TOP 21 best attractions in Chicago


Chica­go is a large North Amer­i­can city on the shores of Lake Michi­gan with world-class muse­ums, vibrant neigh­bor­hoods, parks and pub­lic gar­dens.


What to do in Chicago

At the end of the 17th cen­tu­ry, a small set­tle­ment of immi­grants formed near Lake Michi­gan. In 1837, he received the sta­tus of a city called Chica­go. Its favor­able geo­graph­i­cal posi­tion has made it an impor­tant trans­porta­tion hub.
Amer­i­ca and con­tributed to indus­tri­al growth.

The fire of 1871 destroyed a sig­nif­i­cant part of the dis­tricts and streets. Peo­ple from all over the coun­try came to restore the burnt build­ings. New res­i­den­tial and admin­is­tra­tive build­ings have turned Chica­go into a mod­el of Amer­i­can archi­tec­ture of the last cen­tu­ry.

Today Chica­go is a com­fort­able metrop­o­lis with inter­est­ing sights. By study­ing local archi­tec­ture, peo­ple get acquaint­ed with the his­to­ry of sky­scraper con­struc­tion. After all, it was here that the con­struc­tion of the first high-rise build­ings began. The cen­tral regions and the Old Town with hous­es erect­ed imme­di­ate­ly after the fire are very pop­u­lar.

The sky­scrap­ers of Chica­go har­mo­nious­ly coex­ist with cozy parks and squares. Among the green­ery, run­ning tracks, bas­ket­ball courts, golf and cro­quet fields, and pic­nic areas are equipped. In the shade, peo­ple relax from the bus­tle of the city, meet friends, go in for sports, take pic­tures.

Every year, noisy music fes­ti­vals are held in Chica­go, gath­er­ing mil­lions of spec­ta­tors:

  • In Sep­tem­ber, the Chica­go Jazz Fes­ti­val invites guests;
  • In May, the blues fes­ti­val;
  • In June — a con­cert of wind Chris­t­ian music;
  • The whole sum­mer does not stop Ravinia Fes­ti­val. As part of the hol­i­day per­for­mance of jazz musi­cians, bal­let troupes, sym­pho­ny orches­tras.

Chica­go offers a lot of enter­tain­ment. Adults and chil­dren enjoy vis­it­ing the pub­lic ocea­nari­um, plan­e­tar­i­um, nat­ur­al his­to­ry muse­um, zoo, botan­i­cal gar­den. The Six Flags of Great Amer­i­ca amuse­ment park has a huge selec­tion of attrac­tions: roller coast­ers, a Fer­ris wheel, a giant inter­ac­tive pool, hot air bal­loons, as well as clas­sic carousels for all ages.

Interesting places

Golden shore

solotoi bereg

The Chica­go Cen­tral Dis­trict includes major his­tor­i­cal and cul­tur­al attrac­tions. Its total area is 7.04 km². It main­ly con­sists of stone man­sions and high-rise build­ings. On each street there are pres­ti­gious bou­tiques, shops of world brands, banks, offices of large com­pa­nies, restau­rants. With­in the dis­trict there are St. James Cathe­dral, an old water tow­er, a hun­dred-year-old foun­tain, a naval pier, and Shake­speare’s the­ater.

Magnificent Mile

velikolepnaya milia

The fash­ion­able shop­ping dis­trict ris­es from the bridge over the Chica­go Riv­er and runs through the cen­ter of the city, abut­ting on Oak Street. Its length is only 1.23 km. Along the high­way there are upscale restau­rants, depart­ment stores, lux­u­ry res­i­den­tial build­ings, offices, hotels.

Every year, 22 mil­lion tourists vis­it the area to shop and see exclu­sive prop­er­ties. In the north­ern part ris­es the 57-sto­ry sky­scraper “Mag­nif­i­cent Mile”, lined with pink gran­ite. Inside the build­ing there is a swim­ming pool, a sports club, apart­ments and offices.

oak street

dubovaia ulica

A small street in the cen­ter of Chica­go attracts fash­ion con­nois­seurs from all over the world. The pres­ti­gious place is built up with sky­scrap­ers. They open bou­tiques of Euro­pean brands, Amer­i­can lux­u­ry brands, inter­na­tion­al fash­ion hous­es. Among the most famous are Ralph Lau­ren, Hugo Boss, Pra­da, Louis Vuit­ton, Guc­ci stores.

Sprawl­ing trees grow along Oak Street, giv­ing it a spe­cial charm and beau­ty.

Notable architecture

Marina City

marina city

The project for Mari­na City was devel­oped by Bertrand Gold­berg in 1959. A few years lat­er, it was brought to life, spend­ing 36 mil­lion dol­lars. A mixed-use com­plex on the banks of the Chica­go Riv­er con­sists of two tow­ers resem­bling maize cobs. The height of the build­ings is 179 meters.

On the first lev­els there is a huge park­ing lot. Above — cin­e­mas, con­fer­ence rooms, offices, restau­rants. The last tiers are occu­pied by res­i­den­tial apart­ments. From the bal­conies of lux­u­ry hous­ing offers a gor­geous view of the Chica­go streets.

Tribune Tower

tribune town

The Neo-Goth­ic Tri­bune Tow­er is one of Chicago’s first sky­scrap­ers. Its con­struc­tion began in 1923 and last­ed 2 years. The height of the grace­ful tow­er direct­ed upwards is 141 meters. The upper tiers are dec­o­rat­ed with arched win­dows, point­ed tow­ers, gar­goyles.

The main entrance is dec­o­rat­ed with carved paint­ings by Amer­i­can artist René Paul Cham­bel­lan. Stones are built into the facade, which are part of impor­tant his­tor­i­cal sites: the Great Wall of Chi­na, the Taj Mahal, the Egypt­ian pyra­mids, Hagia Sophia, Fort San­ti­a­go. Each has a cor­re­spond­ing sign.

Cathedral of Saint James

sobor st dgeimsa

The old­est Angli­can church in Chica­go. The first build­ing burned down dur­ing a fire — only the bell tow­er was saved, which was added to the archi­tec­tur­al ensem­ble of the new tem­ple. The stones on its top still remain black in mem­o­ry of the trag­ic event.

St. James Cathe­dral is designed in the Romanesque style. Mul­ti-col­ored stained-glass win­dows of the 19th cen­tu­ry are insert­ed into the win­dows. The inte­ri­or walls are fres­coed with bib­li­cal themes, and a mar­ble altar stands in a place of hon­or.

Water tower

vodonapornaya basnia

The Chica­go Water Tow­er has been added to the US Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places and is pro­tect­ed by law. It was erect­ed in 1869 for a water pump pump­ing water from Lake Michi­gan. A round nar­row struc­ture with small win­dows and a crenel­lat­ed lid, rem­i­nis­cent of an ancient fortress. It man­aged to sur­vive the Great Chica­go Fire, which is why it is con­sid­ered a sym­bol of the old city.

Inside there is an art gallery show­ing the work of young artists and pho­tog­ra­phers. And around the tow­er itself there is a small park.

centennial fountain

stoletni fontan

In hon­or of the 100th anniver­sary of the Chica­go Recla­ma­tion Dis­trict, the author­i­ties installed a beau­ti­ful foun­tain. The attrac­tion quick­ly gained pop­u­lar­i­ty among tourists and locals. This is a mul­ti-lev­el water­fall. Every hour a huge water arc departs from it. The sparkling arch cross­es the Chica­go Riv­er, freezes for 10 min­utes and dis­ap­pears until the next turn on. Water can­nons and a water­fall oper­ate from 8 am to 11 pm dur­ing the warm sea­son.

naval pier

military morskoi pirs

The 1,010-meter-long Lake Michi­gan Wharf is the largest attrac­tion in the Mid­west and the most vis­it­ed place in Chica­go. The Navy Pier mul­ti­func­tion­al com­plex is locat­ed here. The insti­tu­tion includes retail out­lets, restau­rants, enter­tain­ment cen­ters, muse­ums. It fea­tures musi­cal carousels, a sen­so­ry labyrinth, and a trop­i­cal gar­den.

On the pier there is an anchor tak­en from a naval ship, bronze sculp­tures of chil­dren and Amer­i­can actors. Boats and sail­boats are moored along the shore, car­ry­ing out sight­see­ing trips on Lake Michi­gan. Fire­works are arranged in the evenings.

Cathedral of the Holy Name

sobor st imni

The neo-Goth­ic cathe­dral was erect­ed to replace the Catholic church­es that burned down in a fire in Chica­go. The main build­ing is 71 meters long, 38 meters wide and can accom­mo­date 1,110 peo­ple. The mas­sive entrance door catch­es the eye – it is made of bronze, inlaid with com­plex pat­terns and details.

Inside the church are sculp­tures of saints and paint­ings. The altar is made of red-black gran­ite. Near­by is a bronze bas-relief with Old Tes­ta­ment scenes of sac­ri­fice. Lush dec­o­ra­tion is com­ple­ment­ed by carved fur­ni­ture, bright stained-glass win­dows, a dec­o­ra­tive wood­en ceil­ing, and a mar­ble floor.


Cultural Center

cultural center

In 1897, a beau­ti­ful neo­clas­si­cal man­sion appeared on Wash­ing­ton Street. Ini­tial­ly, they want­ed to trans­fer the build­ing to the nation­al library, but instead they began to use it for offi­cial recep­tions, social events, and pri­vate par­ties.

Today, the Chica­go Cul­tur­al Cen­ter plays an impor­tant role in the city’s tourist life. Free exhi­bi­tions, musi­cal and the­atri­cal per­for­mances, meet­ings with famous peo­ple are reg­u­lar­ly held here.

Modern Art Museum

museum sovr isk

In the mid­dle of the last cen­tu­ry, a muse­um of mod­ern art was launched in Chica­go. Its col­lec­tion con­sists of thou­sands of exhibits and is con­sid­ered one of the largest in the world.

The expo­si­tion includes works dat­ing from the sec­ond half of the 20th cen­tu­ry. Vis­i­tors are shown paint­ings by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Kara Walk­er, Jasper Johns. In sep­a­rate rooms, instal­la­tions, pho­tographs and sculp­tures in the style of sur­re­al­ism and mod­ernism are pre­sent­ed.

Institute of Arts

institute iskustv

The Art Insti­tute of Chica­go opened its doors in 1893. This is the old­est US uni­ver­si­ty spe­cial­iz­ing in fine arts and archi­tec­ture. The uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus is equipped with a muse­um with a rich col­lec­tion of paint­ings by Amer­i­can and Euro­pean artists. Tourists can see the mas­ter­pieces of Van Gogh, Renoir, Georges Seu­rat, John Simp­son, Hen­ri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Museum of Science and Industry

musei science

Built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Expo­si­tion, the palace hous­es a muse­um of sci­ence and indus­try. Here are stored items relat­ed to dif­fer­ent his­tor­i­cal peri­ods of the Unit­ed States.

Among the exhibits are a mod­el rail­way, a diesel train, a space satel­lite, a coal mine. A pop­u­lar exhi­bi­tion tells about the Sec­ond World War. It shows the ammu­ni­tion of Amer­i­can sol­diers and equip­ment, includ­ing a Ger­man sub­ma­rine.

Museum of African American History

musei afro history

The Hyde Park Muse­um was found­ed in 1961 by Dr. Mar­garet Bur­roughs. It exhibits his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ments high­light­ing the strug­gle of African Amer­i­cans for their rights. The­mat­ic expo­si­tions, instal­la­tions tell about slav­ery in North Amer­i­ca, about racism in the USA and the trag­ic fate of Africans.

The funds con­tain paint­ings, sculp­tures, books, mem­o­ra­bil­ia and oth­er cul­tur­al her­itage of the black inhab­i­tants of the coun­try. The muse­um reg­u­lar­ly hosts meet­ings with musi­cians, writ­ers, sci­en­tists.

