Things to Know Before Moving to Chicago

Planning on embarking on a new life adventure to Chicago? We must say, great choice! 

This city, nestled by the shores of Lake Michigan, offers a vibrant blend of culture, history, and a unique urban vibe. It's a place where the energy of a big city meets the iconic Midwestern charm. 

Whether you're drawn by its dynamic job market, world-class dining, or rich cultural tapestry, Chicago has something for everyone. 

In this post, we'll dive deep into what makes the Windy City tick. From its storied history to the lifestyle you can expect after you move, we’ll cover everything, in excruciating detail. 

So, if you're contemplating a switch from the fast-paced life of NYC to the diverse, bustling streets of Chicago, you're in the right place. Get ready to explore all the reasons why moving to Chicago could be your next best decision!

The Lure of Chicago

Chicago isn't just another city on the map. Rather, it's a living, breathing proof of American history and culture. From the roaring '20s and the jazz era to the architectural marvels that define its skyline, every corner of Chicago tells a story.

Let’s explore these stories.

Historical and Cultural Significance

Did you know that it's where the skyscraper was born? The Home Insurance Building is often credited as the world’s first skyscraper, supported by a steel frame. It effectively reshaped urban landscapes worldwide. 

Culturally, it's a melting pot of arts, music (hello, Chicago blues!), and diverse communities. All of these add their unique flavor to the overall vibe of the city. 

Unlike any other, Chicago offers a rich, palpable sense of history fused with a continuously evolving cultural scene. It's like stepping into a place where the past and present dance together in harmony. We have to admit, it’s a rare find in today's fast-paced world!

Economic Opportunities

When moving to Chicago, or any other city for that matter, the economic opportunities are a big one. You need money to survive, right? 

Thankfully, Chicago is a land brimming with economic opportunities for newcomers! The city isn't just about deep-dish pizza and jazz. It’s a bustling hub for various industries. 

From booming tech startups to established financial firms, Chicago's diverse economy offers a fertile ground for career growth. It’s been known for its robust job market in sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, and professional services as well. 

If we have to name a few companies, we have to go with Motorola, Boeing, Abbott Laboratories, Caterpillar, and so on.  

The presence of all of these companies makes Chicago a beacon for those seeking new professional horizons. 

Whether you're an entrepreneur ready to launch your dream or a professional climbing the corporate ladder, Chicago's dynamic economic landscape is the perfect backdrop for your ambitions to take flight. 

So, pack your skills and dreams, and get ready to thrive in the Windy City!

Companies Moving to Chicago

In recent times, Chicago has become a magnet for companies seeking growth, innovation, and a vibrant urban setting. 

Take Kellogg, Co., for example, moving its corporate headquarters to Chicago as it focuses on expanding its global snack division. This move underlines Chicago's appeal as a hub for major corporations. Of course, it’s a major corporation. It made a whopping $14.2 billion in net sales last year!

Bally’s Chicago Casino is another big name setting its sights on Chicago. It’s currently running a $1.74 billion project that promises nearly 3,000 permanent jobs. On top of it, it ensures significant tax revenue for the city. This project highlights Chicago's growing appeal in the entertainment and tourism sector​​.

Then there are rising stars like Bartesian, a company experiencing record sales. It has chosen Chicago for its new headquarters. If anything, it’s signaling a trend of innovative companies seeking the city's dynamic environment​​. 

Among other companies moving to Chicago, cybersecurity firm Coro is notable. Its expansion in the city will effectively double its employee count. Then there is's decision to open a new office for increased hiring. 

All of these company moves reflect Chicago's growing economic allure and it should be a good reason for you to pull the trigger on the Chicago move.

Chicago’s Lifestyle and Vibe

Chicago's lifestyle is as rich and diverse as its skyline. Unlike the non-stop hustle of NYC, Chicago offers a unique blend of big-city excitement and Midwestern tranquility. 

It's a place where towering skyscrapers coexist with sprawling green parks. The blend essentially creates an urban landscape with room to breathe.

Let’s start with coffee. The Windy City's coffee culture is a story in itself. From cozy, book-lined cafes to trendy, industrial-chic coffeehouses, each spot offers a unique experience. 

Chicagoans take their coffee seriously, and it's not just about the caffeine. After all, it’s the birthplace of Starbucks! The cafes not only serve amazing coffee but also double as community hubs, places to unwind, work, or catch up with friends.

Culturally, Chicago is a powerhouse. The city is renowned for its world-class museums, vibrant arts scene, and rich musical heritage. It’s especially true for jazz and blues. 

