Here is a suggested itinerary for your
1-day trip to Chicago
9:00 AM: Start your day by visiting the Willis Tower. Take the elevator up to the Skydeck for a birds-eye view of the city.
The Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, is a popular tourist destination in Chicago. It is a 110-story skyscraper that was once the tallest building in the world. Visitors can go to the top of the tower and get a beautiful view of the city from the observation deck. The tower is also home to several businesses and has a number of interesting architectural features. Overall, it is a great place to visit for anyone interested in architecture, history, or just looking for a unique experience in Chicago.
11:00 AM: After enjoying the view from the Skydeck, head over to the Art Institute of Chicago. Spend a few hours exploring the museum’s vast collection of artworks.
The Art Institute of Chicago is home to an impressive collection of art from around the world, with works ranging from ancient Egyptian artifacts to modern paintings and sculptures. It is also known for its impressive architecture and is considered one of the best art museums in the United States. Some of the reasons you might want to visit include:
- To see works by famous artists like Monet, van Gogh, and Picasso
- To learn about the art and culture of different civilizations and time periods
- To appreciate the museum’s architecture and design
- To spend a leisurely afternoon exploring the museum’s galleries and exhibits
Overall, the Art Institute of Chicago is a great destination for anyone interested in art and culture and is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
1:00 PM: Take a break for lunch at a restaurant along the Magnificent Mile. This popular shopping district is home to a wide range of dining options.
There are many great restaurants on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. Some popular options include:
- Fig & Olive a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that has a location in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. The menu features a variety of dishes inspired by the cuisine of the French Riviera, including olive oil-based tapas, wood-fired pizzas, and entrées such as seared sea bass and grilled lamb chops. The restaurant also has a selection of signature cocktails and an extensive wine list. Fig & Olive is known for its chic and sophisticated atmosphere, making it a popular spot for special occasions and romantic dinners.
- The Signature Room at the 95th – Located on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center, this restaurant offers panoramic views of the city and serves a variety of American dishes.
- Shaw’s Crab House – This seafood restaurant has been a Chicago favorite for over 30 years and serves a wide range of oysters, crabs, and other seafood dishes.
- Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse – This classic steakhouse is known for its prime cuts of meat and sophisticated atmosphere.
- RPM Italian – This modern Italian restaurant is owned by celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic and serves a variety of pasta, seafood, and meat dishes.
- The Purple Pig – This popular spot serves Mediterranean-inspired small plates and has a strong focus on cheese, pork, and wine.
- Portillo’s – This Chicago institution is known for its Italian beef sandwiches, hot dogs, and other classic fast food items.
- Chicago Curry House – For a taste of Indian cuisine, check out this restaurant, which serves a variety of curry dishes, tandoori chicken, and more.
2:00 PM: After lunch, visit the Field Museum. This museum is home to a wide range of exhibits, including natural history, anthropology, and cultural artifacts from around the world.
The Field Museum is a natural history museum in Chicago that houses a wide variety of exhibits, including cultural artifacts, scientific specimens, and interactive displays. Some of the highlights of the museum include the collection of Egyptian mummies, the largest T-Rex skeleton ever found, and a replica of a Native American village. Additionally, the museum frequently hosts special exhibitions and events, such as lectures and hands-on workshops, which offer visitors the chance to learn more about a variety of subjects. Overall, the Field Museum is a great place to visit for anyone who is interested in science, history, or culture, and is sure to be an enriching and educational experience for all who visit.
4:00 PM: Head over to the Lincoln Park Zoo. This free zoo is home to a variety of animals, including gorillas, lions, and polar bears.
There are many reasons to visit Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois. Some of the top reasons include:
- It’s free: Lincoln Park Zoo is one of only a few major zoos in the United States that is free to the public.
- It has a wide variety of animals: The zoo is home to over 1,100 animals representing more than 200 species, so there is something for everyone to see.
- It’s a great place for families: With so many animals to see and plenty of kid-friendly activities, Lincoln Park Zoo is a great place for families to spend a day together.
- It’s a great place to learn: The zoo offers educational programs and interactive exhibits, making it a great place to learn about the animals and their natural habitats.
- It’s a beautiful place to spend the day: The zoo is located in Lincoln Park, which is a beautiful green space in the heart of the city. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
Overall, Lincoln Park Zoo is a great place to visit for people of all ages and interests.
6:00 PM: Enjoy dinner at a restaurant in the city. Chicago is known for its diverse culinary scene, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
Chicago has a wide variety of dining options, so it really depends on what you’re in the mood for. Some popular options for dinner in downtown Chicago include:
- Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, which serve upscale Mexican cuisine
- Girl & the Goat, which serves a mix of globally-inspired dishes
- Au Cheval, which is known for its burgers
- The Purple Pig, which serves Mediterranean-inspired small plates
- The Publican, which is a popular spot for pork-centric dishes and seafood
These are just a few examples, and there are many other great restaurants to choose from in the downtown area. Let me know if you have any specific preferences and I can provide more personalized recommendations.
7:00 PM: Visit Millennium Park
Millennium Park is a popular destination in Chicago due to its many attractions and beautiful outdoor spaces. Some reasons to visit Millennium Park include:
- Art and architecture: Millennium Park is home to several iconic works of art and architecture, including the Cloud Gate sculpture (also known as “The Bean”) and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a striking concert venue designed by Frank Gehry.
- Outdoor events and activities: The park hosts a variety of outdoor events and activities throughout the year, including concerts, movies in the park, and seasonal events such as the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
- Landscaping and gardens: The park features beautiful landscaping and gardens, including the Lurie Garden, which is a 2.5-acre (1-hectare) space filled with native plants and flowers.
- Skating rink: In the winter, the park’s McCormick Tribune Plaza transforms into an ice skating rink, which is a popular activity for both locals and visitors.
- Location: Millennium Park is located in the heart of Chicago’s downtown Loop district, making it easy to access from many other popular attractions and neighborhoods.
I hope this itinerary helps you plan your one-day trip to Chicago. Enjoy your visit!
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.