As a local of Chicago and world traveler, I can confidently say that regardless of when you visit, there are plenty of tourist worthy attractions in Chicago.
From stunning architecture to world-renowned museums and events, the Windy City is full of culture and fun.
Even locals find these tourist worthy attractions in Chicago worth visiting. They offer a unique perspective into the diverse and vibrant city, which is why I have made these the top highlights in this Chicago attraction guide.
From the iconic Cloud Gate at Millennium Park to the amazing art galleries and Navy Pier, there is tons to explore throughout the city. So if you’re looking for a truly memorable experience, check out these tourist worthy attractions in Chicago!
Read the full Chicago destination guide on how to visit Chicago like a local HERE.
In this Chicago destination guide I share the top places to see, my favorite hidden gems and tips to best navigate the iconic windy city.
Plan Your Chicago Visit
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Top Tours In Chicago
- Do it all with this tour where you see the sites, enjoy bites and have a few bevs along the way. Combine bikes, brews and bites for an all in one tour. Bikes, Bites, and Brews: Chicago’s Signature Dishes Bike Tour
- Looking for the best way to see all these highlights? Or short on time in the “Windy City”? Check out this History, Culture and Architecture Walking Tour.
- Love street art and murals, then this tour is a perfect way to learn more about the pieces scattered around the city. Offbeat Street Art Tour of Chicago: Urban Graffiti, Art, and Murals
- Coming to Chicago to see firsthand Al Capone’s playground. This tour is perfect for you. Gangsters and Ghosts Tour in Chicago
- Chicago is known for its unique architecture. This tour shows you the sites while you cruise along our famous river and lake. Chicago Architecture River Cruise
See more Chicago activities provided by Viator below:
Tourist Worthy Icons In Chicago
Old port turned tourist attraction that has shops, restaurants and great views of the city. During the summer they have fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Have little ones with you, don’t miss out on checking out the Children’s Museum while you are here.
See more cool activities for kids of all ages at Navy Pier HERE.
Once the tallest building in the world, the Sears Tower also known as the Willis Tower by tourists is a great observation deck with views of the city and beyond.
Buy your entry ticket HERE.
Great observation deck with 360 views of the city and lake Michigan.
Buy your entry ticket HERE.
Tourist Worthy Sights In Chicago
Chicago’s premier commercial district full of upscale shops, restaurants and hotels.
Originally named “Cloud Gate” by its artist, this sculpture has become a must visit when in Chicago.
One of my favorite places to bring tourist friends. This beautiful park in the center of the city IS where “The Bean”, Buckingham Fountain”, and “Maggie Daley Park” are located.
If its summer don’t miss checking out the park’s calendar of events as there is always something happening including free movie nights, concerts and workouts.
A great park for kids and kids at heart with tons of kid friendly sections including a pirate ship, mini golf and wall climbing.
If it is winter when you visit, go ice skating in the skate ribbon or in the skating rink in front of “The Bean”
An iconic Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park and considered one of the largest fountains in the world.
Tourist Worthy Museums In Chicago
I love art and this by far has to be my favorite museums in Chicago and probably the world. It’s beautiful inside and out and holds some of the best and most recognizable art collections in the world including, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by artists Georges Seurat.
Skip the line, save time and book your entry ticket in advance HERE.
A great museum to immerse yourself in Mexican art and culture. Get a better understanding of the Latino community in Chicago and visit the Pilsen neighborhood while you are here. Big perk is that this museum is free all day, every day.
If visiting around October, their yearly Day of the Dead exhibit never disappoints.
Another one of my favorites when it comes to museums. It has many interactive activities and is the largest museum in the western hemisphere. Makes for a great way to spend the day.
One of the largest botanical gardens in the US and often called a “Landscape art under glass”. It doesn’t disappoint and is free to enter.
If planning your visit and coming with kids, most Wednesday’s they have activities specifically for kids. Refer to the website to confirm.
Discover What Is Happening During Your Visit
Since Chicago is a big city, there is always something going on. The sites below will provide you with the latest current events and happenings during your visit.
A simple google search such as “Free activities in Chicago” will give you sights and activities to explore that are either affordable or free.
There is more to Chicago than the sights, it’s a city after all. Don’t forget you can find my full Chicago destination guide HERE.
Plan your visit from A to B with local recommendations from an expert traveler. It’s getting the best of both worlds for your ultimate trip.
My visiting Chicago like a local destination guide includes:
- What to do
- Where to stay
- How to get around the city
- Where and what to eat
- Where to party
- Other nearby places to visit