Summers in Chicago are legendary. From festivals to concerts to events like the Taste of Chicago to Lollapalooza, all of them draw locals and tourists alike.

Then there is food. It’s another cornerstone of the overall Chicago experience. Beyond its famous deep-dish pizza and hot dogs, the city boasts a diverse culinary scene. You’ll find everything, from Michelin-starred restaurants to neighborhood taco joints and bustling food markets.

For those who love the outdoors, Chicago's extensive park system and its 18-mile-long Lakefront Trail offer a perfect escape. And you don’t even have to leave the city! You can bike, jog, or simply relax by the shores of Lake Michigan as much as you want, whenever you want. 

To wrap up, it’s apparent that Chicago's vibe is a mix of urban sophistication and Midwestern warmth. It's a city that welcomes newcomers with open arms and offers a lifestyle that balances the buzz of city living with the comfort of community. 

Whether you're a foodie, an art lover, a coffee enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurer, Chicago has a place for you. 

How to Move to Chicago

Let’s admit it. Moving is a big deal. It includes a lot of logistics. But there are a few things that matter more than the rest. For example, you need a place to live, unless you fancy the homeless lifestyle. 

So, let us take you through the basic steps of how to move to Chicago from NYC or other cities around the country. 

Finding a Place to Live

First things first. Let’s address your living situation. Different neighborhoods around the city offer a different vibe. 

With a median rent of $2,560, Lincoln Park is perfect for those who seek a blend of urban and tranquil lifestyles. 

Beverly ($2,175), on the other hand, offers a more affordable option with good apartments and a strong community feel. 

Would you prefer a bustling, vibrant atmosphere instead? Then look into Lake View ($1,895) or the trendy West Loop ($2,700). 

For something more artsy and eclectic, Wicker Park ($2,950) is your go-to. If you're budget-conscious, Hyde Park ($1,450) and Logan Square ($1,850) offer more affordable living without compromising on culture and connectivity​​​​.

Understanding Local Laws 

You don’t want to get into legal trouble right after you get into the city, do you? You should know that Chicago has some unique laws you'll want to be aware of. 

For instance, car dealerships are closed on Sundays, a law dating back to 1984 aimed at giving employees a guaranteed day off​​. 

You'll also find that taverns in Chicago can serve alcohol until 5 a.m. on Saturdays, later than most U.S. cities​​. And be mindful if you're driving a pickup truck. They're not allowed on Lake Shore Drive​​.

Hiring a Good Moving Company 

With Chicago's diverse neighborhoods and unique housing styles, a good moving company is invaluable. Also, when you’re coming from a big city like NYC or Boston, you need experts to pack your things properly. 

A good moving company is not just about transporting your belongings. Rather, they understand the local intricacies – from navigating the busy streets to handling your belongings with care suited to Chicago's climate and building layouts. Choosing the right mover can be the difference between a stressful move and a seamless transition into your new Chicago life.

So, as you get ready to join the vibrant tapestry that is Chicago, remember: a little planning goes a long way in making the Windy City feel like home.

Best Time to Move to Chicago

When's the best time to move to Chicago, you ask? Well, we have to talk about weather strategy! 

The widely regarded ideal time to move is late spring or early fall. 


Well, Chicago winters are famously brisk (think "The Day After Tomorrow" minus the Hollywood drama). It snows pretty often which makes the move hard. 

And summers can get as steamy as a deep-dish pizza oven. You don’t want to feel suffocated when packing your things, do you?

Considering these aspects, moving in the mild temperatures of May or September seems like the ideal choice. You can avoid the icy challenges of winter and the sweltering heat of summer. 

This timing also means less sweating while lugging boxes and no worries about your belongings getting weather-damaged. On the downside, however, you may end up paying more to the moving company because it’s peak time. 

Moving to Chicago Alone

If you live alone and you’re deciding to move, it’s a big life change. You’re basically uprooting your life and entering a new chapter. What to expect in these scenarios, you ask?

Let’s find out. 

As a single man or woman, the first thing we want you to do is embrace this city's vibrant energy. We understand it can be both thrilling and challenging.

Then, you should focus on finding your neighborhood sweet spot when you’re moving to Chicago alone. Each area in Chicago has its unique vibe, as you already know. 

Love the arts? Consider Pilsen. 

Into bustling nightlife? River North is your scene. 

Or, if tranquility's more your style, Rogers Park offers a peaceful retreat. Remember, your neighborhood sets the tone for your Chicago experience.

Next, get ready to become a transportation pro. Chicago's public transit system is a lifeline. The 'L' train and buses connect you to every corner of the city. And hey, when you’re moving to Chicago from NYC, it's cheaper than the MTA! Get yourself a Ventra card for hassle-free travel throughout the year.

