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Things to do in Downtown Chicago

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Art Museum
$$$
“One of the biggest Museums in America with an amazing collection. The Modern Wing collections and Impressionists are my favorite. Also the best way to bring creative gift is to visit museum shop.”
  • 408 locals recommend
Neighbourhood
“Millennium Park is definitely worth seeing. You can find a lot of historic and modern sights, as well as the Chicago Art Institute in the park. During the summer time you can enjoy concerts, festivals and outdoor activities out there.”
  • 464 locals recommend
Pier
“Navy Pier is a 3,300-foot-long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It is located in the Streeterville neighborhood of the Near North Side community area.”
  • 316 locals recommend
Aquarium
$$$
“Even if you're not interested in the fishes, you still MUST come here to see the view of Chicago! ”
  • 184 locals recommend
History Museum
$$$
“Chicago has world class museums, and Field is my personal favorite. The building is beautiful, the setting is impeccable, and the exhibits are informative as you'd expect. They have things to entertain children as well, like the IMAX. If you're into museums, put this one on your list. ”
  • 191 locals recommend
Neighbourhood
“Enjoy sightseeing while shopping in our beautiful downtown neighborhood of magnificent mile. ”
  • 220 locals recommend
Art Museum
“Leaning on the provocative contemporary art and culture, MCA features new exhibitions every month ranging from all sort of different arts from around the world.”
  • 168 locals recommend
Outdoor Sculpture
“Only 2.5 miles away - "The Bean" at Millennium Park. A famous attraction with ice skating in the winter, a beautiful park in the summer. ”
  • 154 locals recommend
Building
“At top of one of world's tallest buildings, the former Sears Tower, now Willis Tower has a skydeck with an awesome view of Chicago and as far away as Indiana and Michigan. Be prepared for a wait and lines but time your visit for a clear day and avoid peak hours, week-ends.”
  • 115 locals recommend
Planetarium
“The Adler Planetarium is a public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics.”
  • 126 locals recommend
Jewellery Store
“Shopping, Shopping, Shopping!! Enjoy this multi-level shopping experience while being downtown Chicago. Macy's, Sephora, and Victoria's Secrets are just a few of the stores located here ”
  • 93 locals recommend
Building
“The Willis Tower, built as and still commonly referred to as the Sears Tower, is a 110-story, 1,450-foot skyscraper. Take cool pics from the Skydeck! ”
  • 128 locals recommend
Building
“Check out Chicago's beautiful skyline and experience "The Tilt." A worthy adrenaline rush! ”
  • 147 locals recommend
Football Stadium
“Five miles away - Home of the Chicago Bears and world class musicians (last year the Rolling Stones).”
  • 93 locals recommend
American Restaurant
$$$
“Instead of the uber expensive restaurant, head up to the lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock building and get an incredible view. (Our favorite/cheapest sightseeing hack!) Enjoy specialties, sweets or drinks.”
  • 155 locals recommend
Neighbourhood
“Beautiful lakefront park with famous Buckingham Fountain and its nightly light show in season (after Memorial Day through Labor Day). Lovely gardens, concerts at bandshell and place where many events begin and end such as annual Chicago Marathon. ”
  • 93 locals recommend

Top restaurants

American Restaurant
“Instead of the uber expensive restaurant, head up to the lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock building and get an incredible view. (Our favorite/cheapest sightseeing hack!) Enjoy specialties, sweets or drinks.”
  • 155 locals recommend
Gourmet Shop
“Mario Batali's Italian specialty store and food hall. The cannoli are worth the trip alone. You can get tons of gifts and rare wines and delicious food. A bit touristy for sure, but stands up to the hype. ”
  • 66 locals recommend
Steakhouse
“Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse has been a Chicago icon since partners Hugo Ralli and Steve Lombardo opened its doors in May of 1989. ... Gibsons Prime Angus Beef is featured along with fresh fish, classic cocktails, an extensive wine list and exceptional service.”
  • 62 locals recommend
Hot Dog Restaurant
“A little off the beaten path, but if you can make it you have to! It's the perfect taste of Chicago and a local favorite, you can't leave Chicago without having gone!”
  • 79 locals recommend
Gastropub
“Popular roof-top bar with an awesome view of Millennium Park. Make reservations ahead of time if you want a table. ”
  • 77 locals recommend
Tiki Bar
“A Tiki Bar that wont be great for your wallet, but amazing for your pallet and Instagram feed.”
  • 58 locals recommend
Pizza Place
“THE place to get deep dish pizza in the city, you absolutely cannot leave Chicago without getting a slice here first.”
  • 51 locals recommend
Mediterranean Restaurant
“Mag Mile-Delicious small plates and craft cocktails. This place is really humming with excitement, but once you get a seat, your server will guide you to a perfect dining experience. This place can be a bit pricey if you go all out, but you can go easy on the pocket book by exercising caution and ordering only 1 small plate. It is definitely worth the wait and the price. ”
  • 55 locals recommend

Get to know Downtown Chicago

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