Chicago is one of the top-visited cities in the US. Its also America’s 3rd most populated city with a population of approximately 2.69 million in 2019. Chicago has all the offerings you’d expect from a major city; diverse culture, beautiful architecture, the world’s best museums, vibrant shopping districts, nightlife, and thousands of amazing restaurants.
Explore Chicago to in 3-4 days in Chicago
Day One Highlights
- Chicago Architecture tour.
- Navy Pier.
- Shedd Aquarium
Most of the architecture tours run from the Chicago riverside walk or the Navy Pier. I prefer the tours that run from Navy Pier. Boats from Navy Pier give a better view of the Chicago skyline. Also, Navy Pier is a 1.5 mile long recreational area with a lot of entertaining and dining options. Besides architecture tours, many other cruises run from Navy Pier. My second favorite after architecture tour is Extreme Thrill Ride on Lake Michigan.
Opened on May 30, 1930, Shedd Aquarium is one of the largest indoor public aquarium in United States and it holds more than 1500 species. It receives more than 2 million visitors every year. The entry tickets costs $39.95 for adult and $29.95 for children between 3-11.
Day Two Highlights.
- The Art institute of Chicago
- Cloud Gate
- Buckingham Fountains
The Art institute of Chicago is a second largest art museum in the United States after the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York. As of Aug 2020, The Art Institute of Chicago remains the number 1 attraction in Chicago on TripAdvisor.com. It is also the only museum in the world to be top-ranked by TripAdvisor four years in a row.
Your trip to Chicago cannot be complete without making a stop at the Cloud Gate (aka the bean). The stainless steel sculpture is located inside the Millennium Park and is free to visit.
The Buckingham Fountains is one of the largest fountains in the United States. It lies in the center of Grant Park and only operates between April to October
Day Three Highlights
- Field Museum
- Willis Tower
- Magnificent mile
Field Museum is one of the largest natural history museums in the world and it is also the home for the largest known Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil.
The museum has vast exhibits that display artifacts from multiple eras. Permanent exhibits include Ancient Egypt, Animal halls, the Ancient Americas, Geology halls, Evolving planets, Cultural halls, Underground adventure, working labs, and the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Willis tower remained the tallest building in the world from 1974 until 1998. It is still America’s 3rd tallest building. The Sky deck on the 103rd floor provides a beautiful view of Chicago City.
Magnificent mile (aka mag mile) is a portion of Michigan Ave with several high-end shopping malls and luxury retailers. If you are a shopaholic this is the place to go. Close to Mag mile is Chicago Riverwalk, it’s a waterfront area in downtown Chicago open to pedestrians.
If you have more than 3 days you may consider to explore following
- Bahia temple
My favorite places to eat in Chicago
Breakfast and Lunch
- Sunny Side Up Breakfast and Lunch
- Wild berry Pancakes and Cafe
- Yolk – South Loop
- The Little Goat
- Girl and the Goat.
- Au Cheval
- Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
- The Whale Chicago
- Maple and Ash
- Gino’s East Pizza
- Al Bawadi Grill (suburbs)
- Libanais Sweets and Restaurant (suburbs)
- Arts Club Café
- Goddess and the Baker
- Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits
- Toni Patisserie & Café
- Pierrot Gourmet
Places to stay.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, Chicago 5-star
160 E Pearson Street, Chicago, IL, 60611, United States of America
- Virgin hotels Chicago 4.5 star
203 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL, 60601, United States of America
- London House Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton, Chicago (4.5)
85 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, 60601, United States of America
- Silversmith Hotel Chicago downtown (4 star)
10 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL, 60603, United States
- Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago 4-star
511 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL, 60611, United States of America
- Homewood Suites By Hilton Chicago (3 star)
59 E. 11th Street, Chicago, IL, 60605, United States of America
- Best Western Grant Park Hotel, Chicago 2.5-star
1100 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL, 60605, United States of America