25 Places to Visit in Chicago, Tourist Places & Top Attractions

Places to See In Chicago

Millenium Park, Willis Tower, Navy Pier, Art Institute of Chicago, Riverwalk, Cloud Gate, 360 Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago History Museum, Buckingham Fountain, and many more.

The stunning contemporary places to visit in Chicago describe the unique charm and appeal of this city that attract almost all hippy and boisterous travelers. The gorgeous places in the city range from beautiful parks and amazing observation towers to impressive museums and pristine beaches. Propelling all kinds of travelers, the popular places to see in Chicago are suitable for family vacationers, couples, and offbeat seekers.

The sky-touching Willis Tower and the towering 360 Chicago offer awe-inspiring panoramic views of the dazzling city, while the intriguing Chicago History Museum and the fascinating Chicago Cultural Center provide a sneak peek into the rich history and colourful culture of the city.

The night places to go in Chicago like the flamboyant Chicago Riverwalk and the lively Hard Rock Cafe introduce you to the wild and energetic nightlife culture of this city, which forms the final icing over your exquisite experience in the city of Chicago.

Here are some the best places to visit in Chicago:

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Opened in 2004, this public park is dedicated to the third millennium and is a famous civic centre located near Lake Michigan of Chicago city. One of the most beautiful places to see in Chicago, the Millennium Park has been featured in many movies and shows and also serves as a host for various notable events such as the annual Grand Park Music Festival.

Here you can enjoy a variety of activities ranging from a peaceful walk along with the magnificent Lurie Garden to rock climbing at Maggie Daley Park. You can also watch shows and concerts here at the theatres and pavilions while satisfying your hunger at the Plaza at Park Grill.

Location: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602, United States

Highlights: Crown Fountain, Lurie Garden, Cloud Gate, Pritzker Pavilion
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Opened for the public in 1973, the Willis Tower is a 110-storied building, one of the tallest in the world. The Skydeck of the building was opened in 1974 and renovated in 2009, adding The Ledge to it. The Ledge extends outwards as huge windows, offering a panoramic view of the city straight down.

You can see for over 50 miles and four states from the Skydeck on a clear day. It is the highest observation deck in the entire United States. One of the most famous places to see in Chicago, the Willis Tower lets you enjoy Chicago’s architecture, food, and music.

Location: 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606, United States

Highlights: Impressive architecture, the SkyDeck, breathtaking city views
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Located on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, this 1010 meters long pier is one of the most-loved places to go in Chicago. The Navy Pier has numerous restaurants, shops, family attractions, gardens, parks, and exhibition facilities stretched over its 50-hectare area.

You can join the sightseeing tours and dinner cruises on the pier and also enjoy fireworks on the nights of Wednesday and Saturday. Some other popular outdoor attractions that you can enjoy here include the Light Tower Ride, Pepsi Wave Swinger, Remote Control Boats, and the Musical Carousel.

Location: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, United States

Highlights: 3D Imax Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Crystal Gardens, Chicago Children's Museum
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Located in the Grant Park of Chicago and was founded in the year 1879, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the largest and oldest museums in the USA. Exhibiting the work of some famous artists such as Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, Edward Hopper, and Grant Wood, this museum is one of the best places to visit in Chicago among history buffs.

It is most famous for its curatorial efforts and cutting-edge scientific research for the conservation of Art. Its collection includes American Art, African Art and the Indian Arts of America, Asian Art, Architecture and design, European paintings and sculptures, and many other similar works.

Location: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603, United States

Highlights: Architectural drawings, ancient paintings, impressive sculptures
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One of the most bustling places to visit in Chicago, the Chicago Riverwalk is a multi-use public place located on the southern bank of the Chicago River. You can explore the various coves of the riverwalk on foot and enjoy the beautiful architecture of the city.