Now, let's talk about the social scene. Chicagoans are friendly, really. So, don't hesitate to dive into social or professional groups. Whether it’s sports, arts, tech, or just fun meetups, you'll find your tribe. 

Plus, networking here can open doors, professionally and personally.

Weather-wise, brace yourself. Winters can be tough, but they're also magical. Think ice skating at Millennium Park or savoring hot deep-dish pizza. And summers? Absolutely glorious. Beaches, festivals, and rooftop bars come alive at that time.

Most importantly, prepare yourself to embrace the changes. Moving alone means you're the master of your journey. Explore, experiment, and experience everything Chicago has to offer. 

Moving to Chicago in Your 20s

The 20s is perhaps the most important phase of our lives. It’s when we enter adulthood and learn the ropes of life. We lose a lot of people, yet we make new connections. Planning a move from NYC to any other state is a very impactful decision. Let’s see what you can expect. 

Job Opportunities for Young Professionals

Embarking on your career journey and moving to Chicago in your 20s? It just might be your runway to success! It’s a city where Fortune 500 giants like Walgreens, Boeing, and United Airlines are present. And they always have real opportunities knocking at your door​​. 

This isn't just any job market; it's a vibrant hub where finance, tech, and creativity collide. Here, in Chicago, your professional dreams aren't just daydreams. Rather, they are possibilities waiting to be seized. 

Whether you're a tech enthusiast, a finance guru, or a creative soul, Chicago's dynamic and diverse job landscape is ready to fuel your career ambitions. 

Nightlife and Social Life

Chicago's nightlife is a culmination of wonderful experiences. Picture yourself in lively bars where the energy is infectious, or nightclubs where the music pulsates through the crowd. 

Basically, there's a spot for every mood. 

Fancy a laugh? Hilarious comedy shows are just around the corner. 

And for those who appreciate a good brew, unique craft breweries dot the cityscape​​.

But that's not all. Whether you're in for all-out clubbing or a relaxed evening with stunning city views, Chicago caters to every preference. It's a place where every night out becomes a story to tell. 

From bustling dance floors to cozy spots for heart-to-heart conversations, this city has it all. In Chicago, your social calendar will be as vibrant and varied as the city itself​​. So, embrace the night, meet new people, and make memories. In Chicago, the night is always young, and so are you!

Reasons to Move to Chicago

Ready to make a big move? Let's sum up why Chicago should be at the top of your list. From the bustling streets to the serene lakeside, here's why the Windy City calls out to you:

  • Diverse Neighborhoods: Find your perfect vibe, from artsy Pilsen to upscale River North.
  • Career Growth: The city is a thriving hub for finance, tech, and more which fosters professional growth.
  • Affordable Living: You get to enjoy more space for your buck compared to NYC.
  • Rich Culture: If you’re into museums, theaters, and historical sites, you’ll love Chicago.
  • Foodie Paradise: From deep-dish pizza to gourmet dining, the cityscape offers everything at your fingertips. 
  • Vibrant Nightlife: You’ll find bars, clubs, and social events for every taste.

Reasons Not to Move to Chicago

Well, there are always two sides to a coin. Chicago might be chic and friendly but it’s not invincible.

Here's a straightforward look at why Chicago might not be everyone's cup of tea:

  • Harsh Winters: Brace for cold, snowy months. If you’re too sensitive to cold weather, it might not be a wise move (pun intended).
  • Traffic Congestion: As it is with most big cities in the States, expect busy roads and delays on the freeway.
  • Higher Taxes: Compared to some other major cities, tax rates are steeper in Chicago.
  • Urban Noise: If you decide to live in the heart of the city, the hustle and bustle just might be too much.
  • Crime Rates: Some areas, such as Englewood, South Chicago, and Altgeld Gardens have higher crime tendencies compared to other areas.
  • Cost of Living: While Chicago is cheaper than NYC, you still need to bear the big city cost.

Should I Move to Chicago?

Now that you have all the data and information at your fingertips, we surely believe it’ll be easier for you to decide. If you’re attracted to the life Chicago offers, go for it by all means. And if you believe the opportunities and lifestyle aren’t fitting your needs, rethink your choice. 

So, ask yourself, why should I move to Chicago and evaluate your answer.


In the end, moving to Chicago is about embracing a city teeming with life and opportunities. It's a blend of vibrant culture, career prospects, and diverse lifestyles, balanced with its unique challenges. Your Chicago story awaits. Hopefully, it’ll be a journey filled with growth, discovery, and countless experiences.

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