Did you know that Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States?
It’s a great place to visit in America if you’re looking to immerse yourself in art and culture as Chicago has a fantastic art gallery and museum scene.
There’s also awesome parks situated throughout the city and plenty of walking trails to enjoy too for beautiful views of Chicago.
If you’re looking for inspiration of things to do in the city, check out our extensive list of the 10 best free attractions in Chicago, as well as the top 10 rated paid attractions to enjoy in Chicago.
Renowned as being one of the best and most popular public spaces in the world, Millennium Park stretches across an impressive 24.5-acres and offers a great area for performing arts and musical showcases.
Inside the park you’ll also see the sculpture that’s arguably the most famous free attraction in Chicago; the Cloud Gate, or the “bean” as it’s more affectionately referred to.
The Lakefront Trail is another one of the best free attractions in Chicago that’s an ideal excursion for the whole family.
It’s an 18-mile path that spans along the western shore of Lake Michigan and will take you all the way from the far north of Chicago, to the south side of the city.
The trail is an ideal place for walkers, runners, cyclists and skateboarders, and it’s popular with both locals and tourists...
Renowned for being one of the world’s largest indoor garden spaces, the Garfield Park Conservatory is a must-visit place on your list of things to do in Chicago.
It’s a great place to bring the kids as there’s plenty to see and enjoy while you’re there.
You’ll get to see the ever-changing species of plants that are constantly being brought into the Conservatory, as well as the Elizabeth Morse Genius...
The Chicago Riverwalk has won awards thanks to its eclectic offering of art, sculptures and music shows that are paraded along the riverbank in central Chicago.
It’s a 1.25-mile promenade so you can easily see the whole thing in less than a couple of hours and you can bring the kids along to admire one of Chicago’s best free things to do.
There are six main intersections where you can join up with the Chicago...
The remarkable 385-acre plant museum is one of the best free attractions in Chicago if you’re wanting to escape the busy city streets for a few hours and immerse yourself in beautiful, natural surroundings.
There are over 27 gardens that are spread out across nine different islands inside the Chicago Botanic Garden and it’s an absolute sanctuary for outdoor lovers!
You could happily bring the children along to the...
The Chicago Cultural Center is one of the most visited free attractions in Chicago; every year hundreds of thousands of people flock to the city’s epicentre of culture to experience art, lectures and music performances.
It’s an iconic landmark in the city of Chicago; defined mainly by the world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass dome that sits atop the Cultural Center with pride.
You’ll love a visit to the...
What you need to know:
Humboldt Park spans across an impressive 197-acres in Chicago.
It’s known for its many public park areas, the island beach and lagoon and the Boathouse Café.
You could easily spend hours wandering around Humboldt Park and enjoying all the free activities is has to offer, or you could head to the paid-for gym if you so wish to ensure you’re getting some exercise in...
The Lincoln Park Zoo is very special for a number of reasons. Not only is it one of the oldest zoos in North America, but it’s also one of the very few free admissions zoos in the country.
This makes it the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon out with the whole family.
You can see a vast range of exotic animals and reptiles such as lions, giraffes, elephants, sea lions and snakes.
The Zoo is actually open every...
What you need toknow:
Known as one of the best places in the city to listen to free, outdoor music, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion is one of the best free things to see in Chicago.
At the Pavilion, you’ll find a wealth of different performances happening on the proscenium bandshell, with famous musicians and performers from all over the world putting on a show for the whole...
The Smart Museum of Art is renowned for being one of Chicago’s most intriguing cultural institutions.
Located on the campus of the University of Chicago in Hyde Park, the Museum houses an astounding collection of over 15,000 incredible exhibits, paintings, sculptures and artefacts and is often cited as one of the best free attractions in Chicago.
It’s a place that’s more aimed towards those seeking a bit of...
Chicago City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Chicago Segway Tour
Spirit of Chicago Sunset Dinner Cruise with Buffet
Underground Donut Tour - Chicago's First Donut Tour
Go Chicago Explorer Pass with SkyDeck and 360 Chicago
Signature Food Tour at Navy Pier
Chicago Architectural River Cruise
There are many things you can do for free in Chicago like booking free entry into some Chicago museums, joining locals to do some free activities and others. This allows you to have fun and relax on a budget or save for further experiences on your trip.