What to do and See in Chicago

The center of the United States is home to the energetic and busy metropolis of Chicago. It is the third-largest metropolis in the nation and is called the “Windy City”; it has over 2.7 million people living there. From top-notch museums and theaters to lovely parks and beaches, Chicago is a metropolis that has something to offer everyone.

The Willis Tower, which once held the record for highest structure in the world, is one of Chicago’s most recognizable landmarks. The Skydeck is accessible by elevator, and from its 103rd level, visitors can take in breath-taking views of the city. Innumerable eateries and food stands offer tourists the chance to sample the city’s other well-known cuisines, including deep-dish pizza and hot dogs.

Chicago is a flourishing center of music and culture, with genres ranging from blues and jazz to hip-hop and electronic music. The renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a number of top-notch institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum, are located in the city.

Overall, Chicago is a vibrant and diverse city that has something to offer everyone, whether they are foodies, culture vultures, or just seeking for a good time in the city. This article will discuss some of Chicago’s top tourist attractions as well as what to do and see while you are there.

  1. Visit the Art Institute of Chicago

With one of the largest collections of artwork from all over the world, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most well known institutions in the world. More than 300,000 works of art, from historic artefacts to contemporary creations, can be found in the museum. Among the most famous works in the collection are Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portrait, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, and Grant Wood’s American Gothic.

The museum not only has a large collection, but it also regularly hosts exhibitions displaying pieces by some of the most well-known artists in the world. For anyone interested in art and society, a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago is essential.

  1. Visit the Millennium Park

Downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park is a renowned urban paradise that has come to represent the city. Over 24 acres in size, this park draws both locals and visitors with its combination of artwork, architecture, and beautiful greenery.

The Cloud Gate sculpture, sometimes known as “The Bean,” is one of the park’s most well-known elements. Visitors love to take pictures and wonder at the distorted reflections of the nearby skyline in this stainless steel artwork that reflects light.

The Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a Frank Gehry masterwork of architecture, is also located in Millennium Park. Numerous cultural occasions are held in this outdoor performance venue, such as music festivals, concerts, and outdoor movie screenings.

The park’s Lurie Garden is a stunningly landscaped area with a mix of trees, grasses, and perennials that provides a tranquil haven in the middle of the busy city.

For visitors looking for a colourful and cultural experience in the centre of Chicago, Millennium Park is a must-visit location thanks to its magnificent art works, beautiful architecture, and vast green spaces.

  1. Visit the Navy Pier

On the Lake Michigan shoreline in Chicago, Navy Pier is one of the most popular tourism destinations. The 1916-built pier has been renovated into a year-round destination with a variety of entertainment, dining, and shopping choices. More than 3,000 feet long, it features a number of sights like the Ferris wheel, Children’s Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and more.

The Centennial Wheel, which affords breath-taking views of the city skyline and lakefront, is one of Navy Pier’s most well-liked sights. A cruise along the lakeside, dining at one of the many establishments, and shopping at the boutiques and gift shops are all options for tourists.

The popular Chicago Shakespeare in the Park and the Winter WonderFest are just two of the events and festivals that Navy Pier holds all year long. Navy Pier in Chicago is a must-see location due to its stunning views, variety of attractions, and lively ambiance.

  1. Visit the Willis Tower

When touring Chicago, a dynamic metropolis, you must stop by the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower. The Willis Tower, one of the tallest structures in North America, provides stunning vistas and a unique experience.

Views of Lake Michigan and the metropolitan skyline are panoramic as you reach the Skydeck on the 103rd floor. Visitors can bravely go out onto “The Ledge,” the tower’s famous glass balconies, and experience what it’s like to walk on air.

The Willis Tower offers interactive exhibitions that emphasise Chicago’s history, architecture, and culture in addition to its breathtaking vistas. Discover the building’s history, its significance to Chicago’s architectural legacy, and the important sites in the area.

A trip to the Willis Tower offers an unforgettable experience that shows the grandeur and majesty of Chicago from dizzying heights, whether you’re an architecture aficionado, a photographer, or simply seeking a bird’s-eye view of the Windy City.

