Chicago – a great city where you’ll have a lot to do and to see.
A weekend trip to Chicago.
from the 12th to the 13th of August me and two friends flew from San Francisco to Chicago. The Windy City, the global architecture capital, the third most populated city in the United Stated and Chi-Town.
There is so much to see and to do here that I would almost say that one weekend is not enough to actually go and explore all those places but also relax and just enjoy.
Chicago is located on the south-west shore of Lake Michigan in the US-State Illinois. Since the 19th century Chicago is one of the most important commercial town because of its railways junction and because of its location on the mouth of the Illinois Waterways. The city is connected with the East and West coast by the railway. With the mouth of the Illinois Waterway, the city is connected through the great lakes and the Saint Lawrence Seaway or rather the Erie Canal with the Atlantic and New York City. Furthermore is there a connection through the Mississippi River with the Gulf of Mexico.
Sky Deck/Willis Tower
Willis Tower, which was built as Sears Tower and which is still known by its original name, is a 108 storied, 1,450ft (442.1m) high skyscraper. When it was built in 1973, the Sears Tower was taller than the World Trade Center in New York City and was the tallest building in the world. For almost 25 years the title of being the tallest building in the world applied. Until 2014 it still counted as tallest building in the western hemisphere until the new building was added to the World Trade Center. Nowadays, Willis Tower is the second tallest building in the USA and the 16th tallest building in the world.
On July 2nd 2009 the Willis Tower Observation Deck was opened, which is also called the Skydeck or The Ledge.
It is located in the 103rd story of the building in a height of 1,353ft (412.4m), which makes it the highest Observation Deck in the USA and one of the most famous attractions in Chicago.
Annually there are over one million people visiting the skydeck, which makes the waiting line accordingly long.
We visited the Tower on Saturday at 10:00am. Luckily we didn’t have to stand in line and could directly drive up the tower.
The ride up with the elevator takes approximately 60 seconds….that means…bring gum…you will definitely feel your ears.
Once you got to the top you can make an entire round in the story and see every side of Chicago. Also you can find a gift store and a snack bar here. While you can enjoy the view from the “normal” windows you can also take a look below you from the glass balcony. Everywhere are information boards that tell you what exactly you are looking at as well as information about the tower and literally anything you could ever ask for.
When we arrived in the 103rd story it was not very crowed and we had the chance to take tons of pictures in the glass balcony.
FYI, yes, you have to stand in line to enter the glass balconies. That is why I would highly, highly recommend coming as early as possible.
In total there are 3 glass balconies. that approximately hang 4ft (1.2m) outside of the skyscraper. You will stand directly above the South Wacker Drive.
The glass balconies can hold up to 5 tons.
Once it is your turn to take these breathtaking pictures, a staff person will first take a picture of you, which can be purchased for $30.
Then you can finally, depending on how many people are in line, take as many pictures as you want. After some time more people were coming. That was when the employees were rushing us a bit to take less pictures and to not spend that much time in the balcony.
But to be honest…yes, the pictures we took in there were awesome but if you once have the chance to be that high over the ground, only having glass around you, it is also unbelievable to just enjoy this unique view and concentrate on the moment 😉 From here you’ll have a view over Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin as well as Lake Michigan. On a windy day the building may be swinging a little bit.
In the gallery you can find some of my photo ideas 🙂 I would really recommend coming up with some ideas beforehand. I mean if you think about it…you’ll literally only be surrounded by glass which may be a little bit nerve-racking and at the same time all the people in line behind you are looking at you and to be honest…we all know that their only thought is “hurry up”!
Fun Fact: On May 29th in 2014 the glass on the floor shattered while people were sitting on it. There were no injuries and the glass was immediately replaced and was used without any incidents ever since.
If the 103rd story is closed there is another overlook in the 99th story.
The entrance to the skydeck can be found on the southern side of the building next to the Jackson Blvd. The official address is 233 South Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606.
The sight is a NEED TO VISIT in my opinion. You can really see the entire city from up here and you won’t have that view anywhere else.
