There are limitless issues to do in Chicago and the town shocked us (in a great way) with its bustling downtown core, expansive inexperienced areas, trendy artwork shows, Michelin-starred eating places and charming neighbourhoods!
Regardless of your age or journey type, you’ll discover sights and actions in Chicago that may pique your curiosity. It’s no marvel the town is firmly on the record of the 101 finest locations to go to within the US.
We not too long ago spent per week within the Windy Metropolis and will have lingered for much longer. With so many thrilling issues to do in Chicago (and eat!), attempt to give your self not less than 5 days to discover.
And, opposite to perception, this metropolis is definitely one of many finest locations to go to in January because of having so many indoor sights and wonderful festivals throughout that point.
On this article, I’m going to record not solely the apparent issues to do in Chicago, however among the extra off-track websites and experiences that we had — and extremely advocate.
Word: Don’t miss our journey video of Chicago on the finish of this publish!
High 25 Should-Expertise Issues To Do in Chicago
Right here’s my information for the highest 25 issues to do in Chicago throughout your subsequent journey after being proven across the metropolis by a bunch of locals and the Chicago Tourism Board.
1. Stroll – All over the place!
I needed to put this primary on the record.
Taking transport is an effective way to get across the metropolis, however by strolling, you’ll have the ability to expertise the entire in-between bits that makes Chicago so nice.
Plus, you’ll have the ability to burn off a few of these energy you’ve consumed after consuming so nicely!
Gaze up on the towering skyscrapers within the downtown space, or saunter down quiet streets in one of many 77+ surrounding neighbourhoods.
There are not any actual hills in Chicago, the sidewalks are nicely taken care of and also you don’t want to fret about falling off any uneven curbs. Should you get drained, name an Uber or hop on the prepare.
2. Attend a Pageant
Chicago is thought for internet hosting many, many festivals.
There are too many to record right here, however for those who’re taken with music, meals, trend, movie, sports activities, tradition, flowers and the whole lot in between, you’ll discover a competition that you simply get pleasure from.
In the course of the summer time months, don’t miss these occasions:
1. Style of Chicago
This meals/music competition has been operating since 1980 and is the biggest meals competition on the earth!
Right here you’ll get pleasure from delicacies from across the globe — Indian, Thai, American, Caribbean, Mexican, European, and way more.
The grounds at Grant Park are free to enter, however you buy tickets to change for pattern parts of meals, or full meals.
A strip of 14 tickets will run you $10 and a taster portion of meals will price you about 6 tickets.
Be sure you carry your personal water although as a result of 500mL of bottled water on the competition will price you $8! Click on right here to be taught extra concerning the Style of Chicago, which is held in July.
2. Windy Metropolis Smokeout
For BBQ, beer and nation music followers, this competition is one you don’t need to miss!
I actually really feel like this is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Chicago in the summertime and it was most likely our favorite competition throughout our 5-day go to.
There’s a grandstand right here that hosts the principle music performances, plus one other smaller stage in direction of the again. Wander round and let your nostril information you in direction of billowing people who smoke, the place 20+ pitmasters from across the nation grill up tender meat.
There’s no scarcity of succulent, smokey ribs, tasty brisket, pit-roasted pork, and grilled hen at this occasion.
Additionally, be certain that to pattern among the craft beers on faucet, a lot of that are from Chicago. I like to recommend the IPAs from Moody and Tongue and Goose Island. Click on right here to be taught extra concerning the enjoyable Windy Metropolis Smokeout occasion, which is held in July.
3. Grant Park Music Pageant
Should you’re into classical music, refrain, orchestras and FREE live shows, then don’t miss this one.
Seize a garden chair or a blanket, pack a picnic and a few wine and head all the way down to Millennium Park on the Jay Pritzker Pavillion.
This classical music competition is held yearly for 10 weeks from June to August and has been for greater than 80 years. Click on right here to be taught extra concerning the Grant Park Music Pageant.
4. Chicago Blues Pageant
Extremely, that is one other free competition in Chicago!
Not solely is entrance free, but it surely’s the biggest music competition within the metropolis. Head all the way down to Millennium Park for the weekend of Jun 8 – tenth and benefit from the present. (extra about Blues music in #22 on this record).
3. Go On an Structure River Cruise
Even when structure actually isn’t your factor, don’t miss the Chicago Structure River Cruise.
Chicago has quite a few towering skyscrapers, and smaller warehouses alongside the Chicago River, all of which have a narrative.
Quite than guessing for your self, the information on the boat tour offers you some historical past and describe the design type, all when you sip on a beer and benefit from the sunshine.
We joined the Chicago Structure Basis Heart River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Woman and loved the journey. The information offered glorious info, there was a toilet and a bar on board and the ship was fairly comfy. The tour is extremely rated on TripAdvisor.
There are quite a few corporations to go together with. Shoreline Sightseeing is one other extremely rated possibility.
4. Get a Fowl’s Eye View (one of the wonderful issues to do in Chicago!)
After you’ve seen Chicago by foot and by boat, it’s time to get an aerial view of the town.
A helicopter trip is on just about everybody’s bucket record and after flying excessive above Chicago on a sundown journey, I can say that this really is one thing you don’t need to miss.
Along with 5 different folks (plus the pilot), you’ll don a headset and soar above Chicago, passing by the Lakefront, Navy Pier and extra. The pilot offers details about the buildings down beneath and can reply any questions you may have.
I truthfully assume that this is without doubt one of the finest worth issues to do in Chicago. A sundown flight in a helicopter over Chicago is value each penny and is one thing you’ll always remember. Click on right here to be taught extra and to guide this tour
*Professional-tip: carry a GoPro digital camera or some form of fish eye lens to your smartphone, because it’s onerous to get selfies in such a contained area.
5. Go To An Escape Room
Escape rooms have turn out to be considered one of our favourite issues to search out in new cities whereas touring or on vacation. Fortunately Chicago has some epic escape rooms to expertise.
At The Escape Recreation in Chicago, you’ll be able to check out 5 totally different rooms with quite a lot of themes and issue ranges. One of many coolest units in an escape room ever is the “Mission: Mars” escape room. Be a part of with others or guide all spots for a personal expertise. Costs begin at round $45.
Click on Right here to guide on-line now.
6. Go to The Neighbourhoods
As I stated above, there are over 77 neighbourhoods in Chicago, every with its personal vibe and issues to do. Being downtown is nice, however attempt to go to just a few of the totally different neighbourhoods in Chicago.
Our favorite was Pilsen, which was as soon as a predominantly Slavic neighborhood, however for the reason that 1960’s it has been dwelling to many Hispanic residents, principally Mexicans.
Amongst different issues, Pilsen provides vivid road artwork, Mexican meals, the Nationwide Museum of Mexican Artwork and the Thalia Music Corridor.
Be sure you go to the Mexican museum right here to be taught concerning the present concern of gentrification that affects Pilsen and another components of Chicago.
Wander round at your personal tempo and benefit from the ‘hood.
Cease in at Leaping Bean for espresso, Canton Regio for Mexican meals (and BYOB!), and Michelin starred Dusek’s Board & Beer for tasty delicacies and beers. 3 – 4 hours in Pilsen is loads of time to discover lots of the again streets and funky retailers.
Different attention-grabbing communities embrace:
- Close to West Facet: providing unbelievable restaurant decisions, boutique retailers and road artwork (take a look at Randolph Avenue and Fulton Market), that is the foodie hotspot. Take a look at Michelin starred Lady and The Goat restaurant and have a espresso on the stylish Soho Home.
- Wicker Park / Bucktown: recognized for classic retailers, craft cocktails and chilled out spots, spend a day right here purchasing, eating and testing the 606 which runs by these neighbourhoods (extra on the 606 at #10 on this record). Seize a brew from MapRoom Taphouse, or cool off with an Italian Ice from Miko’s.