Some of the things that you will find here are waterfront cafes, bars and wineries, historical public art, museums, monuments, etc. you can enjoy a light breakfast at any restaurant here and watch boats swimming idly in the water or you can take a cruise on the river during the afternoon enjoying the stunning architecture at the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum, satisfy your hunger at any of the excellent cafes and restaurants together with wine, live music, and outdoor games.

Location: Chicago Loop, IL, USA

Highlights: Nightlife, restaurants, pubs, bars
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Cloud Gate, also known as The Bean, is a public sculpture located on top of Park Grill in Chicago’s Loop Community area. It is made of stainless steel plates that are welded together, without any visible seams on its exterior side. It reflects the city’s skyline on its surface and its design was inspired by liquid mercury.

Flaunting shiny and reflective surfaces, the Cloud Gate is also one of the most recommended places to visit in Chicago for shutterbugs. This sculpture has also featured in several famous movies as a backdrop for many scenes.

Location: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602, United States

Highlights: Photoshoot destination
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One of the most stunning places to visit in Chicago, the 360 Chicago is an observation deck on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Centre. It soars over the Michigan River and provides a majestic view of the Michigan River, Chicago’s skyline and three other surrounding states.

Here you can enjoy Chicago’s highest thrill ride named the Tilt. You can also relax at the BAR 94 of the observation deck and enjoy some best local drinks from the KOVAL distillery and the Revolution Brewing. You can also learn about the city’s history from a nearby exhibit and explore the skyline sling with interactive displays.

Location: 875 N Michigan Ave 94th floor, Chicago, IL 60611, United States

Highlights: Glass-encased observation deck, stunning city views
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Opened in 1930, Shedd Aquarium is an indoor public aquarium that holds about 32000 animals. It was the first inland aquarium that has a permanent collection of saltwater fish. Its collection includes 1500 species of marine animals, fishes, snakes, amphibians, birds, and insects.

You can enjoy the permanent exhibits of the aquarium namely the Caribbean Reef, Waters of the Worlds, Amazon Rising, Abbott Oceanarium, and the Wild Reef. You can also enjoy the One World aquatic show and the 4D Theatre. The Underwater Beauty is currently the most special exhibit of the aquarium that shows the beautiful sea life.

Location: 1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, United States

Highlights: Stingray touch tank, Polar Play Zone
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Lying at a distance of a few minutes from downtown Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo is a free zoo, showcasing rich biodiversity. This breathtaking zoo is packed with umpteen varieties of animals, including playul meerkats, fascinating gorillas and chimpanzees, fierce lions, black rhinos, wild dogs, red wolves, black bear, and pygmy hippos.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is also famed to be operating one of the biggest zoo-based conservation programs in the whole country. The zoo is also known to host a variety of science programs from time to time. The zoo also has an on-site restaurant that offers delicious food and beverages to the visitors.

Location: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, United States

Highlights: Fascinating wildlife, on-site restaurant
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Founded in the year 1856, and known previously as the Chicago Historical Society,  the Chicago Historical Museum is one of the top historical places to visit in Chicago. It was formed with the purpose of studying and interpreting the glorious history of Chicago. Here you can explore the history of Chicago and America with approximately 22 million holdings as its collection.

You can see various programs, online resources, and publications relating to the history of America and Chicago. The collection relating to Chicago’s local history includes manuscripts, books and publications, photos, paintings, and sculptures. You can also find ancient costume collections and couture pieces.

Location: 1601 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, United States

Highlights: Crossroads of America, Sensing Chicago, Facing Freedom
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Located in the centre of Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain is considered one of the largest fountains in the world. This fountain is built in the shape of a rococo cake and allegorically represents Lake Michigan. One of the best places to visit in Chicago among leisure seekers, the Buckingham Fountain lets you enjoy the daily water shows and the light-colour musical shows.

The fountain is decorated in beautiful festival lights during the winters. The fountain is surrounded by seasonal plants and gardens which add to its beauty. The fountain also has an elaborate security system that is regularly monitored by trained professionals.