Hours: October through February 10:00am – 8:00pm
March through September 9:00am – 10:00pm
Prices: adults $24
children (3-11) $16
more information on tickets http://theskydeck.com/ticketsshop/general-pricing/
Millenium Park/The Bean
After visiting the Skydeck we set out for the famous Millenium Park with the Cloudgate also called: The Bean.
The best about this sightseeing point: it’s for free! 🙂
The Millenium Park was opened on July 16th in 2004 and hosts the Cloudgate, the Crown Fountain and many other sites. Since 2015, the park is host of the annual celebration of the christmas tree lightning. The park is located in between Michigan Ave, Randolph St, Columbus Dr and East Monroe Dr. The 24.5acre (99.0000 suare meters) big area is located close to the shore of Lake Michigan and northwest of Grant Park.
Fun Fact: because the park is build on top of a parking garage and the Millenium Station, the Millenium park is also known as big roof terrace.
On the AT&T Plaza, which is located in the park you can also find the Cloud Gate/The Bean. Around Christmas time you can find carolers here. The Bean is located above the Park Grill, between the Chase Promenade and McCormick Tribune Plaza&Ice rink. It was finished May 15th in 2005. The Cloud Gate is a three-story steel sculpture and because of its look it is called “The Bean”. The sculpture is the first artwork in the United States by the artist Anish Kapoor. The coast of the privately sponsored piece was $23.000.000. Estimated were $6.000.000. The 168 rustproof steel plates were welded together. However, there are no seams to be seen and the piece of art is always perfectly polished.
BTW: right next to the Bean is a little Hotdog stand that offer the typical Chicago-style Hotdog. A Chicago-style hotdog consists of an all-beef Frankfurter sausage on a poppy-seed bun. It is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers and a dash of salty celery. It is a really unique flavour but so worth a try!
The size of the Bean is 33ft x 66ft x 42ft (10m x 20m x 13m) and a 12ft (3.7m) arch. The weight is 100t.
Because of the polished steel the skyline gets reflected in the arch. To be exact, Michigan Avenue and the sky get reflected.
Fun Fact: The mobile provider AT&T payed $3.000.000 for the name right of the plaza.
To get from Michigan Avenue to the Cloud Gate you will walk by Crown Fountain.
Crown Fountain is an interactive artwork. The Video sculpture was named after the Crown family from Chicago. It was opened in July 2004. It was designed by Jaume Plensa and build by Krueck and Sexton Architects. The fountain exists out of a reflecting black granite pool, which is located in between two transparent glass brick towers. The towers are 50ft (15m) high and use LED’s behind the bricks to play digital videos.
The coasts for this artwork were $17.000.000.
Depending on the weather, the fountains are active from May to October.
The water sprays from nozzles in direction to the other tower. Every five minutes a random face will show up on the towers. The mouth of the person shown on the screen is pointed to make the impression as if the water is coming out of each person’s mouth. Everyday the fountain is opened from 6:00am to 11:00pm.
Initially the residents praised the fountain for its artsy and entertaining features. The artwork promotes the physical interaction between the public and the water.
Certainly the fountain also got a lot of criticism. It is the most criticised art in Millenium Park. Before it was build it was worried about the height of the tower which could hurt the aesthetics of the park. After it was build, security cameras were installed on top of the tower which led to the fear of an invasion of privacy. They were removed immediately.
Despite all criticism, the fountain is still here and is still admired by many visitors each year.
In summer the fountain is the perfect opportunity in the city to cool down a little bit. Kids can play in the water and view the artwork at the same time. For some it is the first contact to art in a fun way.
Fun Fact: The special about the faces shown on the towers is that the are residents. Thousands of Chicagoans are randomly shown.
Begin of Route 66
Route 66 covers 301 miles (484 km) in Illinois. After passing through the suburbs, U.S. 66 entered Chicago itself, where it terminated at Lake Shore Drive.
The U.S. 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System.
U.S. 66 was established on November 11, 1926, with road signs erected the following year. The highway which became one of the most famous roads in the United States, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, California, covering a total of 2,448mi (3.940km).(you can read more about the route 66 by clicking here)
Navy Pier/Tall Ship Windy
Navy Pier, originally named “Municipal Pier“, is a 3.3mi (1km) long Pier along the shore of Lake Michigan. On the Pier you can find many park, shops, restaurants, exhibitions, docks and a small amusement park. Annually approximately 9 million people visit the pier. That makes it one of the most visited sights in the Midwest of the United States.
