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Chicago

178 expert recommended attractions

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The Art Institute of Chicago

Downtown / The Loop 97 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Come for the sterling collection of Impressionists (an entire room is dedicated to Monet) and Old Masters; linger over the extraordinary and comprehensive photography collection. — Fodor's

With more than 260,000 works of art ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, the Art Institute is home to some of the world’s most celebrated masterpieces. — Travel + Leisure

An institution, whose gorgeous historic wing (opened in 1893) is rivaled only by its stark and stunning Modern Wing... the second-largest museum in the country — Condé Nast Traveler

Two permanent collections that often get overlooked. The Thorne Miniature Rooms, located in the lower level just after entry, feature 68 rooms with impeccable detail and scale. From... — On the Grid

The second-largest art museum in the country, the Art Institute houses treasures and masterpieces from around the globe. — Lonely Planet

Millennium Park

Downtown / The Loop 97 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This 24.5-acre park, built on top of a former rail yard beside the Art Institute, is a welcome oasis downtown. — concierge.com

Rising boldly by the lakefront, Millennium Park is a treasure trove of free and arty sights. — Lonely Planet

One of Chicago’s most popular destinations—thanks, in part, to the throngs of tourists taking selfies in the reflective surface of Ani Kapoor’s Cloud Gate — Condé Nast Traveler

Every June hundreds of internationally renowned blues musicians rock Chicago for 3 days and 4 nights in the world's largest free blues festival. Did I mention it’s free? 3 solid days of... — Afar Magazine

Millennium Park is among the city's nicest assets. Its 24.5 acres are filled with something to see at every turn. — Michelin Guide

Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower

Downtown / The Loop 94 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Yes, you're at the right place. Willis Tower was the Sears Tower until mid-2009, when insurance broker Willis Group Holdings bought the naming rights. — Lonely Planet

At 110 stories and 1,730 feet tall, the former Sears Tower, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in 1974, was the world's tallest building until 1996. — Fodor's

Think of it as the world’s tallest recycling effort. Or maybe it’s just an exceptionally ambitious retrofit. — Travel + Leisure

Tallest building in the world for over 20 years, this 110-story feat of engineering cuts an unmistakable profile on the city's skyline. — Michelin Guide

Until recently the tallest building in the US, with a cool skydeck. — Not For Tourists

The Field Museum

South Loop 94 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Go to see Sue, world's largest known T. Rex; stay for the jam-packed halls of vaguely macabre taxidermy. — Not For Tourists

Is it any wonder that Steven Spielberg thought the Field Museum of Natural History was a suitable home turf for the intrepid archaeologist and adventurer hero of his Indiana Jones movies? — Frommer's

This massive natural history museum still packs ’em in with more than 30 permanent exhibitions covering 300,000 square feet. — Time Out

More than 400,000 square feet of exhibit space fill this gigantic museum, which explores cultures and environments from around the world. — Fodor's

This world-class natural history institution occupies a suitably grand place at the south end of Grant Park. — Michelin Guide

Museum of Science and Industry

Hyde Park 94 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Tour a captured U-505 German Sub, take a trip into a coal mine, walk through a model of the human heart, or watch genetically engineered chicks hatch. — concierge.com

Spread across roughly 14 acres, Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry is one of the world’s largest museums, with more than 35,000 artifacts displayed in 2,000-plus interactive exhibits. — Travel + Leisure

Even if you don't plan on spending the day in Hyde Park, you'll likely pass through the neighborhood on your way to one of Chicago's most popular tourist attractions. — Frommer's

Sure, the nine permanent exhibits of this enormous museum examine just about every aspect of life on Earth, but its pleasures are in the details. — Lonely Planet

If you’re into exhibits loaded with interactive bells and whistles, this expansive Hyde Park locale is your ticket. — Time Out

Shedd Aquarium

South Loop 93 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Encased in a handsome marble octagon overlooking the Lake, the Shedd is the world's largest indoor aquarium. — concierge.com

The world's largest indoor aquarium. It houses some 8,000 aquatic animals comprising 650 species from around the globe — Michelin Guide

Top draws at the kiddie-mobbed Shedd Aquarium include the Oceanarium, with its beluga whales and frolicking white-sided dolphins, and the shark exhibit. — Lonely Planet

One of the most popular aquariums in the country, the Shedd houses more than 32,500 creatures from around the world. — Fodor's

Anchoring the aquatic offerings at this 75-year-old institution are enduring favorites such as piranhas, frogs and snakes of the Amazon. — Time Out

360 Chicago Observation Deck

Magnificent Mile 92 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Zone out the tourists, and focus in on the prettiest view of the city. — Not For Tourists

The Hancock may not be quite as famous as the Sears Tower, but the view from the city's third-tallest building is as good as any in town. — Frommer's

