Frommer's lists exact prices in the local currency. However, rates fluctuate, so before departing consult a currency exchange website such as www.oanda.com/currency/converter to check up-to-the-minute rates.
While not as expensive as New York or London, Chicago's hotel and restaurant prices are near the high end compared to other American cities. It's hard to find a hotel room for less than $200 a night in the summer (prime tourist season), and entrees at the city's best restaurants can set you back around $30.
Credit cards are accepted just about everywhere, aside from a few hole-in-the-wall restaurants. You should have no trouble using traveler's checks at most hotels and downtown restaurants (places that are used to accommodating international visitors), but they may not be accepted at smaller businesses in the city's residential neighborhoods.
ATMs are easy to find throughout the city, especially downtown and near tourist attractions. (Most Chicagoans refer to them as "cash stations".) Most ATMs belong to one of two networks: Cirrus (tel. 800/424-7787; www.mastercard.com) or PLUS (tel. 800/843-7587; www.visa.com). Go to your bank card's website to find convenient ATM locations before you leave, and be sure you know your daily withdrawal limit before you depart.
Beware of hidden credit-card fees while traveling. Check with your credit or debit card issuer to see what fees, if any, will be charged for overseas transactions. Recent reform legislation in the U.S., for example, has curbed some exploitative lending practices. But many banks have responded by increasing fees in other areas, including fees for customers who use credit and debit cards while out of the country -- even if those charges were made in U.S. dollars. Fees can amount to 3% or more of the purchase price. Check with your bank before departing to avoid any surprise charges on your statement.
For help with currency conversions, tip calculations, and more, download Frommer's convenient Travel Tools app for your mobile device. Go to www.frommers.com/go/mobile and click on the Travel Tools icon.
What Things Cost in Chicago US$
Taxi from O'Hare Airport to downtown 35.00
Taxi from Midway Airport to downtown 25.00
Double room, expensive 300.00-500.00
Double room, moderate 200.00-250.00
Double room, inexpensive 100.00-150.00
Three-course dinner for one (without wine), moderate 30.00-50.00
Bottle of beer 3.00-8.00
Cup of coffee 1.50-3.00
1 gallon/1 liter of gasoline 3.50
Admission to most museums 10.00-20.00
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.