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Plan Your Trip - International Travel

International Travel Information

We hope your stay in Chicago is a successful and pleasant one. To help you get familiar with the city and the U.S. in general, here are some quick facts and handy resources.
  • Time zone: Chicago is on Central Standard Time. That's 6 hours behind GMT; 1 hour behind New York City (East Coast); and 2 hours ahead of Los Angeles (West Coast).

  • Tipping: Taxicab drivers, bartenders and waiters generally receive a 15% gratuity for standard service, though it is appropriate to leave a 20% gratuity to restaurant waitstaff for exceptional service, particularly in fine dining establishments. Hotel doormen and valet park attendants should be tipped about $2, and bellhops should be given $2 per bag. Chambermaids usually are given $2 per day, which can be left on the pillow.

  • Legal car rental age: 25

  • Legal driving age: 16

  • Legal drinking and gambling age: 21 (photo ID or passport required)
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International Travel Information

ENTERING THE U.S.

Find important information on traveling to the U.S. and Chicago.

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TRANSLATORS / INTERPRETERS

View a list of some local translators and interpreters.

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FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGES

Find foreign currency exchanges in Chicago.

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DISCOVER YOUR CHICAGO

Interact with our Chicago maps online or download transportation maps to make your trip easier. Plan your stay with the free Chicago Official Visitors Guide, available online, by mail and at the visitor information centers.

Chicago Like a Local

Check out our blog to get a unique insider's perspective into the city and discover places, spaces and events that most visitors never see.
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