What to see in Chicago (Places and recommendations)


We are back in the United States and we are pleased to tell you what to see in Chicago. One of the most beautiful cities in the whole country, knowing that we know Miami, New York, San Francisco and other cities. It has everything, skyscrapers, rivers, a lake that looks like a sea, great museums and good food. And best of all, it can be seen in just 2/3 days !!

What to see in Chicago

What to see in Chicago

After our experience in New York years ago, we wanted to walk through a city of similar court with endless avenues surrounded by skyscrapers. This time we lacked time since New York requires at least 5 days to see it well and many people had advised me Chicago. The city a priori seemed huge but once a little research one realizes that what is really important is very concentrated. In an area of ​​approximately 5 x 3 kilometers. However there are always more things to see, but with only 2 full days we could already have a good taste.

Chicago Map

Well let's get down to work and let's list our favorite points in the city. All of them visited in summer because in winter the thing is painted white and it is very cold. And eye, the order does not indicate our preference!

Chicago Bridges

1 The parks of Chicago

Interestingly, the main parks in Chicago are one behind the other, separated only by streets and attached to thelake Michigan. If it were not for the maps one would think that all together they are a single park.

Chicago Parks

The most famous of all is Millennium park, where the well-known “The Bean” or “the Bean” sits and the Jay Pritzker Pavillion. The latter is the headquarters of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was designed by architect Frank Gehry.

What to see in Chicago - Jay Pritzker Pavillion

2 The Bean

This thing, to put it somehow, is one of the great attractions of Chicago. I call it a thing because of such a seemingly simple sculpture it is incredible that it attracts tourists. We all approach as children to see ourselves reflected in one of the 168 stainless steel plates so polished that the reflection is perfect.

The bean

3 Crown Fountain

A different source than what we have in mind. Two giant screens, one in front of the other and in the middle of the water. Both screens show human expressions of real characters, giving the source a very interesting look.

What to see in Chicago - Crown Fountain

4 Bridges of Chicago

Many of the bridges that cross the Chicago river, especially in the area of Riverwalk, are worthy of admiration. Iron and steel hulks, where thousands of cars cross each day and as many trains on many others. We especially recommend street bridges:

  • North Lower Michigan Avenue
  • North wabash avenue
  • North state street
  • North Dearborn Street

Chicago Bridges

As a curiosity, not far from Chinatown (Ping Tom memorial Park), there is a drawbridge for trains !!!! Yes, the bridge is usually for trains to circulate but if a large ship passes underneath, it rises with weights on its vertigo sides. An engineering feat.

Bridge in Ping Tom memorial Park

5 Chicago Riverwalk

A good walk through Chicago is without a doubt the Riverwalk. A road stuck to the river of almost 2 kilometers surrounded by skyscrapers and trendy bars. We will pass the Trump Tower, buildings of the oldest court and the most striking bridges in the city.

Chicago Riverwalk

6 Willis Tower

The tallest skyscraper in Chicago is the Willis Tower. It was once the tallest tower in the world until the madness to build in the Middle East and Southeast Asia knocked it off its throne (Burj Khalifa). Today its appearance is a bit rough, not very striking and the views from its last floor are not as good as in New York.

Willis Tower - Chicago

Another option similar to the Willis tower is the John Hancock Observatory.

Eye with tails that can be more than 2 hours. Ideally, arrive early in the morning.

7 Navy Pier

He Navy pier It is a port area where many restaurants and even a small amusement park with ferris wheel are included. From there leave most of the boats that cross Lake Michigan or the rivers of the city, taxis included. On this last review point 10.

What to see in Chicago - Navy Pier

By the way, the views from the Navy pier are very good.

What to see in Chicago - Navy Pier

8 Oak Street Beach (Lake Michigan Beaches)

Lake Michigan may not be a sea as such, but by size it could be considered. It is so big that one does not see the end and for the last straw there are even waves! If it were not because the water is fresh and because there are no tides, one would think of a coastal area.

Beach on Lake Michigan

9 Chicago Theater

The Chicago theater is located between much taller buildings. Built in the style of Las Vegas for its squeaky lights. By the way, he has nothing left to turn 100!

