Top 10 Attractions In Chicago, Illinois - Updated 2024

Oishi
Oishi 
Contributing Writer
Updated
| 5 min read

Chicago offers a lot of opportunities to tourists. It houses over 200 theatres putting up regular shows that you can watch. There are a number of museums, such as the famous Museum of Science and Industry, which happens to be the biggest science museum in the western hemisphere to visit and several Michelin-star restaurants like Alinea to eat at. There are spectator sports, a variety of attractions and a lot of shopping that can happen in Chicago. Other forms of nightlife entertainment in Chicago, apart from nightclubs and pubs, include comedy clubs. If you’re travelling to Chi-Town then listed below are top attractions in Chicago, Illinois that you must visit.

1. Chicago River (from USD 53.0)

A 70-minute guided river cruise across the Chicago river with continuous commentary is another popular attraction in the windy city of Chicago. You will cruise past several architectural attractions in the city, including the John Hancock Center, the Wrigley Building and the Aon Center and others. You will learn from the tour guide’s commentaries about the events behind the history of the construction of these architectural marvels. This tour takes place more than 20 times a day so you can take it at your convenience.

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Chicago Architecture River Cruise Guided Tour

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

12788 reviews

2. Biograph Theater (from USD 55.0)

The Biograph Theatre affords you an insight into the criminal history of Chicago. This is a 2.5 hours bus tour through the Windy City. Learn about the scandalous activities of mobsters like Al Capone, Frank Nitti and Bugs Moran. The landmarks and crime scenes that you will be covering are The Burwood Tap, Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, The Enforcer’s Safe, and the local watering holes. It is a fun activity going about exploring the darker side of the city of Chicago. You’ll surely enjoy it.

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Chicago: Evening Crime and Gangster Tour by Luxury Bus

Duration: 120 to 150 minutes

362 reviews

3. Field Museum of Natural History (from USD 27.0)

The largest, the most expensive and the best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen ever found, is in this museum. There are daily free tours through the museum by guides who can take you through the history of America beginning from the Ice Age to the Aztec. There are about 26 million artefacts in the Field Museum for you to check out. Then there is the very famous Hall of Gems, comprising precious jewellery collected from all around the world, to explore among other things. You may also catch sight of scientists curating or preparing ancient specimens for study.

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Chicago Field Museum of Natural History Admission

Duration: 4 hours

341 reviews

4. Wrigley Field (from USD 69.0)

Wrigley Field is a place where you can take a walking and food tour with the aid of a guide. The three favourite eateries in the Lakeview neighbourhood are a must visit. Try out their hot dogs, cheeseburgers, beef sandwich and wash all of it down with a nice glass of beer before you begin the tour. Take pictures of yourself against the exteriors of Wrigley Field, which is the second oldest ballpark, the Harry Caray statue or in front of the Clubs Baseball Stadium. Have fun visiting the Wrigley Field with family and friends.

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The Finest Taste and Flavors of the French Quarter Food Tour

Duration: 3 hours

7 reviews

5. Chicago Observation Deck (from USD 30.0)

360 Chicago Observation Deck is one of the highest points of the John Hancock Observatory skyscraper in Chicago, which offers a bird’s eye view of the whole of the city, including a 360-degree view of the skyline, the Sears Tower and the Michigan Lake. The deck is on the 94th floor of the building where you’ll be transported to by the elevator and it has the BAR 94 cafe with free WiFi where you can relax while being exposed to the mind-blowing view. You also have the iconic tilt here, from where you get downward-facing views of the city from above a 1,000 feet (305 meters). If you decide to upgrade your ticket to the Sun and Stars package, then you’ll be able to visit this place twice in 48 hours.

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360 Chicago Observation Deck Admission Ticket

Duration: 1 to 4 hours

776 reviews

6. Willis (Sears) Tower (from USD 44.0)

There’s also the Willis Sears Tower just at the 360 Chicago Observation Deck that offers a view of the city from its 103rd floor. If tickets are bought from the Viator tour management organisation then their VIP package offers an incomparable deal where you can have an early-morning crowd-free view of the city and its landmarks from glass-enclosed windows, and this is followed by a narrated trolley-tour for two hours with complimentary drinks, across the Grant Park, the John Hancock Center, the Field Museum and the Wrigley Building among others. Then there is a 75-minute cruise along the Chicago River where you can admire the beautiful skyline.

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Chicago: Skydeck Chicago Admission Ticket

Duration: 90 to 120 minutes

1367 reviews

7. Lincoln Park (from USD 42.5)

lincoln park

Lincoln Park is the place where you can ride bicycles past the lakefront trail, beaches and lagoons of the Windy City of Chicago with family, friends or alone. Both natural and man-made delights of the city, including the magnificent skyline and the view of the lake itself, makes Lincoln Park a recognised attraction in Chicago. You will also find tour guides here who can rent both cycles and helmets in case you don’t have your own. In your biking tour, you’ll catch sight of various animals too while riding through the lagoons and beaches. This ride, mind you, also makes for a perfect ‘wind-in-the-hair’ selfie.

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Chicago Lakefront Bike Tour of Lincoln Park

Duration: 2.5 hour

8 reviews

8. Museum of Science and Industry (from USD 20.0)

museum of science and industry
Source: www.viator.com

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is the largest science museum in Chicago. There is a hamster wheel made for humans to ride on, a 40 feet (12.19 meters) tornado that you’ll witness in here along with a complicated mirror maze and the 13 feet (3.96 meters) 3D beating heart or ride a 727 hanging from the ceiling. While you buy tickets to visit this museum, you might also want to catch a movie in the Giant Dome Theater.

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Museum of Science and Industry Chicago

7 reviews

9. Art Institute of Chicago (from USD 35.0)

Art Institute of Chicago is a very well-known museum and one of the largest in the United States. The museum showcases art from different periods, including Impressionist, post-Impressionist, modern and contemporary. The works of art that you’ll find on display are owned by legendary artists, such as Pollock, Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet and Picasso. Apart from their works, there are also a lot of graphics and industrial designs in keeping with the contemporary fad.

Tip from Content Creator

I visited the Louvre in Paris many times, and I used to think that no art museum could compete with the Parisian landmark. Well, The Art Institute of Chicago changed my mind! I was impressed by the diversity of the collections (from African sculptures to Renaissance masterpieces and a temporary Dalí’s exhibit, just to mention a few). I spent two hours wandering in the galleries, but the building was vast, and I didn’t have time to visit everything. Personally, I love Post-Impressionism, and seeing Seurat’s "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" made my day. The entrance fee is 25 USD per adult, and it’s totally worth it.
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Art Institute of Chicago Fast Pass Admission in Grant Park

Duration: 3 hours

48 reviews

10. Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum (from USD 35.0)

This is the first, the oldest and the most advanced planetarium in the USA. Several exhibits and shows feature an insight into outer space and its constituents enthralling people regularly and continually from all around the world. The shows that you should not miss include the Cosmic Wonder, Destination Solar System and Skywatch Live and exhibits like Mission Moon, Our Solar System and the Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time. Also, take a tour of the Atwood Sphere when you visit.

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Adler Planetarium

Duration: 3 hours

24 reviews

The best places to visit listed under one roof for your convenience

Wonder no more. Don’t worry about where to go and where not to. The best places to visit in Chicago have been listed out for you here. Schedule your visits accordingly and make time for as many of these as you can and go back home with a great experience from the explorations that you make.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Oishi holds a fondness for poetry and music. Her passion for traveling is evident in the numerous articles she has authored for online magazines, covering topics such as women's empowerment,...Read more

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