- Logan Sq.: an space with a robust sense of neighborhood and assist of native companies…with a aspect of hipster vibes, craft beer and reside music. Right here you’ll discover a few of Chicago’s finest eating places, don’t miss Fats Rice (Macanese fusion) and Mi Tocaya Antojeria (Mexican delicacies).
- Lincoln Park: a mixture of metropolis and nature, Lincoln Park provides an enormous inexperienced area full with a lakefront path and sandy seashores. On this neighbourhood you’ll be able to hearken to blues music, occasion all night time lengthy, buy groceries at stylish boutiques, or seize a motorbike and trip the paths. Strive a hotdog from Wiener’s Circle (extra on that at #9 on this record) and a few Korean hen at Crisp.
- Andersonville: this enjoyable space is dwelling to considered one of Chicago’s largest homosexual communities, and is thought for being a various a part of the town. Go to the theatre, devour a tasty burger at Little Dangerous Wolf and sip on a craft beer from Hopleaf.
- Edgewater: If you find yourself right here, you might also need to take a look at the New York Trapeze Faculty for a reasonably loopy expertise the place you truly get to see what it’s wish to be a member of cirque for your self!
7. Dangle Above the Metropolis
Conquer your fears and head to the SkyDeck Observatory on the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) and luxuriate in wonderful views of Chicago.
This is without doubt one of the hottest sights within the metropolis, and for good purpose! There are 4 glass packing containers (ledges) protruding from the highest of the Willis Tower the place you’ll be able to stroll out on 1.5 inches of glass.
On a transparent day, you’ll be able to see Chicago, plus the three neighbouring states of Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. This is without doubt one of the most Instagrammed spots within the metropolis, and one of the standard issues to do in Chicago.
I’m personally scared of heights and was in a position to stand (and sit) on this platform.
Should you’re nervous as nicely, know that you’ll be able to inch your means out at your personal tempo and you’ll have one foot on “stable” floor and one on the field if it makes you’re feeling extra comfy. Click on right here to be taught extra and guide tickets for the SkyDeck Expertise.
8. Do a Cheese Pull
Inevitably, in your quest for issues to do in Chicago, you’ll hear plenty of speak (and debate) concerning the finest pizza in Chicago, however, after sampling a pair, we’ve come to the conclusion that our favorite was Giordano’s.
Now, there are quite a few different locations that we didn’t get to attempt, so I counsel occurring a hunt for the very best pizza and seeing what you give you.
Giordano’s provides made to order deep dish and skinny crust pizzas — taking round 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook dinner.
The pizzas listed below are tasty, however most significantly, the cheese is extremely stringy, providing you with that final Instagram cheese pull picture. This is without doubt one of the finest locations to eat in Chicago.
9. Discover The Lakefront Path
When you’ve acquired your fill of the town, among the best issues to do in Chicago to get some recent air is to move to the lakefront.
At 494 kilometers lengthy and 190 kilometers broad, Lake Michigan is the biggest of the Nice Lakes and is definitely the sixth largest freshwater lake on earth.
Taking a look at it, you’d be forgiven for pondering that it’s truly extra of an ocean than a lake because it even has tidal shifts.
The Lakefront Path is an uninterrupted, 29 kilometers (18 miles) lengthy, pedestrian-only route. It’s the right place for biking, rollerblading, jogging, or strolling.
Alongside the best way, you’ll cross by lovely seashores, good for laying down a towel and going for a swim. Take a look at Kathy Osterman Seaside and Montrose Seaside.
To get right here, hop on an Uber and select some extent alongside the path that you simply’d wish to be dropped off at. I like to recommend arriving at Kathy Osterman Seaside and biking to Lincoln Park. This brings me to #9…
10. Lease a Divvy Bike
Divvy Bikes are an effective way to discover Chicago — particularly alongside the vehicle-free Riverwalk, 606 walkway, and the Lakefront path.
These shared bikes are inexpensive and make for a singular means of getting across the metropolis. Whether or not you need to simply get from level a to level b, or spend a day biking round, these bicycles are an important transportation possibility.
Lease your self a Divvy bike at one of many stations round Chicago and set off to discover the Lakefront Path at your personal tempo.
With Divvy bikes, you’ll be able to lease for half-hour ($3) or 24 hours ($15), and decide up and drop off at totally different areas across the metropolis.
Obtain the Divvy app to be taught the place to search out bike stations, and whether or not or not there are any bikes at present docked there.
*Professional-tip: there aren’t any baskets on the entrance of the bikes, only a bungee wire, so be sure you carry a backpack or one thing to place your water and sunscreen in.
11. Get Insulted Whereas Consuming a Scorching Canine
Chicago has quite a few iconic meals and snacks, considered one of which is, after all, a sizzling canine! Eaten at ball video games, tailgate events, BBQs and on the road, sampling a Chicago type canine when you’re here’s a should.
Should you’re on the lookout for a hotdog with a aspect of sass, profanity, and heckling, then be certain that to go to The Wiener’s Circle in Lincoln Park.
In the course of the day, it’s a reasonably chilled out place, however after 8:00pm and nicely into the night time, it’s a joint that you simply most likely don’t need to carry your youngsters to.
The workers right here make enjoyable of patrons, throwing curse phrases and insults at everybody who enters! It’s all in good enjoyable although and everybody laughs at one another, and themselves. This establishment has been right here for over 30 years, and continues to be going sturdy.
12. Wander Alongside the 606
The 606 is to Chicago what the Highline is to New York, and at solely 5 years previous, it’s one of many latest issues to do in Chicago.
As soon as an deserted railway line, this raised path and inexperienced area is now a spot for Chicagoans to cycle, jog, stroll, skateboard, or rollerblade away from the site visitors – from 6:00am to 11:00pm.
Named after the shared zip code prefix of this space of Chicago, the 606 is situated within the neighbourhoods of Logan Park, Humboldt Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park and spans 4.3 kilometers (2.7 miles).
That is one other great place to lease a Divvy bike! Click on right here to be taught extra concerning the 606 and to see a map of the realm.
13. Tilt Over The Metropolis
One more adrenaline-inducing factor to do in Chicago!
The “Tilt” is situated on the 360 Chicago Commentary Deck on the North Michigan Avenue Constructing (John Hancock Heart). If you wish to see the town from 314m (1,030 toes) above the bottom, whereas tilting over the constructing to the streets beneath, then that is the trip for you.
Principally, you stand in opposition to a glass wall going through outwards. Holding onto handles, the glass wall then extends and tilts downwards providing you with wonderful views of the streets and buildings beneath.
Should you’re feeling uncomfortable, don’t fear, you’re free to step again away from the glass at any time.
Should you simply need to go to the 94th ground for a drink and to benefit from the unbelievable sundown views over the town, that’s additionally potential. Tilting is simply an added attraction. Click on right here to be taught extra and to buy tickets for the Tilt.
14. Chow Down on Some Popcorn
Popcorn is considered one of Chicago’s hottest snacks, so earlier than you say “consuming popcorn shouldn’t be thought-about among the best issues to do in Chicago”, attempt Garrett’s and also you’ll understand why it’s on the record.
This connoisseur popcorn store is situated throughout the town and provides varied flavours — almond caramel crisp, cheese, butter, cashew caramel, macadamia caramel…or blended.
I like to recommend the combination of caramel crisp and cheddar cheese. Candy and savoury! Click on right here for areas.
15. Hangout By The Chicago River
The Chicago River snakes its means by the town and up till 2016, there wasn’t a means for pedestrians to stroll alongside the river financial institution.
