Visiting Chicago in one day is not ideal, But not impossible. It is a very common option for those tourists who want to do the famous Route 66. It starts at Chicago and ends in The Angels. It takes quite a few days to complete it, so investing a few hours in the city is not a bad idea to enjoy your trip. In this post we tell you an itinerary with the essential things to see in Chicago in one day.

How to get around on this Chicago itinerary in one day

Chicago is a huge city, but its tourist attractions are relatively close to each other. To give you a reference, we did this route on foot. In total we walked about 10 kilometers. From one end to the other there are about 7km, plus the trips you make between them.

However, you can also use public transport or a car, if you have already rented it previously at the airport. Although as we have told you, This route through Chicago in one day is designed to be done on foot.

At the end of this article you will find a map with the exact location of all the places to see in Chicago in one day that we recommend next. We hope it helps you plan your visit to the city 🙂

Where to sleep to visit Chicago in one day

Ideally, you should spend at least one night in the city.. Although we think that the ideal would be two, unless you arrive very early in the morning on the first day. Otherwise, you will not have enough time to see everything we propose. One way or another you would have to dedicate a whole day to it. We stayed in the Freehand Chicago.

Where to stay in Chicago: best areas and hotels


1. Have breakfast at Stan’s

Believe us, there is no better way to start this Chicago itinerary in one day than having breakfast at Stan’s. There we tried the best donuts we have ever eaten. Spectacular! It is clear that it is not the healthiest option, but you will have all day to burn them off.

There are many places in the city, we recommend the one in the south area of ​​the Loop. You will find it marked on the map at the end of the post. Finger licking good!

The best way to start this Chicago itinerary in one day

2. Have one of the best views of the city from the Adler Planetarium

In that area there are very interesting attractions such as Adler Planetarium or the curious Field Museum. They are two visits that are very worthwhile, but You should not enter if you want to visit Chicago in one day. However, we do believe that it is worth going there to have one of the best panoramic views of Chicago.

From the Planetarium Skywalk you will have privileged views of the Chicago skyline right behind Michigan. Sit back and relax (wind permitting).

Chicago in one dayChicago in one day
The panorama is very beautiful

3. Photograph the start sign of Route 66, one of the most curious things to see in Chicago

If you start Route 66, you already know where to go to start. But if you want visit Chicago in one day and you don’t plan to take the famous route, we think it is worth going up to the sign to photograph it. That’s where it starts the most famous route in the United States.

30 essential places to see in the United States

Ruta 66Ruta 66
The famous sign, in downtown Chicago

4. Visit Cloud Gate and Millennium Park

The Cloud Gate is the main icon of Chicago. It is popularly known as The Bean. This sculpture, in the shape of a bean, is the work of the Indo-British artist Anish Kapoor.

But it is not the only interesting work in Millennium Park. Don’t forget to visit, among other things, the famous Concert Pavilion Jay Pritzker, o to Crown Fountain, a super curious source. There you will see how water falls from the mouths of several people projected on screens.

Chicago in one dayChicago in one day
Strolling in front of The Bean

5. Photograph the Chicago Theater

But if we talk about buildings, this is probably one of the most beautiful you will see on this route through Chicago in one day. It has a lot of history! The most recognizable is your beautiful illuminated signwhich appears on almost all the city’s postcards.

As a curiosity, for the most travelers, if you have been to the city of Paris, perhaps something will ring a bell. It is inspired by the Paris Opera and the chapel of the Palace of Versailles.

Chicago in one dayChicago in one day
The famous Chicago Theater

6. Stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk, an essential thing to do on your route through Chicago in one day

This is, without a doubt, the most picturesque area of ​​Chicago. The city is crossed by the Chicago River, which as it passes through the Loop creates a very beautiful setting surrounded by skyscrapers. There is an area set up for walking with spectacular views. Without a doubt, an essential visit.

Chicago in one dayChicago in one day
Enjoying the Chicago Riverwalk

7. Relax at Navy Pier

This is an area that is very trendy in Chicago. Is about an open leisure center packed with small shops, bars and some attractions. Above all, a Ferris wheel stands out! In the colder months the area is a bit abandoned, but If you go with good weather it is a very interesting place to see on your itinerary through Chicago in one day. Plus the views are very beautiful!

8. Eat a Chicago-style pizza at Giordano’s Pizza, a must-do on your visit to Chicago in one day

This pizza chain is the most famous in the city. Basically because you can’t leave the city without trying their typical pizza. It is not the healthiest food in the world, since there are pizzas and pizzas, but if we count the calories,I think Chicago style pizza takes the record.!

There is a location of this pizzeria chain at Navy Pier, so it is an ideal place to stop for lunch.

10 restaurants where you can eat cheaply in Chicago

9. Walk the Magnificent Mile

The Magnificient Mile is also known as Michigan Avenue. It is the most famous avenue in the city. And if we compare it with New York, it would be the equivalent of 5th Avenue. It is full of shop windows, mainly luxury ones, but even if you don’t want to buy anything, it is worth walking around to see it. If you follow the entire avenue up, you will reach the next point, one of our favorites.

10. Enjoy the views from North Avenue Beach, one of the best things to see in Chicago in one day

The Chicago skyline is one of the most beautiful in the world. And if you want to have some privileged views, this is another of the most famous viewpoints in the city. Plus it’s free! This point is at one end of this Chicago itinerary in one dayalthough it is worth getting there.

If you like photography, you will want to spend hours there. And if not, you will surely have a good memory with the skyline in the background.

A special viewpoint

11. Go up to 360 Chicago, the best viewpoint in the city

After New York, Chicago is the city with the most skyscrapers in the United States. In fact, the first skyscrapers were built in this city! And today, there are still plenty. 128 buildings exceed 150 meters in height. Almost nothing!

But without a doubt, We found 360 Chicago to be the best viewpoint. It is true that the SkyDeck of the Sears Tower is more famous, but we liked these views better.

The most famous thing about the viewpoint is TILT! It is a platform that tilts and tIt gives the sensation of falling from more than 300 meters high. Although you will have to pay an extra price! The entrance fee to the viewpoint costs $20.

Reserve your ticket for 360 Chicago

Chicago in one dayChicago in one day
The views are beautiful

12. A good hot dog at Portillo’s

And finally, to put the finishing touch to this visit to Chicago in one day, there is nothing better than eating one of Portillo’s delicious hot dogs. It is one of the most famous restaurants in the city, although they have several locations in Chicago.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *