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What to see and do in Chicago – a guide to notable attractions and landmarks

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There is no shortage of things to see and do in Chicago, with world-famous attractions, museums, restaurants, and shops. A lot of Chicago’s sights are concentrated along the Chicago River and, being such a green city, the best way to explore these local landmarks is on foot or by bicycle.

Maher Safwat

My Destination local expert on

Chicago

Sports

 

Chicago has a team represented in every major American sport – so whatever time of the year you visit, you will have the chance to see one of their teams in action. The Chicago Bears ply their trade in the NFL and they play at Soldier Field in the near south, while the world-famous Chicago Bulls showcase their talents at the United Center on the west side - the team with whom Michael Jordan won all six of his championships. Watch a game of baseball at Wrigley Field on the north side, where the Cubs play, or at U.S. Cellular Field, home of the White Sox. The Blackhawks complete Chicago’s array of sports teams as the city’s sole ice hockey team.

 

Museums

 

Chicago is home to some of the finest museums in the world and the best place to start any tour is at Museum Campus, near southern Chicago and Lake Michigan. The three most famously found here are the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History. Just a short walk from Museum Campus, in Hyde Park, is the Museum of Science and Industry; an interactive experience especially enjoyable for kids. Art-lovers must not miss out on the iconic Art Institute of Chicago, which is in perhaps Chicago’s most popular area of downtown – The Loop.

 

Magnificent mile

 

Magnificent Mile – or ‘Mag Mile’ – is in many ways the heart of the city. It runs on Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River up to Oak Street on the north side and along downtown Chicago. This is arguably the most prestigious part of Chicago, with two of the tallest buildings in the nation – the John Hancock Center and Trump International Hotel and Tower - retail stores, restaurants, hotels, bars, and museums. This stretch of Chicago never sleeps and is the ideal place to come to experience the buzzing side of the city.

 

Landmarks

 

The Sears Tower is a 442-meter-high building whose black-metallic appearance dominates the Chicago skyline. For 30 years, this was the tallest building in the world and over a million people visit every year to stand at the observation deck, consisting of balconies made entirely of glass overlooking the city. Trump International Hotel and Tower is the Sears Tower’s nearest rival for height and is just a mile north east of Chicago’s highest point. You can, of course, also enjoy sights at a much lower altitude such as Millennium Park, near Lake Michigan and just south of the river. The park is home to Crown Fountain and Jay Pritzker Pavilion and is adjacent to The Bean – a stainless steel structure in the shape of its namesake.