Chicago’s Top Attractions and the 16 Best Things to do in Chicago!

Chicago, also known as The Windy City, is a city like no other. Right in the heart of the Midwest, the city on the lake is full of history, top-notch restaurants, and plenty of sightseeing.

Chicago’s Top Tours

Chicago Donut Tour

Everyone loves donuts! If you’re a donut lover like me, you can’t miss Chicago’s Donut Tour. Taste delicious donuts with other donut lovers in this two-hour tour.

Segway in Chicago

See Chicago like no other by going on a small group Segway Tour. You will see the hottest and most attractive places with a professional guide. Of course, you will be trained on how to ride the Segway. Make sure to wear closed toes shoes and weather-appropriate clothing.

Night Tour of Chicago

Check out Chicago at Night in this thrilling and informative historical tour of Chicago. Hear stories of notorious gangsters and visit crime scene scenes. Get inside glimpses of the famous gangsters in this 2-hour tour. You will be in an air-conditioned bus with the best tour guide.

Architecture Boat Tour

Enjoy a special tour of Chicago on this 45-minute boat ride of Chicago’s top architecture. Boat ride on Chicago’s river and view Wrigley buildings and other notable architectures in Chicago.

Chicago’s Top Attractions

Willis Tower (Sears Tower) and John Hancock Deck

Did you know the world’s first skyscraper was built in Chicago? Get a full scope of the great city from above and spectacular panoramas! Check out the view from iconic buildings such as the Willis Tower, located downtown. On a clear day, the states Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin can be seen! If you dare, take a step four meters out and stand on the glass ledge for a unique memory. The Willis Tower Skydeck has also been voted as the Top Ten Worldwide Attraction in 2019.

Chicago John Hancock building

Or head north to the John Hancock building to view the vast and beautiful Lake Michigan. The observation deck is a must-see for sweeping views of Chicago’s parks and cityscapes. Many events are also held on the top floor, such as Bar 94’s Happy Hour every Thursday from 5-8 pm.

For an extra fee, hop on The Tilt- a seat that swings you at an angle facing downward, and experience a view from over 1,000 ft below.

Willis Tower Skydeck (Formerly Sears Tower)

  • Address: 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606, United States
  • Operating Hours: Open all year March through September from 9 am-10 pm, October through February from 10 am-8 pm. Last entry 30 minutes before close.
  • Contact Number: +1 312-875-0066
  • Entrance Fee: Adults (over 12 yrs) $26, Youth (3-11) $18, Children (under 3) FREE Purchase tickets online here
  • For more information, please visit

John Hancock 360 Observation Deck

  • Address: 875 N Michigan Ave 94th floor, Chicago, IL 60611, United States
  • Operating Hours: Sunday- Monday 9 AM-9 PM, CLOSED Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday 9 AM-9 PM, Friday-Saturday 9 AM-10 PM Last entry 1 hour before closing. Bar 94 last order is 8:45 PM
  • Contact Number: +1 888-875-8439
  • Entrance Fee: Adult (12 and over) $25.00, Youth (3 to 11) $15.00, Children (Under 3) Free
  • For more information, please visit

Nature in Chicago

The great thing about a city like Chicago is that it’s walkable, especially downtown. More notably, are all the spaces the city has to explore. Head to Navy Pier for the Children’s Museum, water garden, shops, and walk all along the pier for a panorama of the city. How to get there: Take the #66 CTA bus heading east.

Completed in recent years, the Chicago river walk is great for people watching, taking a water taxi, happy hour drinks, and having an all-around laid-back vibe. If walking and relaxing are your things, this is a great activity that is easy on the wallet.

Did you know Chicago has 26 miles of lakefront? Over 90 percent of it is made up of parks, beaches, gardens, golf courses, etc. Situated east of the Chicago Loop, is Grant Park- which consists of gardens, holds free concerts, hosts movie nights, and is the location for many summertime events. Make sure to check out the beautiful Buckingham Fountain at night for a light show.

If you fancy a swim, North Avenue Beach is a good choice, and it’s close to downtown Chicago. Rent one of the city bikes and ride your bike south along the lake to the museum campus for a view of Chicago’s famous skyline.

Chicago Zoos

Chicago was built on prairie and marshland and the name Chicago is derived from the Algonquin word for wild onions. The city is full of surprises! Did you know that it also houses one of the oldest zoos in the United States? If not, you can check out the free Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Lincoln Park Zoo, conveniently located next to each other. The zoo opened in 1868 and houses the largest group of apes living together as a family community.

