Top 10 Attractions and Things To Do in Chicago

Chicago at night

Chicago at night

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.

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago

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.

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago at night

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago at night

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.

Downtown Chicago

Downtown Chicago

CityPASS Chicago

The Chicago CityPASS saves you 53% on top attractions in Chicago

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.

Chicago skyline at night

Chicago skyline at night

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.

Trump Tower, Chicago

Trump Tower, Chicago

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.

Lake Michigan, Chicago

Lake Michigan, Chicago

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.

Aerial view of Chicago

Aerial view of Chicago

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.

Chicago, Illinois with Lake Michigan in background

Chicago, Illinois with Lake Michigan in background

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.

Willis Tower, Chicago

Willis Tower, Chicago

The Willis Tower, Chicago - built as and still commonly referred to as Sears Tower

The Willis Tower, Chicago – built as and still commonly referred to as Sears Tower

Hancock Center

For an immersive shopping and dining experience, check out the Hancock Center.

Hancock Center in Chicago

Hancock Center in Chicago

Hancock Center, Chicago

Hancock Center, Chicago

The Adler Planetarium

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium is America’s first planetarium and has two full-size planetarium theaters.

The Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium

The Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium has over 25,000 fish and mammals to see up-close and personal.

John Shedd Aquarium

John Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium, Chicago

Shedd Aquarium, Chicago

360 Chicago

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.

360 Chicago (formerly John Hancock Observatory)

360 Chicago (formerly John Hancock Observatory)

Millennium Park

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.

Millennium Park, Chicago, with the Cloud Gate

Millennium Park, Chicago, with the Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate

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.

Cloud Gate a.k.a. the Chicago Bean

Cloud Gate a.k.a. the Chicago Bean

Cloud Gate (Chicago Bean)

Cloud Gate (Chicago Bean)

Navy Pier

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.

Navy Pier, Chicago

Navy Pier, Chicago

Navy Pier in Chicago

Navy Pier in Chicago

Field Museum

Field Museum is a massive natural history museum with more than 30 permanent exhibitions covering 300,000 square feet.

Field Museum, Chicago

Field Museum, Chicago

Chicago Riverwalk

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.

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

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