10 things to do in Chicago


In September and October 2016 Danny and I emulated Michael Portillo‘s Great American Railway Journey. We started in Chicago.

It’s too long ago and I didn’t take notes to write a ‘journal entry’. So instead I will give you ten things to in Chicago. Luckily my constant checking in on Swarm helps me finding out what we did.

The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI)

You can spend several hours at the Museum of Science and Industry which has airplanes, trains, a 330 m2  model railroad of Chicago, German submarine U-505 and Apollo 8 on display.

The star attraction is the Coal Mine. It comprises Old Ben, a 1933 coal mine in Illinois. The exhibit as such is an historic artefact, as it is a long surviving display.


Walk around the University of Chicago

The area around the University of Chicago is pleasant. The buildings are in gothic revival. It’s very different to the downtown city fuzz and buzz. Also check out Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House.


Have a Chicago-style pizza

A Chicago-style pizza or deep-dish pizza resembles a pie or better still: a quiche. It’s a pizza, but deep. So have one. We had ours at Giordano’s on 130 E Randolph St (at N Michigan Ave), Chicago, IL 6060.


Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower

Skydeck Chicago on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower gives you a wonderful vista on the city and Lake Michigan. If you dare, walk on the Ledge.


Take a river and lake cruise

A very nice way to discover Chicago is taking a river and lake cruise. It also doubles as a guided tour with an incendiary history of the city. We took a cruise by Wendella Boats.


Ride the Chicago L

The Chicago L or eLavated metro is a rapid transit system operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). As the name says, it’s elevated, making it quite unique and quintessentially Chicago.


The Bean

No list of Chicago sights without the Cloud Gate by Sir Anish Kapoor aka The Bean. There’s no explanation necessary. Just a photo or two, three, four…


Chicago Union Station

Why go to Chicago Union Station? It’s huge, it’s very American and it features the stairs from ‘The Untouchables‘.

Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain

A beautiful high spraying fountain near the lake.


Chicago Public Library

The Chicago Public Library building oozes Batman and Gotham City from the outside. It’s also quite impressive from the inside.



Danny and I weren’t overwhelmed by Chicago. We didn’t ‘feel’ it. We were there two days and it felt enough. A feeling we have more often in North American cities.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Emily Arias says:

    I recommend coming back during the summer, Chicago really comes alive then. I also suggest checking out some of the hip neighborhoods like wicker park, Logan Square, Lincoln Park and the west loop. There is some great food and great stuff to do if you venture past the touristy stuff (although I do love the touristy stuff as well).


    1. Timothy says:

      Good to know. A next time we will. Thanks!


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