Chicago Bucket List | Chicago Guide and places you should go
Updated: Jul 4
We prepared a to-do list in Chicago, the city of Illinois! Chicago is a city that leads the world in terms of architecture, so there are many architectural aesthetic places you should see. We've detailed our list for fun in Chicago, for a cultural trip, and even for Chicago food culture. Here's the Chicago Guide Bucket List
Home to the first skyscraper ever built in the world, the city is an especially great place to have fun. In addition, the city is known by the titles "Wind City", "White City" and "Working City".
Best time to go: The best time to visit the city is from April to May in terms of weather. But if you want to go when city activities are more intense, we recommend you to go in September-October.
Chicago is among the most expensive cities to live in the world, so it will be expensive in terms of tourism. The public transport system is well built but be careful you stay in the center. For museums, it will be to your advantage to get a Go Chicago Card.
You can download the Chicago Guide application, where you can get instant information about events, hotels, maps, and weather in the city.
If you are ready, let's start our list!
1. The Art Institute of Chicago
By Leon petrosyan - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26740604
The Art Institute of Chicago is ranked as one of the best museums in the world. It is at the top of the list of places to visit in Chicago, especially for art lovers. It was established in 1879.
The museum focuses on impressionist and post-impressionist work. It also houses the largest collection of impressionist paintings outside of Paris, including works by Monet, Renoir, Seurat, and Van Gogh. If you are an individual interested in art, you can spend almost 1 full day in this museum.
During your tour, you can take a break at one of the three different cafes in the museum.
Location: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
2. Navy Pier
Navy Pier was built in 1916. One of Chicago's most famous sightseeing spots. It is one of the most popular entertainment centers in the city. The pier, which has become the symbol of the city, stretches towards Lake Michigan.
Polk Bros Park, where free concerts and film screenings are held, is located at the entrance of the attraction, located to the east of the city center. Designed as a military port, Navy Pier now serves as an entertainment and shopping venue.
Watching movies at the IMAX cinema or live performances at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, visiting the Chicago Children's Museum are among the activities you can do here.
Location: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
3. Millennium Park
If you visit Millennium Park in the summer, like many others, you can head to the Crown Fountain to cool off. Known as the heart of Chicago, Millennium Park is one of the must-see landmarks in the city. The park is also known as "the world's largest roof garden".
In the park, you can also go to Boeing Galleries to view the works of local artists or visit the Art Institute of Chicago.
Nature lovers, art and architecture enthusiasts, families with children, music enthusiasts, fitness enthusiasts should definitely visit this place.
Location: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602
4. Cloud Gate
Founded in 2006 and becoming the symbol of Millennium Park, Cloud Gate is a public art piece in the heart of Chicago. It makes Millennium Park a much more attractive place in terms of tourism. It is one of the largest permanent outdoor art installations in the world. Made by British Indian artist Anish Kapoor.
Don't forget to take a photo in the reflection.
Location: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602
5. Willis Tower & Skydeck Chicago
Willis Tower is one of the most important symbols of the city. It has a striking appearance thanks to its black aluminum coating. Although Willis Tower contains various facilities that will allow you to have a pleasant time, it attracts the main attention through Skydeck Chicago, located on the 103rd floor. Skydeck, which lays the magnificent view of Chicago under your feet, is an exquisite viewing terrace that gives you a tremendous experience where you will feel close to the sky.
If you visit at sunset, you can catch magnificent views.
Location: 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606
6. Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium is a place where families with children will enjoy spending time. The building is magnificent with its architecture reminiscent of ancient Greek temples.
The aquarium is named after John G. Shedd, one of the businessmen who made Chicago a world-renowned city.
During your visit, you can join shark feeding tours and meet white whales or penguins.
Location: 1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
7. Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo is another fun place to visit in Chicago. It is one of the oldest zoos in North America. It is home to dozens of species, including the Japanese macaque, red wolf, snowy owl, Jamaican iguana, and Henkel's flat-tailed gecko.
Also in Farm-in-the-Zoo, you can learn how to do daily chores like watching farm animals and even milking cows and grooming horses.
Location: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
8. Chicago History Museum
Interested in the city's past? Then this museum is just for you. Founded in 1856, the Chicago History Museum offers information about the city's past. Even though it was damaged in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, it recovered!
Here you can see sources from the 1968 Democratic Convention and the bed where President Lincoln spent the last minutes of his life.
Location: 1601 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
9. Chicago Cultural Center
If you like to examine art exhibitions closely, you should go to the Chicago Cultural Center. It also hosts concerts, dance, theater performances, movie screenings, and family events throughout the year, all of which can be watched free of charge.
The world's largest Tiffany stained-glass dome is located in the lobby of the Chicago Cultural Center.
Location: 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
10. Chicago Theatre
The Chicago Theater was built in 1921. The construction of the hall was carried out at the request of the brothers Abe and Barney Balaban.
In the calendar of the Chicago Movie Theater located in the city center, there are other events besides movie screenings. You can watch the events or just take pictures in this iconic building.
Location: 175 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601
What to eat in Chicago?
# You should definitely try the world-famous Deep-Dish Pizza in Chicago! Unlike classic pizzas, the sides and dough are rolled out thicker. Where you can eat Deep Dish Pizza?
# The rainbow cone was created by Joseph Sapp and his wife, Kathrine. It's a colorful pile of chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House, pistachio, and orange sherbet ice cream stacked on a cone. Where you can eat The Rainbow Cone?
# The Chicago-style hot dog is a must-try food during your visit to Chicago. You can find Chicago-style hot dogs in most parts of the city. Where you can eat Chicago-style hot dog?
Where to Stay in Chicago?
# If you are traveling to the city for the first time, we recommend staying at The Loop (Downtown). But if you want to be close to the nightlife, we can say to stay in a hotel around the River North.
For The Loop
For the River North
# You can choose hotels on the Magnificent Mile & Gold Coast for luxury shopping and living centers or Chicago's most ideal accommodation for families at Lincoln Park.
For Magnificent Mile & Gold Coast
For Lincoln Park
# If you enjoy visiting museums, we recommend staying around the South Loop.