Originally Navy Pier was to be a dock for freight, passenger traffic and a space for indoor and outdoor recreation for the public. In 1918 the Pier was also used as a jail for draft dodgers.
In 1927 the Pier was renamed Navy Pier to honor the naval veterans who served in the First World War.
In 1941, during World War Two, the Pier became a training center for the Navy. About 10.000 people worked, trained and resided there. The pier contained a 2.500-seat theatre, gym, 12-chair barber shop, tailor, cobbler shops, soda fountain and a vast kitchen and hospital.
In 1995,Navy became what it is nowadays. A mixed-use venue incorporating retail, dining, entertainment and cultural spaces.
The Pier is located in the Streetervillle neighborhood of the Near North Side community area.
As we strolled over the Pier we decided to try Chicago’s famous Deep Dish Pizza at the restaurant called Giordano’s. The Pizza looked soooo good and tested even better! You should definitely come around and try it!
We choose the Chicago Classic – Deep Dish with pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and onions. We shared a medium Pizza for $30.45 with three people and that was more than enough. Let me tell you – this pizza will get you full!
On our visit we took a turn on the Tall Ship Windy. With the Tall Ship Windy you can sail in front of the beautiful skyline of Chicago. To be exact, you will be sailing around for 75 minutes on a 148ft (45m) traditional four masted gaff topsail schooner. We did the pirate cruise, where you can listen to Lake Michigan’s most famous pirate stories and enjoy a leisurely cruise. There will, be stories, songs and a breathtaking view on the skyline of Chicago! Since 1996, the Tall Ship Windy departs 7 days a week at 3pm from Navy Pier. The entrance is $30 for an adult and $10 for a child.
Also we took a ride on the famous Ferris wheel. The original Ferris Wheel was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. in Chicago as a landmark for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It was 264ft (80m) tall and it was moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1904 for the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, and demolished there in 1906.
One ride is $15 for adults and there are 41 eight-person gondolas available, holding 180 more people than the old one. While the old Wheel was running continuously and slow, the new one loads six cars at a time, then stops to oad six more, and so on. Once the ride is fully loaded, riders get another two revolutions, a 12-minute ride in all so a person will go over the top at least three times. Each gondola features padded seats, TV screens and speakers. They are enclosed, with air conditioning and heating systems. With that fact I would say that $15 are still a lot but still reasonable.
Because of its popularity you can purchase $25 tickets to get an extra “Fast Pass” which allows you to skip the line. For $50 you can ride the VIP gondola, which features a glass bottom and just four riders.
Also there is a $35 day pass, which includes an all rides pass. With that pass you can ride the Ferris wheel, the carousel, the Pepsi Wave Swinger, the Light Tower and the new climbing wall, which replaces the old mini golf course that gave way to support structures for the new wheel.
for hours click here https://navypier.org/visit/hours-admission/
John Hancock Center/360° Chicago.
Located on the 94th floor, 360° Chicago is the John Hancock Center’s observatory. The floor of the observatory is 1.030ft (310m) above the street. The entrance can be found on Michigan Avenue, entering the John Hancock Center. The elevators are credited to be the fastest in the Western Hemisphere, at a top speed of 1.800ft/min (20.5mph). The observatory boasts larger floor space than its direct competitor, Skydeck at the Willis Tower. In the summer of 2014, 360° Chicago added the TILT attraction. The TILT platform is an additional fee, and is a series of floor to ceiling windows that slowly tilt outside the building to 30°. The platform is on the observatory level, and faces south over the city. This observatory sees less attendance than the Skydeck at the Willis Tower leading to a quieter and quicker experience. You have a view of the city, the lake, up to four states and a distance of over 80mi (130km). The entrance fee for the tower is $20.50 for adults and $13.50 for children from 3-11 years. The additional fee for the TILT is $18.45 for adults and $6.75 for children from 3-11 years. There is also the offer called “Sun And Stars” which allows two visits within 48 hours for $22.50 for adults and $16.20 for children from 3-11 years. Also there is a 10% discount if you order your tickets online.
