Top attractions in Chicago
Top 10 things to do in Chicago
Chicago has it all and enjoys spoiling its visitors and locals alike with a wealth of culture, shopping, dining and entertainment possibilities. As Frank Sinatra sang so many times about this world-class city, "it's one town that won't let you down."
1. Wrigley Building
Built in the 1920s, the two towers of this iconic landmark on Michigan Avenue once housed the headquarters for chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.
2. Michigan Avenue
The Chicago Water Tower on North Michigan Ave. was one of the few structures to have survived the Chicago Fire of 1871. Today, it's a gallery for local artists and photographers.
3. The Magnificent Mile
13-blocks of North Michigan Avenue comprise The Magnificent Mile. It offers retail therapy, a bevy of restaurants with international cuisine and examples of historical buildings.
4. The Loop
It's the district that mixes business with pleasure amid soaring downtown highrises. Take a seat at one of many eateries, stroll along the river or enjoy the nighlife revelry.
5. Chicago Picasso Statue
Controversy surrounded the unveiling of this 50-foot statue in downtown's Daley Plaza in 1967. Some regarded Picasso's Cubist artwork to that of a baboon or a giant insect.
6. Chicago Pedway
When the weather and traffic are bad, thousands of locals take advantage of this system of underground corridors and overhead bridges in a 40-block radius in downtown.
7. Chicago Cultural Center
First opened as The Chicago Public Library and Civil War memorial in 1897, the building is famous for its stained-glass domes. Cultural events take place regularly and for free.
8. Chicago Children's Museum
Dig for dinosaur bones, learn how the city's tallest structures stand, and manipulate the power of water. Parents and kids will give this hands-on museum an A+ by the day's end.
9. Chicago History Museum
From the original days as a fur trading center to what daily life is like today, visitors will learn all there is to know at the "Chicago: Crossroads of America" exhibition.
10. Science and Industry Museum
The largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere is the ideal environment for an immersion in science. The Omnimax Theater also shows fantastic films throughout the year.
Planning Your Visit
Chicago Children's Museum tickets and hours
Opening hours: Monday-Wednesday from 10:00AM-5:00PM; Thursdays from 10:00AM-8:00PM; Fridays from 10:00AM-6:00PM; Weekends from 10:00AM-7:00PM. Thursdays from 5:00PM-8:00PM is Family Night and free.
Location: Navy Pier
Chicago History Museum tickets and hours
Admission: $14 with two audio tours. Kids 12 and under are free.
Opening hours: daily from 9:30AM-4:30PM
Location: Lincoln Park
Science and Industry Museum
Admission: $18 (adults), $11 (kids 3-11). Three different ticket packages are also available for $27, $32, and $36. Depending on the selected package, visitors may choose up to three extra museum features, such as the Omnimax Theater, which are not included in the general admission price.
Opening hours: daily from 9:30AM-5:30PM
Location: 5700 Lake Shore Drive
When should I go?
April through May and September through October are great months to visit. The weather is nice, prices are reasonable, and there are plenty of festivals to enjoy. Plus, the crowds are less than in the peak summer season.
Good to know
- USD ($)
- Time Zone
- UTC (-06:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- Early summer and early fall tend to have pleasant temperatures, fewer crowds, and a great selection of events on offer.
Other Sightseeing Options in Chicago
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What people are saying about Chicago
Meet up location was easy to find and as advertised. Staff was courteous. The boat itself was clean and had an open bar for beverages and drinks. The tour guide Kevin was phenomenal! He made the tour very fun and provided a wealth of information regarding Chicago’s architecture. Kevin was very knowledgeable about the subject and seemed passionate about his work, which is always a bonus. Overall, I would highly recommend this tour for anyone wanting to learn Chicago history and just have a good time with awesome people. Definitely doing tt his tour again on my next visit!
It was informative/interesting. The only thing I would suggest, if not for all tours but at least for the late evening tours, maybe make the waking tour into a circle so that tourists can get as close as possible to the meeting point. When traveling alone as a tourist trying to find your vehicle late at night in Chicago, it can be a bit nerving. Thanks
Despite it being chilly this was a great experience! The views at sunset are spectacular! The staff/crew so helpful and knowledgeable. Lots of opportunities to catch the best pictures regardless of what side of the boat you’re on. Covid precautions in place. I highly recommend.
This is a perfect activity for a warm spring day in the city. Our tour guide was funny, entertaining, and informative. I have lived in Chicago my whole life and learned so many new things on this tour.
Great intro tour to Chicago architecture and history. Guide was Very knowledgeable and easy to understand, even with masks on. A real professional.