If you have been planning to visit all the interesting cities in America which have a lot to explore, Chicago definitely needs to be one of them! Also, if you are confused about what to do in Chicago, you have landed at the very right place!
Flooded with world-class popular museums, endless tourist destinations, glittering shopping arenas, a great nightlife, cheerful neighbourhoods, peaceful parks, a beautiful skyline, as well as a soothing River Walk, this city has much more than any traveler can ask for. However, amidst these numerous attractions in the city, it might not be possible for a visitor to explore all the possible things in the city in one go. Therefore, we have curated a list of the top 10 things to do in Chicago which will make your visit to this great city a great one! If you are planning to have a budget-friendly visit to this city, it is a must for you to check out these 10 tips to save money and travel cheap in Chicago.
1) Take a tour of the city on the Hop on Hop off Bus: One of the best ways to explore the city of Chicago is to opt for the Hop-on Hop-off bus service. Moreover, it is also one of the cheapest modes of transportation if you wish to travel in Chicago from one tourist attraction to the other. The bus tour takes you from one city attraction to the other, providing you a chance to get off at the attraction of your choice and spend some time there. Once you have explored that attraction, you can hop on to the next bus, off to your next destination. Moreover, a Bus tour pass also allows you free admission to the major attractions of the city.
- Tour Prices: Adult: $118, Child: $80(1-Day Pass); Adult: $172, Child: $123 (2-Day Pass); Adult: $214, Child: $154 (3-Day Pass); Adult: $270, Child: $191 (5-Day Pass)
- Booking Link: https://gocity.com/chicago/en-us/products/all-inclusive/pricing
2) Witness the beauty of Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain: One of the most important places in Chicago for tourists to be. Do book a whole lot of time to explore this 319-acre sprawling green area. Moreover, there are a number of attractions within the park that you can visit and explore. The most important attraction of the park is the Buckingham Fountain, which is one of the biggest fountains of the whole world, and probably the most beautiful one. There is also a 20 minutes fountain show organized from 9:00 A.M. to 10:30 P.M. every day, with fountains shooting up as high as 150 feet, during the months of April to October.
- Entry: Free of Cost
- Timings: 6:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M.
3) Visit the Museum Campus on Lake Michigan: 3 of the most popular museums of Chicago for tourists are located in this 57 acres of beautiful park on Lake Michigan. The Field Museum, dedicated to Anthropology and Palaeontology; The Shedd Aquarium, home to the fascinating sea creature, including whales, and dolphins, and the Adler Planetarium, which has some really interesting stories about the universe as well as the space exploration, are all situated within this museum campus. Moreover, apart from these museums, exploring the beautiful surroundings of Lake Michigan is also a must.
- Entry Ticket: $40/38 (Adults), $29/27 (Children aged 3-11), $35/33 (Senior Citizen) (All-Access Pass)
- Booking Link: https://www.fieldmuseum.org/visitShedd Aquarium:
- Entry Ticket: $39.95 (Adult), $29.95 (Children aged 3-11)
- Timings: 9:00 A.M. to 5 P.M.
- Booking Link: https://www.sheddaquarium.org/plan-a-visit/get-tickets
- Entry Ticket: $50 (Adult), $39 (Children aged 3-11)
- Timings: 9:00 A.M – 4 P.M.
- Booking Link: https://www.adlerplanetarium.org/visit/tickets/
4) Sail through the Chicago River to experience the city in a different way: There are a number of interesting cruise tours organized through the Chicago River to experience the city in a different way. The two of the best cruise tours that you can pick from, based on your interest are the Chicago Wine and Cheese Cruise, and Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. Moreover, you can even rent a kayak all to yourself from various different places and sail through this beautiful river.
- Wine & Cheese Cruise:
- Ticket Price: $60/person
- Timings: 5:45pm-7:45 P.M (July-September)
- Booking link: https://www.wendellaboats.com/Chicago-Cruises/Wine-And-Cheese-Cruise/
- Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise:
- TicketPrice: $46.29 onwards
- Timings: 90 minutes:
- Booking Link: Click Here
5) Take a Walk through the Millennial Park: Really famous amongst the visitors for the Cloud Gate and the Crown Fountain, this 24.5-acre park is famous for exhibiting art, architecture, as well as landscape. It is also one of the most popular places to visit in Chicago for concerts and local festivals. You can even enjoy a picnic in the park and scroll through the Boing Galleries to make your visit to this park more interesting.
- Entry: Free of Cost:
- Timings: 6 A.M. – 11 P.M.
6) Visit the various attractions of Navy Pier: Jutting into the Michigan Lake, Navy Pier is a historical location of Chicago tourism which has turned into a crowded tourist spot now. If you want to stay away from the crowd of the pier, you can plan to watch a legendary play at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. The pier is also home to a beautiful Ferris wheel (Centennial Wheel), Children’s Museum, free live concerts, numerous eating options, and organizes a weekly fireworks show.
- Centennial Wheel:
- Ticket Price: $16 (Adult), $13 (Children aged 3-11)
- Timings: Variable
- Booking Link: Click Here
- Shakespeare Theatre:
- Information Link: https://www.chicagoshakes.com/
7) Witness the best of the Art at Art Institute of Chicago: One of the most famous art museums around the world, the Art Institute Chicago is one of the topmost attractions of Chicago and is a heaven for art lovers. It boasts a great collection of decorative and practical art. Moreover, it is also home to some of the most expensive and famous paintings from around the world. A visit to this iconic museum is a must for each and every visitor to Chicago.
- Ticket Price: $25 (Adult), $19 (Senior Citizen Children, Students)
- Timings: 10:30 A.M. – 5 P.M (Saturday – Tuesday), 10:30 A.M. – 8 P.M. (Wednesday – Friday)
- Booking Link: https://www.artic.edu/visit
8) Explore the Hyde Park Neighbourhood: Hyde Park Neighbourhood houses some of the most iconic monuments of the city and is one of the most important neighborhoods of the city. Take a walk through the same and do not miss out on visiting the campus of the University of Chicago, made in the Gothic style of Architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robbie House, and the Museum of Science and Industry.
- Museum of Science & Industry:
- Ticket Price: $21.95 (Adult), $12.95 (Children aged 3-11)
- Timings: Variable
- Booking Link: https://www.msichicago.org/visit/tickets/
9) Satisfy your shopping & food cravings at the Magnificent Mile: The Magnificent Mile is a stretch of commercial buildings with the most iconic of the retail stores and outlets for food in Chicago. Moreover, the stretch remains lively almost throughout the day. You can even hit up this place to experience the Chicago nightlife. Also, you will surely find great things to do in Chicago at night in this street itself.
10) Take a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk: Situated in downtown Chicago, the Riverwalk is a series of pedestrian pathways on a lower level, just adjacent to the Chicago River, to allow people to experience the river from up close and spend some quality time along its banks. Some of the places on the riverwalk offer the pedestrians with a seating area to sit by and relax, whereas, others feature some restaurants which satisfy the thirst and the hunger pangs of the visitors. Walking by the river and spending some quality time can also be one of the best things to do for couples in Chicago.
The above-mentioned things to do in Chicago would surely allow you to experience the best of the city within the shortest span possible. Moreover, even if you want to plan a budget friendly visit to the city, it can be quite easily possible if you start planning in advance. Also, if you even plan to visit the cities of Boston or Atlanta in the future, do not miss checking out these 10 tips to save money and travel cheap in Boston and 10 tips to save money and travel cheap in Atlanta to save a lot of money on your trips.