Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

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Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
View from Willis Tower

Chicago – the third biggest city of United States of America (USA) is one of the world’s great cities to visit with so many wonderful attractions. The splendid skyline situated on freshwater Lake Michigan will enchant you with its vibrant & lively city life, cultural happenings, architectural wonders, charming neighborhoods, delicious food, and some interesting history. This city is perfect for all ages and interests as it has many and varied things to do. This city is often named as “The Windy City” and is famous for many festivals like Music and Taste of Chicago food festival. So let’s take a virtual tour of best things to do in Chicago city tour – Chicago Travel Guide.

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
Chicago Skyline view

Note: I was hosted by ChooseChicago(official destination marketing organization) and its co-partners – CityPass Chicago, Big Bus Chicago, Chicago Architecture Foundation Center, Chicago Food Planet and Shakespeare Theater to feel Chicago, but views and opinions are my own, not influenced by anyone.

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Chicago Attractions | Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

WILLIS TOWER

A 110 story skyscraper which was the tallest building once upon a time and holds its title for about 25 years.  At present this is the 2nd tallest tower in USA and 16th tallest in the world. Designed by famous architect Adrian Smith who is known for designing famous tallest buildings like Burj Khalifa(Dubai) too. 

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
View from the top

Step onto its 103rd floor which is an Observatory Deck also known as The SkyDeck Chicago for the splendid views of the city. There are special 4ft extended transparent glass balconies on this floor where you can feel hanging in the air above the ground from 103rd floor and could observe the city under your feet.

Willis Tower Ledge
Put your foot forward on Willis Tower Ledge

TICKETS

  • General Admission – 25 USD – Adults
  • 17 USD – Children (Ages 3 to 11)
  • There are also fast pass where you can skip the queue.
  • Chicago CityPASS holders get General Admission + Ledge + Bonus 2nd-time entry during Night/Evening view within the same day.

Opens 365 days a year

TIP: Go early morning so that you avoid huge crowds and queues. Select a clear day so that you can see far places.

MILLENNIUM PARK

A public park located within the Loop area is the most famous among Chicagoans. As this park is located within the heart of downtown is always hosting many events, farmer markets on special days, greenery, art / sculptural displays, it is like the town square of Chicago. This spectacular gathering point is surrounded by beautiful skyline and is like an oasis within the concrete cityscape. In winters during snowy times, this park converts into a beautiful ice rink for skating around.

TICKETS – Free to Enter

THE BEAN

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

A wonderful mirror-finished steel sculpture which looks like a drop of mercury is located in Millennium Park and officially known as “The Cloud Gate”. Designed by Indian born British artist Mr. Anish Kapoor this steel sculpture with special mirror polish reflects the city skyline in various manners. You can see many distorted and various versions of the city skyline on this sculpture due to its curvatures and fine polish. This sculpture was the result of one of the design competition and now is the most photogenic location or the symbol of this city. Adults and children especially enjoy this place to see their distorted faces and also the city skylines which is same as mirror house effects.

TICKETS – Free to Enter

CROWN FOUNTAIN

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
Water fountain from the lips of multimedia animated face

Two huge 50-foot glass towers facing each other with an excellent display of art, video sculpture combination of residents of Chicago. With the display of faces of residents, also the water fountains gushing out from the lips at regular intervals of time this fountain is favorite among kids and even adults too in the summertime or hot afternoons. A large amount of water is thrown from the lips of the all multimedia display from both the sides and it looks like a person is throwing water from their mouth.

TICKETS – Free to Enjoy

JOHN HANCOCK CENTER (360 CHICAGO)

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
View from top of 360 Chicago

From the 1000 foot above the ground, on the 94th floor, enjoy the splendid views of Lake Michigan and stunning city views with adorable skyline from the top. At present this is the 4th tallest building in Chicago and 9th tallest in the USA. This residential building houses many hotels & offices too and it is the 3rd highest residential tower in the world.

Step on to its Observatory deck – 360 Chicago for having 360 ° views of the whole city with a clear view of distance to 80 miles on a clear day.

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
View of city

TICKETS –

  • General Admission – 25 USD – Adults
  • 15 USD – Children (Ages 3 to 11)
  • Chicago CityPASS holders get Express Entry Admission.

Opens 365 days a year.

