One week in Chicago is wonderful. If want to get to know the city and see all the sights, then spending 7 days in Chicago is perfect!
You find Chicago in the state of Illinois. There's a lot to do and it's one of the largest cities in the United States. So exploring the city is definitely fun!
Chicago is a city with a beautiful skyline and many skyscrapers. The architecture is amazing, there are gorgeous viewpoints, and there are many sights.
When you spend one week in Chicago, you can get the best experience in the city.
For example, you can get an impressive view of the city at Skydeck Chicago. And you can go to the Art Institute of Chicago. Also, you can see beautiful nature, such as Grant Park.
And there's much more to do and to see during 7 days in Chicago! This itinerary shows you how you can make the most out of your time there.
Table of Contents
Getting to Chicago
You can get to the city of Chicago in various ways.
One of the best ways to reach the city if you are coming from a faraway place is by airplane. For your 7 days in Chicago, traveling by airplane can be very convenient.
There is an international airport in the city that makes this a convenient way to travel. Chicago O'Hare airport has routes from various airports in the US and other countries.
You can also travel to the city by train. This is convenient when traveling from destinations that are near the city.
Also, what's great is that you'll end up in the city center when you travel by train. This makes the rest of your one week in Chicago more convenient.
Traveling by bus is another way to reach the city. There are some bus companies with routes to the city. Some of these routes are very long if you come from places that are far. This isn't the most comfortable way to travel, but it is affordable.
Besides that, you can travel by car.
Where to Stay During One Week in Chicago
Staying in Downtown Chicago is best when you spend one week in Chicago.
That's because most of the sights of this itinerary are in this part of the city. When you stay there, it is easier to get around and you have more time to enjoy the city!
Itinerary for One Week in Chicago
Let's start your 7 days in Chicago! This is going to be an incredible week with many amazing activities. You're going to get to know the city, see sights, visit museums, get beautiful views, and more!
Day 1: Sights, a View, and Art on the First Day of Your 7 Days in Chicago
The first day starts in Downtown Chicago. After that, you're going to see some sights and you'll go to a viewpoint. Furthermore, you're going to see art as well!
Walk Through Downtown Chicago
One of the best ways to start your one week in Chicago is by going to downtown.
Downtown Chicago is where you find many of the most famous sights in the city. You find here museums, historic buildings, and other great landmarks.
Also, you find here the skyscrapers of the city. And this is the part of the city where you can find many shops, restaurants, and entertainment.
Because there is so much in Downtown Chicago, this is a great place to experience the atmosphere of the city. And that's why it is a great place to start your 7 days in Chicago!
What's great is that you will often visit this part of the city when you go to specific sights, or when you go for dinner.
For now, I recommend going for a walk through this part of the city and enjoy all the things you see here.
See the City Hall
One of the landmarks that you can find in Downtown Chicago is the City Hall.
This is a very impressive building to see. It features a classic design that looks amazing.
Going here when walking through the city center is a must when you are one week in Chicago!
What I also like a lot about this building is that it forms a sharp contrast with the modern buildings in the city. This is great to see!
Have Lunch at the Revival Food Hall
Now that you are walking through the city, you likely want something to eat for lunch.
A great place for this is the Revival Food Hall. This is a food court where you find a variety of vendors selling all kinds of foods and drinks.
If there is a particular type of food you want for lunch, you likely find it at this place!
Because of that, it is also a great place to visit if you are with more people. Everyone can choose the food he or she wants, which is great!
See the City From Above at Skydeck Chicago
Done with lunch? Then, I recommend going to Skydeck Chicago. This is a must-see when you're 7 days in Chicago.
It is a lovely spot in the city center of Chicago from where you can see the city from above.
From up there, you can see all the buildings of the city from above, which is amazing to see.
You can get a panoramic view, which is awesome!
Also, you can experience The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago. This is a glass box that you can stand. Then, you can see the city of Chicago below you!
Visit the Art Institute of Chicago
You discovered Downtown Chicago, you had food, you saw the city from above, what's next? The last activity for this first day of your one week in Chicago is going to the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the best museums in the United States.
