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Top 5 things to do in Chicago

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The Art Institute of Chicago
1. The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the US, attracting approximately 1.5 million guests annually. It is home to some of the world's most famous paintings including The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges-Pierre Seurat, Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, and Grant Wood's American Gothic, among countless other works.
Museum Of Contemporary Art (MCA)
2. Museum Of Contemporary Art (MCA)
Chicago's premier art gallery is dedicated to showcasing art in all its forms – so expect to see painting, photography, film, music, theater and more in a stunningly designed exhibition space.
360 Chicago - John Hancock Center
3. 360 Chicago - John Hancock Center
360 Chicago (formerly John Hancock Observatory) is located in the John Hancock Center, which offers tremendous views of Chicago’s famous skyline, the glistening lakefront, and four states. The John Hancock Center is the 8th tallest building in the USA - a 100-story, 1,127-foot skyscraper piercing the skies of the Windy City. This amazing structure lets visitors zoom up 1,000 feet in just 40 seconds, thanks to the fastest elevators in North America.
Museum of Ice Cream Chicago
4. Museum of Ice Cream Chicago
The tasty Museum of Ice Cream brings to life the universal power of ice cream by creating experiences that inspire imagination, helping you to rediscover the kid in you! The museum's inclusive environments are designed to inspire human connection and energize the senses to reimagine the way you experience and love ice cream. Unlimited ice-cream will only boost your new-found appreciation of the good stuff! (Arrive hungry!)
The Field Museum
5. The Field Museum
The Field Museum is a natural history museum in Chicago, Illinois. As one of the largest and most impressive of such museums in the world, its houses extensive scientific specimen and artifact collections. The museum's high-quality permanent exhibitions attract up to two million visitors a year.

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All things to do in Chicago

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Navy Pier is a Windy City tourist hotspot. Attractions include Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Crystal Gardens, Amazing Chicago's Funhouse Maze and the Centennial Wheel - all on the shore of Lake Michigan.
4.7 / 5 (6)
From $19.75
It used to be the Sears Tower, but in 2009, London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings acquired the naming rights. No matter what you call it (everybody still refers to it as Sears Tower), it's an architectural icon. When it was built in 1973 it was the tallest building in the world. It's now 14th-tallest, but offers unrivaled views of the Windy City, and sees more than a million visitors each year.
4.7 / 5 (856)
From $30.00
2006 "Tumbler" Dark Knight Batmobile
Volo Museum is a world-famous, family-owned, all-day tourist destination in the Chicago suburb of Volo, Illinois, USA. It gives families the chance to experience over 45 exhibits and more 15,000 historical items, many of which are related to automobiles and old-school entertainment.
5.0 / 5 (3)
From $19.95
Gakaoagos Tortoise
At Peoria Zoo you'll find a host of amazing animals including Amur tigers and Sichuan takins – if you visit in winter keep an eye out for them frolicking in the snow. Open 360 days a year and packed with interesting behind-the-scenes tours, it's always a great place to visit with family.
5.0 / 5 (1)
From $10.50
The Medieval Torture Museum is located in a 6,000 square foot building in Chicago, Illinois. It houses torture devices and interactive exhibits based on torture in the Middle Ages. Get hands on with the most grisly devices ever invented and even see them used... on silicon models!
4.8 / 5 (12)
From $33.81
The International Museum of Surgical Science, a division of the International College of Surgeons (ICS), maintains over 10,000 square feet of public galleries committed to the history of surgery, and an exquisite permanent collection of art and artifacts from the history of Medicine. Located in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, the museum supports its mission through medically themed exhibitions and programs, in addition to a strong contemporary art exhibition program.
5.0 / 5 (2)
From $18.00
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago is an amusement park where kids (and adults) can explore a huge array of themed worlds, thrill-rides, and creative activities. The park's Miniland attraction is built using 1.5 million bricks!
4.8 / 5 (12)
From $26.24
The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) is Chicago's new all-in-one architecture experience. Visitors can learn about the city's history across two floors of interactive exhibits. It is located in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
5.0 / 5 (1)
From $14.00
Attractions4Us
Lighthouse ArtSpace is a joint project of Lighthouse Immersive USA and Maestro Immersive Art Inc. who share a vision immersive spaces where unique art exhibitions can be showcased and experienced for years to come. Located in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood in the historic landmark Germania Club Building, the space features a dramatic ballroom with 35-foot ceilings, large mezzanines, and detailed ornamentation. The space has been home to the critically acclaimed Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit, and will now present Immersive Frida Kahlo – a vibrant immersive art experience celebrating the life and art of the renowned artist. You will be transported the moment you step inside!
5.0 / 5 (3)
From $76.10
Jurassic Gardens
Jurassic Gardens is a thrilling experience with moving, life-like, animatronic dinosaurs in a controlled atmosphere that will take you back 65 million years
From $15.94
Touring the Windy City for the first time and looking to be swept sway? With so much to see in this deep-dish destination, just fitting everything in can be a challenge. But not if you travel smart, with Chicago city passes! Conveniently combine admission fees on major attractions in 'America's second city' to save time and money on Chicago's must-sees – Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and the Art Institute of Chicago. With a variety of transport options included, Chicago City passes are the way to go when you want to make getting around the Windy City a breeze.
4.9 / 5 (26)
From $80.00
Chicago's Briar Street Theater has been home to the iconic Blue Man Group for over 25 years. Come and discover why they're still going strong to this day!
5.0 / 5 (3)
From $71.50