TILT EXPERIENCE

Here you can also feel the most unique and thrilling experience of the world by feeling like falling down from the 94th floor.  Tilt is the transparent whole façade windows where you have to hold the railings and stand to look down and within few seconds this façade is tilted down to certain angle and left in that position for few minutes. During this tilt on the edge of the floor and leaning against the window, you will feel like falling down from the top floor.  This kind of experience cannot be found anywhere on the tallest building anywhere in the world.

For TILT experience you have to purchase separate tickets for 8 USD. Chicago Citypass holders get some discount for Tilt tickets.

CHICAGO SKYLINE

Admire the magnificent and world-famous Chicago skyline which is also one of the world’s tallest skyline. This city skyline boasts of having four of America’s tallest buildings.

Where to get the best view of Chicago’s Skyline?

  • Solidarity Drive – Stretching from Grant Park to Adler Planetarium. This stretch has a lovely waterfront with small grass stretch and benches. Chicago skyline view from Solidarity drive
  • From the grounds of Adler Planetarium
    Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
    Chicago Skyline view

    20190814_105818

  • Near the North End of Navy Pier

    Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
    Dramatic clouds over the Navy Pier with skyline view
  • At the top of observatory deck of John Hancock Center. Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
  • From the Grant Park Chicago skyline view from Grant Park

ARCHITECTURE RIVER CRUISE

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

A 75 minutes boat cruise to see the famous architectures across the Chicago River. With the live commentary about these buildings, architects you will sail across 40 iconic buildings and would get the opportunity to learn about Chicago history, how this city is built and rebuild after Great Fire and also upcoming architectural growth in this city.  You must be amazed to know world-famous architects of many famous tallest buildings of the world and belong to Chicago. This cruise sails across all three branches – Old Post Office Building, Willis Tower & East Bank Club. 

Architecture River Cruise in Chicago

SHEDD AQUARIUM

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

Located on Lake Michigan, this aquarium houses many exotic species of marine creatures including sea horses, stingray fish, dolphins, whales, etc. from local  Lake Michigan, world-famous Amazon rainforest, wide oceans, and Caribbean Reefs. It has approximately 32,000 aquatic creatures. 

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
Inside Shedd Aquarium

Activities at Shedd Aquarium –

  • Touch the textured sea creatures in Polar Play Zone
  • Grab a 4D show featuring many interesting sensational marine life short movies
  • Enjoy the Dolphin show.

TICKETS –

  • General Admission – 39.95 USD – Adults
  • 29.95 USD – Children (Ages 3 to 11)
  • 4 D Upgrade – 4.95 USD
  • Chicago CityPASS holders get all Shedd Exhibits, shows and 4D experience.

Outside the Shedd Aquarium, there is café / Restaurant for eating out with wonderful Chicago skyline views.

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
View of Chicago skyline from the restaurant of Aquarium

FIELD MUSEUM OF NATIONAL HISTORY

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

The Field Museum which is a natural history museum is one of the largest natural history museums in the world.  It has been opened from 1893 and has approximately 24 million exhibits from all over the world. It showcases rich cultural and historic exhibits from ancient civilizations like Egypt, Asia, Africa, and the ancient Americas.  The main atrium of Stanley Field Hall welcomes you with 37m Titanosaur which is the key feature of this museum. From last year 125 year, this museum adds precious exhibits every year. You can also grab 3D show to feel how the exhibits are excavated or story behind the exhibits.

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
Inside the Museum
  • TICKETS –
  • All-Access Pass (Includes all General Admission to exhibitions, ticketed exhibitions & one 3D movie)                                                                                          40 USD – Adults                                                                                                                 29USD –  Children (Ages 3 to 11)
  • Basic Admission (Only Includes all General Admission to exhibitions)              26 USD – Adults                                                                                                                19 USD – Children (Ages 3 to 11)
  • Chicago CityPass holders get the All-Access Pass

ADLER PLANETARIUM

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
Inside the Planetarium

This was the first planetarium of the USA which includes an actual observatory. Located in Museum Campus, Grant Park, beside Lake Shore you get chance to experience Solar System, history of telescopy, landing on the moon and many varieties of shows.