Location: 301 S Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, United States

Highlights: Art Deco style architecture, light and water show
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Located near downtown, the Magnificent Mile or the Mag Mile is the largest shopping district of the city and one of the favorite places to visit in Chicago among shoppaholics and couples. You can find several mid-range and high-end retail shops here, along with many museums, hotels, and restaurants.

Some famous and luxury department stores and boutiques that you can find here include Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Tom Ford, Gucci, Prada, Rolex, etc. The three urban shopping centres namely Water Tower Place, 900 North Michigan Shops, and The Shops at North Bridge are also the main attractions of this district.

Location: Chicago, IL 60611, USA

Highlights: The John Hancock Center, the Tribune Tower, the Wrigley Building
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The Field Museum of Natural History has earned a premier status in the field of natural history because of its huge collection of scientific models and artefacts and also due to the excellent quality of the scientific and educational programs conducted by it.

The Field Museum originated from the World’s Columbian Exposition held in 1893. The museum exhibits some earliest fossils, artefacts of past and current culture, and interactive demonstration of today’s conservation needs. You can also explore the huge library of the museum that includes the Ayer collection, Laufer collection, and Photo archives.

Location: 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, United States

Highlights: Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, 20 million artifacts
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Located in Jackson Park, The Museum of Science and Industry is a science museum that displays scientific and industrial evolution. It is situated in the previous Palace of Fine Arts, a part of the former World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.

In the museum, you can see a full-size replica of a coal mine, a model railroad, a German submarine that was captured during the Second World War, the first diesel-powered and stainless-steel passenger train, and the command module of Apollo 8. You can also explore some other exhibits like the Numbers in Nature: A mirror maze, Science storms, Genetics: Decoding life, etc.

Location: 5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637, United States

Highlights: Technology exhibits, OMNIMAX theater
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This baseball park was first opened in 1914 and is now home to one of the city’s two Major League Baseball franchises, the Chicago Cubs. This field is also known as ‘The Friendly Confines’ and is the oldest park in the National League with a seating capacity of 41649 people.

This park has been designated as a National Historic Landmark in the year 20202. The ivy-covered bricks of the outfield wall, the red marquee over the main entrance, the unusual wind patterns coming from Lake Michigan, its location, and the hand-turned scoreboard play the major role in making this place a famous tourist attraction.

Location: 1060 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60613, United States

Highlights: Iconic red marquee, Ivy-covered brick outfield wall
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Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, Oak Street Beach is a popular summer spot for locals and tourists. Here you can get chair rentals, bike rentals, restrooms, volleyball rentals, etc. The Oak Street Beach cafe here offers you options for food and beverages while you enjoy the beautiful skyline of the city along the beach.

You can take a leisurely walk along the beach or enjoy the amateur and professional volleyball tournaments held here during the summer. You can also enjoy Distance Swimming at this beach.

Location: North Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois, United States

Highlights: Swimming, beach walks, barbeque
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The Chicago Cultural Center was opened in the year 1897 and serves as an official reception venue of the city. Originally it used to be a central library and was converted into an arts and culture centre in 1977. Counted among the best displays of art and culture in the entire USA, the Chicago Cultural Center is one of the most suggested places to visit in Chicago to learn about the glorious heritage of the city.

Every year, more than 1000 exhibitions and programs are featured at the Centre including several visual, performing, and literary arts. The centre is an architectural beauty in itself that you can explore and enjoy.

Location: 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602, United States

Highlights: Stained–glass domes, art exhibitions, theater events, Preston Bradley Hall
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Located in Lincoln Park, North Avenue Beach is one of the most popular beaches of Chicago because of its beach house. The beach house has 22000 square feet of free space with something for every visitor to enjoy. This building provides the best view of the city and its design is inspired by a blue and white ocean-liner.

You can gaze at the horizon from the decks and the portholes or even see several bikers, walkers, runners, rollerbladers gliding on the lakefront trail. You can also enjoy great food, drinks, and desserts at the Castaways Bars and Grills.