360° Chicago is open from 9:00am to 11:00pm 365 days a year. Admission ends at 10:30 daily.
The Hancock Center is a 100-story, 1.128ft (343.7m) tall skyscraper at 875 North Michigan Avenue. When the building was opened on May 6th in 1968 it was the second tallest building in the world and the tallest outside New York City. It is currently the fourth tallest building in Chicago and the eight tallest in the United States after One Trade Center, the Willis Tower, 432 Park Avenue, the Trump Tower Chicago, the Empire State Building, the Bank of America Tower and the Aon Center. The building is home to offices and restaurants, as well as about 700 condominiums, and contains the third highest residence in the world, after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Trump Tower in Chicago. The building was named for John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, a developer and original tenant of the building.
The campus is a 57 acre (23ha) park. It is south of downtown and within sight of Navy Pier and the Chicago skyline.
It encompasses a few of the most notable attractions: the trio of world-class museums sits on a split of land jutting out into Lake Michigan, as well as the Soldier Field, home of the NFL Chicago Bears.
The first world-class museum on the block is the Field Museum. The Field Museum started out as part of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition after that the exhibit became Chicago’s first permanent museum and with that the first occupant of the Museum Row May 2nd in 1921. In May of 2000, the Field Museum acquired a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton named “Sue”. The largest fossil of her kind ever discovered.
The second oldest world-class museum on the Row is the Shedd Aquarium. The Shedd Aquarium is just East of the Field Museum. Over the years the exhibits have grown larger and more exotic, now housing animals from the Caribbean, the Amazon and even denizens of the Great Lakes. The Abbott Oceanarium focuses on marine mammals and other animals that live in and around the tidal zones.
The last addition to the Museum Row is the Adler Planetarium. Sitting on the eastern edge of Museum Row, the Adler Planetarium is surrounded by Lake Michigan on almost three sides. This is where you’ll find the best views of the chicago skyline, especially at night! The doors of the planetarium opened on May 12th in 1930. It is the Western Hemisphere’s oldest modern planetarium. In addition to the shows, the planetarium has exhibits that include Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass, the kid-friendly hands-on Planet Explorers and Shoot for the Moon, a recreation of an actual moon mission.
Greetings from Chicago Mural.
Muralist Victor Ving and photographer Lisa Beggs are travelling all over the USA to create murals that are landmarks through public art. They are using the classic large letter postcard style in which each letter symbolizes something typical for the city. They help revitalize communities with relatable imagery and bright colors.
The Greetings from Chicago mural is the first mural on their greetings from tour. The mural covers a wall in a parking lot at Logan Square. Next to it is the train stop “California stop” on the CTA’s Blue Line.
It took Ving and Beggs four days to finish the mural which is done almost entirely with spray paint.
here is the letter guide to the seven-letter word “CHICAGO”:
C – Deep Dish Pizza & Chicago Style Hotdog
H – Gold Coast / Downtown Skyline
I – Chicago Flag & Illinois Centennial Monument in Logan Square
C – the extremes of Chicago weather
A – Chicago Professional Sports Teams
G – Muddy Waters & Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Water Tower
O – The Bean
2226 N Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60647
you can find more information on https://www.greetingstour.com/
Since the mural is located a little outside of the city we took an Uber there. Obviously you can also take public transportation but it will definitely take you longer to get there. If you really want to see this wall definitely go there but if you are not a 100% percent convinced don’t go there. There is really nothing but this mural around and the area is not the prettiest. So you have to take an Uber there and back which is not the cheapest.
The Magnificent Mile will give you a great shopping experience during your stay in Chicago. Located on downtown Michigan Avenue between the Michigan Avenue Bridge and Oak street, the history-packed strip leads you from department stores to multi-story mega malls to luxury boutiques to brand name retail chains.