Museum of Natural History

musei estestvosnania

In the cen­ter of Chica­go there is a park with flat alleys and pavil­ions. It hous­es famous attrac­tions, includ­ing the Nat­ur­al His­to­ry Muse­um. The spa­cious halls con­tain rare and inter­est­ing exhibits: the skele­ton of a Tyran­nosaurus rex, fos­silized bones of cave bears, stuffed African ele­phants and man-eat­ing lions shot in 1898.

In sep­a­rate rooms, objects from the pre-Columbian era found dur­ing exca­va­tions are dis­played, as well as arti­facts from the Pacif­ic coast and ancient Egypt.

Entertainment and parks

Adler Planetarium


The first plan­e­tar­i­um of the West­ern Hemi­sphere appeared in Chica­go at the ini­tia­tive of the phil­an­thropist Max Adler. The orig­i­nal build­ing with a wide dome is equipped with mod­ern equip­ment. The Zeiss pro­jec­tor scrupu­lous­ly repro­duces any move­ment on the celes­tial sphere. The dig­i­tal image pro­vides a real­is­tic view of the star­ry sky.

The Adler Plan­e­tar­i­um shows the lat­est shows, gives inter­est­ing lec­tures and helps to learn about the Uni­verse. There is a muse­um on the ter­ri­to­ry, pre­sent­ing nav­i­ga­tion­al instru­ments, tele­scopes and star charts.

Shedd Aquarium


It is a huge tourist cen­ter with an impres­sive cul­tur­al pro­gram. 25,000 marine life swim in water tanks. Among them are the giant Pacif­ic octo­pus, rays, starfish, trop­i­cal fish, whales, tur­tles, sharks. Tourists watch the per­for­mance of trained pen­guins, vis­it the dol­phi­nar­i­um, watch the feed­ing of sharks.

The Shedd Aquar­i­um has a pool for fresh­wa­ter fish, a large area for amphib­ians, rep­tiles and birds, as well as a res­cue head­quar­ters for ani­mals affect­ed by human activ­i­ty or nat­ur­al dis­as­ters.

Botanical Garden

bot sad

The Chica­go Botan­ic Gar­den is con­sid­ered to be the largest in North Amer­i­ca. It opened in the sec­ond half of the last cen­tu­ry and quick­ly turned into a pop­u­lar liv­ing muse­um. The nat­ur­al area is divid­ed into sec­tions, which include: an Eng­lish park, an orchard, a bon­sai col­lec­tion, a rose gar­den, green­hous­es with cac­ti, suc­cu­lents and palm trees.

A vast area is occu­pied by a gar­den of native plants, con­sist­ing of for­est and prairie. It grows Christ­mas fern, wild gin­ger, marsh white oak, Amer­i­can hops. The botan­i­cal gar­den hosts flower exhi­bi­tions, a shop with seedlings and a cafe.

Zoo in Lincoln Park


Lin­coln Park on Lake Michi­gan is made up of land­scaped gar­dens, ten­nis courts, base­ball fields, lily lakes, boat sta­tions. The zoo takes cen­ter stage. This is a wilder­ness oasis in Chica­go. Ani­mals and birds from dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents have found a home here.

Polar bears, African ele­phants, tigers, bac­tri­an camels, east­ern black rhi­nos live in nat­ur­al con­di­tions. Chim­panzees, black-and-white colobus, swamp mon­keys, orang­utans frol­ic in spa­cious nurs­eries. In the ter­rar­i­um there are rat­tlesnakes, Amer­i­can toads, croc­o­diles, igua­nas.



Mil­len­ni­um Pub­lic Park was inau­gu­rat­ed in 2004. $475 mil­lion was spent on its con­struc­tion, and there is some­thing to see here. The main cul­tur­al objects are the Jay Pritzk­er Exhi­bi­tion Pavil­ion, the inter­ac­tive Crown Foun­tain, the Lurie Gar­den, the three-sto­ry steel sculp­ture Cloud Gate.

With­in the park there is a large indoor skat­ing rink, out­door restau­rants, play­grounds and bike rental.


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