Location: Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL, United States

Highlights: Kayaking, beach volleyball, roller hockey, fitness classes, yoga, wakeboarding, jet skiing
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Established in 1919, the Oriental Institute Museum is the interdisciplinary research centre of the University of Chicago. It has public exhibits of its extensive collection of ancient civilisation artefacts. The artefacts at the museum include collections from the digs conducted in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Israel.

Here you can see the well-known Megiddo Ivories, treasures from the old Persian Capital called Persepolis, the human-headed winged bull retrieved from Khorsabad, and King Tutankhamen’s monumental statue. The institute is a centre for many active pieces of research on the ancient Near East.

Location: 1155 E 58th St, Chicago, IL 60637, United States

Highlights: Mesopotamian Gallery, Egyptian Galleries, antiquities
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Located near the Uptown neighbourhood, Montrose Beach is famous for offering various facilities to the patrons such as kayak and volleyball rentals, food concessions, restrooms, and showers. You can enjoy distance swimming on the beach and in case you want to go to a dog-friendly beach,  it is just on the northern side of Montrose beach.

You can also enjoy bird watching during the fall and spring season as many migratory birds come here during that time. Many endangered plant species thrive in the serene dune habitat near the beach.

Location: 601 West Montrose Avenue Chicago, IL 60613

Highlights: Beach volleyball, kayaking, seafood, swimming, bird watching
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Flaunting a brilliant Richardsonian Romanesque style architectural design, the Glessner House is built by the renowned architect Henry Hobson Richardson. This regal mansion flaunts an innovating and warm interior and a rough-hewn stone exterior. The side and front entrances of the mansion are surrounded by huge Romanesque arches. Completed back in 1887, the Glessner House is now a national heritage and one of the most fascinating Chicago tourist places. A deviation from the classic Victorian architecture, the architectural style of this stunning mansion proved to be an inspiration for many other architects of that time.

Location: 1800 S Prairie Ave, Chicago, IL 60616, United States

Entry Fee: USD 20 for adults, USD 17 for seniors (60+), USD 17 for students (13 to 18), Free for children (below 12)
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The first mixed-use tower of the world, John Hancock Observatory is built and designed by structural engineer Fazlur Khan and architect Bruce Graham. This building is named after an early tenant, the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. Completed back in 1970, this building is home to residential apartments, retail spaces, offices, restaurants and bars, a parking space, and vantage facilities on its 94th, 95th, and 96th floors. Flaunting a gorgeous waterfall and a breathtaking garden, the building’s plaza is one of the most-visited Chicago tourist places.

Location: 875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, United States

Entry Fee: $30.00 for adults (12 and above); $20.00 for children (3 to 11); Free for infants (Under 3)
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One of the most interesting places in Chicago, Garfield Park Conservatory happens to be the world’s third largest garden under glass. Spread across 12 acres of outdoor and indoor gardens, this community-run conservatory is home to a variety of gardens. This place also serves as an artistic collection as well as a botanical educational center. The Palm House shelters graceful palms along with a few other tropical plants. The Fern Room features rock outcrops, an indoor lagoon, and lush ferns. This room also houses the palm-like cycad, which is one of the earth’s oldest plant species. The Show House manifests the best rotating flower exhibit of the season.

Location: 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624, United States
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One of the best Chicago tourist places for architecture buffs, The Rookery Building is an important historical landmark of the country.  Completed back in 1888, the building was originally crafted by the famous architect-duo Burnham and Root. The 11-storey Rookery Building was considered to be the world’s tallest building at the time of its inception.

The construction of this building used modern techniques and the exterior and interior architectural style was inspired by ancient Venetian, Islamic, and Romanesque designs. Later in 1905, this building was redesigned by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who also added a dramatic skylit lobby. Though the Rookery Building was renovated again by William Drummond in 1931, it was later restored to its impressive 1905 structure. At present, the Rookery Building stands as an epitome of the rich architectural brilliancy of Chicago.

