Chicago
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Top attractions in Chicago

Top Tours & Activities in Chicago

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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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo: Howard Lifshitz@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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.

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.

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.

Photo: Brandon O'Connor@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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.

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.

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 Chicago Visit

Chicago Children's Museum tickets and hours

Admission: $14
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

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-06:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    Early summer and early fall tend to have pleasant temperatures, fewer crowds, and a great selection of events on offer.

Things to Do in Chicago

Top Attractions in Chicago

Cities in United States

Other Sightseeing Options in Chicago

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What people are saying about Chicago

Not wind, rain or cold kept our tour guide from doing an amazing job!

I had taken the tour years ago and so wanted my family to take it also. Unfortunately, it was unseasonably cold, windy and rainy for mid April. Fortunately, we were dressed for the inclement weather. Just as fortunate, our tour guide was wonderful. He did not allow the weather to prevent sharing all the history of the Chicago architecture. We all thoroughly enjoyed the ride including our 10 and 11 year old granddaughters! One of our family members was not able to join us as he become quite ill. I was told I would be able to get my money returned after the tour. If you could let me know how I go about doing that I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

Chicago River Architecture Cruise Reviewed by Suzanne, 04/16/2018

Shelia was a humorous Tour Guide who shared interesting information.

We really enjoyed Shelia's interesting and humorous way of sharing her vast Chicago and criminal knowledge. She made the tour fun and informational.

Chicago: 90-Minute Mob and Crime Bus Tour Reviewed by Janet, 04/09/2018

It was a lot of fun and we saw some interesting historical landmarks.

I'd highly recommend it--we learned some Chicago history and the games were surprisingly fun. Best was that we discovered some neat places to visit on future weekends in Chicago. Went on a cold and breezy day and it wasn't bad because it was mostly indoors. Our guide, Elizabeth was great--animated, and knowledgable. It was fun and worthwhile.

This is a highly informative and fun tour for Chicagoans or visitors.

Our tour guide, Elizabeth, provided a plethora of information and made the tour both fun and educational. Even as a resident of The City for 17 years and a fan of documentaries and books on the World's Fair of 1893, I learned a lot more. The stops on the tour were worth every visit and the interaction that Elizabeth encouraged throughout via games was a blast. I would recommend this tour for both residents of Chicago and visitors.

Tour was great - educational and enjoyable - guide Morgan was awesome!

It was a cold day, but the tour was the right length (time and distance). I would recommend it to others. Tour guide (Morgan) was well prepared -- knowledgeable and friendly/courteous.