Muscular and monumental, nothing represents Chicago ("the city of big shoulders") more than this 1,127ft skyscraper — Michelin Guide

Get high in Chicago's third-tallest skyscraper. In many ways the view here surpasses the one at Willis Tower. — Lonely Planet

Formerly known as the John Hancock Observatory, 360 Chicago offers dining, sights and an interactive tour far above the city streets. — Time Out

Museum of Contemporary Art

Streeterville 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Exhibit halls branch off the central staircase... and the East and West facing glass walls have unparalleled views over Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago. — Afar Magazine

The Art Institute's brash, rebellious sibling, with especially strong minimalist, surrealist and book arts collections — Lonely Planet

The museum, though, is more interested in keeping things cutting-edge and fun than in surveying even the recent past. — concierge.com

The task of presenting the avant-garde can be daunting, but the MCA does a good job of making the works and movements of the art of our time accessible to everyone. — Michelin Guide

Add some color to an afternoon in Chicago with a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art, one of the largest contemporary art museums in the country. — Travel + Leisure

Robie House

Hyde Park 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Frank Lloyd Wright called this Hyde Park home “the cornerstone of modern architecture.” — Time Out

For architectural history buffs, Robie House is a must-see. — Frommer's

Located on the University of Chicago campus, this landmark is considered one of the most significant structures in American architecture. — Travel + Leisure

This home made its designer, Frank Lloyd Wright, world famous and helped "break the box" of traditional architecture. — Michelin Guide

Named one of the 10 most significant buildings of the 20th century by the American Institute of Architects, the 9,000-square-foot Robie House (1910) is long and low. — Fodor's

Adler Planetarium

South Loop 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

It's worth the views up and down the lakefront to walk out to the Adler, which occupies a beautiful setting. — Michelin Guide

The building may be historic (it was the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere), but some of the attractions here will hold the attention of even the most jaded video game addict. — Frommer's

One of three venues comprising the lakefront Museum Campus, the Adler was established in 1930, making it the first planetarium in the nation. — Travel + Leisure

Tells amazing stories of space exploration through high-tech exhibits and immersive theater experiences... interactive elements and real space artifacts — Fodor's

Depression era wonder that thrilled millions at 1933 Century of Progress Exposition. — Not For Tourists

Wrigley Field

Wrigleyville 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The century-old, ivy-lined field sits in the middle of the city, providing the sort of intimate baseball experience (and skyline views) that doesn't exist at newer ballparks. Plus, you'll... — Condé Nast Traveler

Wrigley is an institution, there’s no denying it. Built in 1914, the ballpark just passed the century mark and is getting further spruced up, too. Whether you are catching a Cubs game... — On the Grid

Built in 1914 and named for the chewing-gum guy, Wrigley Field – aka The Friendly Confines – is the second-oldest baseball park in the major leagues. — Lonely Planet

Famous for its ivy walls and lovable losing teams, the stadium is surrounded by turn-of-the-20C flats rather than the usual sea of parking lots. — Michelin Guide

With its first major league game played here on April 23, 1914, the venerable, ivy-covered home of the Chicago Cubs is the nation's second-oldest major league ballpark. — Fodor's

Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Oldest free zoo in the U.S. — Not For Tourists

With more than 1,250 animals, Lincoln Park Zoo ranks as one of the finest in the country. Don’t miss the Endangered Species Carousel or Regenstein African Journey—an interior exhibit that... — Travel + Leisure

See some 1,200 animals, from apes to zebras, at the oldest and one of only a few free zoos left in the country. — Time Out

Check out the Regenstein African Journey, Ape House and dragonfly-dappled Nature Boardwalk for the cream of the crop. — Lonely Planet

One of the city's treasures, this family-friendly attraction is not only open every day of the year, but it's also free. — Frommer's

Chicago Cultural Center

Downtown / The Loop 88 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This iconic landmark is a welcome center for visitors and Chicago residents alike. Once the central public library, it shifted to a public arts and events center in 1977. In addition to... — On the Grid

This marvelous Neoclassical palazzo served as the city's first library when completed in 1897. — Michelin Guide

Located in the Loop, the Chicago Cultural Center is known for both its impressive architecture and its free programming, which includes more than 1,000 events each year. — Travel + Leisure

Built in 1897 as the city's original public library, this huge building houses the Chicago Office of Tourism Visitor Information Center, as well as a gift shop, galleries, and a concert hall. — Fodor's

The Chicago Cultural Center was built in 1897 as the city's public library, and in 1991, it was transformed into a showplace for visual and performing arts. — Frommer's

Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio

Chicago 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The evolution of an architect is on vivid display during well-run tours that bring visitors into the home, studio and mindset of Frank Lloyd Wright. Nearby are a slew of Wright-designed... — On the Grid