  1. Visit the Field Museum

A trip through natural history and culture can be had by visiting the Field Museum in Chicago. Visitors of all ages will find this renowned museum, which is situated on the beaches of Lake Michigan, to be a fascinating destination.

A sizable collection of objects and specimens that highlight the diversity of our planet is kept at the Field Museum. Learn about many nations and their customs in the Cultural Halls, or explore the ancient world in the Egypt and Ancient Americas displays. You can also be amazed by the enormous dinosaur bones in the Evolving Planet exhibit.

The largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton yet unearthed, “Sue,” is one of the museum’s centrepieces. Sue is an exciting sight to behold as she stands at a dizzying height.

The Field Museum also offers immersive and engaging exhibits, including possibilities for interactive learning and multimedia presentations. Participate in educational programmes, interact with the exhibits, or attend enlightening talks by professionals from a variety of professions.

An instructive and enriching experience, visiting the Field Museum lets you discover the wonders of the natural world and dive into the past.

  1. Go to Wrigley Field

In the Lakeview section of Chicago, Illinois, there is a baseball field called Wrigley Field. The Chicago Cubs, one of the country’s oldest professional sports organizations, call it home. The stadium’s iconic red marquee, ivy-covered brick outfield wall, and manual scoreboard all contribute to its charm and individuality.

Wrigley Field, which was first constructed in 1914, has experienced a number of renovations over the years while retaining its traditional appearance and atmosphere. Following Boston’s Fenway Park, it is the second-oldest venue in Major League Baseball.

Wrigley Field has not only been a cherished sports venue but has also had a major impact on pop culture, appearing in films, TV shows, and music videos. Numerous significant baseball events, including Babe Ruth’s renowned “called shot” home run in the 1932 World Series, have taken place at the venue.

Today, Wrigley Field continues to be a beloved fixture of the Chicago community and a popular tourism attraction.

If you would like to book a ticket to see the Chicago Cubs play, click here or on the Ticketmaster image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

  1. Go Watch the Chicago Blackhawks

Based in Chicago, Illinois, the Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey club. They joined the National Hockey League in 1926 and play in the Central Division of the Western Conference. (NHL). The most recent Stanley Cup victory for the Blackhawks was in 2015, and many Blackhawks players have been honored into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association also call the United Center their home, where the club plays its home games. (NBA). The Blackhawks are a well-liked club in Chicago and have a sizable fan base among hockey fans worldwide.

If you would like to book a ticket to see the Chicago Blackhawks, click here or on the Ticketnetwork image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

  1. Take a Chicago Boat Tours

A special way to experience the city’s famous buildings and stunning lakefront is through Chicago boat excursions. From educational guided tours to leisurely sightseeing cruises, there are numerous boat experiences to choose from. Numerous tours leave from Navy Pier, which offers a beautiful backdrop for a scenic boat journey.

On a Chicago boat tour, tourists can see famous sites like the Willis Tower, the John Hancock Center, and the Museum Campus as well as the city’s famous skyline from a unique vantage point. Additionally, the excursions are a fantastic way to gain knowledge about the city’s history and architecture from knowledgeable tour guides.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise, which takes visitors on a 90-minute voyage down the Chicago River while showcasing over 50 significant buildings and structures along the way, is one of the most well-liked boat excursions. A boat tour is a wonderful way to experience and enjoy Chicago’s beauty, whether you are a local or a visitor.

If you would like to book a tour, click here or on the Get Your guide image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

  1. Al Capone Tours

A unique and engrossing method to discover more about Chicago’s infamous history with organized crime is through Al Capone tours. During the Prohibition period, Al Capone, also referred to as “Scarface,” was a notorious gangster who operated in Chicago. He established one of the most infamous crime empires in American history, which included prostitution, gambling, and bootlegging.

Tours of the life of Al Capone in Chicago transport tourists to some of the most important locations, including his former workplace at the Lexington Hotel, his favorite hangouts, and the locations of some of his most infamous crimes. The tours are conducted by informed tour guides who give historical context and engrossing anecdotes about Capone and his associates.

