Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and definitely one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is set along Lake Michigan and filled with tons of exciting attractions to see.
Chicago, known affectionately to locals as “Chi-Town,” is home to 2.7 million residents. With numerous events, festivals, and attractions, it’s no surprise that this popular travel destination cheerfully welcomes over 40 million visitors per year.
There are two major airports that usher tourists into Chicago. The Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) was declared the busiest airport in the world, based on the number of take-offs and landings per year. Although it is no longer the busiest, it is still in the top ten.
The Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) is also quite busy, with an average of 21 million commercial passengers per year.
Transportation options are numerous within the city. Chicago offers an extensive bus and train system to carry visitors and residents to their various destinations throughout the city.
There are plenty of places to stay in Chicago whether you are looking for hotels or hostels. There are also several cheap hotels available if you are on a budget.
The “windy city” is the third most populated city in the United States. With so much to do and see, it is a paradise of activity for residents and visitors alike.
The Lollapalooza music festival is a huge event in Chicago, hosting over 130 bands on 8 stages, that happens every year in August. There’s also the unique and entertaining Chinese New Year Parade, packed with authentic Chinese cuisine and customs, taking place at the end of January.
For the jazz lovers out there, check out the Chicago Jazz Festival in early September: one of the most extensive free jazz events in the world.
Pizza is a big thing in Chicago, both figuratively and literally. The deep-dish pizza phenomenon is often replicated, but rarely comes close to the authentic product.
Other popular dining options include the pizza pot pie, sauerkraut-topped hot dogs, and Italian beef sandwiches. Considering Chicago’s history of industrious meat-packing districts, it only makes sense that some of the best steaks in the country can be found in this city.
Here are our picks for the top 10 attractions in Chicago.
Willis Tower Observation Deck
Check out the famous skyline from the observation deck of the Willis Tower. At 1,400 feet, this tower is one of the tallest freestanding structures in the world.
For an immersive shopping and dining experience, check out the Hancock Center.
The Adler Planetarium
Chicago’s Adler Planetarium is America’s first planetarium and has two full-size planetarium theaters.
The Shedd Aquarium
The Shedd Aquarium has over 25,000 fish and mammals to see up-close and personal.
360 Chicago is located in the heart of the Windy City’s tourist district. Its one-of-a-kind open-air Skywalk is open until 11 p.m. daily. Take a ride in some of the fast fastest elevators in North America and get to the 94th floor (1,000 feet or 305 meters) in only 40 seconds.
The 24.5-acre Millennium Park features Frank Gehry’s Pritzker Pavilion and serpentine bridge, sculptor Anish Kapoor’s 110-ton Cloud Gate (otherwise known as “The Bean”), Jaume Plensa’s Crown Fountain and more.
Cloud Gate, more popular known as the Chicago Bean is a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, that is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in Chicago.
The Navy Pier features shops, eateries, an IMAX cinema and sightseeing boat tours. There is also a 150-foot-high Ferris wheel, plus an old-fashioned swing ride and 18-hole mini-golf course.
Field Museum is a massive natural history museum with more than 30 permanent exhibitions covering 300,000 square feet.
Take a stroll along the Riverwalk for breathtaking views of some of Chicago’s most amazing architecture. A series of public walkways and seating areas offers access to water taxis and boat tours. You will also find a few cafes and restaurants worth checking out.