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    What to see in Chicago: the places of interest to visit in the city of the Blues

    Who I am
    Martí Micolau

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    With its skyline sparkling with lights and constant traffic, it may look like New York, but it's not. It is the city that boasts some of the tallest skyscrapers in America, the city of the Mid West in which each building has a unique history, the one with the most beautiful downtown in all of the United States, perhaps. You will walk with your nose perpetually upwards and you will have the impression of being in a film of the future, expecting to see flying machines in the sky. To get an idea of what to see in Chicago without missing the main goals, follow me and take note: I will do something much better for you than a Top ten!


    • Chicago's main landmarks
      • Millennium Park
      • The skyscrapers of Chicago
      • The museums of Chicago
    • The capital of the Blues in the world
    • How many days to visit Chicago?
    • Chicago Pass
    • Where to sleep in Chicago?
    • Chicago tours available
      • Cruises to Chicago
    • Chicago and the cinema
    • A couple of final tips ...

    Chicago's main landmarks

    Although it is a metropolis, Chicago's main attractions remain in the city center, the loop, which takes its name from the elevated subway that borders the city, which we talked about in the article how to get around in Chicago. Not everyone knows that the mother of all streets, the Route 66 starts right in the Chicago Loop (exactly on the north side of Adam Street, between Michigan Ave and Wabash Ave). If you've already got an idea of ​​the best time to visit Chicago, here's what to see in the city.

    Millennium Park

    Il Millennium Park is Chicago's most precious jewel, certainly a showcase for modern architecture as it houses masterpieces such as the Pritzker Pavilion, a majestic silver structure that welcomes many free concerts every year starting at 18.30, and the BP Bridge, the bridge that connects the park to the Daley Bicentennial Plaza via Columbus Drive; crossing it you can admire the splendid skyline of the city that is reflected on Lake Michigan.

    Another famous work is "the bean" (The bean), as the inhabitants of Chicago call it, or the Cloud Gate. a smooth silver sculpture weighing more than one hundred tons with an unmistakable bean shape. Also there Crown Fountain attracts many visitors: it is a fountain that projects the faces of citizens by making water flow from a crack in the screen: the mechanism is so effective that it seems that the faces actually spit the water out of their mouths and the children are fascinated so much by linger for almost an hour in front of the fountain!

    Grant Park and Millennium Park are home to countless places of interest and outdoor activities, such as free exercise classes or the chance to ice skate. A real flagship of the city.

    The skyscrapers of Chicago

    Chicago is a pilgrimage destination for architecture lovers, just think that here is the tallest building in the United States (or rather, it was from 1973 to 1998), the Willis tower (formerly Sears Tower): 110 floors by 443 meters high, only the Pentagon has a larger area than this skyscraper. Walking on the 103rd floor Skydeck will make you feel as if you are walking on clouds.

    Skydeck Entrance Ticket

    But not only Willis, also the Chicago Board of Trade will blow your mind with its art deco style, as well as the Rookery (palace which owes its name to the pigeons that used to perch there). Know that in this skyscraper there are also the hands of Frank Lloyd Wright who was responsible for the renovation of the atrium. I cannot fail to recommend the visit of the Monadnock Building which is the result of two buildings in one: the north side is the older one while the south side has a modern style.

    The list would be endless, to learn more about the architectural places of interest you should take advantage of the Go Chicago Card, which includes a ride in the Chicago Architecture Foundation (or the Chicago architecture cruise I talk about below).

    The museums of Chicago

    After you take your children to see the tallest skyscrapers and some architectural tours, to make up for it, you can give them this gift: choose one of these destinations, the museum, the aquarium or the planetarium.

    The Art Institute of Chicago, the second largest art museum in the United States, is one a must. Located inside Grant Park (green area between the Loop and Lake Michigan), you will find works from all over the world; the collection of impressionist paintings by George Seurat is fundamental but there are also paintings by Picasso, Mirò, Cézanne, Chagall, Monet, Renoir ... the list is long, it certainly takes less time to go there than to name all the artists present!

    Al Field MuseumIn addition to the mummies and stuffed monkeys, children will be able to see the majestic creatures of Jurassic Park with their own eyes. In fact, the museum houses the largest example of Tyrannosaurus Rex: her.

    Info on admission tickets to the Field Museum

    If, on the other hand, it is the ocean that fascinates you, go to Shedd Aquarium you will be face to face with white dolphins, whales and sharks. Finally, if you really don't care about animals, Chicago offers you the stars: atEagle Planetarium, on the first Friday of the month, the staff offers you their telescopes to observe the sky.

    Info on admission tickets to the Adler Planetarium

    Remember that I recommend the most famous (and most deserving in my opinion) stops but the city is so full of things to do and see that you will have to arm yourself with holy patience and make a selection and - alas - cross something off the list, unless you want to stay for a month.

