Muslim-Friendly Chicago:Your Ultimate Travel Guide Adventure

Here is your Muslim-Friendly Guide to Chicago. If like me you always wanted to add Chicago to your places to visit in the US after watching so many movies you are in for a treat. It is known for its stunning architecture, deep-dish pizza, and beautiful lakefront.v

This vibrant city became one of my favourite places in the US after I visited as a solo Muslim woman this year. I absolutely loved the vibe and relaxing atmosphere of downtown Chicago and I can see why it is a favourite destination for millions of travellers every year.

In this article, I will provide a comprehensive guide to Muslim-friendly Chicago. We will cover everything from halal restaurants and mosques to Muslim-friendly neighborhoods and tourist attractions. Whether you are traveling alone or with family, this guide will help you make the most of your trip to Chicago.

Brief History of Chicago

Chicago is a city located in the state of Illinois in the United States. It is one of the most populous cities in the country, with a population of over 2.7 million people with around 500,000 of those being Muslims. The city is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and iconic architecture.

Many movies were also shot there and it is one of the reasons why I wanted to visit. We also stumbled on a movie shooting while in the city, which was very fun.

Chicago was founded in 1833 and quickly grew into a major transportation hub due to its location on Lake Michigan. The city’s economy boomed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, fueled by industries such as meatpacking, steel production, and manufacturing.

Throughout its history, Chicago has been home to a significant Muslim population. The first mosque in the city, the Mosque Foundation, was established in 1954. Since then, the Muslim population in Chicago has grown significantly, with nearly 70 mosques in the six-county region as of 2023.

In recent years, the city has also become a popular destination for Muslim tourists. Many of the city’s attractions, such as the Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park, are easily accessible and Muslim-friendly.

Overall, Chicago is a beautiful diverse city that makes it an attractive destination for Muslim travelers looking to explore iconic landmarks, museums, and vibrant neighborhoods. There are also so many halal restaurants in Chicago that you simply cannot miss some of the delicious dishes available.


Best Time to Visit Chicago

It is called Windy City for a reason and you will quickly discover why. I visited in May and although I needed a jacket it was sunny but also windy.

The best time to visit Chicago is during the summer months, from June to August. This is when the city comes alive with festivals, outdoor activities, and pleasant weather. The temperatures in Chicago during this time are mild, with average highs in the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit (20s and 30s Celsius).

One of the highlights of the summer in Chicago is the Taste of Chicago food festival, where you can sample a wide variety of delicious dishes from the city’s renowned restaurants. Another popular event is the Chicago Air and Water Show, featuring thrilling aviation feats and water stunts along the lakefront.

If you prefer to avoid the crowds and don’t mind cooler temperatures, spring (April and May) and early fall (September and October) can be good times to visit. You will most likely have wind and rain but also cheaper accommodation options.

Which is exactly what I did. It rained half the day when I explored the museum and after with sunshine the buzzing streets of Chicago.

Best Things to Do In Chicago as a Muslim Tourist

Chicago is definitely one of the most halal-friendly cities I have visited and there are so many options for Muslim travelers where you don’t need to encounter excessive alcohol or nudity.

From shopping to museums to parks, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago.

1 Stroll at Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile presents a feast for the senses. As one of Chicago’s top shopping destinations, it brims with numerous luxury boutiques and popular retailers. But it isn’t just about spending money here; you can revel in the vibrant mix of architectural styles that grace this impressive stretch.

Soak up the city’s energy as you pass by historic buildings interspersed with modern skyscrapers. Some travelers find joy in just relaxing at a café and people-watching amid this bustling scene.

Make sure you have a coffee at the Ralph Lauren cafe and also at the Starbucks Reserve, a place I had never been before.

2 Go Up Skydeck & Ledge Chicago at Willis Tower

Chicago’s Willis Tower offers an unforgettable experience for visitors looking to take in breathtaking views of the city. By going up to the Skydeck and Ledge, you can witness the stunning panoramic view from 1,353 feet above ground level.

With its glass-bottomed ledges extending out from the 103rd floor, this iconic attraction allows you to have a thrilling and unique perspective of Chicago’s skyline. As a Muslim traveler exploring Chicago, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Skydeck & Ledge at Willis Tower and capture memorable moments while enjoying the beauty of this magnificent city.

3 Navy Pier

navy pier chicago -muslim friendly things to do in chicago in may

Navy Pier is a popular tourist destination that offers a variety of attractions. Visitors can take a ride on the Ferris wheel, see a show at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, or take a boat tour of Lake Michigan. There are also many restaurants and shops on the pier.

It is a beautiful place to stroll and enjoy and it is full of people in the summer.

4 Millennium Park

Millennium Park is a large public park in downtown Chicago. It is home to many sculptures and art installations, including the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as “The Bean.” Visitors can also attend concerts and other events at the park’s outdoor pavilion.

If you want to see the bean without the crowds then I highly recommend going very early in the morning.

I went on the first day when I arrived and even though it was raining it was full of tourists.

Then the following day, thanks to jet lag I went early morning since it was 5min from my hotel and It was “almost” empty.

5 Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is a popular attraction for families with children. It has a large collection of aquatic animals, including dolphins, whales, and sharks. Visitors can watch the animals being fed, or even participate in a behind-the-scenes tour.

the bean in chicago in the afternoon even with rain

6 Take a River Cruise to Admire Chicago Architecture

A river cruise is one of the best ways to admire the architecture in Chicago. The city is known for its incredible skyline, and the Chicago River runs through the heart of it, offering excellent views of the buildings.


Several companies offer river cruises specifically focused on architecture. These cruises are led by knowledgeable guides who provide interesting facts and stories about the different buildings along the river.

We did the architectural cruise and really enjoyed it. Although it was windy it was great to see Chicago from the water and learn more about the history of the buildings.

Halal Restaurants in Chicago

halal guys in chicago -halal food in chicago

You will not go hungry for halal food in Chicago you can easily find halal restaurants all over the city. Thanks to the large Muslim population there are several options plus food is big in Chicago. As I mentioned there were 3 halal restaurants within a three-minute walk from my hotel including The Halal Guys.

They also offer some halal fine dining options and any cuisines you might desire from Mediterranean, Persian, Middle Eastern, fast food and everything in between.

Mosques in Chicago Area

With such a large Muslim community in Chicago, there are also several mosques you can find to pray. Most of the mosques are located outside the immediate tourist areas but a short drive away by Uber / Lyft.

In downtown Chicago prayer option is the Downtown Islamic Center in the Loop – 231 S State St Chicago, IL 60604 The Loop and Masjid al-Rabia in close proximity 637 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60605.

Some other mosques further out.

Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago: Situated in Northbrook 1800 Pfingsten Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062

Is Chicago a safe city for Muslims?

Chicago is very safe for Muslims and other tourists. Keeping normal precautions is required but like anywhere in the world. Over 500,000 Muslims live in Chicago and even as a Muslim woman alone, I felt safe during the night as well.

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