TICKETS –

  • UNLIMITED (All Exhibitions, unlimited shows + Atwood sphere)                            50 USD – Adults                                                                                                                39USD – Children (Ages 3 to 11)
  • MUSEUM ENTRY + 2 (All Exhibitions + 2 shows + Atwood sphere)                       35 USD – Adults                                                                                                         24USD  Children (Ages 3 to 11)
  • ONLY MUSEUM ENTRY                                                                                                  19 USD – Adults                                                                                                               08 USD – Children (Ages 3 to 11)
  • Chicago CityPass holders get the MUSEUM ENTRY + 2 access.

WRIGLEY BUILDING

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

Located on the south of Magnificent Mile at Michigan Avenue which is a white-colored iconic building of this city. It is one of the famous building in Chicago. This clock tower is designed as per Gothic style and with intricate details on limestone façade which is a perfect classy example of architecture.

NAVY PIER

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
Dramatic clouds over the Navy Pier with skyline view

Your visit to Chicago is incomplete without visiting Navy Pier. Located on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, it is spread across 50 acres with many parks, waterfront restaurants, amusement rides, drama theaters, IMAX movie theater, event areas, and is one of the top family attractions in the Mid-West of USA. 

It is also famous for its 65 meter Centennial Wheel and other amusement rides. In summers, you can also experience fireworks over the city skyline which occurs twice a week. There are many cruises options from here like dinner cruises.

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

An antique style of the trolley which is a free shuttle from State street and few stops in between takes you to Navy Pier.

CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
Inside the Theater

Located on Navy Pier this non-profit theater broadcast Shakespearean productions.  This award-winning theater is the city’s most versatile performing Arts Center of the city.

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
Wizard of Oz ending
Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
Outside the theater on Navy Pier

CHICAGO CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Chicago Children'sMuseum

Located at Navy Pier, this museum is famous among young children (ages 10 and under). This 3 story museum has a big splash and many DIY theme-based activities.

HISTORIC WATER TOWER

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

This Gothic styled tower which was built in 1869 is very iconic as it is one in a couple of buildings which survived Great Chicago Fire on October 8 – 10, 1871. This 3 days fire burnt the whole city but as this tower is made up of limestone unlike other nearby wooden buildings, it survived till now. It looks like a small castle which was the second oldest water tower and is located on wonderful Magnificent Mile.

CHICAGO LOOP

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

This iconic historic area in Chicago which consists of world-class architectural buildings, parks, theaters, restaurants and vibrant shopping street forms the true downtown of Chicago. At the south end of Loop is the museum area.

MUST DO ACTIVITIES IN CHICAGO | Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

  • Stroll across the Magnificent Mile to feel the vibrant and eclectic vibes of this fascinating city. Magnificent Mile is also known as Le Boul Mich and it starts from Oak Street to the riverfront at Michigan Avenue. This upscale stretch is famous for high-end shopping and will amaze you with many choices.  It houses largest Ralph Lauren store in the world and also many fine dining avenues. Hancock Tower and other famous sky scrappers are also located across this stretch. Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
  • Take an Architecture Tour depending on your choice of transportation. Architecture tours are given by walking tours, river tours, L(public transportation) tours to admire the history of Chicago’s architecture.
  • Chicago is foodies heaven and there are many authentic Chicago style signature dishes which you must try on when visiting this place. Pamper your taste buds by authentic Chicago style deep dish pizzas, signature styled hot dogs and gourmet popcorn. These signature dishes cannot be found anywhere in the world. Go for Chicago Food Tour.
  • Ride the L which is an elevated railway track passing through the busy streets of Chicago. These tracks are surrounded by skyline and it is one of the best ways to feel the city vibes. This L runs throughout the city and comes under the public transportation system. Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
  • Grab a seat at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre or at Chicago Teater Chase. I was invited for the wonderful Wizard of Oz show by Chicago Shakespeare Theater and it was really wonderful. Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
  • Admire the murals or street art on Magnificent Mile or State street.  Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel GuideBest Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
  • Walk along the river or cross the bridges with beautiful views of the river.

    Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
    Walk over the bridges on river

How To Reach Chicago? | Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

By Air – Chicago’s International airport – O’Hare is one of the busiest airports in the world. All major national & international airlines connect Chicago.

Check Air Tickets to Chicago (Book your flight to Chicago)

 

By RailAmtrak train network connects this city with around 50 trains arriving and departing daily.

By Car – This city is connected through wide Interstates & highways like I-90, I-94, I-55, I-210, and I-294.