Today, you’ll be able to get pleasure from the brand new riverwalk which runs for two kilometers (1.25 miles) from Lakeshore Drive to Lake Avenue, giving locals and guests the chance to stroll, run, dine and calm down alongside the river.
This walkway is a superb addition to the town. Not solely are you able to get pleasure from some vehicle-free train, take a look at the general public artwork and benefit from the surrounding structure, however there are quite a few locations to eat and drink!
Pull up a chair, play some video games, or watch the boats go by on the Island Social gathering Hut (beers $7.50, cocktails $14). Seize a glass of wine and a few appetizers and other people watch at Metropolis Vineyard, or devour some BBQ whereas having fun with reside music at Tiny Tapp.
16. Store ’til You Drop
As with most large cities on the earth, Chicago is dwelling to an unbelievable purchasing scene. From high-end trend and cute boutiques to low-cost retailers and chains, there’s a store for you in Chicago.
The Magnificent Mile spans 8 metropolis blocks from Michigan Avenue Bridge to Oak Avenue and is without doubt one of the high spots for purchasing within the metropolis.
Right here you’ll discover designer retailers resembling Burberry, Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren, standing subsequent to the malls of Saks, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus.
Blended in with all of those stand-alone retailers, you’ll discover 3 malls providing souvenirs, toys, sporting items, make-up, and naturally, clothes.
Lastly, after your bank card has taken a beating, pop into one of many many eating places, cafes or bars and seize a chunk. For one thing a bit extra upscale, don’t miss High Chef season 15 winner, Joe Flamm’s restaurant, Spiaggia.
The “Magazine Mile” is your one-stop store for the whole lot you possibly can probably want.
17. Journey a Ferris Wheel
The Navy Pier is a high landmark within the metropolis and is a superb place to benefit from the skyline, go for a stroll, see the Crystal Gardens, watch a film, see a fireworks show, and naturally, trip the Ferris wheel.
Enjoyable reality: George Washington Ferris invented the Ferris wheel, and the primary one was constructed for the Chicago World’s Honest in 1893. Entrance to the Navy Pier is free, however if you wish to trip the Ferris wheel, it prices $15.
18. Paddle a Kayak
City kayaking is without doubt one of the hottest issues to do in Chicago. After you’ve joined the structure boat tour and realized all concerning the buildings, why not seize your self a kayak and paddle at your personal tempo?
There are just a few corporations within the metropolis that supply kayaking excursions on the Chicago River, or on Lake Michigan. However, for those who really feel like going solo, you may also lease a kayak at an hourly fee of round $25. Take a look at Water Riders or Kayak Chicago for extra particulars.
19. Lease a Boat (among the best issues to do in Chicago with buddies)
If Kayaking isn’t your factor, you may also lease electrical boats and do a self-drive journey up and down the river. That’s proper, you get to be the captain! The boats are simple to drive, identical to a golf cart.
The unbelievable factor concerning the fleet on the Chicago Electrical Boat Firm is that they’re all zero emissions. The boats can maintain between 10 – 12 folks and the speed is from $150 – $215 / hour.
If you divide that worth amongst a bunch of individuals, it actually is an efficient deal. See the Chicago Electrical Boat Firm for particulars. This is without doubt one of the most original issues to do in Chicago with buddies.
20. Dine On Rib Eye and Wine
Chicago has one of many hottest meals scenes within the nation. Even for those who don’t contemplate your self a complete foodie, you’ll be impressed with the delicacies on provide within the metropolis.
Should you’re on the lookout for a succulent reduce of beef, complemented with a strong glass of pink, in a non-pretentious, but elegant environment, then be sure you add RPM Steakhouse to your consuming itinerary. This is without doubt one of the finest locations to eat in Chicago.
Not solely is the menu seasonal and assorted, however the service right here is on level. Plus, for those who’re not into steaks, there are numerous different choices on the menu together with salads, seafood and hen.