Also, a great place to get to know Chicago’s wildlife is the Peggy Notebaert Nature museum located just north of the Conservatory.

chicago zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo

  • Address: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
  • Operating Hours: 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Contact Number: +1 312-742-2000
  • Entrance Fee: Free Admission

Lincoln Park Conservatory

  • Address: 2391 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
  • Operating Hours: 9 AM- 5 PM
  • Contact Number: Main  +1 312 742-7736  Other +1 312 746-5250
  • Entrance Fee: Free Admission

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

  • Address: 2430 N Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
  • Contact Number:  +1 773-755-5100
  • Entrance Fee: $6-9

Taste of Chicago

Home to over 21 Michelin-star restaurants, Chicago is most definitely a foodie town. While there are great restaurants, there are many Chicago classics and staples that made the city a food destination. Make sure to try Chicago’s deep-dish pizza, Italian beef sandwich, and the Chicago-style hot dog- made famous at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

chicago deep dish pizza
Image Credit: Giordanos, Souce:

For Deep-dish pizza try:


  • Address: 2207 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
  • Operating Hours:  Sunday 11 AM- 12 AM, Mon-Sat 11 AM- 2 AM
  • Contact Number: +1 773-327-1512

Connie’s Pizza

  • Address: 2373 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616, United States
  • Operating Hours: Sunday 10 AM- 9 PM, Mon & Tues CLOSED, Wed-Sat 10 AM-9 PM
  • Contact Number: +1 312-326-3443

Lou Malnati’s

  • Address: 1235 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607 United States
  • Operating Hours: Everyday 10 AM- 11 PM

Have a classic Chicago hot dog at:


  • Address: 100 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654, United States
  • Operating Hours: Everyday 10 AM-12 AM Dine-in, Drive-thru, and Delivery
  • Contact Number: +1 312-667-4560
  • Get your sandwich the “Chicago way”- dipped in au jus gravy with sweet and hot peppers.

Al’s Italian Beef

  • Address: 548 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654, United States
  • Contact Number: +1 312-943-3222

Neighborhoods in Chicago

What better way to explore a city than to venture out and get to know its colorful neighborhoods? Each neighborhood in Chicago has something special to offer. Get to know Chicago by heading to local favorites for a cocktail, boutique shopping, art walks, and more.

neighborhoods in chicago

Wicker Park

Right off the Damen stop on the CTA Blue Line train, is the eclectic Wicker Park. On Milwaukee Avenue, you’ll find independent boutiques, vintage shops, tasty eats, and several venues for live music. Make sure to check out Dove’s Luncheonette for brunch or Big Star for some spectacular margaritas and tacos, both on Damen Avenue.


Heading south, stop by the neighborhood of Pilsen. The area is a community of artists and immigrant families that have made the neighborhood a lively place to visit. Pilsen has great venues, art museums, hosts art walks (weather permitting), and has amazing local food.

One of the many historic buildings in this area is Thalia Hall. The hall is home to a music venue, Dusek’s Board & Beer, Punch House, and Tack Room. A one-stop shop for entertainment, drinks, and food.

While in Pilsen, make sure to try the award-winning carnitas tacos from Carnitas Uruapan and visit the National Museum of Mexican Art.

Thalia Hall

  • Address: 1807 S. Allport St., Chicago, IL 60608
  • Contact Number: +1 312 526-3851

Carnitas Uruapan

  • Address: 1725 W. 18th St., Chicago, IL 60608
  • Contact Number: +1 (312) 226-2654

National Museum of Mexican Art

  • Address: 1852 W. 19th Street Chicago, IL 60608
  • Contact Number: +1 312 738-1503
  • Entrance Fee: Free Admission every day

Logan Square

Make your way to the diverse Logan Square neighborhood. This area is full of history, has a community square, a vintage movie theatre, and a boulevard full of historic houses that look like mini castles. As far as bars and restaurants go, Logan Square is a goldmine. Too many places to list here, but be sure to check out these not to be missed restaurants and bars:

Longman & Eagle, Estereo, Slippery Slope, Logan Theatre, and Logan Square Farmers Market, and Lost Lake for some tiki drinks and snacks.

Chinatown in Chicago

Anyone down for some dim sum? Take a trip to Cermak Road for a delicious Chinese spread and boba drinks. MingHin Cuisine and Pheonix Restaurant will deliver some of the best Chinese food around. Stop into Joy Yee for a delicious smoothie or boba tea. You can also pick up a water taxi in this area and head up the river to downtown. Tickets for the water taxi can be purchased here.

