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Top Chicago Places to Visit with Damian

 

Hello, it is Damian and I live in Chicago since 2015! I created this list based on my own experience and I want to share some extra secret places in Chicago with you! The list includes a total of 28 places, some of them are super touristic but must-see places, there are some places that can’t be found easily and for sure you won’t see tourists there.

Enjoy! And don’t forget to check out the top 107 coffee shops in Chicago and Chicago Travel Guide.

Damian Chlanda

1. Cloud Gate

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

But everyone is calling it “Bean” a famous piece of art by Anish Kapoor in Millennium Park. Most touristic place in Chicago, must-see as well as entire Millennium Park where you can find Christmas Tree in winter and do some skating.

I actually got the unique opportunity to take a photo of “Bean” where there was no one around!

Bean cloud gate

2. Willis Tower

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Website

Still called Sears Tower by most Chicagoans, is the tallest building in Chicago (442 m), it was the tollest build in the world for 25 years. It is worth visiting for “Skydeck” which is a glass box at 412 m! Tickets are $35 for adults ().

Willis Tower - Chicago Places to visit

3. Shedd Aquarium

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Website

Really interesting, but to be hosted it was smaller than I thought, it can be done in 1 – 1,5 hours, if you are interested in visiting you must see those photos I got a chance to take https://damianchlanda.com/blog/chicago-shedd-aquarium/

4. Field Museum

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Website

History of nature, you can find more information here. I am not the biggest fan, but it really depends on personal preferences.

5. Museum of Science and Industry

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Website

Located in Hyde Park one of the best Chicago Neighborhoods, in the museum you can even find a full-size U-505 a German submarine!

6. Wrigley Field

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Tours

The stadium of the most beloved baseball team in Chicago has a lot of great bars and food places around it.

7. Michael Jordan Statue

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

The best basketball player in history spent most of his career in the Chicago Bulls, visit his statue in his honor.

8. Apple Store Michigan Avenue

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

What can I say, this building is a piece of art, cost $27 million, is for sale now for $170 million.

Apple Store Michigan Ave Chicago places to visit

9. 360 Chicago

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Website

Observatory located on 94th floor with the best possible view you can get in Chicago, all side of the world.

Tip!

Instead of being a ticket, you can make a reservation for dinner in a restaurant located on the 95th floor so you can see the entire Chicago and lake. Hope for good weather!

10. Adler Planetarium

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Website

Got the biggest publicly accessible telescope in Chicago.

11. Navy Pier

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

This is the most tourists place in Chicago, with many attractions like Crystal Gardens or Children’s museum.

12. Lincoln Park Zoo

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

If you travel with kids, definitely worth going, entire Lincoln Park is a beautiful place where you can really relax and rest after exploring a busy city.

13. Chinatown

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

Few buildings with Chines architecture, plus food that is unique for this neighborhood, worth visiting if you have extra time.

Chinatown Chicago

14. Bahá’í House of Worship

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

Located in Evanston, the first town north of Chicago, a great piece of architecture.

Bahai Temple in Evanston

15. Art Institute

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Website

The biggest museum in Chicago, must-visit place, check their website for actual exhibits.

16. Green Mill

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Website

A famous place opened in 1907, that is where Al Capone hung out. Remember that they only take cash and have no reservations. The place is kept in 60-70s style, no food only drinks, but great music and great dancing.

17. St. John Cantius Church

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Website

One of the oldest churches in Chicago, and in my opinion most beautiful! Built in 1893 by Polish immigrants is home to thousands of parishioners in River West. They offer Latin Mass 7 days a week.

St. Cantius Church

18. Glessner House

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Website

A National Historic Landmark, Glessner House was designed by noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson and completed in 1887. It remains an internationally-known architectural treasure in Chicago.

Glessner House

19. Adler Planetarium Skyline Walk

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

The best view of the Chicago skyline can be seen from this place, a beautiful walk that can be taken from downtown, to Alder Planetarium. Used a lot by Chicagonian, less by tourists, really recommended, especially in summer, when you can make a picnic and relax.

Chicago places to visit

20. North Avenue Beach

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

Great view of Chicago and the most popular and longest beach in Chicago, a lot of volleyball tournaments during the summer, a great place to cooldown during hot days.

Chicago at night north beach

21. Buckingham Fountain

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

The biggest fountain in Chicago, built in 1927, is one of the largest in the world. Running from May to mid-October depends on the weather. It shoots water 150-feet high every hour for 20 min. There is a final performance every day at 10:35 pm with lights and music.

22. The Chicago Theatre

Location: Google Maps
Access: Website

Built in 1921, the landmark of Chicago is located on North State Street in the Loop area. The capacity of 3600 people. Popular for photography in front of the building.  One of the most iconic places in Chcicago.

The Chicago Theatre

23. Stony Island Arts Bank

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

Interesting architecture, previously bank, located in Hyde Park. Today, the restored Stony Island Arts Bank provides the South Side of Chicago with 17,000 square feet of space for innovation in contemporary art and archival practice.

Top Secret Chicago Places to Visit

 

1. Multilevel streets

 

Location: Google Maps (Downtown Chicago)
Access: Free

Some of the streets in Chicago downtown got lower levels, even Michigan Avenue which is the main street going through the entire Chicago with most tourists on it, you can completely avoid people just by taking stairs down. Even people living in Chicago rarely use it. Lower levels are mainly used for track deliveries and car traffic, but most of them got sidewalks!

2. Pedway System

 

Location: Map (Downtown Chicago)
Access: Free

It is a system of underground tunnels between many buildings in Chicago. Even I didn’t have a chance to fully explore it but it is on my list. You can find bars and shops there!

Pedway Map

source (https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/depts/cdot/pedestrian/Pedway/PedwayMap2013.pdf)

3. Gate with number 23

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

You can actually find the famous “23” gate, this is where Michael Jordan was living during his career in Chicago Bulls and long after.

4. Garden of Pheonix

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

This garden symbolizes the mutual respect and friendship that Japan and the United States initiated more than 120 years ago. In 1893, on Jackson Park’s Wooded Island, the Japanese Government built the Ho-o-den [Phoenix Temple] as its pavilion for the World’s Columbian Exposition.

5. The Spice House

 

Location: Google Maps
Access: Free

I found this place when I was exploring Old Town. I was enchanted by the great interior design, the variety of spices from all over the world, and the quality of the products. A place worth visiting for anyone who wants to diversify their cooking.

The Spice House
Damian

Hi! My name is Damian, I live in Chicago since 2015, and I am a photographer, traveler, and coffee drinker.
You can learn more about interesting places in Chicago and around the world how to take good photos of them and find a decent cup of coffee on your way!

Honorable Mention Award from “MIFA” – Moscow International Foto Awards.

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