Cruise along the Chicago River on a 75-minute tour, and discover hidden architectural gems among the city’s renowned landmarks. Led by a docent…
Treat yourself to an exhilarating view over the whole of Chicago from the top of the Willis Tower. Ride 103 floors to the Skydeck and step out onto…
Skip the line at many of Chicago’s top attractions that are included on a Go Chicago Card. Enjoy free admission to SkyDeck Chicago, the Field Museum,…
The Chicago Explorer Pass® is the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility. Save up to 42% off retail prices on admission to the number of…
This hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour of Chicago takes you on an extensive route, showcasing the best the city has to offer. The tour travels through…
See some of the most exceptional skyscrapers and architecture in America on a 75-minute speedboat cruise through Chicago. Cruise Lake Michigan and…
Top sights in Chicago
For almost 25 years the Willis Tower, more commonly known as Sears Tower, held the title for the tallest building in the U.S. Second place isn’t bad, right? And as the 12th tallest in the world at a height of 1,451 feet, it is Chicago’s most beloved skyscraper.
In order to house their rapidly growing company, Sears commissioned architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in 1969. Architect Bruce Graham and engineer Fazlur Rahman Kahn led.
The Willis Tower was the first to ever use a bundled tube structure. Kahn’s design was so revolutionary that it was later used for the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
Graham’s design was inspired by a cigarette ad. He demonstrated the concept to a colleague by pulling cigarettes out of a pack to illustrate the 9 tubes at different heights.
Construction began in April of 1971 and was finished by May 1973. Economically efficient for a building its size, the cost to build was $150 million, about $800 million today.
Willis Tower’s observation deck is what makes it celebrated. At 1,353 feet, visitors can feel the building sway on a windy day and see over the plains of Illinois on a clear day.
The address of Willis Tower is 233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606. Public transportation is easy because it's in such a central location -- off Blue, Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple and Red Lines on the ‘L.
Parking is available at 221 W. Adams, and purchasing a parking card in advance online will get you a discount.
Skydeck Chicago is open 365 days a year from 9AM to 10PM April through September and 10AM to 8PM October through March. View at night for the romantic glittering cityscape, by day for the sweeping view of Lake Michigan.
The basic price for adult admission is $19.50. A variety of ticketing bundles with other Chicago attractions, like a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, are available.
- When to visitApril - Sept: 9:00AM - 10:00PM | Oct - March: 10:00AM - 8:00PM
- What is the price?$19.50
- Will I need a guide?Nope, but they are available if you want special insights into the building and its surroundings.
- How to get thereTake the L, walk, or drive.
- Additional tipsAs with other spectacular views, the best times to visit the SkyDeck are in the early morning and around sunset.
What People Are Saying About Willis Tower
The architecture cruise is a trip down the 3 branches of the Chicago River while your guide points out relevant buildings and elements of architecture that are historically and otherwise significant. Our guide, Kevin, is a true Renaissance man. He was able to relate the architectural elements with the history of the period, the politics of the period, and the science and engineering necessary to make the architecture happen. At the end of the cruise, he produced a harmonica and began playing an authentic Chicago blues riff while singing an architecture song that I'm sure he wrote. Not only did he teach, he made the architecture come alive! It would be impossible for anyone to see Chicago in the same way after taking his guided cruise. Very highly recommended! Enjoy! I hope you have a similar experience.
The ride was smooth and the pilot did an outstanding job explaining the historical sites in Chicago from the above.
I was bringing 12 friend from Italy to Chicago, they were really impressed of Chicago tour thus positive impressed of the overall organization. I would only provide some tour translator for those who do not understand the english explanation.
The skydeck experience gives you the chance to truly see all of Chicago and the surrounding communities. I highly recommend it
Very good value, and good customer service. Was caught out though, by the restriction of one boat tour per day.