Maybe not as well known as New York , but a great city to visit in the United States is Chicago! This city on Lake Michigan in the state of Illinois is the third largest metropolitan city in the United States. Here are eight tips on what to do in Chicago.

1. Willis Tower

Chicago’s tallest building, the Willis Tower, can be found in The Loop neighborhood. At the top of this office building is a viewing platform. With a super-fast elevator you are at a height of 412 meters within a few seconds. From here you have a beautiful view of the city and of Lake Michigan. Do you want more than just a view? There are also four all-glass balconies on the observation deck. These hang from the building and through the glass bottom you can see the city beneath your feet.

what to do in chicago

2. Art of Institute

Chicago has many museums. One of the most famous is The Art of Institute, the United States’ second largest museum of fine arts. In addition to American works, there are various collections and exhibitions to visit. You could walk around there for days, but you can also make choices from the collections. Spending a few hours in the museum alone is great fun! The building is also special, it has an old part with large and small halls and a new, modern, spacious part. Buying tickets in advance is recommended as it can get quite busy.

3. Millennium Park

A super cool part of Chicago is Millennium Park. This park in the heart of the city has a lot of modern architecture. Within the park you’ll find the Jay Pritzker Pavillion, an open-air theater and the famous work of art the Cloud Gate, also known as ‘The Bean’ because of the shape of a bean. This special work reflects the Chicago skyline. Near the Cloud Gate is the Grown Fountain, a tall fountain that displays photographs of people. Not to be missed when walking through the park.

chicaho the bean

4. Street art

There are many murals in Chicago. In the South Loop you will find the Wabash Arts Corridor murals by various artists along Wabash Avenue. Beautiful to walk through! Part of the urban environment, the murals are part of a project co-founded by Columbia College Chicago, the College of Coast and Media, in collaboration with the city, and showcase various art collections in the public space. One of these works is the Moose Bubblegum Lumpy painting and the Bloom to Doom mural. There are organized walking tours through the Wabash Arts Corridor where guides tell the stories behind the murals.

5. Navy Pier

Navy Pier is a pier about a mile long in Lake Michigan. From the pier you have a fantastic view of the Chicago skyline. The pier features attractions, parks, shops and restaurants. One of the most famous pizza chains, Giordano’s, is also located here. A good opportunity to try Chicago’s deep dish pizza! Due to its popularity, reservations are recommended and if you have to wait for a table you can have a drink at Harry Caray’s Tavern opposite. A nice and cozy sports cafe! If the weather is nice, one of the city beaches, Ohio Street Beach, is on the corner near the pier. A wonderful place to relax!

Chicago skyline

6. Magnificent Mile

Looking for chic shops? Then you’ve come to the right place at the Magnificent Mile. This district is buzzing with expensive shops, but there are not only shops to be found. Also in this area is the Michigan Avenue Bridge, the Water Tower and the John Hancock Center with its 94th floor observation deck, 360° Chicago. Here you are at an altitude of 313 meters and you have a wide view over the whole of Chicago. There is also a visitor center with information about Chicago’s history.

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River Walk Chicago

7. Riverwalk

The Chicago River flows right through Chicago. A fun way to get to know the city is by walking along the river walk. This is indicated on the signs with ‘Riverwalk’. It is a trail of approx. 1.25 miles directly along the river. On the side are nice terraces and bars. There is also a water taxi. Not only handy to get from one place to another quickly, but also nice to view the architectural buildings from the water! If you want to see more from the water, it is also possible to take a tour boat on the river.

River Walk Chicago

8. Route 66

The historic Route 66 highway that ran from Chicago to Santa Monica Beach near Los Angeles has been officially closed, but most of the route can still be driven. This is mainly done by tourists. In the middle of Chicago is still the sign where this historic route began.

Practical tips for when you go to Downtown Chicago

Many attractions in downtown Chicago are within walking distance of each other. In addition, there is also a good network of public transport (CTA) with metros and buses. Chicago’s subways run both above and below ground. You can buy a Ventra Card, this is a kind of public transport card that you can top up and with which you can travel through Chicago. It is also possible to buy individual tickets or a 24-hour ticket. There are also Hop-on-Hop-off buses, an ideal way to get around the city and stop at points of interest.

From the Airport to Downtown Chicago

If you want to travel to the city center from Chicago O’ Hare Airport, the cheapest way is the metro, the Bleu Line ‘L’. This is possible 24 hours a day and it takes about 50 minutes. The metro station is under terminal two. To get there you can travel between the terminals with a light rail system. Find flights to Chicago here

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