Fulton Market/West Loop

Hands down, this is the spot for some of the best restaurants in the city. Top chefs have set up shop here, come here for inspiration, and some of the best culinary talents are located in this neighborhood. Don’t forget to make reservations for Avec, Alinea, Publican, High Five Ramen, and Girl & the Goat.

These were only a handful of the many neighborhoods that make up the great city of Chicago. The city is always changing and growing, and with that comes new venues, hot spots, and trendy areas.

Museums in Chicago

Get to know Chicago’s rich history by visiting the city’s many museums. Below are the most well-known museums and are worth the visit.

museums in chicago

Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago

Founded in 1879, this art museum permanently houses Monet, Degas, and Van Gogh. The art museum also has an impressive new Modern wing that explores different mediums and 21st-century art. *Don’t forget to check out the Thorne Miniature Rooms.

  • Address: 111 South Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60603         
  • Operating Hours:  Mon 11 AM – 6 PM, Tues & Wed CLOSED, Thurs- Sun 11 AM- 6 PM
  • Contact Number: +1 (312) 443-3600
  • Entrance Fee: Advance ticket purchase is required. Purchase tickets here.

The Museum Campus comprises three of the most well-known museums in the city, dating back to the World’s Fair of 1893. Not only do they house historic artifacts, but also have exquisite architecture and sculptures.

Field Museum

Originally named The Palace of Fine Arts, the Field Museum has an extraordinary collection of dinosaur fossils, Ancient Americas Exhibits, Hall of Gems and Jades, Egyptian tombs, Man-eating Lions of Tsavo, and more.

  • Address: 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605.
  • Operating Hours: Everyday 9 AM- 5 PM Closed Tues & Wed
  • Contact Number:  +1 312 665 7669
  • Entrance Fee: Admission is between $21-26, click here for more info

Adler Planetarium

Did you know the Adler Planetarium was America’s first of its kind? Built-in 1930, the astrological museum offers daily shows such as Planet Nine and Imagine the moon, interactive exhibits, and monthly events like Adler After Dark- cocktails, entertainment, and special exhibits.

  • Address: 1300 South Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60605                                       
  • Operating Hours: 9 AM- 4 PM check here for updates
  • Contact Number: (312) 922-7827
  • Entrance Fee: Adult: $28 Child (ages 3-11): $17  Admission includes access to all exhibits + 1 show of your choice.

John G. Shedd Aquarium

  • Address: 1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, United States
  • Operating Hours: Sun-Sat 9 AM to 6 PM M-F 9 AM- 5 PM
  • Contact Number:  +1 (312) 939-2438
  • Entrance Fee: Adults (Age 12+) :$39.95 Children (Ages 3-11): $29.95 Infants: Free

Chicago Architecture and Sculture

The great thing about Chicago is that it is very budget-friendly. The city is full of free outdoor sculptures and installations.

Throughout the city, there are sculptures and installations that are available for viewing for free! First up, is the Cloudgate by Anish Kapoor, or more commonly called The Bean, in Chicago’s Millenium Park.

Another famous sculpture, located in Daley Plaza, is the Untitled piece by Picasso. The tall structure is made from the very same steel as the Daley Center, behind the sculpture. The artwork looks different depending on what angle you look at it. Some say it looks like a woman, a horse, and an alien creature!

Within walking distance of the Picasso, is Calder’s bright poppy-colored Flamingo, a staple and iconic sculpture in front of the Federal Plaza in Chicago’s inner Loop, downtown. The bright color is said to be used to offset the dark buildings in the area. The sculpture is located at 50 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60610.

In front of the Thompson Center downtown, is the Monument with Standing Beast by Dubuffet. It resembles a large piece of popcorn, Styrofoam, and has even been called the cheese sculpture. These are only but a few of the many interesting sculptures in Downtown Chicago.

DIY walking tours are fun, but if you want a more in-depth tour of Chicago’s architecture, including the classic Chicago theatre marquee, and other fun tours, click here!

One of the best ways to experience Chicago, learn about its architecture, and people watch, is to take the famous Chicago River Architecture Tour, you won’t be let down!

chicago architecture

“Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.” ―Frank Lloyd Wright

Chicago is a city like no other. There is always something going on in the Windy City. The city has everything from sports (Chicago Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, and Bears), yearly on-going festivals, some of the best food in the country, a thriving art scene, and rich history. There is so much to do and see in Chicago, this is just a small peek into the City of Big Shoulders. See you there!

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