Recent Searches
Clear
Things to do in Chicago

Things to do in  Chicago

Welcome to Chicago

Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago—the largest city in Illinois and the third largest in the United States—offers a wealth of art, music, historical, and architectural experiences. Culture lovers can stroll through Millennium Park and the Loop to view outdoor art (including the iconic “Bean”), tour world-class museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, or cruise the Chicago River to see modern landmark gems. To meet the locals, buy a ticket for a ball game; catch some live blues or jazz (both of which have deep roots in Chicago) at a club; or laugh at the comedy acts at Second City, where many top comedians launched their careers.

Top 10 attractions in Chicago

#1
Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower (Sears Tower)

Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower (Sears Tower)

star-4.512,668
Once the world’s tallest building, Willis Tower is still way up in the clouds. Though it functions as an office building, the skyscraper’s 103rd-floor Skydeck Chicago draws 1.7 million annual visitors for a trip out onto The Ledge, an enclosed glass balcony extending 4 feet (1.2 meters) out over the city, as well as panoramic views that—on clear days—extend as far as Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin.More
#2
Chicago River

Chicago River

star-510,412
Winding its way through the heart of the Windy City, the Chicago River flows past some of the city’s most notable architecture, including the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), Wrigley Building, and Navy Pier. The river also offers opportunities for exploration, such as river cruises, kayaking, and canoeing, along a revamped riverfront.More
#3
Navy Pier

Navy Pier

star-510,595
Navy Pier is one of Chicago’s most popular tourist destinations—and with good reason. The 3,300-foot (1,010-meter) pier jutting into the waters of Lake Michigan, originally constructed in 1916 as a freight dock and public space, encompasses almost 50 acres (20 hectares) of exhibits, rides, parks, and family attractions.More
#4
Millennium Park

Millennium Park

star-512,367
Located just a block away from Lake Michigan in the heart of downtown Chicago, Millennium Park showcases world-class art, music, architecture, and landscape design. Completed in 2004, the 24.5-acre (10-hectare) park is one of Chicago’s most popular destinations, drawing 25 million visitors per year.More
#5
Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

star-513,384
Connecting Lake Michigan to downtown, the Chicago Riverwalk is an open-air pedestrian-friendly walkway that runs along the Chicago River. Composed of six main sections, the Riverwalk is a main hub for entertainment. Head to the Marina Plaza section for restaurants, outdoor seating, and boat access. Take a stroll through a series of piers and floating wetland gardens at the Riverbank, or head to the Water Plaza where the kids can splash in water fountains.More
#6
Grant Park

Grant Park

star-510,084
Known as “Chicago’s Front Yard,” Grant Park stretches over 300 acres (121 hectares), and is the city’s primary downtown park. Located in the Loop, Grant Park is sandwiched between Lake Michigan and soaring skyscrapers. Its cultural highlights include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum Campus, and Millennium Park.More
#7
Wrigley Building

Wrigley Building

star-4.510,683
The 1920s were an important time for Chicago architecture, and when the Wrigley Building opened in 1925, it set the pace for the city’s development. When owner William Wrigley Jr. (of the Wrigley gum company) scouted locations for the building that would become his company’s headquarters, he chose a unique triangle shape of land that eventually became the bustling Magnificent Mile.More
#8
Marina City

Marina City

star-511,170
The dueling main columns of Marina City overlook the Chicago River. Its scalloped “corn-on-the-cob” exterior, formed by undulating half-moon balconies, has made it instantly recognizable and a popular setting in movies such as Batman Begins, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and The Blues Brothers. While the historic buildings are largely residential—some 1,400 people call Marina City home today—visitors are welcome to the complex. You can head up to roof decks for 360 degree views of the city skyline, rent boats in the attached marina to explore the Chicago river, dine in restaurants like Smith and Wollensky’s Grill, catch a concert in the House of Blues, and even use the structures’ ice skating rink, swimming pool, and bowling alley.Marina City’s 588-foot towers, designed by great Chicago architect Bertrand Goldberg, were the tallest residential structures and the tallest concrete buildings in the world when they were constructed in the early 1960s. Forty-stories of pie-shaped apartments, designed to emphasize city views, sit atop twenty stories of parking. Designed as a “city within a city,” with shopping, dining, office buildings, recreational spaces, and entertainment for its residents, the then-novel concept was part of a movement encouraging Chicagoans to return to downtown from the suburbs.More
#9
Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

