Whether you've a hankering for high art, rocking music, or laugh out loud comedy, Chicago’s cultural offerings have something to suit every taste. Chicago’s art hubs focus on upmarket River North brimming with high-end galleries, edgy cool West Loop, and Pilsen, home to the city’s folk artists. Alongside these art districts, Chicago’s long embraced public art, with plenty of outdoor sculptures – including one by Picasso – brightening up its streets and parks. 

    The city is also well-known for its skyscrapers – history was made here when the first in the world opened in 1884. No matter where you wander, you’ll notice the original pioneering Chicago Style showcasing simple functional design, among the modern, gleaming glass towers. From its iconic buildings to its gleaming art galleries and world-class museums, you won’t be short of things to do and see when in the Windy City. Discover some of the most famous Chicago’s arts and culture venues.

    Behind its Neo-Classical façade, the Field Museum brims with artifacts, relics, and replicas, including gemstones, mummies, and fossils. There’s also a T. Rex named Sue – a 13ft-tall skeleton that’s the museum’s crowning glory. She’s hard to miss, and a kids’ favourite, too.

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    Location: 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 312-922-9410

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    You might know this Chicago landmark as the Sears Tower – its more common name – as it was only changed in 2009. A 70-sec elevator ride will whizz you to the mind-boggling Skydeck, where you can edge out over the city streets below on jutting glass-floored ledges.

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    Location: 233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 312-875-9447

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    Tucked in the Loop, this is one of the country's largest meccas for the arts, and you'll be surrounded by the works of giants like Renoir, Picasso, and Van Gogh. Look out as well for iconic American images, such as Grant Wood's much-imitated and parodied American Gothic.

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    Location: 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603, USA

    Open: Friday–Wednesday from 10.30 am to 5 pm, Thursday from 10.30 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 312-443-3600

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    photo by TonyTheTiger (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

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    Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio

    The original home of one of North America's greatest architects

    The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio is the very first home designed and built by the namesake renowned architect. On a guided 60-minute tour of the magnificent 1889 home, you can see and learn about Wright’s unique architectural style that came to be known as the Prairie style. Think open-floor plans, central chimneys and organic materials.

    If you’re interested in seeing more of Wright’s designs, buy a map or an audio guide from the gift shop and take an hour-long self-guided walk around the surrounding neighbourhood.

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    Location: 951 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 312-994-4000

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    Chicago Symphony Orchestra

    It might be best known for its blues and jazz bars, but Chicago’s classical concert venues showcase renowned musicians, too. There's no doubt that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of America’s best symphony ensembles. If you're in town between September and May, catching one of their epic performances is a must.

    Location: Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60604, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm

    Phone: +1 312-294-3000

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    photo by Kroum (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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    DePaul Art Museum

    Discover the works of local Chicago artists

    The DePaul Art Museum (DPAM) in the heart of DePaul University's Lincoln Park campus brims with international modern and contemporary art. There are 3 to 5 temporary exhibitions per year as well as a permanent collection of some 4,000 pieces of work. Much of the art expresses the voices of Chicago's marginalised artists and communities.

    DPAM also features some notable historical works in its collection, including some of the paintings by Salvador Dali, Francisco De Goya and Andy Warhol. Entry is free.

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    Location: 935 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, USA

    Open: Wednesday and Thursday from 11 am to 7 pm, Friday–Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 773-325-7506

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    Built in 1869, this iconic yellow limestone building was one of the few structures to survive the devastating Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Originally part of a water works to provide clean lake water, these days it hosts an exhibition with modern Chicago-themed photos lining the tower’s turreted walls.

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    Location: 806 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 312-742-0808

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    photo by Bernt Rostad (CC BY 2.0) modified

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    Lyric Opera at the Civic Opera House

    Modern premieres as well as tried and tested classical operas are put on at the grand Civic Opera House between September and March, when this highly esteemed opera company puts on their ground-breaking shows.

    Location: 20 North Upper Wacker Drive, Suite 840, Chicago, IL 60606, USA

    Open: Box office: Monday–Friday from 12 pm to 6 pm (12 pm to 1st intermission for evening performances), Saturday – Sunday from 12 pm to 1st intermission (if there’s a performance)

    Phone: +1 312-827-5600

    Map

    photo by vxla (CC BY 2.0) modified

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    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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