Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Chicago

THE 10 BEST Cheap Things to Do in Chicago

Best Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Chicago

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    Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
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    Highest rated attractions on Tripadvisor, based on traveller reviews.
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What travellers are saying

  • Clive L
    Brighton, UK47 contributions
    Modern and Contemporary art, early impressionists, cubists. There's lots to see, so take a good slice out of your day to make sure you have time to browse to your eyes content. Love the early Picasso from the Blue period xx
    Written 3 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mags boy S
    Navarre, FL368 contributions
    Cold day out but still great seeing this area. Looks like a giant bean. It’s very reflective and a great place for pictures if ur in the city. Would highly recommend and return if given opportunity. God bless.
    Written 4 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Von1287
    Albany, NY712 contributions
    This is a must-see in Chicago! Plenty of people come here and it can be very crowded, luckily when we went it was not terrible and we could enjoy some photos and the view of the skyscrapers surrounding this bean!
    Written 3 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Bz55
    Toronto, Canada84 contributions
    Was in Chicago and had a day to kill so we went site seeing. Unfortunately it was January and out of baseball season so we did not get to catch a game or go inside. We did drive around the property and got out to grab a quick souvenir. Will be back one day soon to catch a game and experience inside. The famous sign outside though made for a beautiful picture and visual memory
    Written 28 January 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Charlie
    Decatur, GA9 contributions
    This museum was amazing. Not only did it provide many informative tours and exhibits, but it also was one of the largest museums I have ever been in. My family reserved three tours, the U-Boat tour, coal mine tour, and lastly, while not exactly a tour, the interactive flight simulator. The U-Boat tour was interesting and provided information on the conditions of German soldiers who were serving on submarines. The coal mine tour talked about the evolution of coal mining technology and the conditions the miners lived in. Lastly, the flight simulator was amazing. In this experience you and a partner work together to pilot a fighter jet and take down enemy aircraft. The interesting thing is that the capsule you sit in while participating in the simulation moves as though it was the cockpit of the plane. This means you might end up sideways or even upside down. Aside from the reserved tours, the exhibits of the museum where amazing. There is something there for anybody. While some may enjoy climbing into farming vehicles in the farm exhibit, others will like the train exhibit. Most of the exhibits have interactive elements that make the museum feel more immersive than other museums. The food here is also great. I enjoyed a Chicago style hotdog, but there where many other great options.
    Written 22 January 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Bz55
    Toronto, Canada84 contributions
    Due to our flights being cancelled for poor weather. We decided to go site seeing around Chicago and ended up here at the museum. We got free access as our company donates to the museum so we had nothing to lose. We parked close by for 30$ and a short walk later we were in side. We walked around for about two hours and seen a lot of cool stuff. Museums never disappoint and this one had a lot of cool stuff to see, read and watch. Lots of space for people to walk and many attendees walking around with artifacts and teaching moments. We enjoyed our time here
    Written 28 January 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • RuthWH
    Dublin, Ireland111 contributions
    Great views of the city and gave you an idea how massive the lake is! I did the tilt too which was fun
    Written 20 December 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Von1287
    Albany, NY712 contributions
    This might have been my favorite part of Chicago! The Riverwalk is spectacular! On one side you have skyscrapers and city and on the other side you have a lake that feels like an ocean. Nothing like it! We rented bikes and had a blast riding through one of the most bikeable cities, lots of bike lanes and we felt pretty safe!
    Written 3 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Von1287
    Albany, NY712 contributions
    Pretty amazing. Walking into this building felt like walking into a European site! Beautiful staircase that leads to an amazing glass dome with lots of history. We really enjoyed this quick stop.
    Written 3 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Rebecca B
    23 contributions
    We went at the beginning of a cold snap when it was snowing so some of the animals were choosing to stay tucked up inside (which is completely understandable!) but we still got to see a lot of animals & the whole facility seemed to be really well set up. The staff we interacted with were friendly & knowledgeable, one even went out of her way to draw our attention to a viewing window we had missed so we could see a snoozing otter (so cute!) It was easy to get to on public transport. Would definitely recommend this zoo to anyone visiting Chicago!
    Written 31 January 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • SteveK28762
    Worcestershire, UK67 contributions
    A lovely way to get close to the water while having a great view of the city skyline. We walked around the perimeter of the pier enjoying all the sights available.
    I was surprised that, from the outside, we really couldn't tell that there was so much going on inside - I expected the shops and restaurants to all open to the outside of the pier, but this was not the case (perhaps due to the temperature?).
    Once inside, there was lots more to see, so a great place to visit.
    Written 9 January 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Marilyn M
    Lincoln City, OR181 contributions
    Our hotel was on the Chicago River so we had plenty of time to observe the river. Night time gives the city a lovely setting. Day time offers the River Walk, tour information on the river's history and the location and dimensions of the original fort.
    Written 9 January 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Amanda C
    Gold Coast, Australia1,650 contributions
    A fantastic trail area along Lake Michigan.
    I walked from town to the Aquarium and Field Museum over a couple of different days and enjoyed the Autumn leaves blowing everywhere, the Canada Geese that had come to visit and getting out into the fresh air.
    If I'd travelled with friends, I definitely would have hired the bikes and done some additional riding and exploring.
    A great open space area for residents and visitors alike.
    Written 30 October 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Paulo G
    Anadia, Portugal260 contributions
    This city has such an amazing skyline. The iconic buildings do not disapoint especially in the evening and when there is good weather.
    Written 23 January 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Von1287
    Albany, NY712 contributions
    This should be the number one thing to do in Chicago along with the Riverwalk! Make sure to come when the fountain is actually running as it does not run all year. We had a beautiful day here and being that this is one of the world's largest fountain you will need like a full minute to walk around it! Very ornate and awe inspiring. Pro-tip - walk towards the Riverwalk steps (which are gorgeous as well) and look back at the fountain. The views of the fountain in front of skyscrapers is mesmerizing!
    Written 3 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.