You find here a permanent collection with 300,000 different art objects.
You find here artworks from all over the world. And there is art from a large period in time. This variety makes it a great place to visit for everyone!
Besides that, there are lots of yearly exhibitions that focus on a part of the collection. These are also very interesting, and they make the museum great to visit again and again.
Day 2: History, Nature, and More During One Week in Chicago
The second day of your 7 days in Chicago is going to be an amazing day. Today, you'll visit the Chicago History Museum, Lincoln Park, and Lincoln Park Conservatory. Also, you'll see a game at Wrigley Field!
Visit the Chicago History Museum
On the second day of your one week in Chicago, I recommend first going to the Chicago History Museum.
This is a great place to learn about the history of the city.
The museum has an extensive collection of objects that relate to the history of Chicago.
For example, there are many documents and photos. But there are also large objects, such as a railroad car and the first locomotive of Chicago.
Because of this, you find a lot of variety in the objects at this museum. And this makes the museum a fun place to go to!
Walk Through Lincoln Park
Close to the Chicago History Museum, you can find Lincoln Park.
This is a park where you can find a lot of nature, which makes this a very relaxing place to visit when you are in Chicago.
You can go here for a relaxing walk or you can sit down and enjoy nature that way.
What's also great is that there are many other things at the park. This makes it even better to go there when you're one week in Chicago.
For example, you find here playing fields, beaches, and many statues. This includes a statue of Abraham Lincoln.
Another interesting sight in the park is the Lincoln Park Conservatory. And that's where you should go next!
See the Lincoln Park Conservatory
Another interesting sight in the park is the Lincoln Park Conservatory. And that's where you should go next!
You find here lots of beautiful plants that are wonderful to see! You can enjoy nature here by going for a relaxing stroll. If you like nature, this is one of the best activities during your 7 days in Chicago.
See a Game at Wrigley Field
To end this second day, I recommend going to Wrigley Field.
This is a baseball park that you can find in the north of Chicago.
You can see a match of the Chicago Cubs at this place. This is a Major League Baseball team!
When you are 7 days in Chicago, you should definitely see a game of the Chicago Cubs.
This is a lot of fun and it is a great way to experience another famous thing in the city!
Day 3: A Beautiful Walk, a Theater, and More
Today is going to be very fun. First, you're going to walk the Chicago Riverwalk.
After that, you're going to see the Wrigley Building. And you're going to visit the Museum of Illusions Chicago!
Furthermore, you're also going to see a show at the Chicago Theatre which is amazing.
Walk the Chicago Riverwalk
Let's start this third day of your one week in Chicago by going to the Chicago Riverwalk.
This is an area next to the Chicago River. You can walk here and go for a relaxing stroll along the river.
But there is more to this place than that!
You find here many places with street art, which makes the place very fun to see!
Furthermore, you find many restaurants and bars at the Chicago Riverwalk. So when you walk here you can stop somewhere for a drink!
See the Wrigley Building
When you walk the Chicago Riverwalk, you are likely to see the Wrigley Building.
This is an iconic skyscraper next to the Chicago River.
It has a unique architecture that is wonderful to see!
Furthermore, it is one of the most photogenic places in Chicago.
Have Fun at the Museum of Illusions Chicago
When you are in this part of the city, I recommend going to the Museum of Illusions Chicago.
This is a very fun museum to visit during your 7 days in Chicago!
You find here almost 100 different exhibits that show all kinds of illusions.
For example, there is a room where you look very large when you stand on one side, while you look small on the other side.
But there is much more! What's great is that many of the exhibits are interactive, which makes them more fun!
Besides that, you can also learn here about how illusions work. This makes the place both fun and interesting.
Also, this is a great place to visit for families.
Go to a Show at The Chicago Theatre
A great way to end your third day of this one week in Chicago is by going to the Chicago Theatre.
This is a historic theater that you can find in the city center of Chicago.
The history of the theater goes back to the year 1921. And in the past, it was a movie theater.
Nowadays, it is a performing arts venue. You can go here to see stage plays, speeches, comedy shows, and much more! If you are looking for a night full of fun, this is the place to visit in Chicago!
