10 Travel Apps for Chicago Visitors

updated May 5, 2019
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Did you know that Chicago has the third highest population in America only behind New York and Los Angeles? The Windy City is certainly a whirlwind of activity for vacationers looking for culture, history, and a slice of big city life (including their famous deep dish pizza, no doubt). The Museum of Science and Industry, the Museum of Contemporary Art, a vibrant dining and bar scene, and even the home of our current President await your next (or first) visit!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Getting Around & Accommodations

Left: myTransit – Right: Chicago Guide, Hotels, Maps, Events & Weather

Chicago is impressively the fourth most walkable city in North America. Take advantage of the city’s excellent public transportation and walkways by hopping onto the CTA. myTransit will plot your trip from point A to B in a snap, aiding in finding the nearest bus stop or subway station, including arrival times. $1 – Equivalent for Android / Windows Phone

Chicago Guide, Hotels, Maps, Events & Weather
This all-inclusive Chicago app (as shown in its perspicuous title) has a lot of Windy City information packed into a single app. Particularly helpful is the hotel guide, with relevant location, points of interest surrounding candidate lodging, contact information, and ratings all available via an bright and colorful UI. $1

City Maps & Shopping Guide

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
Left: Chicago City Guide and Offline Map – Right: Choose Chicago

Chicago City Guide And Offline Map
From the same developer that gave us City2Go, the Chicago City Guide and Online Map is a useful travel guide for its offline capabilties, freeing you from concerns about maintaining a connection. The map doesn’t require a consistent data connection, yet offers extras such as tourist destinations and attractions, Wiki articles to fill-in the blanks, location details, and even the ability to book hotels right from the app once you’re back online. Free – Also available for Android / Windows Phone

Choose Chicago
Chicago’s own tourist guide app is no slouch: weather forecasts, city events calendar, dining lists, entertainment options, nightlife spots, and shopping points of interest are all available. Choose Chicago has a database of 47 businesses ranging from malls, fashion outlets, spas, sweets, souvenirs and more. Free – Also available for iOS

Tourist Attractions

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Left: Chicago Pocket Guide – Right: My Chicago Way

Chicago Pocket Guide
When traveling, we all like to bring souvenirs back, whether it be a trinket, shirt, or even simply photographs. Chicago: Pocket Guide is an app that’s part guide, part souvenir maker: the app serves up information about relevant points of interests, all the while tracking your activities throughout Chicago, and even offers augmented reality for navigating. At the conclusion of your trip, the app creates a 3D video from all your pictures you’ve taken, easily shareable. $6 after In-App Unlock – Also available for Android 

My Chicago Way
My Chicago Way delivers the city of Chicago into the palm of your hand with a plethora of tourist sites, galleries, shopping, transit, hotels, banks/ATMs and restaurants. But our favorite feature is the open wi-fi spot finder option. Free – 

Also available for iOS

Wine and Dine

Left: Outdoorsy – Right: Chicago Dining and Drinking

When creating an itinerary for visiting Chicago, we recommend (weather permitting) “dine on the lakefront”. Outdoorsy is an app specializing in bars and restaurants with outdoor seating, patios or beer gardens, powered by FourSquare. Imagine the perfect Chicago dining ambience with the refreshing lake breeze, sunshine, and a chilled drink. Free

Chicago Dining and Drinking
Chicago Magazine compresses over 40 years of experience into app form, serving some of the finest the city has to offer. Search for the restaurant based on rating, but also compatible with your budget, preferred cuisine, or even a specific dish you’re craving. Recommendations comes other diners themselves, but we found it’s best used as a jumping off point, supplemented by Yelp. Free – Also available for iOS

Nightlife and Traveling Necessities

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Left: Chicago Taverns and Tales – Right: Travel Health Guide

Chicago Taverns and Tales
Going out for a night on the town? Taverns and Tales adds a little history and culture into your bar hopping endeavors. Before you get tipsy or beyond, you can learn a little history about Chicago’s greatest bars, pubs, and taverns, including background info about how they began and notable events that transpired there. Learn a little something with each sip! Free

Travel Health Guide
Nobody likes to think about worst case scenarios while traveling, but we recommend always preparing for them, especially while away from home. Travel Health Guide is a helpful first aid guide which diagnoses symptoms and tells you either how to treat them or if the case requires the need to see a doctor ASAP. Might come in handy if you’re suffering from a little too much deep dish! $3

(Images: Jason Rodway; as linked above)