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Planning your Chicago visit

Language

English

Currency

Dollar ($)

Dialing code

+1 (area code is 773/312)

Time zone

Central Standard Time (CST)

Getting About

Chicago’s handy grid system makes navigation a breeze and most downtown tourist attractions are within walking distance of each other. The CTA transit system is relatively straightforward and if you can’t face walking in that infamous wind, taxis are everywhere – just get your thumb ready to flag them down local-style. When it comes to weather, the spring (April - May) is a sweet spot. Clear skies are a common sight and there’s far less wind and rain than usual. Hotels are often cheaper then too, due to fewer crowds.

Pizza Pizza Pizza

Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is one of the city’s main claims to fame. And rightly so: it’s amazing! For one of the best authentic Chicago pizza experiences, head to The Art of Pizza, an institution thanks to the thick, tomatoey, herby special sauce. For more stringy mozzarella madness, try the deep-dish slices at Giordano's – there are lots of branches around the city. ODed on pizza? For burgers worth lining up for, head to Brendan Sodikoff’s Au Cheval and don’t forget to add some thick-cut peppered bacon.

Jazz, Blues & Musical News

Chicago’s legendary blues and jazz can be enjoyed in endless venues all over the city, but there’s music for all tastes here. Massive concert halls such as The Chicago Theatre or Aragon Ballroom are always hosting great artists, and new acts can be discovered at clubs like Empty Bottle and Metro. Schubas Tavern and The Hideout are cosy spots for catching live tunes. The Chicago Blues Festival in June, and the Chicago Jazz Festival, on Labor Day weekend are high times for music buffs to hit the Windy City.

What to do in Chicago for 3 days

360 CHICAGO Observation Deck

Climb your way to the skies of Chicago in one of America’s fastest elevators! At 360 Chicago (in downtown Chicago's John Hancock Center) you’ll be 94 floors high, so imagine those views. See the new Chicago Interactive History Exhibit featuring quotes from city fans and famous residents like Oprah Winfrey. If you’re brave enough, experience TILT, Chicago's highest moving experience, which literally tilts you towards the ground for even more views of the city, Lake Michigan, and four neighboring states - Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois.

Millennium Park

Packed full of sculptures and flowers, this 24.5 acre park in the Loop makes a great place for unwinding after a day of sightseeing. There’s live music on weekends, an ice-rink in the winter, and even an outdoor rock climbing gym. Don’t miss Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate (a.k.a. “The Bean”), a rather odd reflective sculpture shaped like a kidney bean. Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain is just as odd. Here you’ll see changing faces on a big screen, all spitting out water! For great views of Chicago take the pedestrian bridges to the Art Institute and Maggie Daley Park.

River & Lake Architectural Cruise

See the windy city from the water on a speedboat! With a River & Lake Architectural Cruise you’ll get to snap all the city highlights while your native guide explains exactly what you’re looking at. See the Tribune Building, Willis Tower, Lyric Opera and more as you pass lakefront properties and cruise through the famed Chicago Locks. It’s one of the best ways to see the city and if it’s extra windy out there on the river, your boat will go even faster – win-win!

The Magnificent Mile

A mile of magnificence is what Chicago promises, and its Magnificent Mile stretches from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side. There's an abundance of boutique shops, 300 restaurants, 60 hotels and iconic architectural feats, including the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and the John Hancock Center. You’ll also see a few survivors of the Great Chicago Fire (1871) like the Historic Water Tower and the Pumping Station.

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