Get in on the action in the heart of downtown Chicago.
Public Transportation · Water-front · Walkable · Professional
The Loop is the heart of downtown Chicago and gets its name from the loop that the El trains form before jetting off to their respective paths out of the city. The Loop is heavily commercial, as companies like United Airways, Northern Trust, Boeing, and more have offices here.
If you are planning on living in The Loop, be prepared for a high-rise lifestyle. The Loop truly is a concrete jungle, and residents of The Loop must have a love for city life. Weekdays in the Loop are the busiest you will see, as Chicagoans from every neighborhood do business in its central location. Coffee shops and breakfast spots are packed with business people vying to be first in line, and lunch spots are packed with professional lunches. (If you'd like to stay central, but the Loop sounds a bit too hectic, you might like New East Side or South Loop.)
After work and on the weekends, the Loop essentially shuts down. Streets and restaurants that were packed with 9-5ers during the week are now eerily empty. However, Millennium Park is an exception as it sees over 25 million visitors a year and is packed just about every day of the week. Here, people can be seen taking photos of Cloud Gate, enjoying open-air concerts, wandering Maggie Daley Park, and enjoying the lake views.
Although The Loop is highly commercial, it still contains historical buildings such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Harold Washington Public Library, Maggie Daley Park, and the printing houses of Printer's Row to the south.
The Loop - Chicago Neighborhood Guide
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If you live in the Loop, expect busy streets and easy public transit options. Every el train makes several stops in the loop, making traveling to anywhere in Chicago a breeze. Here, you’ll be able to walk to everything you need: from grocery stores to entertainment options. Expect a fast-paced lifestyle living in the Loop as you’re in the heart of the city. Streets are bustling with professionals heading to work, tourists taking in the sights, and locals grabbing a coffee or a quick bite to eat.
The Loop boasts some of the most popular spots in downtown Chicago. On a clear day, head to Skydeck at the Willis Tower to see some of the city's best views. If you’re looking for brunch with a view, head to Cindy’s Rooftop, a fan-favorite restaurant for any occasion. It has some of the best views of Millennium Park, The Bean, and Grant Park. Don’t forget to spend some time at The Art Institute and Gardens before catching a show at the numerous venues in the Loop or going on a tour of the iconic Chicago Theatre.
Things to Know
While you’ll be in the center of everything living in the Loop, many of the shops, bars, and restaurants close after 5 pm and are closed on the weekend. The Loop is home to the majority of Chicago’s office space and is catered to this professional crowd. Expect to pay a pretty penny for housing in this area (location, location, location). Everything you may need— from grocery stores to entertainment, parks, and shopping— is all within walking distance. Live in The Loop to be in the center of everything Chi-town has to offer.