I extremely advocate the hamachi crudo, Mediterranean octopus, the rib eye, lobster, huckleberry cheesecake and chocolate cake. Yum!
21. Discover The Avenue Artwork
Chicago’s artsy aspect is prevalent in its many public museums, galleries and park sculptures, however for those who’re right into a extra bohemian, graffiti type of artwork, you’ll need to seek for among the cool road artwork scattered across the metropolis.
You’ll discover quite a few murals within the Pilsen neighbourhood, plus just a few dotted round Logan Sq. and Bucktown.
The B_line hall within the Fulton Market meatpacking district has been not too long ago revived and is now full of vibrant illustrations. Spanning a mile, the partitions beneath the elevated B_line prepare tracks have been changed into spectacular items from artists world wide.
This space is a superb instance of an open-air artwork gallery. Wander down West Hubbard Avenue between Peoria and North Ogden Ave. to search out the art work. To be taught extra, take a look at the Instagram web page.
22. Sip On Some Craft Beer
You don’t need to be a hipster to get pleasure from an icy chilly glass of craft beer, and what higher place to take action than in Chicago, a metropolis that loves its beer.
Based on this publish, there are at present 72 breweries within the metropolis and 132 within the suburbs!
Clearly, you received’t have the ability to go to all of them on a brief journey to Chicago, however undoubtedly take a look at the IPAs, Ales, Stouts and Lagers on provide at these craft breweries and taprooms: Revolution Brewing, Goose Island and Moody Tongue.
One other nice craft beer bar is the aptly named Map Room in Bucktown which has flags from world wide, and over 200 beers from varied international locations. Have enjoyable wandering round and having fun with the finest bars in Chicago!
23. Go to The Parks
There are quite a few inexperienced areas in Chicago, and tons of spots the place you’ll be able to lay down a blanket and luxuriate in a picnic within the solar. There are over 500 parks inside the metropolis limits, however be certain that to take a look at these ones:
- Millennium Park: dwelling to the Cloud Gate / Bean sculpture, artwork and exhibition reveals, live shows, outside exercises, outside live shows and eating.
- Maggie Daley Park: this activity-filled park provides a climbing wall, playground, skating ribbon (ice within the winter, cement in the summertime), mini-golf, tennis courts and way more.
- Lincoln Park: situated within the neighbourhood of the identical title, Lincoln Park provides quite a few lakeside biking trails, seashores, museums, eating places and a cultural middle. This park is 1,208 acres (489-hectares) so be sure you give your self a while to discover and calm down.
*Word: Grant Park truly encompasses Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, Buckingham Fountain and the Museum Campus.
24. Get pleasure from a Night time At The Theatre
Touted because the theatre capital of the USA, there are over 250 theatre corporations in Chicago! From comedies and musicals to ballets and orchestras, there’s a plethora of performances to see within the metropolis.
Within the downtown / Loop space, take a look at the Broadway reveals on the Oriental Theatre, live shows on the Auditorium Theatre and standard musicals on the CIBC Theatre.
Should you’re into comedies and improv, take a look at The Second Metropolis which is the place the likes of Chris Farley, Invoice Murray, Tina Fay and Steve Carrell began out.
25. Hearken to Blues
For a enjoyable night time out in Chicago, I like to recommend testing a Blues membership. This distinctive style of music originated in Mississippi in the course of the slave instances within the 1800s, and whereas these days are over, the soulful music has remained.
The explanation Blues music is so standard in Chicago is as a result of Nice Migration of African-Individuals from Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
Lots of the individuals who fled the southern states (because of racial discrimination) selected Chicago in hopes that they might discover industrial work and a happier life. With them, they introduced their wonderful music.
Enjoyable reality: though blues music didn’t originate in Chicago, again within the 1980’s Home Music was created by DJ’s and producers in underground golf equipment. The following time you’re dancing to digital music, keep in mind, you may have Chicago to thank for these beats!