What's great is that besides the good entertainment, the venue itself is amazing too!
The architecture of the theater makes going here an even better experience! Outside, you can a large sign that shows the name of the theater. Moreover, the marquee of the theater looks great!
Also, the inside of the theater has a lot of ornaments and other elements that make the place look very charming!
Day 4: Contemporary Art, a View, and Water Tower Place
On the fourth day of your 7 days in Chicago, you're going to do great things. First, you'll visit the Museum of Contemporary Art. This is great if you love art. Also, you'll get a wonderful view of the city and you'll go shopping!
Go to the Museum of Contemporary Art
A great way to start your day is by seeing some beautiful art.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago is one of the best places in the city where you can do so!
This place is one of the largest art venues for contemporary art in the world.
You find here a very large collection of artworks from World War II till the present day.
At the museum, you find several changing exhibitions throughout the year.
These exhibitions combine works from the permanent collection with temporary artworks.
Many of the exhibitions featured works by famous artists, such as Jeff Koons, and Tom Friedman.
If you love contemporary art, this is definitely a great place during your 7 days in Chicago.
Get a View of the City at 360 Chicago
After seeing contemporary art, I recommend going to 360 Chicago.
At 360 Chicago you find an observation deck from where you can get a beautiful view of the city. You should definitely see this view during your one week in Chicago.
The observation deck is on the 94th floor, which is very high!
What's great is that you can see the city in all directions.
For example, you can see the skyline of the city next to Lake Michigan, which is awesome!
Another great experience you can have at this place is "Tilt".
Here you can tilt over the edge of the building and look down beneath you. This is an awesome experience!
What's great as well is that you can find a bar at the observation deck. This is the highest bar in the city. And this place allows you to have a drink with a panoramic view of Chicago!
Also, there are events at the observation deck. For example, you can do yoga classes with a view!
Go Shopping at Water Tower Place
Incredible art, incredible views, what's next?
You can go to Water Tower Place if you want to shop during your one week in Chicago.
You find here a shopping mall with lots of shops. In fact, you find here more than 100 shops. The number of shops allows you to spend a lot of time here if you want to!
Day 5: Visiting Beautiful Parks, a Museum and Adler Planetarium
The fifth day is going to be very beautiful. You'll go to wonderful parks and see the famous Cloud Gate. Also, you'll go to a museum and visit the Adler Planetarium.
Walk Through Grant Park
What's better than to start your day with a relaxing walk?
A great place to do that is Grant Park.
Grant Park is a large park that you find in the city center of Chicago. It lies in the business district of the city.
There are many walking paths that make it great to walk at this park.
Along the way, you see a lot of beautiful feats of nature. And there are also fountains, flowers, monuments, and much more.
Grant Park is also a great place to start your day with a run!
Go to Millennium Park and See Cloud Gate
Adjacent Grant Park, you find Millenium Park.
This is a small public park that the city created to celebrate the third millennium.
One of the most iconic landmarks that you can find here is Cloud Gate. As it's very famous, it's a must-see when you're 7 days in Chicago.
This is a sculpture made from polished stainless steel. The shape and the material are unique and great to see!
Another great thing in the park is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
This is a bandshell with 4000 seats and room for more on the lawn.
You can often find here concerts and festivals that are fun to attend!
When you spend one week in Chicago, I recommend checking if there is an event here, because it is so much fun!
Visit the Field Museum
Now it's time to see another one of the best museums in Chicago.
The Field Museum is a very interesting natural history museum.
It is one of the largest natural history museums in the world, and you should visit this museum for sure!
You find here a large collection of items.
The items include gems, meteorites, fossils, and dinosaur skeletons. But there is much more to see!
You can find the objects of the museum spread over several different halls.
For example, there is a hall that focuses on the Ancient Americas. And there is a hall that focuses on geology. Each hall is amazing to visit and worth going to!
Also, there is a museum library where you can find hundreds of thousands of books, photos, and more.
Go to the Adler Planetarium
Close to the last stop of this itinerary for 7 days in Chicago, you can find the Adler Planetarium.
