10 Best Things To Do in Chicago [Top Tourist Attractions]

Make the most of your visit to Chicago and have some fun in these top tourist attractions in the city. Featured Photo of Chicago at night by Humbledumpty under creative commons.

Known for its vivacious arts scene and riveting architecture, Chicago or the “Windy City” is a popular tourist destination in America for both local and international tourists. From interesting museums to gorgeous parks, Chicago never runs out of spots worthy of your visit. With a lot of things to do and see here, it’s maybe difficult for you to decide where to go. So, we came up with a list of the best things to do in Chicago to guide you in your journey to the “Windy City”.

Explore the Shedd Aquarium

Opened on 30 May 1930, Shedd Aquarium is a popular indoor public aquarium in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the top tourist attractions in Chicago famous for its saltwater fish collection. It is open as of writing and will be fully opened by June 11, 2021. Masks will no longer be required for fully vaccinated staff and visitors.

See Chicago’s top attractions, handpicked and packaged together for a reduced price. Get a CHICAGO CityPASS now!

Shedd Aquarium | Photo by Jeffrey Jung under creative commons

Address: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60605
Opening Hours: Open 9 am – 5 pm

Visit the Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower

Enjoy a spectacular view of Chicago and experience The Ledge, a glass balcony extending four feet outside the 103rd floor of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). A visit to Chicago is not complete if you miss visiting the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Spend less, experience more… get a Chicago CityPASS!

View of Chicaco River from Willis Tower | Photo by Ken Lund under creative commons

Opening Hours:

March- September
9 am – 10 pm

October- February
10 am – 8 pm

See the Field Museum

Situated on Chicago’s iconic Lake Michigan shore, the Field Museum opened its current building to the public in 1921. It is one of the world’s leading natural history museums and is home to about 40 million artifacts and specimens.

Field Museum Main Hall | Photo by Jason Zhang under creative commons

Visit Art Institute of Chicago

Located in the heart of Chicago—across from Millennium Park and steps from Lake Michigan—the Art Institute is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. It has over 260,000 artworks and artifacts, many of which are in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, early twentieth-century European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, Japanese prints, and photography. 

Art Institute of Chicago | Photo by Teemu008 under creative commos

Entrances:

Michigan Avenue Entrance

111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60603

Modern Wing Entrance

159 East Monroe Street
Chicago, Illinois 60603

Opening Hours


Members OnlyPublic
Monday10–11 a.m.11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Tuesday–WednesdayClosedClosed
Thursday–Sunday10–11 a.m.11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Explore the Museum of Science and Industry

One of the largest science museums in the world and the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere, the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is home to over 400,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity.

Submarine Museum of Science and Industry Chicago | Photo by Paul R Burley under creative commons

Museum Hours

Tuesdays through Sundays
Open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Admission Fee

Giant Dome Theater Films

Adult – $12
Child (ages 3-11) – $9
Member – FREE or discounted

Fab Lab and Learning Labs

Adult – $12
Child (ages 10-11) – $9
Member – FREE or discounted

Special Exhibitions

Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes

Adult – $18
Child
 (3-11) – $14
Members
 (all ages) $9

Enjoy a Great View at the 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck

Experience the best views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan at 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck, on e of the must-visit tourist attractions in the city. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of Chicago from 1,000 feet above the famed Magnificent Mile. Its observation deck is the home of TILT – Chicago’s highest thrill ride – and BAR 94, 360 CHICAGO’s own modern bar and café, where you can chill and enjoy the best views in the city.

View of Downtown Chicago from 360 Chicago Observation Deck | Photo by Matt Kieffer under creative commons

Oerating Hours

Monday – Thursday: 9 AM – 9 PM
Friday and Saturday: 9 AM – 11 PM
Sunday: 9 AM – 9 PM
Last entry is 1 hour prior to closing

Have Fun at Adler Planetarium

Situated on the northeast tip of Northerly Island at the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, the Adler Planetarium is public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics founded by Max Adler in 1930. It is America’s first planetarium and is one of the top tourist attractions in Chicago.

Adler Planetarium | Photo by Adler Planetarium under creative commons

Take a Stroll at the Millennium Park

Situated in the heart of Chicago, Millennium Park is a popular picnic graound where people gather to chill, watch the fountain, and catch free concerts and movie screenings.

Chicago Millennium Park | Photo by Petr Steinbauer under creative commons

Admire Nature at Garfield Park Conservatory

Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning botanical conservatories in America. it is often referred to as “landscape art under glass” featuring thousands of plant species on display throughout eight rooms.

Garfield Park Conservatory | Photo by Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz under creative commons

Opening Hours and Admission Fee

Daily Hours:
Wednesday 10am-8pm
Thursday – Sunday 10am-5pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Admission: FREE 

Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo

Founded in 1868, Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the most established zoos in America. It is is commited to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience in the heart of Chicago.

Siberian Tiger at Lincoln Park Zoo | Photo by Mobilus In Mobili under creative commons

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