BONUS: 26. Watch a Recreation
Chicago is dwelling to skilled sports activities groups and relying on which period of the 12 months you go to, be sure you attend a recreation.
Whether or not you’re into hockey, soccer, soccer, baseball or basketball, Chicago has an expert workforce on provide. Many of those groups have received championships, however the preferred sports activities within the metropolis are by far baseball and soccer.
For baseball followers, head to Wrigley Area for a Cubs recreation, or to Assured Fee Area for a White Sox recreation (click on the hyperlinks to see ticket costs). If soccer is your factor, make your option to Soldier Area for a Bears recreation.
Sports activities are an enormous a part of life in Chicago and Chicagoans are very passionate about their groups.
Get pleasure from a reside recreation alongside these superior followers, or share within the camaraderie at one of many many sports activities bars. Watching sports activities with a hotdog and beer in hand is without doubt one of the high issues to do in Chicago for certain.
Bonus: 27. Gaze Up at The Fireworks
In the course of the summer time months from Could 26 – September 1, the Navy Pier places on a spectacular present.
Make your means all the way down to the pier on Wednesdays (9:30pm) and Saturdays (10:15pm) and benefit from the fireworks present, synchronized to music.
Watch the sky mild up whereas sitting on the pier, or from a ship on the river or lake. This is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Chicago in the summertime. Click on right here to be taught extra and to see the schedule.
Bonus: 28. Be a part of a Free Strolling Tour
Strolling excursions are a wonderful option to get a fast and informative introduction to cities world wide. We’ve joined strolling excursions in Medellin, Tirana, Berlin, Edinburgh, Florence and Rome (to call just a few), and it’s at all times been a tremendous expertise.
In Chicago, the guides are locals and are very educated about their metropolis. Anticipate to be taught concerning the historical past of Chicago, the assorted buildings, and the place to eat and drink — all whereas being entertained by nice storytellers.
You possibly can select from structure excursions in varied components of the town, at totally different instances of the day. This is without doubt one of the finest budget-friendly issues to do in Chicago.
The excursions are typically round 2 hours lengthy, which is nice because it doesn’t take up your complete day. As a bonus, the excursions are “free” and also you’re solely anticipated to offer a tip for those who’re pleased with the service.
It’s extra of a “pay what you want” scenario. Click on right here to be taught extra about Free Excursions By Foot.
Getting Round Chicago
Fortunately, regardless that Chicago is a sprawling metropolis of just below 3 million folks, the environment friendly transportation methods make getting round simple and stress-free, with elevated rail traces providing you with glorious views of the town when you trip.
Getting from the Airport to Downtown Chicago
Taking public transport (CTA – Chicago Transit Authority) from the airport is essentially the most budget-friendly possibility. It’s additionally very easy.
The Blue Line runs 24 hours from the O’Hare Airport to downtown Chicago. The journey takes about 40-45 minutes and the price is $5 (much less when you have a vast trip cross which you’ll decide up on the airport and at merchandising machines across the metropolis).
Should you’re arriving on the Chicago Halfway Worldwide Airport, you’ll be able to hop on the Orange Line for a 20-25 minute trip to the downtown loop space.
To pay for these journeys, buy a Ventra card from one of many merchandising machines on the airport prepare stations, at Ventra Merchandising Machines, or over 1,000 Ventra Retailers across the metropolis.
You should buy 1 journey, 1 day or 3-day tickets. The machines settle for money, credit score or debit. Click on right here to be taught extra concerning the transport choices from the Chicago airports to the downtown space.
Getting Round Chicago
When you’re within the metropolis, the very best methods to get round Chicago are by strolling and biking, or by prepare, bus and rideshare.
You’ll want to determine what number of instances you assume you’ll take the CTA buses or trains, after which buy the suitable Ventra Card.
Should you assume you’ll solely trip the prepare or bus a few instances, it can save you cash by buying particular person rides (normally $2.50) and pay as you go.
1 Day CTA Cross for $10
3 Day CTA Cross for $20
7 Day CTA Cross for $28
For maps of the assorted prepare traces within the metropolis, click on right here.
Uber and Lyft are the preferred rideshare corporations in Chicago and are ceaselessly utilized by locals and guests.
Google Maps additionally permits you to name trip shares straight from the app, so you’ll be able to resolve if you wish to stroll the space, cycle, use public transport or name an Uber.
Metropolis Attraction Passes in Chicago
Since there are such a lot of wonderful sights and issues to do in Chicago, you’ll need to contemplate buying an sights cross. There are 2 foremost low cost playing cards out there:
1. CityPass Chicago
This cross consists of:
- Shedd Aquarium – Precedence Entry
- Skydeck Chicago – Quick Cross
- The Area Museum – VIP Entry
- Museum of Science and Business OR 360 CHICAGO Commentary Deck – Specific Entry
- Adler Planetarium – VIP Entry OR Artwork Institute of Chicago – Quick Cross
The price of the CityPass is $106 for adults and $89 for youngsters aged 3 – 11, and it’s legitimate for 9 consecutive days.
Should you had been to go to the entire sights listed above with out the CityPass, it could price you $217.90.
It’s essential to first resolve what number of sights you need to go to whereas in Chicago and work out if the CityPass is best for you. Click on right here to be taught extra and to buy the cross.
2. Go Chicago Card
The Go Chicago Card is totally different from the CityPass in that you’re granted free entry to 25 sights throughout a set interval.
As with the CityPass, you’ll want so as to add up the sights you intend to go to and see if this low cost card is value it. Select between these passes:
“All You Can Do in…”
1 day – $109 for adults, $69 for teenagers.
2 days – $154 for adults, $109 for teenagers.
3 days – $184 for adults, $129 for teenagers.
5 days – $219 for adults, $149 for teenagers.
By my calculations, for those who had been to go to the SkyDeck ($24), 360 Chicago ($23), Artwork Institute of Chicago with Quick Cross ($35), the Ferris Wheel on the Navy Pier ($15) and the Structure River Cruise ($43), then the price can be $140.
This makes the 1 day cross worthwhile — and it’s solely $14 shy of the price of the 2-day cross.
These are the included sights within the Go Chicago Card:
• SkyDeck Chicago
• 360 CHICAGO
• Area Museum (Admission plus one particular exhibit )
• Hop-On Hop-Off Large Bus Chicago: 1-Day Basic Tour
• Artwork Institute of Chicago – Quick Cross Admission
• Museum of Science and Business
• Adler Planetarium
• Chicago Kids’s Museum
• Navy Pier Centennial Wheel and Rides
• LEGOLAND® Discovery Heart
• Chicago Historical past Museum
• Chicago Structure Basis
• Museum of Modern Artwork
• Frank Lloyd Wright Residence and Studio Tour
• Robie Home
• Historic Chicago South Shore Tour
• Grand Tour
• Panoramic and Scenic North Facet Tour
• Chicago Theatre Tour
• Brookfield Zoo
• Bike and Roll Chicago
• Chicago Structure River Cruise
• Tall Ship WINDY
• Basic Lake Tour
• Lincoln Park Zoo Rides
For extra info and particulars, and to buy the Go Chicago Card, click on right here.
Now You Know What To Do in Chicago
One of many issues that makes Chicago such an gratifying metropolis is which you can be surrounded by site visitors and skyscrapers one minute, and the following, end up stress-free on the river or lakefront. All inside only a few minute’s drive.
There are limitless enjoyable issues to do in Chicago and hopefully this record gave you some inspiration to your subsequent journey. All I can say is be certain that to offer your self sufficient time in Chicago, but when not, you possibly can at all times come again…
Don’t Miss Our Chicago Journey Video!
*Word, among the pictures on this article had been sourced on Shutterstock — a web site for locating royalty-free, skilled pictures and movies.