star-5920
Once the world’s largest indoor aquariums, Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, and amphibians. The aquarium sits on the shores of Lake Michigan and is part of Chicago’s famous Museum Campus, which includes the Field Museum and Adler Planetarium.More
#10
The Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile

star-56,041
Fashion, architecture, and history in Chicago come together on this renowned stretch of Michigan Avenue nicknamed the Magnificent Mile. As you walk from the Chicago River to Oak Street, you’ll pass several Windy City landmarks, including the Water Tower, John Hancock Center, and Tribune Tower, as well as numerous luxury brand retailers.More

Trip ideas

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Chicago

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Chicago

Top activities in Chicago

Chicago Architecture River Cruise
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Lake Michigan Sightseeing Cruise
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Lake Michigan Sightseeing Cruise

star-4.5
330
From
$28.34
Chicago Crime and Mob Bus Tour

Chicago Crime and Mob Bus Tour

star-4.5
1200
From
$46.00
Chicago CityPASS

Chicago CityPASS

star-4.5
338
From
$114.00
90-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Chicago Craft Brewery Barrel Bus Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Underground Donut Tour: Chicago's First Donut Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Bikes, Bites, and Brews: Chicago's Signature Dishes Bike Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Recent reviews from experiences in Chicago

star-5
Winter, River and fun
KERRYANN_S, Mar 2022
90-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour
A good winter River tour.
star-5
Great tour! Do it!
Linda_D, Feb 2022
Chicago Crime and Mob Bus Tour
Interesting to see the places where the events took place.
star-5
Loved it!
Deborah_C, Feb 2022
90-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour
We knew it would be a special way to see Chicago, and it did not disappoint.
star-5
Beautiful Tour
Nolan_S, Dec 2021
Chicago Architecture River Cruise
My girlfriend had never been to Chicago and got to see an up close view of the magnificent skyline on the river!
star-5
Great way to spend an hour
Monet_S, Dec 2021
45-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour from Magnificent Mile
Great way to see the buildings from a different perspective.
star-5
Chicago at night
Gustavo_O, Dec 2021
Chicago Architecture River Cruise
It's a whole different experience to see Chicago at night.
star-5
Great way to spend a day!
Susan_D, Nov 2021
Chicago in a Day: Food, History and Architecture Combo Tour
It was well worth it to see so many interesting places and learn so much about the beautiful city of Chicago in just a few hours.
star-5
Rich in entertainment!
Deborah_D, Nov 2021
Chicago in a Day: Food, History and Architecture Combo Tour
I'm glad I was not part of a big tour group or else I probably wouldn't have gotten to see all the awesome sights that you took us to.
star-5
Good
SAMEERA_K, Feb 2022
90-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour
I would recommend this if you want to tour the river in the cold winter
star-5
Unique and cool experience
Stephanie_E, Nov 2021
Chicago Craft Brewery Barrel Bus Tour
Fun way to travel through Chicago and neat places to visit I would not have known about.
star-5
Recommended at the beginning of your visit to Chicago
kdks496brg, Nov 2021
Gangsters and Ghosts Tour in Chicago
This was a perfect way to start our first day in the city- it allowed us to see the sights at night while learning about Chicago’s history
star-4
Perfect day trip
Nicolas_M, Oct 2021
Chicago Favorites Ultimate Food & Walking Tour
We were only in Chicago for the day but it was a productive way to see the core of the city.
star-5
Walking Food Tour
Kelly_M, Oct 2021
Chicago Favorites Ultimate Food & Walking Tour
Great time to visit Chicago early fall.
star-5
The way to go!
Darnell_S, Oct 2021
Big Bus Chicago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
This was a fantastic way to see Chicago and learn about the sites!
star-4
Three sisters’ adventures
RoseMarie_G, Dec 2021
90-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour
Love to see the history and the guide was informative and friendly.
star-5
Great walking tour
Deborah_S, Oct 2021
Gangsters and Ghosts Tour in Chicago
Great walking tour to see the city at night
star-5
Must do in Chicago!
Wendy_M, Nov 2021
Chicago Architecture River Cruise
We got to see the city from a different perspective & learned so much about Chicago.
star-5
A tour not to miss
Jim_C, Oct 2021
Full-Day Small-Group Tour of Chicago Neighborhoods with Lunch and Dinner
It was very informative all our guide was wonderful he went out of his way to make sure we had a great time and a good trip couldn’t ask for a better person saw every part of Chicago you could’ve wanted to see had a wonderful time
star-5
Perfect trip
Dragan_L, Nov 2021
90-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour
My wife’s birthday wish was to come in Chicago to see Magnificent mile and to make a boat trip to see Chicago’s architecture
star-5
Our guide was able to...
James_M, Sep 2021
Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour
It a great way to see Chicago and get to know the city.