This is a place where you can learn about astronomy and astrophysics.
You can find here space science exhibitions that feature many interesting objects. For example, you can find here the Gemini 12 space capsule.
Besides that, you find here three theaters where you can see films about space. The planetarium is a large dome with films on the ceiling while sitting on a seat that leans backward. This gives you an immersive experience that is incredible!
See a Show at the Arie Crown Theater
To end your day, I recommend seeing a show at the Arie Crown Theater.
This is one of the largest entertainment venues in the city.
You can go to this place to see a concert and have a very fun night!
In the past, many famous artists performed at this theater. For example, Frank Sinatra, The Jackson 5, and many others played here.
When you are 7 days in Chicago, you should definitely check out who's playing and go to a concert here!
Day 6: One of the Most Interesting Days during Your 7 Days in Chicago with Science, History, and Nature
Today is going to be an interesting day with science, history, and nature!
Go to the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
Another great museum to visit when you are one week in Chicago is the Museum of Science and Industry.
Going here is a great way to start your sixth day!
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago is a fantastic science museum!
You find here more than 2000 exhibits in a large number of halls.
Many of the exhibits are very large and include replicas and real objects.
For example, there is a German submarine captured during World War II by the allies.
Other interesting things to see here are aircrafts, airplanes, trains, and much more!
The museum is great if you want to see a lot of things!
Walk Through Jackson Park and Washington Park
Next to the museum, you find two parks that are great for a relaxing time when you spend 7 days in Chicago.
These parks are Jackson Park and Washington Park.
Both are great for a relaxing stroll, or if you want to hang out!
Do a Walking Tour of the City and Learn About History
After seeing interesting science objects and relaxing at the park, I recommend exploring!
You saw a lot of the city already, but there is a lot you likely didn't see or didn't learn about.
That's why you should definitely do a free walking tour of Chicago by Free Tours by Foot.
There are several tours to choose from.
For example, there is a tour that focuses on the architecture of the city.
What all tours have in common is that a local guide shows you around. Also, at the end of the tour, you can tip the guide what you think the tour was worth for you!
If you want to discover the food of the city, such as the Chicago deep-dish pizza, you can do a food tour!
These food tours aren't free, but they are definitely worth doing when you are one week in Chicago!
Day 7: Ending Your 7 Days in Chicago with Fun Activities
The last day is going to be very fun! You'll go to Navy Pier which is amazing. Also, you can go to the Garfield Park Conservatory and the Cadillac Palace Theatre!
Have Fun at Navy Pier
On this last day of your one week, you should go to Navy Pier for sure!
This is a pier that you can find at the waterfront of Lake Michigan.
You find here parks, a garden, restaurants, lovely attractions, and more things.
Because of these things, it is one of the most popular places in the city of Chicago.
The attractions on the pier are a lot of fun for the whole family.
You find here a maze, a drop tower, a carousel, and many other attractions.
Besides that, the garden that you find here is very beautiful to visit. The garden is a botanical garden with all kinds of beautiful plants. This makes going here during your one week in Chicago amazing.
Also, many festivals take place at Navy Pier.
For example, there is a winter festival from December till January. And in summer, you can see here evenings with fireworks. But there are many other events that are a lot of fun!
Go to the Garfield Park Conservatory
After having fun at Navy Pier, you should go to Garfield Park Conservatory for sure!
This is a conservatory where you can see many plants from tropical places from all around the world.
For example, you find here palm trees that are great to see! Also, there are ferns and other types of plants.
You can go inside to see tropical plants, but there is also an outdoor garden that is worth seeing!
What's great is that you can also learn about the plants at this place!
See a Broadway Show at the Cadillac Palace Theatre
The Cadillac Palace Theatre is a great theater in the city where you can go for a fun night in Chicago! Going here is the last activity of your 7 days in Chicago.
You can see here Broadway shows that are a lot of fun.
What's great about this theater is not only the entertainment. Also, the theater looks amazing. For example, the interior of the theater is in the French Baroque style. This makes your experience here much better!
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