Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Cultural Center
4.5
Architectural BuildingsCivic Centres
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
About
The Chicago Cultural Center is the nation's first free municipal cultural center and one of the most visited attractions in Chicago. The stunning landmark building, opened in 1897 as the city's first public library, is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, and annually presents hundreds of free cultural exhibits and performances. Admission is free.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
How to get there
  • Randolph/Wabash • 2 min walk
  • Lake • 4 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Judith B
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful old architecture.
    This is the former Chicago public library building, now the Chicago Cultural Center. It's the home base of the Chicago Greeter Program. The building is beautiful and well worth a visit. I am so glad that this building has been saved for the public to enjoy. Admission is free.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 5 July 2023
  • hrobinson1114
    Nashville, Tennessee5,826 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mainly for the architecture
    This is the site of the former Chicago Public Library. It’s more of an event center for the city of Chicago. There may be a Chicago themed exhibit here or there, or a festival or dinner (a Japanese festival was this weekend), but it isn’t really a museum. I gave this site four stars mainly for the architecture. The cultural center has the largest Tiffany glass dome (third floor) as well as another pretty stained glass dome (second floor). There are also some impressive staircases, windows, ceilings. Not a must see, but worth a stop. Would be easy to do, as it’s close to tourist attractions like Navy Pier and the American Writer’s Museum. Not terribly far from the Art Institute of Chicago either.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 19 August 2023
  • Stephanie M
    39 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Free Things to Do
    We stopped here unplanned. It is a nice, free place to explore. A lot of the art exhibits were closed, but they did have a vending machine that sold local artists creations (pins, keychains, etc.) Even with the closed art exhibits, there is a lot to see and read.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 October 2023
  • kleic
    San Antonio, Texas1,070 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hiding in Plain Sight!
    This place is astonishing and yet many people who live in Chicago and almost everyone who visits Chicago doesn't know about it! It sits right off Michigan Avenue so it's easy to visit when you're at the Art Institute or the Bean so go, go, go! The two glass domes and the mosaics transport you to a different time and place. Next time I'm in Chicago I'm going to carve out several hours on a weekday to visit this gem!
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 12 November 2023
  • J h
    76 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting
    Beautiful building . Take a walk up the stair case to view at all the exquisite elements of the interior design. Be careful if you are sensitive to smells right now. There is an art installation of some type of plastic/ rubbery covered hoses that his covered some of the beauty of the staircase. There is an out-gassing which stinks. I feel sorry for the staff and concerned for their health. You may need to check to learn if this has been removed.
    Visited November 2023
    Written 15 November 2023
  • DavidO99
    Hutto, Texas64 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful architecture inside, pop in for a 10 minute visit
    The Chicago Cultural Center is a beautiful building. The architecture was amazing. Go in and check out the lobby area, look up and around. Then go up the stairs and check out the rooms and area up there. It does not take long, but is free and totally worth popping in for 10 minutes.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 12 March 2024
  • MojoLad
    306 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A splendid way to spend an hour or two in Chicago
    We went here just to check out the famed Tiffany Dome, but as there was a free docent-led tour starting, decided to take in the whole experience. It was wonderful! And free! The building itself is something else, with jaw-droppingly beautiful mosaics throughout, recently cleaned and now in their full original glory, and of course the Dome, which just in itself is worthy of a visit. There's also a cool little (unafiiated) gift shop with very interesting art & souvenirs for sale entirely created by local Chicago artists. Strongly recommended.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 22 April 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles3,067 reviews
Excellent
2,076
Very good
809
Average
147
Poor
26
Terrible
9

MojoLad
Graton, CA306 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We went here just to check out the famed Tiffany Dome, but as there was a free docent-led tour starting, decided to take in the whole experience. It was wonderful! And free! The building itself is something else, with jaw-droppingly beautiful mosaics throughout, recently cleaned and now in their full original glory, and of course the Dome, which just in itself is worthy of a visit. There's also a cool little (unafiiated) gift shop with very interesting art & souvenirs for sale entirely created by local Chicago artists. Strongly recommended.
Written 22 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

divakern
Rock Hill, SC730 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We attended a family wedding at the Chicago Cultural Center in April 2024. This is such a unique building. It is so very beautiful that the wedding decor simply enhanced the space.
Written 16 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellen F
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We happened to pop into the. Cultural Center just as a free tour was starting. Lucky us! Mary - who is a volunteer through the International Greeter Association- showed us around the Center - pointing out interesting architectural and decorative details - like the Tiffany dome - and sharing some fascinating Chicago history. She then walked us to the Chicago Athletic Association building - now a hotel - and took us to the rooftop restaurant for a magnificent view of Millenium Park, and then to the Palmer House for more incredible architecture and history. I can’t thank her enough for giving so generously of her time and knowledge. It was definitely one of the highlights of our visit to Chicago.
Written 18 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DavidO99
Hutto, TX64 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
The Chicago Cultural Center is a beautiful building. The architecture was amazing. Go in and check out the lobby area, look up and around. Then go up the stairs and check out the rooms and area up there. It does not take long, but is free and totally worth popping in for 10 minutes.
Written 12 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

J h
usa76 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023
Beautiful building . Take a walk up the stair case to view at all the exquisite elements of the interior design.
Be careful if you are sensitive to smells right now. There is an art installation of some type of plastic/ rubbery covered hoses that his covered some of the beauty of the staircase. There is an out-gassing which stinks. I feel sorry for the staff and concerned for their health. You may need to check to learn if this has been removed.
Written 15 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kleic
San Antonio, TX1,070 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
This place is astonishing and yet many people who live in Chicago and almost everyone who visits Chicago doesn't know about it! It sits right off Michigan Avenue so it's easy to visit when you're at the Art Institute or the Bean so go, go, go! The two glass domes and the mosaics transport you to a different time and place. Next time I'm in Chicago I'm going to carve out several hours on a weekday to visit this gem!
Written 12 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephanie M
39 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
We stopped here unplanned. It is a nice, free place to explore. A lot of the art exhibits were closed, but they did have a vending machine that sold local artists creations (pins, keychains, etc.) Even with the closed art exhibits, there is a lot to see and read.
Written 17 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

skylite0
Canton, IL345 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
The building is gorgeous! I loved the mosaics, glass domes and architectural details. I was disappointed that the exhibits were closed.
Written 9 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hrobinson1114
Nashville, TN5,826 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Solo
This is the site of the former Chicago Public Library. It’s more of an event center for the city of Chicago. There may be a Chicago themed exhibit here or there, or a festival or dinner (a Japanese festival was this weekend), but it isn’t really a museum.

I gave this site four stars mainly for the architecture. The cultural center has the largest Tiffany glass dome (third floor) as well as another pretty stained glass dome (second floor). There are also some impressive staircases, windows, ceilings.

Not a must see, but worth a stop. Would be easy to do, as it’s close to tourist attractions like Navy Pier and the American Writer’s Museum. Not terribly far from the Art Institute of Chicago either.
Written 20 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KK78
Bay Shore, NY797 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
Visited this building on a walking tour and the inside is just gorgeous! The marble, the windows, glass, chandeliers - a beautiful space!
Written 14 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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