    However, the Navy Pier, what was once the main pier. It could be defined as the focal center of Chicago, the fulcrum, the terrace and so on and so forth. From here you can finish the memory of your mobile phone to photograph the unique and inimitable Chicago skyline (take note: there are fireworks on Wednesdays and Saturdays), take a ride on the Ferris wheel, hit one of the nearby beaches on Lake Michigan, have a blast at the shops and eateries, and fully enjoy your trip.

    The capital of the Blues in the world

    “That's 126 miles to Chicago. We have a full tank, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're both wearing sunglasses. "

    (The Blues Brothers)

    Which city is the home of music more than this? Here was born the blues, here was born a genre that changed the history of music and thanks a lot to ChessRecords, a small record company founded in 1947 that discovered artists such as Muddy Waters, Etta James and Chuck Berry. To spend an unforgettable evening you are spoiled for choice, the city is teeming with local blues like the historian Buddy Guys’ Legend, il Kingstone Mines or Blue Chicago: You expect the Blues Brothers to pop up at any moment. In addition to the clubs, if you are not yet satisfied with the blues, know that Millennium Park hosts the Chicago Blues Festival every June.

    How many days to visit Chicago?

    As you may have guessed, Chicago is chock full of places of interest. To visit it it takes at least three days but five would be better. Three of you can stay in the central district and enjoy the attractions of the Loop, but with five you can experience what it really offers, such as a concert at Millennium Park or one of the famous blues clubs, or visit the Foundation for Architecture. Keep in mind that Chicago is like a second New York, if you plan to “drop in” consider the main attractions well.

    Chicago Pass

    The advantage of Chicago is that it is full of attractions, the flaw is that it is not exactly cheap. How to remedy this problem? We have told you about two different types of Chicago Pass, with which you can not only save but get an idea of ​​what are the things to see absolutely in the Windy City.

    Where to sleep in Chicago?

    Good question. The answer is: it's up to you. If you plan to dedicate only three days to the city then you should stay in loop, if you want to explore the city well, you can also think of a less central area, such as the South side (and therefore cheaper). Think about it, make a list of the things you have decided to visit and then decide which is the best place, perhaps by reading our guide on where to sleep in Chicago, where we suggest not only the most strategic areas but also some interesting accommodations.

    Chicago tours available

    Among the many things to do in Chicago we offer you tours with a range of attractions included: the first is definitely a trip on the Hop On Hop Off Bus, the legendary red bus that will take you across the Windy City in comfort. One of the best ways to visit places of interest for the whole family.

    If, on the other hand, you've come to the city of skyscrapers to relive the Roaring Twenties then well, this is the tour you are looking for: a dinner show at Tommy Gun's Garage, where the gangsters and the music charleston they will keep you company to give you an evening like a real "Gatsby"!

    The last is the half-day Grand Tour: a 4-hour coach trip to visit the length and breadth of Chicago, starting from the South Side to Grant Park, the Planetarium, the Art Institute and the Orchestra Hall to finish in the neighborhood of President Obama!

    Cruises to Chicago

    But that's not all. For an infinite city, infinite ways to discover it. With this tour you can visit the city in half a day, first by bus and then by cruise. If, on the other hand, you want to live only the experience of the cruise on Lake Michigan, these other two proposals will satisfy you:

    • A tour to admire the city's coastal architecture, touches more than 40 stops, including John Hancock Center, Wrigley headquarters, Aon Center, Willis Tower (Sears Tower), and more.
    • a slightly more romantic cruise, including a buffet dinner and fireworks to follow. What more do you want?

    On our article Lake Michigan: What to see? we also reported other interesting cruises, as well as numerous tips on stops to do around the lake in Chicago and beyond: take a look!

    Chicago and the cinema

    The architecture, the Blues, the museums, the Millennium Park and the movies. Chicago is an outdoor movie set, if you are a lover of cult movies you will know that here, in addition to The Blues Brothers, was also shot The Untouchables (why not also take a tour of the beautiful Central Station to relive the scene in which Kevin Costner kills Al Capone's gansters from the top of the staircase?). For the record, I must inform you that the romantic comedy was also filmed in the station My best friend's Wedding. Know that my cinema pills will haunt you in every article, I swear that I will try to contain myself!

    I stop here but I hope I have intrigued you why visit Chicago it's always a very good idea, you will discover so many attractions and places of interest of all kinds that you will leave your heart and a little wallet (but it's worth it!).

    A couple of final tips ...

    • Do not miss our recipe for Brownies, which were baked for the first time in Chicago: a good reason to try some in the pastry shops of the city.
    • if you want to know the amish culture, reach the village of Shipshewana in Indiana: it is located a couple of hours away from Chicago.
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