Local Laws & Customs

From local laws to tipping: Your essential Chicago guide.

Chicago Etiquette: Know Before You Go

At Magnifico Tours, we believe in culturally inclusive experiences.
Dive deep into Chicago’s vibrant culture, but first, familiarize yourself with local laws and customs.

Let’s ensure your journey is both enriching and respectful.
Welcome to the Windy City!

Local Laws You Should Be Aware Of

Alcohol Age Limit

Know the legal age for alcohol. Inform young travelers to avoid misunderstandings.

Smoking Zones

Identify designated areas. Avoid smoking in prohibited zones for a fine-free trip.

Jaywalking Laws

Always use crosswalks. Avoid crossing streets randomly to ensure safety.

Public Transit Conduct

Respect public transport rules. Keep noise low and offer seats to those in need.

Photography Rules

Some landmarks prohibit photos. Check signs or ask staff before snapping away.

Drone Guidelines

Secure permissions for drone flights. Avoid no-fly zones and respect privacy.

Cultural & Social Customs


Local Lingo

Lingo and jargon like ‘L’ for the train are common here. Using them shows you’re in the know.



Chicagoans favor a firm handshake. Smiles or nods are common. Respect personal boundaries.



In Chicago, a 15-20% tip is standard. Always check bills; some places include a service charge.


Dress Code

Religious sites demand modesty. Downtown is more liberal, but always dress respectfully.



Bargaining isn’t typical in Chicago. Respect set prices, especially in local markets and small businesses.


Nightlife Etiquette

Most bars close by 2 a.m. Be mindful of noise, especially if you’re near residential neighborhoods.

Things You Should / Shouldn’t Do…

Respect Street Performers

Respect street artists and their spaces. Enjoyed the performance? Consider tipping as gratitude.

Respect Sports Rivalries

Chicagoans are deeply passionate about sports. Refrain from making negative comments on teams.

Neighborhood Etiquette

Different neighborhoods have unique norms. Always be observant and respect local customs.

Parking Spots

During winter, locals save parking post-snowfall. It’s courteous to respect these spots.

Accessible Tourism

Chicago prides itself on being a city that welcomes everyone.
Throughout the Windy City, travelers with disabilities will find a range of facilities and services designed to make their experience seamless and enjoyable.

From wheelchair-accessible pathways along the Magnificent Mile to auditory guides at iconic museums, Chicago ensures that its rich history, culture, and attractions are accessible to all.

Whether it’s the ease of public transportation or specialized tours catering to specific needs, the city goes the extra mile to ensure inclusivity in its tourism offerings.


Additional Resources

We have a ton of resources on our website that you can explore – ranging from safety information to dressing tips, and even on free things to do in Chicago.
For further information, you can refer to these official websites:

  • Official Chicago Tourism Site:
  • The city’s official tourism website provides comprehensive information on attractions, events, and more. Here’s the link.
  • Chicago Cultural Affairs and Special Events: This site offers details on cultural programs, festivals, and events happening around the city. Here’s the link.
  • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA): For updated information on public transportation, including maps, schedules, and fare details. Here’s the link.
  • Chicago Park District: Information on parks, facilities, and recreational activities available throughout the city. Here’s the link.


  • The St. Valentine's Day Massacre Site
  • The famous alleyway from a legendary crime
  • The haunted Chicago theatre

And a whole lot more!