What to see in Chicago - Chicago Theater

10 Take a boat in Chicago

To visit Chicago by boat I recommend good planning, especially if we like photography. It is a city oriented from East to West, the East being the shore that overlooks the Lake. Therefore, if we decide to watch the sunset, it is best to take a boat from the Pier and enjoy the skyline. On the other hand, if we want to navigate the river, it is best to do it in the morning because we will have the sun in the afternoon and believe me ... it is quite annoying.

What to see in Chicago

All boats leave from the Navy pier only that many have stops at different points in Chicago, especially on the Chicago River or where the Aquarium. The latter stop water taxis.

11 Chicago Planetarium and Aquarium

Another interesting walk is to walk along the shore of Lake Michigan to the Planetarium. This is located on a small peninsula south of Chicago and you can see in the photo below a good panoramic view of the city.

Views from the Planetarium

We didn't visit the planetarium, as well as the aquarium. Both told us that they are very good, but like everything else, you have to arrive early to avoid long lines.

Chicago Planetarium

12 Take the Chicago subway

I recommend that you take one of the semi-circular lines that run through downtown Chicago. The mere fact of touring this part of the city on raised rails over 20 meters high, passing through the river, skyscrapers, ..., etc. is simply unique here.

Chicago subway

13 Chinatown

As in New York, San Francisco and other cities in the United States, the Chinese population is very high. Many of them have created authentic ghettos where shops, restaurants and all kinds of posters in the area are designed for the Chinese citizen. A perfect place to get to know little China.

Chicago Chinatown

Metro: Cermak-Chinatown

Practical data

When to go to Chicago?

Big question. Chicago is a city whipped by the winds throughout the year. A wind that is generally not annoying, but when it's cold it sneaks into your bones. Therefore, if you are not very cold, try to come in the summer. The temperatures are mild, about 25 degrees Celsius, but in winter the thing changes. It can go down to 15 degrees below zero easily, making it very difficult to enjoy the city.

How to get from the airport to downtown Chicago? Displacements

There are many ways. From express buses, subway, taxi or Uber or similar. The metro (CTA) is the most economical option and takes you anywhere. It costs only 2.50$ per traveler but unfortunately the subway is not ready to go loaded with luggage. They are narrow and there is almost no place for them. Therefore the trip is uncomfortable.

Uber for example has a cost of 35$ more or less. If we are many, it may come to mind.

Can you walk the city?

Yes and it is the most recommended option. Chicago is not gigantic and you can walk without problems. The subway is an option to return in case of walking too much ...

Water taxi or boat tour?

It's a good question because they offer very different things but they see almost the same things. The Taxi is the cheapest option. About 10/12$ for a full ride between the Navy Pier and the Willis Tower. Something similar on a tour costs 4 times more, but the change does not make stops, it goes slower and the whole route is guided, telling in some things very interesting information about the history of Chicago.

Chicago boat tour

Where to eat in Chicago

We can't leave Chicago without trying their famous pizza (Depp dish). Much fatter than normal and loaded with many ingredients. A perfect place to eat it is inLou Malnati's, near the Hilton Hotel. They do not accept reservations and therefore it is normal to wait until they give us a table….

Chicago style pizza

Instead looking for a good, re-good, hamburger or even breakfast, go to Eleven City Dinner, on South Wabash Avenue 1112.

Discounts in Chicago

As in many cities in the United States, there is a card that includes visits to numerous museums and attractions, such as boat trips, climbing to the Willis tower, among many things. All this with considerable savings.

Chicago Explorer Pass

Where to sleep in Chicago

As usually happens in the United States, accommodations are not especially cheap. However, the offer is high, especially with several large hotels such as the Hilton.

  • Hilton Garden Inn Chicago: bad can't be with the name it has. Close location of good restaurants and Jazz clubs.
  • Pittsfield Apartments + Suites: very central to everything. Perfect location.
  • Freehand Chicago: located north of the Chicago River, near a commercial area.

Chicago tours

There are many tours around Chicago, just look at this long list so that you decide on one.

Chicago tours

Is Chicago safe?

It is without a doubt. Downtown Chicago allows you to walk without any problem even at night. In any case, it is normal for you to avoid this type of alley.

Typical Chicago Alley

Travel insurance

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