Are you a fan of the arts? Are you a traveler on a budget? Furthermore, are you heading to Chicago? If you answered one of these questions with a “YES”, then I’ve got a destination for you! Have you ever heard of the Pilsen Murals in Chicago? Most of the people I asked said “no”. I don’t blame anyone really, because the Pilsen Murals haven’t been exposed too much at this very moment (maybe, that could be a good thing). But, after visiting and exploring the murals myself, I believe that they deserve more attention. So, ladies and gentleman, give it up for the murals in the Pilsen neighborhood, Chicago!
History behind the Pilsen Murals
The Pilsen Murals are basically wall arts in the Pilsen neighborhood. The Pilsen neighborhood is a well-known Mexican neighborhood in Chicago, and almost every shop has signs in Spanish. You really won’t feel like you are strolling the streets in Chicago anymore, but then again, Chicago has many local neighborhoods to explore and Pilsen is one of them. Anyways, back to the murals. The Pilsen Murals was a project initiated with the Chicago Urban Art Society for local artists to show their arts on the brick walls around the area. This was mainly to stop street vandalism and gang graffiti, and it seems to have worked. Instead of having illegal graffiti and markings, the walls are now covered in different art works that also represent the voice of the society.
Reasons to visit the Pilsen Murals
From all the destinations in Chicago, you might be wondering why I’m suggesting the Pilsen Murals. Well, I can think of a few reasons:
- It’s free. You can walk around the neighborhood and enjoy art without pulling out your wallet.
- You get to see another side of Chicago
- Visiting Pilsen Murals means appreciating local art
- You can get there with public transportation
- Witness a more local lifestyle
Getting to the Pilsen Murals
You’re convinced that you want to go? Good. Now, let me tell you how I got there. Since Chicago has a good public transportation system and trains called CTA, I didn’t have to fuss about getting there. Here’s the steps I took to get there:
- I bought a single ride Ventra Card which costs me 3 USD. Psst! You can use this card for multiple rides during the first 3 hours.
- From the Loop, I took the Pink Line train. You will have to change trains depending on your location.
- I got down on 18th (that’s the name of the CTA station). If you look up the map on Google, there will be a few stops that you can get down at.
- Tip: I asked the staff at the CTA stations for recommendations. This helps since I had no idea where I could go first.
- There are more people on the weekends, so try exploring early mornings and during weekdays. When I visited, it was raining and no one was taking shots. However, I still decided to take photos and no one seemed to be around (worth it!).
Go and enjoy the Pilsen Murals in Chicago
I’m a student, and I always love it when I discover free things to do in a pretty high-budget city like Chicago. The Pilsen Murals was definitely one of the best sights I’ve seen in the city, and I also loved it all because there weren’t a lot of people around taking pictures as well. So, if you do end up in Chicago, I suggest that you stop by, especially during the week days. Stroll around a little bit and enjoy the murals in Pilsen neighborhood. Happy travels!
P.S.: Do you know a place like this in your city? If you do, please share in the comments below!