By Bus – You can also reach here by buses from Greybound lines, Peoria Charter from nearby counties and Mega bus lines.

How To Commute In Chicago? | Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

By foot, Taxis / Uber, Public transportation from CTA/ RTA. The public transport comprises of 8 rail lines across the city which are L, 200 buses and 11 Metra lines from suburbs.

You can also purchase 1 day, 3 Day or 7 Day CTA pass for unlimited bus and L rides. Many people hire bikes to move around the city. Click here to check your routes and pass details on CTA’s official website.

You can also take Hop On Hop Off Big Bus tours which showcase all best attractions in their whole day trip. Also they organize night tours too.  Big Bus tours are very convenient and I found it very interesting as they have live commentary by friendly guides who use to tell some interesting facts and history of the city. 

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

Avoid self-drive as parking can be a hassle. If you are bringing your car, then find the nearby affordable parking slots through Spot On App.

What To Eat & Drink In Chicago? Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

  • Deep Dish Chicago styled Pizza especially at Lou Malnati’s and Giordano’s Pizza. Your visit to this city is incomplete if you don’t taste these special deep crust or stuffed crust pizzas from Lou Malnati’s or Giordano’s.
  • Gourmet flavored Popcorn. 
  • This city is also famous for craft breweries and so lot many options to have craft beer.
  • Tap water is safe for drinking.
  • As this city is foodie heaven you will find cuisines from all over the world. There are more than 7300 restaurants and in which 22 of them are Michellein Starred ones.

Where To Stay in Chicago? Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

I stayed at 2 locations to feel the different feel of the city. My choices are

Where to stay in Chicago
Where to stay in Chicago?

EMBASSY SUITES BY HILTON DOWNTOWNClick here to book your stay at Embassy Suites. 

Where to stay in Chicago?
Huge and grand Hotel Lobby

Positives of Embassy Suites

  • Lavish Breakfast Buffet
  • Lavish complimentary evening Happy Hours spread
  • Big room size
  • Close proximity to many restaurants as it is located on the famous restaurant street of Chicago

WYNDHAM GRAND CHICAGO RIVERFRONTClick here to book your stay at Wyndham Grand.

Positives of Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront

  • View of the river from the room
  • Located in a prime location with many famous attractions at a walkable distance

When is the best time to visit Chicago? Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

  • The best time to visit Chicago is from late Springs (late April) through Fall (mid-October).
  • May, June and July are peak seasons with many tourists and outdoor events. Summer is the peak season
  • In April, August, September, and October the crowd is manageable and you will find hotels in good rates too.
  • Afterward, the weather is extreme cold by falling down to -6 degrees Celsius. This extreme cold slowly starts from November and then gear up from December to March-end. If you love snow, festive markets of Christmas then December is the ideal month to visit. You will find many Germany styled festive Christmas markets and can go for ice skating too.

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

Where To Shop in Chicago? Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide

  • Take a look at shopping street of Magnificent Mile, Macy’s at State Street, Burlington’s at downtown, Bloomingdale’s.
  • Daily and essential needs can be bought from Walgreens and 7-Eleven grocery stores.
  • If you are driving or renting a car then go for the premium factory outlet malls for high-end brand shops at affordable range. For this you have to drive to the suburb of Aurora which houses Chicago Premium Outlet Mall and you will find all big brands here like Coach, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Nautica, Timberland, Columbia, Nike, Adidas, Crocs and many more.

TIPS FOR FIRST TIMERS IN CHICAGO | PLAN YOUR CHICAGO TRIP

  • If you are visiting both the Observatory decks, museums, aquarium, and planetarium then purchase CityPass as it costs 108USD for Adults and 89USD for Children. Then this pass will be a money savior option with time-saving too at many places due to skipping of queues.
  • Book your stay near the Downtown, Magnificent Mile or State Street.
  • This is a windy city, so be prepared for it by carrying a light jacket with you.
  • As many places can be done by walking tours, and the gardens are also widespread, you have to walk a lot and therefore wear comfortable footwear.
  • Chicago is safe with normal precautions to take. Their touristy locations are very safe but some suburbs of south Chicago which are residential are not safe.
  • People of this city are welcoming and soft-spoken. Families traveling with children will find this city very enjoyable.
  • Try the famous local food.
  • Take a river or lake cruise.
  • If you are renting a car then select pickup of a rented car from Airport as it is a very cost-effective option.
  • Chicago Tourism is classified or categorized into
    • Architectures tours,
    • Museum Tours,
    • Nature – Parks / Gardens tours,
    • Lake / River Tours, Food & Culture Tours, and
    • Sports / Dance Music Festival tours.