Location: 209 S LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60604, United States
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Established in 1927 and spread across a vast area of a whopping 653.63 acres, Burnham Park happens to be a beautiful public park. Perched on the picturesque lakefront of Chicago and named after the renowned architect and urban planner Daniel H. Burnham, Burnham Park is home to Promontory Point and a stunning skate park at 31st street.

One of the most popular places in Chicago, this park also features well-kept family areas, breathtaking natural areas and fascinating bird sanctuaries. There are a host of benches, lying at Oakwood, 57th street, 31st street, and 12th street. Owned and administered by the Chicago Park District, Burnham Park often forms the ground for hosting important events, like concerts, festivals, and marathons.

Location: 1200-5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60615, United States
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People Also Ask About Chicago

  1. Where can I go for free in Chicago?

    1. Lincoln Park Zoo: The Lincoln Park Zoo showcases more than 15,000 European and Asian art and sculpture collected over five millenia.

    2. Hyde Park Art Center: Established back in 1939, the Hyde Park Art Center showcases huge figurative paintings, sculptures, and video & sound works.

    3. Garfield Park Conservatory: One of the largest indoor gardens in the world, the Garfield Park Conservatory showcases umpteen varieties of plant specimens.

    4. National Museum of Mexican Art: One of the best free places to see in Chicago, the National Museum of Mexican Art is home to over 100 artworks, from Mesoamerican artefacts to modern paintings.
  2. What is there to do in Chicago at night?

    1. Soak in the Mesmerizing Views from Willis Tower Skydeck: Witness the city soaked in gorgeous colourful lights from the tallest tower of the Western Hemisphere, the Willis Tower Skydeck.

    2. Drink through the Night at Hard Rock Cafe: Enjoy premium drinks and good food through the night at the Hard Rock Cafe, which offers a jazzy atmosphere adorned with guitars and antiques. You can also groove to the live band and karaoke.

    3. Spend Some Time at the Adler Planetarium: Spot crystal clear views of the nearby celestial bodies through the Doane Observatory Telescope at the Adler Planetarium. While you witness the galaxies, the staff astronomers will share with you some educational lectures.

    4. Experience Fine Dining at Signature Lounge: Enjoy gourmet dining at the 96th floor of the Signature Lounge with your loved one. Soak in the mesmerizing 360 degrees panoramic views of the city while relishing delicious food and drinks.
  3. Which are the places to visit in Chicago for couples?

    1. The Skydeck: Featuring glass-encased observation boxes, The Skydeck offers unobstructed 360 degrees panoramic city views that you can soak in with your partner.

    2. Chicago French Market: Take a walk through the bustling Chicago French Market, stopping at various stalls to relish the aromatic street food. You can enjoy flavourful meatball subs, chocolate truffles, lobster rolls, and French macarons with your sweetheart.

    3. The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool: One of the most romantic places to go in Chicago with your sweetheart is The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. You can walk hand-in-hand through the winding limestone walkways & spend some time on the circular benches admiring the scenic views.

    4. Koval Distillery: Take a tour of the very popular Koval Distillery and taste its award-winning premium liquors, whiskeys, and brandies with your beloved. Some of the best picks you can try include the pear brandies, rye vodka, jasmine-flavoured liquors.
  4. How many days in Chicago is enough?

    You need at least 3 days to visit Chicago.

    - Day 1: On day 1, you can cover the prime highlights of the city including Navy Pier, Willis Tower, the Museum Campus, Tower Place Mall, Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium.

    - Day 2: On day 2, you can visit the Chicago Theatre, 360 Chicago, Magnificent Mile, the Chicago Children's Museum, and the Navy Pier Centennial Wheel.

    - Day 3: On day 3, you can plan to cover the Skydeck Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Millennium Park.
  5. Is Chicago worth visiting?

    Yes, Chicago is totally worth visiting for its brilliant art & architecture, boisterous nightlife culture, and delicious pizza and hot dog.

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