The also called Mag Mile’s history dates back to 1871 when the Great Chicago Fire sent the city up in smoke. The Water Tower and Pumping Station did not catch fire and are still standing as a reminder of the structures that once lined this now famous street. Many famous sights are located on Magnificent Mile like the Wrigley Building and Chicago Tribune Tower, as well as 875 N Michigan (the John Hancock Center/360° Chicago). If you are interested in an Architecture Cruise, which I would definitely recommend doing, this is the place to find tours.
We did the Chicago Architecture River Cruise Tour, which lets you explore Chicago by water. The tour is led by a professional guide that gives the exciting details of the buildings, as well as their historical significance.
The cruise follows all three branches of the Chicago River, on the main branch admire the works of Bertrand Goldberg and Jeanne Gang. On the north branch you’ll see a vast contrast in how architecture on the River has changed over time and you’ll have a great photo opportunity at Wolf Point. On the south branch you’ll dive into the dramatic story of how Chicago rose from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1871 and you’ll see Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower.
The tour takes about 75 minutes and is seasonal. Most of the time it is open in summer but closes in winter when the river partly freezes.
The Price for Adults is $41.44 and for Children (3-12) $21.28.
The tour starts at the Michigan Avenue Bridge on the Magnificent Mile. The boarding begins 15 minutes before departure from shoreline’s dock. You can check the schedule online or call 312-222-9328.
more information on: http://shorelinesightseeing.com/architecture-tours/
The DuSable Bridge, also known as Michigan Avenue Bridge was built in 1920 as a gateway from Chicago’s south side to its north side. The bridges ornamental touch was added in 1928.
The bridge is the first double-deck, double leaf, fixed trunnion bascule bridge ever build. Edward Bennett designed the bridge and its four bridgehouses following the Beaux-Arts style. The bridge resembles the Alexander III Bridge over the Seine in Paris.
The four bridgehouses provide a canvas for historical moments of Chicago’s past. They look back on the arrival of the French explorers James Marquette and Louis Joliet, the first settlers Jean Baptiste Point du Sable and John Kinzie, the Battle of Fort Dearborn (the southern end of the bridge neighbors the original Fort Dearborn site) and the rebuilding after the Chicago Fire of 1871.
In the 1920s, the Michigan Avenue Bridge would lift more than 3000 times a year. Nowadays, it lifts approximately 40 times a year to minimize disruptions on traffic. On select bridge lift dates, visitors can view the bridgeworks in motion at the Bridgehouse Museum. Lifting the bridge allows boats to pass underneath.
N. Michigan Ave. and E. Wacker Dr.
The Nutella Restaurant is the perfect restaurant for every Nutella fan. This is the first official Nutella Cafe in the world. There has been many pop-ups but this is the place you can always go whenever you are craving that sweet hazelnut cocoa spread. The menu offers crêpes, croissants, gelato, baguettes, waffles, pancakes and French toast that come filled with Nutella. Even if you are not the biggest fan of Nutella, the cafe also offers a selection of savory crêpes, panini, salads and soups that are just as delicious. There is also a coffee bar that offers Nutella drizzle as a topping for its cappuccinos and lattes.
189 N. Michigan Ave.
hours: Mon-Fr: 7:00am – 9:00pm
Sat: 8:00am – 10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am – 9:00pm
The Chicago Theatre, which is also known as Balaban and Katz Chicago Theatre, used to be a dominant movie theatre enterprise for the Balaban and Katz (B&K) group of the theatres run by A. J. Balaban, his brother Barney Balaban and partner Sam Katz. Currently, Madison Square Garden Inc. owns and operates the Theatre as a performing arts venue for stage plays, magic shows, comedy, speeches and popular music concerts.
Today the theatre is a landmark and especially known for its outside look and the illuminated sign that writes “CHICAGO”.
175 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601
The Field Museum, located at Chicago’s lakefront museum campus, is one of the world’s great museums of natural history. It was built to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1983. Over the last 125 years, the museum’s collection has grown 24 million objects, ranging from ancient mummies to exquisite gemstones and endangered plants to dinosaur fossils. The 40.5-ft T.-rex, called SUE, resides over the Stanley Field Hall.
These are the permanent exhibitions:
Cyrus Tang Hall of China: Explore a culture of deep tradition and dynamic change and travel across thousands of years of history of one of the world’s most influential civilizations.
