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10 Free Things to Do in Chicago


Chicago is a thrilling Midwestern metropolis packed with public art, impressive architecture and action galore. Experience the city for free at the following attractions. And if you need a place to stay while exploring, check out the Chicago Getaway Hostel.


Millennium Park
Nested among skyscrapers in downtown Chicago, this modern urban park features a Frank Gehry-designed pavilion.
(213)-744 5000

Lincoln Park Zoo
Ride a carousel, mingle with meerkats, pet goats at the farm exhibit and watch sea lions play at this 35-acre zoo.

Comedy Shows
The Second City comedy club presents free improv shows every night except Friday.
(312) 337-3992

Chicago Botanic Garden
Stroll through colorful flowers, see exotic plants and watch for 200 bird species in 26 gardens.
(847) 835-5440

Walking Tours
Get matched up with an expert local guide via Chicago Greeter, and customize your tour according to your interest.
(312) 945-4231

Navy Pier
This giant wooden pier is the city’s #1 destination, with a lively seaside atmosphere, street performers and fun people watching.
(312) 595-7437

The Bean
No trip to Chicago is complete without a photo opp at Cloud Gate, a reflective silver bean-shaped piece of art and local landmark.

The Beach
Spend some time on the shores of massive Lake Michigan, with 33 local beaches for swimming and sunbathing.
(312) 742-3224

Chicago Cultural Center
Home to the world’s largest stained glass dome, this beaux-arts building hosts free concerts, movie screenings and art exhibitions.
(312) 744-6630

Smart Museum of Art
Peruse the outstanding collection of the University of Chicago, from ancient artifacts to modern art by Picasso and Rodin.
(773) 702-0200

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