All about Chicago

When to visit

After being cooped up all winter, Chicago is ready to party when the sun comes out (sometime during May). Summer highlights include the annual Taste of Chicago, Chicago Blues Festival, Andersonville’s Midsommarfest, and the Chicago Air and Water Show. Alternatively, fall brings fewer crowds and brisker weather, perfect for exploring neighborhoods on foot and watching the trees turn colors along the quaint neighborhood streets.

Getting around

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is your best friend when traveling around Chicago. You’ll see many references to “the Loop,” the circle elevated train tracks that define the city’s downtown area. From there, train lines (both underground and elevated) shoot out to the airport and the nearby suburbs. The CTA also has a robust network of bus lines that make all corners of the city easily accessible. The Loop itself is very walkable, and if you’re there in the dead of winter and your toes are frozen, hailing a cab is a cinch.

Traveler tips

The best place for a chargrilled Chicago hot dog after bar closing time (2am) is the Weiner’s Circle in Lincoln Park. The dog is served with a pickle, tomato wedges, chopped onions, sweet peppers, celery salt, and a side of major sass from the counterperson. If you know what’s good for you, never ever ask for ketchup—Chicago is a mustard town.

People Also Ask

What is Chicago famous for?

Chicago is famous for its architecture—skyscrapers like the Willis Tower and John Hancock Center dominate its skyline, and architectural boat tours chart the Chicago River. The Windy City is also known for its signature bites like deep-dish pizza, its world-class museums, dynamic and diverse neighborhoods, and views overlooking Lake Michigan.

...More
How can I spend a day in Chicago?

If you have just one day in Chicago, start at the Skydeck Chicago at the Willis Tower for panoramic city views. Stroll through the Loop to Millennium Park and pose near "The Bean" before exploring the Art Institute of Chicago. Be sure to try Chicago's famous deep-dish pizza before leaving.

...More
How can I have fun in Chicago?

For a fun-filled day in Chicago, visit the attractions of Navy Pier, embark on a sightseeing boat tour of Lake Michigan, or head to the 360 Chicago Observation Deck for aerial views. Alternatively, go on a Segway tour of the Lakefront—and even see a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

...More
What is the number 1 attraction in Chicago?

Chicago's number-one attraction is Millennium Park. This relaxing green space, steps from Lake Michigan, is home to many famous public artworks, including Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Gate"—better known as "The Bean." Right next door is the Art Institute of Chicago, where you can continue your cultural immersion indoors.

...More
What is there to do in Chicago in the winter?

Chicago is known for its snowy winters. For a winter-wonderland experience, discover the ice rink in Millennium Park or hit the Soldier Field Sledding Hill. Then, warm up in a top-rated museum, like the Art Institute of Chicago or Field Museum. End the evening with a musical or comedy show.

...More
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Chicago?
Q:
What are the top activities in Chicago?
Q:
What are the top things to do near Chicago?
A:
Check out things to do near Chicago:
Q:
What do I need to know before visiting Chicago?