You can select as per your choice and as per my recommendation do at least one activity from each category. 

Best Things to do in Chicago City Tour – Chicago Travel Guide
Walking across the Loop

NIGHTCLUBS OF CHICAGO – BEST THINGS ABOUT CHICAGO

  • Chi Bar
  • Redhead Piano Bar
  • House of Blues
  • Kingston Mines
  • Bub City
  • The Bassment

FAMOUS FESTIVALS OF CHICAGO – BEST THINGS ABOUT CHICAGO

Chicago is an event and festival city. And so you can find many events or festivals all year round. Check more events and shows on by clicking here.

  • World-famous Taste of Chicago
  • Chicago Blues Festival
  • Chicago Jazz Festival
  • Wells Street Art Festival
  • Glencoe Festival of Art
  • Chicago International Film Festival
  • Lollapalooza
  • Chicago Gourmet

FACTS ABOUT CHICAGO – Best of Chicago

  • This city consists of 77 neighborhoods.
  • What do you mean by Chicago? – Pottawatawine Native Americans used to live here before any explorers came to this part. They used to call this land as “Shikaakwa” which means a smelly onion. They named it on smelly onion as this land was a big swamp before and was very smelly. After the arrival of French explorers, traders & missionaries in the late 17th century this land further developed into a city but was named after “Shikaakwa” to “Chicago”.
  • This city has the only unique river which flows backward in the world. Chicago River is flown backward by the reversal technique to divert the sewage away.
  • First Blood Bank of the USA was founded here and also the first open-heart surgery of the world took place here.
  • The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 which ran across 3 days whose initial spark is still unknown devasted the whole city as the buildings were made up of wood. But after 19th century this city rebuilt with new building materials and techniques which can survive such disasters too. And withing 20 years this city created a beautiful skyline which matches the world-class standards.
  • It is the home to world-famous architects who have designed many of the world’s tallest buildings.
  • Many Hollywood films have been shot here. Also a Bollywood film – Dhoom 3 starring Aamir Khan and Abhishek Bachchan have been shot here.

Chicago skyline view from Grant Park

My Chicago City Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 – Late evening arrival – Took a stroll across the restaurant street and due to some jetlag gone for sleep early.

DAY 2 – Started Chicago city tour by Chicago Big Bus tours (started early)

Lunch stop

Willis Tower Observatory Deck

Millennium Park

Late Afternoon till Evening took River Architecture Cruise

Had Dinner

DAY 3 – Early morning start – Headed to 360 Chicago Observatory Deck

Then proceeded to Shedd Aquarium

Field Museum

Alder Planetarium

After having lunch at Shedd Aquarium with a view, returned back to Chicago Architecture Center for Exhibits tour displaying models of many famous buildings of the world and Chicago city designs.

DAY 4 –  Riverwalk in the morning

Strolling across Magnificent Mile

As I was invited by Chicago Food Planet for taking a food tour, so done a 3 hours food tour with them.

Evening at Downtown, Loop and again shopping at Magnificent Mile. All done by walking tours.

DAY 5 – Morning at Navy Pier.

               Lunch at Navy Pier

               Attended Play – “The Wizard of Oz” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

               Shopping at Downtown

Dinner at famous Giordano’s Pizzeria (At Giordano’s there is always a waiting of 30 to 40 minutes and always it is full of people). There are many Giordano’s Pizza outlets in the city.

DAY 6 – Early morning headed to car renting outlet at International Airport and then proceeded to Aurora for Chicago Premium Outlet Mall and then proceed to explore Illinois state and its counties like Urbana, Champaign, Peoria, and capital city – Springfield.

Chicago Trip Guide
A complete Chicago Trip Guide

Now it is very long and so after this virtual tour do let me know about how this city excites you? I would love to know your candid views in the comments below. Also use hashtag #ChicagoHome with your lovely photos in this beautiful city on your social media network. 

Are you in Illinois, then visit beautiful county Champaign which is 130 to 140 miles away from Chicago. 

