Moving to Chicago

By PropertyClub Team
Sep 19th 2023
Chicago, The Windy City, offers a unique blend of culture, diversity, and opportunity, making it an exciting adventure for residents. With its iconic architecture, thriving music scene, and world-famous deep-dish pizza, this bustling metropolis has something for everyone. All-in-all, Chicago is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. In this guide, we share the essence of life in Chicago, helping you settle into your new home seamlessly.

hash-markLiving in Chicago: What to Know


The birthplace of house music, Chicago has undoubtedly influenced the blues, gospel, and hip-hop. As its musical roots run deep, you can find it throughout the city across various venues, from intimate jazz clubs like the Green Mill to sprawling stadiums hosting international acts. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Center offers a top-notch experience for classical music lovers. Chicago has one of the most active and exciting music scenes and continues to have an innovative and influential effect on music today.

Some of the best live music venues in Chicago:

  • The Hideout
  • Jazz Showcase
  • Blue Chicago
  • Andy’s Jazz Club
  • Schubas Tavern
  • Chicago Cultural Center

The People 

Known for their Midwestern hospitality, Chicagoans are warm, friendly, and welcoming. The city is a melting pot of cultures, with people from all over the world calling Chicago home. You'll find a diverse mix of people in Chicago, from young professionals to families to retirees. Whether striking up a conversation in a coffee shop or attending a neighborhood block party, Chicagoans are eager to share their city and make you feel at home.

The largest ethnic groups in Chicago:

  • 36.1% White (3.2% Hispanic)
  • 28.5% Black or African American
  • 10.8% from two or more races
  • 6.9% Asian

Growing Job Market 

Chicago boasts a thriving job market across various industries. With a strong presence in finance, technology, healthcare, and manufacturing, there are ample opportunities for career growth. The Loop, Chicago's central business district, houses numerous corporate headquarters and startups. Additionally, the city's strategic location as a transportation hub means that the logistics and distribution sectors are robust, offering a wide range of employment options. The unemployment rate is low, and there are many opportunities for people with all levels of education and experience.

Large companies based in Chicago include:

  • McDonald’s
  • Sysco
  • Tyson Foods
  • GrubHub
  • Hyatt
  • US Cellular


Chicago is a sports city with iconic teams in all four major professional leagues. The Chicago Cubs (MLB), White Sox (MLB, Bears (NFL), Bulls (NBA), and Blackhawks (NHL) are all beloved by fans throughout the city. There are many Chicago-based college sports teams, like the Northwestern Wildcats and the DePaul Blue Demons. Sports hold a special place in Chicagoans' hearts, earning a fervent devotion. Attending a game at Wrigley Field or the United Center is an experience filled with camaraderie and contagious energy.

A city as large as Chicago also has ample opportunities for residents to participate in recreational sporting activities.

Popular teams, clubs, and leagues in Chicago include:

  • Bowling
  • Cycling
  • Lacrosse
  • Fencing
  • Badminton
  • Bocce
  • Cornhole


Chicago is a culinary mecca known for deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and world-class dining establishments. From bustling food trucks to Michelin-starred restaurants, Chicago offers a variety of tastes. Explore neighborhoods like Chinatown for authentic Asian cuisine or Pilsen for mouthwatering Mexican fare. Don't forget to indulge in the diverse street food scene and discover hidden gems and local favorites. There are also many food festivals and markets where you can sample food from all over the world.

Popular food festivals and markets in Chicago:

  • Taste of Chicago
  • Chicago Gourmet
  • Mole de Mayo
  • Chinatown Summer Fair
  • Tacos y Tamales Festival
  • Little Italy Festa

Cost of Living in Chicago

The cost of living in Chicago is higher than the national average yet lower than other major cities like New York and Los Angeles. Housing costs vary widely depending on the neighborhood; however, the city provides a range of options, from trendy apartments to charming historic homes. Mitigate transportation costs by utilizing the extensive public transit system, which includes buses and the iconic "L" train.

More affordable areas in Chicago include:

  • Irving Park
  • Pilsen
  • Rogers Park
  • Uptown Chicago
  • Jefferson Park
  • Mount Greenwood
  • North Center

Festivals / Events 

With festivals and events happening year-round, Chicago knows how to throw a party. From the delectable food festivals to the wide variety of popular music festivals, there's always something to celebrate. The Air and Water Show wows crowds with stunning aerial displays, and the Chicago Auto Show showcases the latest automotive innovation. These events entertain and provide opportunities to connect with neighbors. There are also many cultural events, including orchestral and theatre shows.

Popular festivals and events in Chicago include:

  • Taste of Chicago Food Festival
  • Lollapalooza Music Festival
  • Chicago Auto Show
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Outdoor Adventures 

Nearby bodies of water and abundant green spaces in Chicago offer many opportunities for outdoor recreation. Lakefront trails invite cyclists, joggers, and strollers to enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. There are also many golf courses and ski resorts in the surrounding area. Parks like Millennium Park and Grant Park host concerts, art installations, and seasonal events. The city's commitment to green spaces ensures that nature is never far away, offering a welcome respite from the urban hustle and bustle.

Some popular outdoor activities to do in Chicago include:

  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Biking


For families considering a move, Chicago offers a range of educational options. The Chicago Public School system is extensive, with magnet and charter schools providing specialized programs. Some of the most prestigious universities in the country are in Chicago, including Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

You can also find many museums and venues offering educational activities.

Some great options include:

  • Adler Planetarium
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • The Field Museum of Natural History
  • International Museum of Surgical Science
  • Museum of Science and Industry

The Nightlife 

As the sun dips below the skyline, Chicago transforms into a nighttime playground, offering a variety of nightlife experiences. Chicago's legacy as a music mecca endures through its thriving live music scene. Dive into a world of rhythm and melody at venues like the iconic Metro, where emerging talents and established acts grace the stage. From award-winning speakeasies in Wicker Park with artisanal cocktails and an air of refined elegance to the high-energy clubs with top-notch DJs of River North, Chicagoans know how to party.

Some of the best nightclubs in Chicago:

  • The Mid
  • Smartbar
  • Sound Bar
  • The Underground

Some popular bars in Chicago:

  • The Violet Hour
  • The Aviary
  • The Fifty/50
  • The Globe Pub

hash-markMoving to Chicago Bottom Line 

Chicago, the third-largest city in the US, isn't just a place to live — it's a place to thrive. Its expansive lakefront, adorned with over 20 miles of parks and beaches, offers a stunning backdrop to your daily adventures. Whether exploring the eclectic streets of Wicker Park or savoring the upscale offerings of River North, you'll find that the Windy City never runs out of things to keep you busy. Embrace the city, savor its flavors, and relish in the warmth of its people. Chicago is ready to become your new home.