See the drafting room where the Prairie Style was created. Inspiring. — Not For Tourists

While many of Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural treasures can be found throughout Chicago, to fully appreciate the breadth of the acclaimed architect's output, take the short trip to his... — Condé Nast Traveler

The home began as a simple shingled cottage that the 22-year-old Wright built for his bride in 1889, but it became a living laboratory for his revolutionary reinvention of interior spaces. — Frommer's

Restored to its 1909 appearance, when Wright last lived there, the original structure features the horizontal bands of windows and low profile of the Prairie style. — Michelin Guide

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This massive 1,208 acre park lies along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront. Originally called Lake Park, it was renamed in honor of Abraham Lincoln shortly after his assassination. The park... — On the Grid

The neighborhood gets its name from this park, Chicago’s largest. — Lonely Planet

1200-acre park along the lakefront between Streeterville and Edgewater. — Not For Tourists

Lincoln Park is the city's largest park, and certainly one of the longest. — Frommer's

Chicago’s largest park is home to the Lincoln Park Zoo and its siblings: the nature boardwalk and the Farm-in-the-Zoo. With 1,208 acres of rolling green meadows studded with playgrounds,... — Travel + Leisure

Brookfield Zoo

Chicago 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Spend the day among more than 2,000 animals at this gigantic zoo. — Fodor's

216 acres of creepy critters make for a memorable day trip. — Not For Tourists

In contrast to the more modest Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield is enormous, spreading out over 216 acres and housing thousands of animals -- camels, dolphins, giraffes, baboons, wolves, tigers... — Frommer's

The zoo's exhibit highlights include Seven Seas with its dolphin presentation, Tropic World's primates, The Fragile Kingdom's African desert and Asian rain forest habitat...and more. — Michelin Guide

Set on 216 acres, Brookfield is home to nearly 6,000 animals, including 3,000 invertebrates, representing 436 species. — Time Out

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Navy Pier

Streeterville 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This tourist hot spot features shops, eateries, an IMAX cinema and a bevy of sightseeing boat tours. — Time Out

Built during World War I, this 3,000-foot-long pier served as a Navy training center for pilots during World War II. — Frommer's

Municipal wharf turned boffo tourist attraction. — Not For Tourists

Navy Pier has enjoyed many lives since it was first built in 1916 as a passenger and freight terminal. — Michelin Guide

No matter the season, Navy Pier is a fun place to spend a few hours, especially with kids in tow. — Fodor's

The Rookery

Downtown / The Loop 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The Rookery is one of the earliest designs by Chicago architectural firm Burnham & Root, and is the most impressive landmark rehabilitation in the Loop. — Michelin Guide

The Rookery was one of the first buildings in the country to feature a central court that brought sunlight into interior office spaces. — Fodor's

Designed by master architect Daniel Burnham in the 1880s, it was one of Chicago's largest and most expensive office buildings when it was completed. — Frommer's

Take a peek inside at Frank Lloyd Wright's spectacular remodelled interior. — Not For Tourists

The famed firm of Burnham and Root built the Rookery in 1888. Frank Lloyd Wright remodeled the atrium 19 years later. — Lonely Planet

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Chicago History Museum

Lincoln Park 83 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Want to delve deeper into Chicago's past? Then don't miss a visit to the Chicago Historical Society, located at the southwestern corner of Lincoln Park. — Michelin Guide

Seeking to bring Chicago's often complicated history to life, this museum has several strong permanent exhibits. — Fodor's

Located at the south end of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, the Chicago History Museum features exhibitions about the city’s compelling past. A must-see for locals and visitors alike,... — Travel + Leisure

This museum at the southwestern tip of Lincoln Park is one of the city's oldest cultural institutions (founded in 1856), but it's reinvented itself for the 21st century. — Frommer's

Curious about Chicago’s storied past? Multimedia displays at this museum cover it all, from the Great Fire to the 1968 Democratic Convention. — Lonely Planet

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Wrigley Building

Magnificent Mile 83 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Often referred to as “Chicago’s Big Ben,” this gleaming white terra cotta “wedding cake” became the city’s first landmark skyscraper north of the Chicago River. Since 1921, the... — Travel + Leisure

Monument to chewing gum. — Not For Tourists

More than 250,000 glazed terra-cotta tiles make up the facade; a computer database tracks each one and indicates when each needs to be cleaned and polished. — Lonely Planet

One of America's most famous office buildings is a gem for tourists traveling down the Magnificent Mile. — Time Out

Its two structures were built several years apart and later connected, and its clock tower was inspired by the bell tower of the grand cathedral in Seville, Spain. — Fodor's

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  • Museums
    32 museums and galleries
  • Outdoors
    29 parks, gardens and outdoor attractions
  • Historical
    27 places of historical interest

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