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…
See some of the most exceptional skyscrapers and architecture in America on a 75-minute speedboat cruise through Chicago. Cruise Lake Michigan and…
The Chicago Explorer Pass® is the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility. Save up to 40% off retail prices on admission to the number of…
The Go Chicago All-Inclusive Card is the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility. Save up to 55% off retail prices on admission to over 25…
Join a tour of some of the city’s greatest hits: incredible architecture both old and new, delicious local treats and iconic Chicago dishes, a…
Discover Chicago from different perspectives on a combined Segway tour and entry ticket to the Skydeck at Willis Tower. Get panoramic views of the…
Chicago built some of the world’s first skyscrapers, with changing designs and technologies over time. Explore how these major developments came…
Join a walking tour of some of Chicago’s greatest hits: incredible architecture both old and new, delicious local treats, a uniquely Chicago transit…
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
Our group of four from Milwaukee, Seattle and Atlanta all enjoyed the architectural boat tour immensely. The weather happened to be perfect, and our docent was incredibly knowledgeable. The directions I received before hand were extremely helpful as were all of the orange shirts and everyone on the boat. I would highly recommend this tour to everyone and in fact I would do it again myself.
The docent, Kevin, is extraordinary in his knowledge and presentation. Every student of architecture should experience this river cruise.
Chicago architecture is so special and unique. Seeing it from river was full of wonder and appreciation for the history of the city. Excellent experience with very talented guide and wine in hand.
Tour was very interesting and the story about the buildings and the history were amazing. Would definitely recommend
If you can get on a cruise w/ Dave, I highly recommend it. I’ve never met someone funnier and more enthusiastic about something he probably has done a ton of times. I honestly wanted to profess my undying love for him by the end—can I keep you in my pocket please lol? He made me fall in love w/ Chicago despite freezing my arse off. Richie offered me his jacket and kept the hot toddys coming. Worth every second. Worth every penny. Management...all the guys on Friday May 3rd, 2019 at 3:15pm cruise deserve shout outs, treats, raises, whatevs. They rock!!!! Thx again for a fanfrickentastic time! Someone even proposed on the cruise to their best friend. Can’t beat that. Memories I will never forget!!