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…
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…
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…
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…
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,…
Experience the Chicago skyline from a helicopter as your pilot narrates interesting facts about the city's history while flying over iconic landmarks.
Glide around the streets of Chicago on a 2-hour Segway tour. Nip past the cascading waters of Millenium Park and swoop through the manicured gardens…
Get bird's eye views of Chicago at night on a scenic helicopter flight after dark. Marvel at the twinkling lights from a different perspective on a…
View the Chicago skyline from a different perspective! Race along the shoreline of Lake Michigan with your captain on an exciting 30-minute speedboat…
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 should I visit?April - Sept: 9:00AM - 10:00PM |
Oct - March: 10:00AM - 8:00PM
- Is it expensive?$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 informationAs 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
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.
Our tour guide was so passionate and knowledgeable about the architecture of key buildings in the city and even had images of proposed and approved new buildings on key sites. So interesting. I'd highly recommend the architecture cruise.
Jim was the best. What a great tour. Learned so much about the history and people of beautiful Chicago.
Blake gave an excellent presentation. He was interesting and certainly well informed. And his delivery was smooth. Thank you for making a worthwhile tour even more terrific!
Our tour guide was very entertaining and knowledgeable. The trip was great, wonderful weather and the architecture amazing. We enjoyed our boat ride exploring the city.