If you are on USA trip then read these guides for

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So, till then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING…………………………………………………… 

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151 Comments

  1. Never knew that Willis Tower is designed by the same architect as that of Burj Khalifa and that the Cloud Gate is designed by an Indian. Amazinhg. The sea view from the observatory deck of John Hancock is stunning. Historic water tower looks exactly like a castle to me. What a wonderful guide to Chicago sightseeing. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Pooja for reading through. Even some of facts I too came to know when I did Chicago City tour. Sometimes travel enlightens us on many topics which we ignore or don’t know.

      1. Wow, this is such a comprehensive virtual tour.Chicago seems to have a lot of tallest buildings…Ha! The crown fountain looks unique and fun..And Oh, I can imagine Tilt experience that my feet are tingling..

  2. Chicago is one of those cities that are on my list for my next US trip. I had no idea that Willis Tower is designed by the same architect who designed Burj Khalifa, that’s really interesting information. Millenium Park with the Bean is a must include in any Chicago itinerary, I’ve seen so many pictures of it! Also, the views from Willis Tower are breathtaking, definitely want to go to the glass floor observatory there. Also, cruising on the Chicago river sounds like something I’d want to do.

  3. I knew of a lot of things in Chicago …thanks to my hubby’s pics. However, the one that he did not tell me abt was the tilt effect. What a crazy thing …a free fall experience from that high….I already got the shivers. Lovely guide to the place

  4. Since I’m from the Midwest, I have been to Chicago more times than I can count. However I still found things on this list that I haven’t done. Chicago is such a big and wonderful city! I definitely need to get to the aquarium. Staying in the downtown area is a good idea, however I also loved checking out some of the neighborhoods. Budget travelers would be happy to know that I stayed in a hostel in Chicago for $16/night.

    1. Wow good to know that you belong to Midwest and you said it correctly, that we cannot complete this beautiful city to whole as it adds up attractions every year. The more you see this city, the more are added. Good for the budget friendly tip too.

  5. Thanks so much for this thorough guide. Fantastic photos. I have friends and work in Chicago, so I’m always interested in exploring new activities. I braved a conference in Jan 2019 during the arctic blast. I couldn’t manage to walk more than 10 minutes outside. Still, enjoyed taking an open class at the Joffrey. Enjoy the art galleries, too. I just interviewed a Chicago visual artist on my blog.

  6. The Natural History Museum had such a great impact on me when I was a child. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Chicago, but I’d love to see the river cruise on architecture. There are so many things to do!

    1. Yes kids learn a lot from these museums and also the impact is till life. I too had some such memories of my childhood. You would truly love river cruise.

  7. My aunt lives in Chicago, and she has been pestering us to visit. And indeed, it’s a great place! From what she told me though, it’s quite windy there; is that true? But for us, cruising or skiing around Lake Michigan would be the bomb for us!

  8. I never really had an urge to go to Chicago, until now. What a detailed post. I can’t believe how many amazing view points of the city there are, and I didn’t realise the bean was in Chicago – I see it in movies and TV shows all the time and constantly tell myself to find out where it is and visit. Also, got to love a deep dish pizza. Its almost cliche but they always look incredible.

  9. Chicago with its observatory at the two buildings, especially the extended glass observatory, looks amazing. Though I have not been to such heights, I had visit Kuwait Liberation Tower once, which gave excellent view of the city. Boat trip to see the architecture of the city of Chicago is truly great. Hop on / Hop off buses are also a blessing for tourists.

  10. Love the review!!! It has been a really long time that I have been to Chicago, Even though I particularly wasn’t a really huge fan of the city, I have to say the city got some impressive architectures, most of them that I have either watched on TV or have heard about it but all of them were super fun. I also liked Chicago because of its infamous deep dish Pizza.

  11. Your post made me nostalgic about my last trip to Chi Town. I had so much fun and loved shopping at Mag Mile and the street art is just incredible!

  12. Glad to know some information and facts about the famous architects behind Willis Tower and the Cloud Gate – the Bean. I would love to feel the adrenaline rush by enjoying the TILT experience at John Hancock center.

  13. The Chicago panorama looks amazing with these skyscrapers and the blue waters of the lake on the horizon. Willis Tower is a place that I would love to visit. It’s very instagrammable and you can make cool pics there. I really like The Bean and Crown Fountain, it’s just epic! Thanks for the information on where to look for murals. I really enjoy watching them when I travel to some places.

  14. Welcome to Chicago!! So glad you had a good time here. It looks like you were able to hit up all the major sites, which is very impressive considering there’s a lot to see here! I hope your post inspires a lot of others to come visit too!

  15. Never been to Chicago! But your post has inspired me to look into the flights 🙂 So thanks for putting this together and love your pics too.

  16. I hope to visit Chicago one day and I will definitely use this very detailed blog to plan my trip! I would love to stand on the glass ground and do the tilt experience but I’m not so sure if I can handle it! haha.

  17. I was actually just in Chicago last month, and I’ve got to say that you’ve done an absolutely incredible job of covering what needs to be seen. Anybody who takes a peek at this will be able to plan a full-fledged Chicago itinerary very well!

  18. I have never been to the States, but yes of course, Chicago is in the list. I wasn’t aware that Cloud Gate is designed by an Indian – I would surely love to check that out when I am in Chicago. I like how you have listed places to see daywise, making it all easy for me to plan.

  19. You saw an astonishing amount for just a week in Chicago. Your very comprehensive post is making me want to go back to visit ASAP. I’ve got a cousin who moved there a couple of years ago and every visit was so much fun. In fact, she works in the Wrigley Building, so I got to go up to her office once and see the view of the river from up there. It really is a beautiful building. I think I’ve done about half the things you mention here, so the next time I go, I’ll be sure to come back to this post to see what else I haven’t seen yet!

    1. Kevin, you would love this place and I guess every year Chicago add new attractions as it is really very developing with new buildings and green spaces.

  20. Thanks for taking me back to Chicago. You certainly saw a lot on your visit. We too started our visit at the John Hancock building. Love those panoramic views. We were sorry we didn’t do the Tilt experience. On a return visit we would love to visit the aquarium and planetarium. Too bad we missed the street art! Love all that colour. Time for a return visit. Thanks!

  21. Chicago is an iconic city no doubt and there are so many things to do there. The Tilt experience seems really unique. And I would love to watch a musical in the Shakespeare Theater. The architecture of the buildings are just so great. They are different, yet look so beautiful. Thanks for sharing such a detailed guide for Chicago.

  22. Ill actually be doing a blog about Chicago within this week. I recently went there for a 3 weekend trip and i just love the place. Although my trip was not as extensive as yours (focused on eating my way in Chicago lol) but i know we share the same sentiment that Chicago is a beauty!

  23. A great overview of just about everything to see and do in Chicago and there are so many variety of places to get great overhead views of the city. Crown Fountain looked really cool. As a big fan of Chicago style deep dish pizza, would be even better to enjoy it in Chicago, I’m sure!

  24. I love city views and would absolutely check out the view from Sky deck and 360 Chicago. I also want to browse the Miracle Mile, see the city from the water and play in the crown fountain. Deep dish pizza and Chicago hot dogs sound perfect. Bookmarking this!

  25. Being from Ohio I have visited Chicago many times, it’s only a few hours drive which makes it a great weekend getaway. You have so much great information packed into this post. Going on an architectural cruise is my favorite way to get unspoiled skyline view and photos. The city is beautiful from the water.

  26. I was to Chicago many years ago. Back then, there was no Willis Tower. Now I would like to go to the top of it. Definitely. The view is amazing. Crown Fountain seems to be something new as well, and while in the summer, I would like to see it too. Faces are huge, and it is something very unique to me. Then you describe my favorite Chicago place – Navy Pier. It is fascinating at any time of the year.
    Another exciting thing is for sure planetarium. I had no idea such a beautiful place exist in the windy city. Good to know connections by rail, car, and bus. And of course, hop on hop off big bus tours are a great idea.
    I remember the taste of pizza in Lou Malnati’s – it was even better than in Italy. But I think that this riverfront hotel has such a beautiful view that it makes me want to return there one day. Thanks for the detailed post.

  27. I haven’t yet visited Chicago, I have family that has though. And yet I have not heard of hardly any of these places in your itinerary and recommendations. Adler planetarium would be a must for me, and then architecture? Wow. Each of the tours that involve the architecture in Chicago sound absolutely amazing. The views from the observation tours would be something completely different for me and yet would probably leave in in awe, I generally seek out views of nature- with the exception of my last trip to Cincinnati.

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