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The 8 Best Places to Visit in Chicago


Chicago boasts an array of sights, from majestic skyscrapers to Lake Michigan’s dramatic arc. No matter if you’re here with friends or by yourself, here are a few must-visits to make the most of your stay in Chicago.


Start your adventure on the city’s 1.25-mile Riverwalk, featuring plenty of dining, public art and outdoor activities to enjoy alongside a selection of water-based attractions.

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The Art Institute of Chicago

One of Chicago’s beloved cultural landmarks, The Art Institute of Chicago is home to an illustrious collection that spans time and space. From impressionist and post-impressionist works to modern artworks, there’s something here for everyone.

The permanent collection at the Louvre boasts over 300,000 objects – second only to its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist offerings.

There are diverse art collections across Asia, Europe and America. The Asian collection boasts 35,000 objects from five millennia of Chinese, Korea, Japan, India and southwest Asia.

Be sure to visit the Modern Wing, home to an impressive modern art collection – including Picassos, Dali, Cornell’s boxes and more!

Though The Art Institute is vast, it’s well-organized and straightforward to navigate. Download our free app on your smartphone to explore artwork with guided tours!

Millennium Park.

Millennium Park, situated in the city’s center, offers visitors and nature admirers an oasis of wide open spaces for walking, water fountains, music concerts and special events. Attractions such as Frank Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Cloud Gate (known to Chicagoans simply as “The Bean”), Lurie Garden promenade and winter ice skating rink complete the picture.

The Pritzker Pavilion is a legendary outdoor amphitheater in Chicago, drawing crowds for various musical events throughout the year. This state-of-the-art structure boasts an iconic “headdress” of swooping steel ribbons and its sound system distributes sound evenly over seats and lawn.

Attractive sculptures such as the Crown Fountain by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, Cloud Gate sculpture (known as “The Bean”) and Ann Lurie Garden can be found throughout this 25-acre park that also has a pedestrian bridge, restaurant and winter ice skating rink. During summer months visitors can stroll through or book bike tours/rentals at HUB312 – McDonald’s Cycle Center for an enjoyable leisurely experience.

Cloud Gate.

One of Chicago’s most beloved landmarks, Cloud Gate, has quickly gained notoriety since its unveiling at Millennium Park back in 2004. Since then, this sculpture has become one of the city’s most beloved sights.

Anish Kapoor designed this striking sculpture out of highly polished stainless steel plates that perfectly reflects Chicago’s skyline and clouds above it. A 12-foot high arch serves as the “gate” to its concave chamber below, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected from various perspectives.

Inspired by liquid mercury, Kapoor created an elliptical 110-ton sculpture from 168 pieces of welded steel that has become a favorite photo-taking spot for visitors to the city. His design captures the energy and movement of both its surrounding park and cityscape.

Wrigley Field.

Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs, is America’s second oldest ballpark and a must-visit for baseball fans. Check out its century-old manually operated scoreboard, iconic ivy-covered brick walls and vibrant atmosphere at this park that has seen over 108 years of unforgettable losers as well as hosting a World Series Championship in 2016.

As well as its official tour and family-friendly entertainment outside the stadium, Gallagher Way provides plenty of free and family-friendly events year-round – from movie screenings to farmer’s markets with local produce.

If you’re a first-time visitor to Wrigley Field, come early for an unforgettable experience. They offer 75-90 minute tours that take you inside the press box, visitor’s clubhouse, bleachers and onto the field – giving you an insight into why this historic ballpark has earned its nickname: “the Friendly Confines.”

Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is one of the world’s largest science museums, boasting 14 acres and over 35,000 exhibits spread out over 14 acres. Housed in the only remaining building from 1893 World’s Fair, MSI showcases breathtaking artifacts as well as hundreds of captivating interactive displays that are sure to captivate and excite you.

Visit Displays tailored towards every age and interest, from an authentic German U-505 submarine to an IMAX theater with moving shows (the Apollo 8 module is on view). Learn about various industries like mining, transportation, telecommunications, agriculture, time – you name it!

Save at the Museum of Science and Industry with a CityPASS or Chicago C3. These tickets grant discounted admission to top attractions like the Museum, as well as four other popular destinations within Chicago.

The Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile (also referred to as the Miracle Mile or Mag Mile) is a 13-block section of Michigan Avenue famed for its world-class shopping, dining and nightlife options. Additionally, it’s home to some iconic Chicago landmarks like Navy Pier, the Chicago Water Tower and Wrigley Building.

The district is a bustling upscale commercial area renowned for its luxury department stores, designer boutiques and trendy urban finds. It attracts both tourists and locals to shop, dine and spend quality time with friends and family.

Along The Magnificent Mile, several major banks have branches as well as some of America’s premier luxury retail brands like Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom.

The area around Chicago’s Water Tower and Pumping Station boasts some iconic landmarks, such as the Historic Water Tower and Pumping Station. Surviving the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, these historic structures represent both Chicago’s resilience and flair for dramatic architecture.

Skydeck Chicago

Skydeck Chicago is located atop Willis Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world. From here you can take in breathtaking views of Chicago’s cityscape including Lake Michigan and its downtown skyline.

The Ledge is one of the most popular attractions here, placing visitors inside a glass box that extends 4.3 feet beyond the building facade and offers breathtaking views that reach as far as Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. On clear days this experience is particularly thrilling and breathtaking as visitors are suspended 4.3 feet above street level.

For a more engaging experience, the lower level of the building offers an interactive museum and multi-media displays on Chicago’s history and culture. Plus, there is a full-scale train replica as well as photo ops with iconic Chicago landmarks.

Another great way to experience the city from above is a river tour. These excursions often highlight expert-selected architecture highlights and give you an unparalleled perspective of all of its iconic sights from below.

Field Museum

If you’re a lover of natural history, the Field Museum in Chicago is sure to delight. This renowned institution houses one of the world’s greatest collections of artifacts from ancient civilizations to cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs.

At this overwhelming museum of scientific discovery, you’ll come face-to-face with over 40 million artifacts. Get up close and personal with insects, explore an ancient Egyptian tomb, meet Earth’s largest creature – it’s one you won’t want to miss!

With more than 4.6 billion years of natural history on display, you’re sure to be mesmerized by the incredible finds. Don’t miss SUE – the largest T. rex ever discovered – or Dinosaur Hall with all its other fossils.

Spend an entire day exploring the museum. When you’re hungry, be sure to stop by The Field Bistro and Explorer Cafe for globally inspired sandwiches, soups, and salads. Both eateries can be found on Museum Campus which also houses Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium.


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