While some may feel it is inappropriate to glorify criminal behavior, others view these tours as a chance to learn about Chicago’s past and the influence organized crime has had on the city. Whatever your stance, experiencing Chicago’s seedier side on an Al Capone tour is a fascinating and unforgettable experience.

If you would like to book an Al Capone tour, click here or on the Klook or Viator images below to select from one of our preferred suppliers.

  1. Take an Open Top Bus Tour of Chicago

An open-top bus tour of Chicago is a popular way to explore the city’s top attractions and landmarks. The tours are usually offered on double-decker buses that allow visitors to take in panoramic views of the city’s skyline, as well as learn about the city’s history and culture through audio commentary.

The open-top bus tours typically follow a set route that covers many of Chicago’s most famous landmarks, such as the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, and Millennium Park. Some tours also offer hop-on, hop-off options, allowing visitors to explore the city at their own pace.

One of the benefits of an open-top bus tour is the ability to see the city from a unique perspective, with unobstructed views of the city’s towering skyscrapers and beautiful parks. Additionally, the tours can be a great way to get oriented to the city and plan further exploration on foot or by other means of transportation.

Overall, an open-top bus tour in Chicago is a fun and informative way to experience the city’s iconic sights and landmarks.

In conclusion, Chicago is a city offering countless attractions for visitors to explore. From learning about its infamous history during the Al Capone days, to its great nightlife and active sports scene. The Windy City has something to offer for everyone.

If you would like to book a hop on hop off bus tour, click here or on the CitySightseeing or Big Bus Tours image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers.

11. Nightlife in Chicago

The nightlife of Chicago is recognised for its vigour, variety, and intensity. The Windy City has something for everyone, from jazz clubs to rooftop lounges, comedy clubs to late-night dancing establishments.

River North, renowned for its chic lounges and stylish bars, is one of the city’s most recognisable nightlife districts. You may find chic locations with artisan cocktails, live entertainment, and stunning views of the Chicago skyline here.

Go to the famed Wrigley Field in the historic Wrigleyville neighborhood for some live entertainment. Sports pubs, music venues, and comedy clubs abound in the region, guaranteeing a fun-filled evening.

Chicago is renowned for having a vibrant jazz and blues scene. Intimate jazz clubs where you may take in the soulful sounds of regional and international performers can be found in Hyde Park on the South Side and Lincoln Park on the North Side.

Chicago’s nightlife offers a blend of refinement, culture, and exciting entertainment, from downtown’s busy Loop sector to neighborhood hotspots like Logan Square and Wicker Park. The city comes alive after dark, encouraging locals and visitors to experience the dynamic atmosphere of the Chicago nightlife. There are a wide variety of options to suit all preferences.

12. Festivals in Chicago

Chicago is a city that knows how to have a good time, and this is evident in the festival scene. Chicago has a myriad of festivals all year long that highlight the city’s broad and vivacious personality, from music to food, art to culture.

The Taste of Chicago, a gourmet feast held in Grant Park, is one of the most well-known festivals. This occasion offers guests the chance to savor a wide variety of delectable cuisine by bringing together the city’s best restaurants, food sellers, and live music.

The Chicago Blues Festival, the biggest free blues festival worldwide, is another highlight. This festival, which takes place in Millennium Park, draws well-known blues performers from all over the world who enthral spectators with their soulful performances.

For fans of music, Lollapalooza is the main event. This renowned music festival brings throngs of people to Grant Park for a weekend of spectacular performances with its remarkable lineup of prominent performers from all genres.

The Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago Air and Water Show, Chicago Dancing Festival, and the Summer Dance Series at the Chicago Cultural Centre are further noteworthy festivals.

Chicago is a location that genuinely understands how to celebrate art, music, food, and culture with its vibrant and varied festival schedule, which offers something for everyone.

If you would like to book a ticket to one of the festivals in Chicago, click here or on the Ticketmaster image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers.