great place to relax, take a walk, and enjoy stunning views of the city skyline. Be sure to check out the Chinese Dragon Poles, the Pavilion, and the murals that depict ancient Chinese paintings.

Chinatown Square

After your visit to the park, head over to Chinatown Square, a bustling shopping center that is home to a wide range of stores, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Here, you can browse for souvenirs, sample delicious Chinese cuisine, and learn more about Chinese history and culture.

Chinatown Gate

No visit to Chinatown is complete without a stop at the Chinatown Gate, a beautiful and iconic landmark that welcomes visitors to the neighborhood. This gate is a great spot for photos and is a symbol of the strong cultural heritage and community spirit of Chinatown.

Chinese-American Museum of Chicago

If you’re interested in learning more about the history and culture of Chinese-Americans in Chicago, be sure to check out the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago. This museum features exhibits and artifacts that tell the stories of Chinese immigrants and their contributions to the city.

Chinatown Food Tour

Finally, no visit to Chinatown is complete without sampling some of the delicious and authentic Chinese cuisine that the neighborhood is known for. Consider taking a Chinatown food tour to experience the best of the neighborhood’s culinary offerings and learn more about the history and culture behind each dish.

sweedish chicago neighborhood

Andersonville’s Swedish Community

You’ll be exploring the charming neighborhood of Andersonville. This area is known for its Swedish heritage, unique shops, and delicious restaurants.

Start your morning off with a cup of coffee and a pastry from one of the many bakeries in the area. Try the cardamom bun at Lost Larson or the cinnamon roll at the Swedish Bakery.

After breakfast, take a stroll down Clark Street and browse the many independent shops. Andersonville is known for its vintage clothing stores, so be sure to check out Brimfield, a shop that specializes in vintage and antique clothing and accessories.

For lunch, head to Hopleaf a Belgian-inspired pub that offers an extensive beer list and delicious food. Try the moules frites or the croque monsieur.

In the afternoon, visit the Swedish American Museum to learn more about the history of Andersonville and its Swedish heritage. The museum features exhibits on Swedish immigration and culture, as well as a children’s museum.

End your day with dinner at Big Jones, a restaurant that specializes in Southern cuisine with a focus on sustainable and locally-sourced ingredients. Try the shrimp and grits or the fried chicken.

Andersonville is a great neighborhood to explore on foot, so take your time and enjoy the unique shops, restaurants, and museums that it has to offer.

mexican chicago neighborhood

Little Village of Mexico

For a taste of Mexico, Chicago has two options, but if you listen to me, you’ll be visiting the vibrant neighborhood of Pilsen. This neighborhood is known for its Mexican-American and Latinx community, and you’ll find plenty of amazing spots to eat, drink, and shop.

One of the must-visit places in Pilsen is the National Museum of Mexican Art. This museum features a collection of over 10,000 pieces of Mexican art, from ancient artifacts to contemporary works. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

If you’re a fan of street art, you’ll love exploring the murals and graffiti in Pilsen. The neighborhood is known for its colorful and vibrant street art scene, and you’ll find plenty of amazing works of art as you wander through the streets.

When it comes to food, Pilsen has plenty of options to choose from. You can’t go wrong with a classic Mexican dish like tacos or enchiladas, and there are plenty of restaurants in the neighborhood that serve up delicious Mexican cuisine. Some popular spots include La Vaca Margarita Bar, Taqueria El Milagro, and Carnitas Uruapan.

Finally, if you’re looking for a unique souvenir to take home with you, be sure to check out the many independent shops and boutiques in Pilsen. From handmade jewelry to vintage clothing, you’ll find plenty of one-of-a-kind items to bring back with you.

greek chicago neighborhood

Greektown Chicago Neighborhood

This neighborhood is located just west of the Loop and is known for its delicious Greek cuisine and vibrant nightlife.

Start your day by visiting the National Hellenic Museum, where you can learn about Ancient Greece and the Greek culture that helped shape Chicago. Inside, you’ll find exhibits on Greek art, history, and culture, as well as interactive displays that allow you to explore Greek mythology and language.

After your visit to the museum, head over to one of the many Greek restaurants in Greektown. Some popular options include Athena Greek Restaurant, which serves classic dishes like moussaka and spanakopita, and Santorini, which offers fresh seafood and grilled meats.

In the evening, explore the nightlife scene in Greektown. The neighborhood is home to several bars and clubs, including the popular Parthenon, which has been serving up drinks and live music since 1968.

Overall, Greektown is a must-visit neighborhood for anyone looking to experience the vibrant Greek culture and cuisine of Chicago.

Chicago Neighborhoods To Visit to Let You Hit 5 Countries in 5 Days

Little Italy

As the name suggests, this area is known for its Italian heritage and culture. Here are some must-visit places to add to your itinerary:

Visit the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame

Located in the heart of Little Italy, the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is a must-visit for sports fans. The museum showcases the achievements of Italian-American athletes in various sports, including baseball, basketball, and boxing. You can also learn about the history of Italian-American sports and the impact of Italian culture on American sports.

Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine

Little Italy is known for its authentic Italian cuisine, and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Some popular options include:

  • Tuscany on Taylor: This upscale restaurant serves classic Italian dishes with a modern twist. Try the homemade pasta or the grilled octopus.
  • Rosebud on Taylor: This family-owned restaurant has been serving traditional Italian cuisine for over 40 years. Don’t miss the famous meatballs or the chicken Vesuvio.
  • Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen: This Jewish deli has been a Chicago institution since 1942. While it’s not strictly Italian, it’s worth a visit for the corned beef and pastrami sandwiches.

Stroll through Arrigo Park

After indulging in some delicious Italian food, take a stroll through Arrigo Park. This 6-acre park is named after Victor Arrigo, a former alderman of the 25th ward. It features a playground, a basketball court, and a field for soccer and baseball. There’s also a beautiful fountain and plenty of benches to sit and relax.

Explore the University of Illinois at Chicago campus

Just east of Little Italy is the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) campus. Take a walk around and admire the modern architecture of the buildings. Don’t miss the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, which is located on the UIC campus. The museum is dedicated to social reformer Jane Addams and the history of Hull-House, a settlement house that provided social services to immigrants in the early 20th century.

Little Italy is a great place to start your journey around the world in Chicago. With its rich Italian heritage, delicious food, and beautiful parks, you’re sure to have a great time exploring this vibrant neighborhood.

Getting Around Chicago

Chicago is a bustling city with many transportation options to help you get around. Here are some of the best ways to get around the city:

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Public Transportation

Chicago has an extensive public transportation system that includes buses and trains. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates the buses and trains, which are known as the “L” (short for elevated train). The L has eight train lines that run throughout the city and into the suburbs. The buses run on more than 100 routes throughout the city.

You can purchase a Ventra card, which is a reloadable card that you can use to pay for rides on both the buses and trains. You can also use your contactless credit or debit card to pay for rides on the CTA.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing Services

Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are also popular ways to get around Chicago. Taxis are available throughout the city, and you can hail one on the street or call a taxi company to request a ride.

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are also available throughout the city. You can use the apps to request a ride, and the driver will pick you up at your location.


If you’re looking for a more active way to get around the city, consider renting a bike. Chicago has an extensive network of bike lanes and trails, including the Lakefront Trail, which runs along Lake Michigan. You can rent a bike from one of the many bike-sharing companies in the city, such as Divvy.


Finally, walking is a great way to explore the city and get some exercise at the same time. Chicago is a very walkable city, with many neighborhoods that are easy to explore on foot. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather, as Chicago can be quite cold in the winter.

Chicago Neighborhoods To Visit

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Travel Tips and Safety

Chicago is a bustling city with plenty to see and do, but it’s important to keep a few travel tips in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Public Transportation

One of the best ways to get around Chicago is by using the public transportation system. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates buses and elevated trains, which run throughout the city. Taking public transportation is not only convenient, but it can also save you money on transportation costs. Be sure to purchase a Ventra card, which is a reloadable fare card that can be used on both buses and trains.

Neighborhood Safety

While Chicago is generally a safe city, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, especially when visiting certain neighborhoods. Stick to well-lit and populated areas, and avoid walking alone at night. Some of the safer neighborhoods to visit include the Loop, Streeterville, and Lincoln Park. It’s also a good idea to research the neighborhood you plan to visit ahead of time, and to ask locals or hotel staff for advice on safe places to visit.


Chicago is known for its cold winters and hot summers, so be sure to pack accordingly. If you’re visiting during the winter months, bring warm clothing such as a heavy coat, gloves, and a hat. During the summer months, be prepared for hot and humid weather by bringing lightweight clothing and sunscreen.


As with any major city, there are scams to be aware of in Chicago. One common scam is the “shell game,” where a person will set up a game on a street corner and ask passersby to bet on which cup the ball is under. The person running the game will often use sleight of hand to cheat players out of their money.

Another common scam is the “broken meter” scam, where a taxi driver will claim their meter is broken and charge an exorbitant fare. To avoid these scams, be wary of anyone asking for money on the street, and always use licensed taxis or ride-sharing services.

By following these travel tips and safety guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Chicago.

Thie National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is where young sports fans will enjoy looking around at all the displays to find sports moments in history.

Can you think of another “country” that Chicago neighborhoods to visit could help? Someplace fun that can help the kids (and you) learn about another culture? Please share!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Chicago Neighborhoods to Visit

What are the best Chicago neighborhoods to visit for a taste of different cultures?

Chicago is known for its diverse population, and there are several neighborhoods that offer a taste of different cultures. Little Italy, for example, is a great place to experience Italian culture, while Chinatown is a must-visit for those interested in Chinese culture.

Pilsen is a predominantly Mexican neighborhood that is known for its vibrant art scene and delicious Mexican food. Finally, Greektown is a great place to experience Greek culture and cuisine.

What neighborhoods in Chicago offer the most diverse dining options?

Chicago is a foodie’s paradise, and there are several neighborhoods that offer a wide variety of dining options. Logan Square is known for its trendy restaurants and bars, while Wicker Park is a great place to find unique and eclectic dining options.

The West Loop is another neighborhood that is known for its diverse dining scene, with everything from upscale steakhouses to trendy gastropubs.

Which Chicago neighborhoods have the most vibrant street art scenes?

Chicago is home to a thriving street art scene, and there are several neighborhoods that are known for their vibrant murals and graffiti. Pilsen is one of the best neighborhoods to explore if you’re interested in street art, with colorful murals and graffiti covering many of the buildings.

The Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods are also great places to find street art, with many of the murals and graffiti pieces created by local artists.

Where can I find the most historic neighborhoods in Chicago?

Chicago has a rich history, and there are several neighborhoods that offer a glimpse into the city’s past. Old Town is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Chicago, with many of its buildings dating back to the 1800s.

Bronzeville is another historic neighborhood that is known for its role in the Great Migration, with many African Americans moving to the area in the early 1900s. Finally, Hyde Park is home to the University of Chicago and is known for its beautiful historic architecture.

What are the safest neighborhoods to visit in Chicago?

While Chicago has a reputation for being a dangerous city, there are several neighborhoods that are considered safe for visitors. Lincoln Park is one of the safest neighborhoods in Chicago, with a low crime rate and plenty of attractions for visitors.

Lakeview is another safe neighborhood that is known for its vibrant nightlife and entertainment options. Finally, the Loop is the central business district of Chicago and is generally considered safe, especially during the daytime.

What are some unique Chicago neighborhoods to explore off the beaten path?

While Chicago has plenty of popular neighborhoods to explore, there are several unique neighborhoods that are off the beaten path. Andersonville is a charming neighborhood that is known for its Swedish heritage and unique shops and restaurants.

Bridgeport is a predominantly Irish neighborhood that is home to the White Sox stadium and a thriving arts scene. Finally, Ravenswood is a quiet, residential neighborhood that is known for its beautiful tree-lined streets and historic architecture.


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