Underground Adventure: Shrink to the size of a bug and explore the world at one hundred times its normal size.
Inside Ancient Egypt: Descend into an ancient Egyptian tomb where 23 Egyptian mummies and 5,000 year old hieroglyphics reside.
Evolving Planet: Wander through 4 billion years of life on Earth, walk among dinosaurs, and see fossils being prepped in our scientists’ lab.
DNA Discovery Center: Watch actual research in the making as you observe and interact with scientists at work extracting DNA.
Grainger Hall of Gems: See exquisite rare jewels and gold objects in one of the largest collections of gems and stones in the world.
With 4.6 billion years under the roof, it’s your passport to travel around the world back in time.
If you want to get most out of your visit to the museum you should download The Field Museum’s mobile app with exclusive content and even curated tours.
The entrance fee for adults is $32 and for children (3-12) is $23.
1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
The Adler Planetarium is a museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics. It was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler. It is located at the north tip of the Lakefront Museum Campus. The Adler was the first planetarium in the United States of America.
It is home to three full size theatres, extensive space science exhibitions, and a significant collection of antique scientific instruments and print materials. In addition is hosts the Doane Observatory, which is one of the only research-active, public urban observatories. It is the only place in Chicago where the public can see planets, stars and galaxies up-close in person.
You can join the search for a new ninth planet in Planet Nine. Crawl, climb and fly through Planet Explorers, a modern-day space adventure for kids and families. You can take a fast-paced tour of your cosmic backyard in Destination Solar System and look inside the historic Gemini 12 spacecraft and experience the Apollo missions through the eyes of Capt. James A. Lovell, Jr. and his family in Mission Moon.
The gate price for adults is $34.95 and for children is (3-12) is $29.95.
1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL, 60605
Hours: 9:30am – 4:00pm
for Special Hours you should check their website: https://www.adlerplanetarium.org/visit/hours/
Real Fake Sign.
In June 2017, the Real Fake Sign was installed by the artist Scott Reeder. The provocative sculpture is located right in front of the Trump Tower at the intersection of Wabash Avenue and Wacker Dr. It is associated with US President Donald Trump because of its location.
According to city spokeswoman Christine Carrino, any insult is entirely in the beholder’s eye. Neither are there comments on the sign from the White House nor Reeder.
401 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
The Chicago Riverwalk is an open, pedestrian waterfront located on the south bank of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago. It spans from Lake Shore Drive to Lake Street. It contains restaurants, park-seating, boat rentals and many more activities.
The Riverwalk is a nice place to take a break from walking around all day. Just take a seat by the water and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.
Dearborn St Bridge.
Dearborn St Bridge was built in 1963. Is one of Chicago’s less known bridges. To be honest it is not even an important landmark. We were just walking around Chicago and crossed the bridge around sunset time. Even though the Bridge is not really famous it still offers a good picture opportunity with Chicago’s skyscrapers in the background.
We stayed for one night in the Parthenon Hostel. The best about the hostel is probably its location. It is located in the heart of Greektown, a Chicago neighborhood, with lots of shops, restaurants and nightlife around. It is just a couple of blocks away from downtown Chicago, the Willis Tower and many more sights. The blue line from the airport will get you to within a block of the hostel. It is fairly cheap and breakfast is included. We payed each $38 for a private bedroom with 3 beds. The room was not really big with three beds, one dresser, a closet and a fan. The rooms weren’t the cleanest and neither were the community bathrooms but it was bearable. The hostel has a washing machine and dryer, free breakfast, Wi-Fi, choice of dorm style or private rooms, a large lounge with a TV and games and an on-site restaurant and bar. The hostel is small and cozy and you have access 24-hours to the building. On our last day we could store our luggage for $5 for the entire day at the reception.
All in all I would recommend this hostel for a short stay.
310 S Halsted St, Chicago, Il 60661
Go Cíty Card.
For our entire stay in Chicago we bought the Go Chicago Card and I have to say it was the best decision we could have made! It made it so easy and cheap to come around and see as much as possible in one weekend!
The Go City Cards provide admission to multiple attractions for one low price. You buy the card online before you travel. The will directly send you an E-Mail with the “Card”. That way you don’t have to pay anything at the gate and you save up to 55% on the attractions. All you have to do is show your “card” at the gate, they will scan it and you’re in!
With the card they send you a digital guidebook which practically plans your stay for you already! In the guide you’ll find all the attractions that are included in your pass and their opening hours.
Go Cíty Cards are available for the following cities:
Boston, Chicago, Dubai, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Oahu, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Antonia, San Diego, San Francisco, Sydney and Washington DC. Also you can select the entire state of California and Florida.
We chose the All-Inclusive Pass for 2 days. It was $135 and includes free entrance for the Shedd Aquarium, the SkyDeck Chicago, the Field Museum, the Hop-On-Hop-Off Big Bus Chicago for 1 day, the 360° Chicago, the Art Institut of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Adler Planetarium, the Chicago Architecture River Cruise, the Chicago Children’s Museum, Legoland Discovery Center, the Chicago History Museum, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Tour, the Brookfield Zoo, the Robie House, the Grand Tour, the Panoramic and Scenic North Side Tour, the Historic Chicago South Shore Tour, the Chicago Theatre Tour, the Lincoln Park Zoo Rides, the Navy Pier Centennial Wheel and Rides, the Bike and Roll Chicago, a cruise on the Tall Ship Windy and the Classic Lake Tour.
If you sum up the prices of each attraction this card is really much cheaper than traveling without it! Furthermore does it offer a plan for your stay already!
I have to admit that we took many Uber rides. But if you plan accordingly you really don’t need an Uber. But an Uber ride in Chicago is also not too expensive since you will most likely not travel big distances. In Chicago you can walk everywhere! The pedestrian walkways are great and all the sights are not too far from each other. Public transportation here is great but we didn’t really use it.
The best way to come around as a tourist in my opinion is the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus. The admission for one day is $40,00 for adults and $20,00 for children (3-12). You can ride the bus the entire day, just keep the ticket with you. You can buy tickets at every station the bus departs. The First tour from Stop #1 starts at 9:00am and ends at Stop#1 at 4:00pm. One full tour with 14 stops takes about 2.5 hours. But as the name reveals already you can hop on and hop off on each of the 14 stations whenever you want. During the ride a guide explains a lot about the following stop. The ride is very entertaining and all the guides we had were super nice! 🙂 You’ll have a great view from the double-decker bus with an open roof.
The bus drives by the most famous sights that are also included in the Go Chicago Card.
First Stop: Chicago Riverwalk (Magnificent Mile, Michigan Avenue Bridge, Wrigley Building, Trump International Hotel and Tower, Tribune Tower)
Second Stop: Chicago Theatre & State St (Chicago Theatre)
Third Stop: Willis Tower & Skydeck Chicago (Willis Tower & Skydeck Chicago)
Fourth Stop: Millenium Park & Palmer House Hilton (Millenium Park, Palmer House Hilton)
Fifth Stop: Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago, Millenium Park)
Sixth Stop: The Chicago Hilton & Grant Park (Chicago Hilton, Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain)
Seventh Stop: Adler Planetarium (Adler Planetarium)
Eight Stop: Museum Campus (Adler Planetarium, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium)
Ninth Stop: Maggie Daley Park (Field Museum, Soldier Field)
Tenth Stop: Sheraton Grand Chicago (Aqua)
Eleventh Stop: Navy Pier (Navy Pier)
Twelved Stop: The Water Tower (Magnificent Mile, Old Water Tower, Holy Name Cathedral)
Thirteenth Stop: 360° Chicago (Water Tower Place, John Hancock Center & 360° Chicago)
Fourteenth Stop: Hard Rock Cafe (Hardrock Cafe, River North, Merchandise Mart)
for the exact times and addresses click here https://www.bigbustours.com/en/chicago/red-route-chicago/
When we came to Chicago and sat on top of our Hop-Off-Hop-On Bus at the first Stop we watched a protest in front of the Trump Tower.
Hundrets of protesters walked all the way from Millenium Park to Trump Tower to denounce violence and racism a day after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly.