Things to do in

Chicago

The Mecca of the Midwest is famous for its architectural beauty, vibrant culture, and colorful past.

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Our most recommended Chicago In 2 days

  • Chicago River Architecture Cruise: Skip-the-Ticket-Office

    1. Chicago River Architecture Cruise: Skip-the-Ticket-Office

    Climb aboard a state-of-the-art cruise vessel for a 60- or 75-minute cruise of all three branches of the Chicago River, and marvel at the architecture that has made the city so legendary. Get an insight into the buildings and engineering of a city that gave birth to the skyscraper and is the spiritual home of modern American architecture. Your expert guide will lead you down the Chicago River to uncover hidden gems, as well the city’s most renowned landmarks, such as the John Hancock building, Trump Tower, and more. Relax with a glass of something cold from the cash bar, as you cruise the Windy City’s waterway, and learn its status as a modern metropolis and one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

    we certainly learned a lot on the boat. Our guide was very knowledgeable and personable and the whole crue made us feel welcomed . i will recommend this short boat ride to anyone interested in history and architecture.

  • Chicago: 90-Minute Mob and Crime Bus Tour

    2. Chicago: 90-Minute Mob and Crime Bus Tour

    Experience Chicago’s underworld of criminals and gangsters on a luxury 90-minute bus tour. Find out how some of the world’s most famous criminals, mobsters, and gangsters conned their way through the city. Ride comfortably in luxury, on a climate-controlled bus, as you see famous Chicago crime scenes that range from the 19th century through modern times. Unlike Chicago walking tours, this Mob and Crime Tour isn’t affected by the Windy City weather. Learn about Al Capone, the Untouchables, the Chicago Mob, John Dillinger, Terrible Tommy O'Connor, H. H. Holmes, the Chicago Black Sox, Leopold and Loeb, bank heists, Cap George Streeter, and more. Grab your camera for a drive-by shooting of the historic criminal courthouse, a Chicago architectural landmark where some of Chicago's most notorious cases were tried. Stake out crime scenes like the Biograph Theatre, Holy Name Cathedral, Clark ...

    Our guide was great and very informative. His dad jokes were pretty on point too.

  • Chicago Skyline Lake Tour: 40-Minute Sightseeing Cruise

    3. Chicago Skyline Lake Tour: 40-Minute Sightseeing Cruise

    Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the city for the first time, taking in the spectacular views of Chicago's skyline from the lake makes for a perfect outing. This 40-minute Lake Tour takes you on a sightseeing cruise that highlights Chicago's most significant landmarks from beautiful Lake Michigan. You’ll see the city as never before, while listening to informative commentary on Chicago's dramatic history and architectural gems. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights as you admire the striking buildings that make up the Chicago skyline that has appeared in so many movies and TV shows.

    The staff on board were very friendly and helpful ! The tour was informative and fun!

  • Chicago: 90-Minute River and Lakefront Cruise at Night

    4. Chicago: 90-Minute River and Lakefront Cruise at Night

    Experience the magic of Chicago at nighttime and watch the city's glorious skyscrapers, historic buildings and modern marvels come to life with millions of twinkling lights. Relax and unwind at the end of the day on a cruise which not only lets you enjoy the scenic Chicago River, but also takes you through the Chicago Harbor Lock and out onto Lake Michigan where you can admire epic views of the sparkling Chicago skyline and shoreline. Throughout the ride, listen to lively narration about Chicago's rich history as the onboard guides point out the many sights of the city including Buckingham Fountain, Willis Tower, Aon Center, John Hancock Building, Museum Campus, Marina City, Wrigley Building, Chicago Tribune Building, Navy Pier, the Lighthouse and more. This tour also gives you the unique experience of passing through the Chicago River Lock System, while learning about the operation an...

    Great activity and perfect timing on the fireworks. The only improvement I would suggest is an expanded food menu.

  • Chicago: Family Fun Urban Adventure River and Lake Cruise

    5. Chicago: Family Fun Urban Adventure River and Lake Cruise

    Discover Chicago’s stunning skyscrapers, historic buildings, and modern marvels on this fun, family friendly boat cruise. Relax and unwind as you admire scenic views from the Chicago River and the Chicago Harbor Lock. Then move out onto Lake Michigan where you can gaze upon the entire city skyline and shoreline. During the boat ride, enjoy lively narration and stories about Chicago’s rich history as your knowledgeable guides point out the many sights of the city including Willis Tower, Aon Center, John Hancock Building, Museum Campus, Marina City, Wrigley Building, Chicago Tribune Building, Navy Pier, the Lighthouse and more. The tour also gives you the opportunity to experience passing through the Chicago River Lock System. Listen to your guide explain the full workings of the lock and feel the boat rise as you enter Lake Michigan, and then lower again when returning to the Chicago Ri...

    Relaxing and informative, a view and perspective from the river that most don’t get to see.

  • Chicago: 75-Minute Architecture Cruise by Speedboat

    6. Chicago: 75-Minute Architecture Cruise by Speedboat

    Climb aboard a speedboat for a thrilling 75-minute river and lake cruise of Chicago’s architectural gems. Depart from the former Navy training center of Navy Pier on the shores of Lake Michigan on the only tour to take you from the lakefront. Sail through the locks and along the Chicago River, all the way to the famous Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). Get up-close to Chicago’s most famous buildings and unique architecture, and enjoy amazing views and an entertaining narration as part of the exciting ride. Learn the fascinating history of buildings such as the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower, the former Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) - the second tallest building in the USA - and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Cruise the lakefront of Lake Michigan to see monuments and attractions such as Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park, Chicago Harbor, and the Chicago Museum Campus.

    Tour Guide Andy, First Mate Taylor, and Captain Swag made our tour extremely enjoyable!

Frequently asked questions about Chicago

What top attractions are a must-see in Chicago?

Planning Your Visit

  • Chicago Children's Museum tickets and hours

    Admission: $14
    Opening hours: Monday-Wednesday from 10:00AM-5:00PM; Thursdays from 10:00AM-8:00PM; Fridays from 10:00AM-6:00PM; Weekends from 10:00AM-7:00PM. Thursdays from 5:00PM-8:00PM is Family Night and free.
    Location: Navy Pier

  • Chicago History Museum tickets and hours

    Admission: $14 with two audio tours. Kids 12 and under are free.
    Opening hours: daily from 9:30AM-4:30PM
    Location: Lincoln Park

  • Science and Industry Museum

    Admission: $18 (adults), $11 (kids 3-11). Three different ticket packages are also available for $27, $32, and $36. Depending on the selected package, visitors may choose up to three extra museum features, such as the Omnimax Theater, which are not included in the general admission price.

    Opening hours: daily from 9:30AM-5:30PM
    Location: 5700 Lake Shore Drive

  • When should I go?

    April through May and September through October are great months to visit. The weather is nice, prices are reasonable, and there are plenty of festivals to enjoy. Plus, the crowds are less than in the peak summer season.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-06:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    Early summer and early fall tend to have pleasant temperatures, fewer crowds, and a great selection of events on offer.

Other Sightseeing Options in Chicago

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What people are saying about Chicago

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 9,556 reviews

Jack, our guide, made the tour! He was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining! It’s probably one of the best guided tours I’ve taken and I’ve traveled around the world. He’s a keeper!

It was such a good time lived in the city so long and never been on the Ferris wheel and was really good time got to see the sunset and the city from a different view

It was very organised . The queue were not long and there was social distancing . At the staff was very helpful .

I've been on a few different boat tours and this one was amongst the best. Very engaging and informative guide.

Our guide was great and very informative. His dad jokes were pretty on point too.