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Art Institute of Chicago

Marvel at masterpieces from around the world including one of the largest Impressionist collections outside of France

Art Institute of Chicago: Our most recommended tours and activities

Chicago: CityPASS® Save 48% or More on 5 Top Attractions

1. Chicago: CityPASS® Save 48% or More on 5 Top Attractions

Take in incredible views, fascinating science, world-class art, and more with Chicago CityPASS® tickets that include premium admission to Chicago’s top attractions and save travelers 48% or more on the price of the same tickets purchased separately. Enjoy an easy-to-use system with this city pass option, simply present your mobile (or printed) ticket to be scanned at the included attractions for entry. Head to the Shedd Aquarium, where you can see otters, lizards, whales, and dolphins, in a space that is home to more than 32,000 animals. Marvel at breathtaking views at Skydeck, which stands 1,353 feet above the city. Visit the Field Museum where you can see “Sue,” the world’s largest T. Rex. Spend some time getting acquainted with local artists at the Art Institute of Chicago.  This pass includes prepaid admission to 5 must-see attractions: 1. Shedd Aquarium Meet 32,000 animals from aquatic habitats around the world at Chicago’s “must-sea” destination. See penguins fly through chilly waters, dolphins leap high in the air, monkeys scamper through rainforest trees, and stingrays swim below your feet.  Have all-access admission including permanent exhibits, animal presentations, special exhibit, and the Stingray Touch (seasonal), plus a 4-D experience. 2. Field Museum See the world’s wonders and visit an ancient Egyptian tomb with 23 mummies. Explore over 10,000 years of Chinese history and culture, and “Sue” the world’s largest T. Rex dinosaur. Get an All-Access Pass (admission to all permanent and regularly-priced ticketed exhibitions, and your choice of one digital 3D film). Film selection subject to availability. Additional charges may apply for specially ticketed exhibitions outside of the All-Access Pass. 3. Skydeck Chicago Go atop the Willis Tower at Skydeck, which invites intrepid visitors to step onto The Ledge, which is comprised of four glass boxes jutting out from the observatory that are situated at 1,353 feet (412 meters). Admire jaw-dropping view of 103 stories above the city. Includes expedited Entry to Willis Tower’s 103rd floor. Your ticket includes expedited entrance to the Skydeck as well as to The Ledge. 4. Your choice of 2 from the following attractions: 4.1 Art Institute of Chicago Travel the globe through galleries featuring the art of ancient Greece, Japan, Africa, and the Americas. The museum also has one of the largest Impressionist collections outside France and features classic artists like Van Gough and Georges Seurat.  Make the most of your time with Fast Pass Admission to the permanent collection and non-ticketed special exhibitions; including an audio tour. 4.2 Museum of Science and Industry Learn about the science of storms, tour a real World War II German submarine, and run on a human-sized hamster wheel. Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry is the largest in the Western hemisphere. Includes museum entry, plus one timed-entry experience. 4.3 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck Discover magnificent views of Chicago’s skyline, beaches, and historic waterfront from 1000 feet up. Includes express entry admission. 4.4 Adler Planetarium, America's first Planetarium Interact with hands-on activities and uncover mind-blowing facts about the Universe. The planetarium has two domed theaters, with 60,000 square feet of exhibitions, and the Doane Observatory’s research quality telescope.

Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago Skip-the-Line Ticket

2. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago Skip-the-Line Ticket

Pre-book and skip the lines to enter the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago. Experience the museum’s vast collection spanning 5,000 years of art from around the world. See iconic works like Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on La Grand Jatte," Renoir's "Two Sisters (On the Terrace),” several works by Van Gogh, and more than 25 paintings by Claude Monet. Must-sees also include paintings like Edward Hopper's “Nighthawks'' and Grant Wood's “American Gothic,” as well as unforgettable works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, Alma Thomas, Cindy Sherman, and Kerry James Marshall. Continue your museum journey around the world and through the centuries with the museum’s outstanding collection of works—from ancient Egyptian objects through 5,000 years of Asian art, a rich selection of works from across Africa, and onto the wide-ranging holdings of arts of Europe and the Americas. Families won’t want to miss favorites like the armored knights and armor collection or the wonders of our 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms. Plus, a stop in the museum’s Ryan Learning Center offers art-making activities and the chance to create your very own custom adventure-filled tour of the galleries with the interactive JourneyMaker. Enjoy an expertly guided experience of the museum at one of our free daily tours, or take it at your own pace with the engaging audio tours available on the museum’s free app.

Chicago: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 25+ Attractions

3. Chicago: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 25+ Attractions

The Chicago All-Inclusive Pass by Go City provides free admission to the city’s top activities, attractions, and tours, offering the ultimate in convenience and savings. Choose durations of 1, 2, 3, or 5 days at a low, pre-paid price and save up to 45% compared to buying separate attraction tickets. Take a trip up to SkyDeck Chicago, visit the Field Museum, have fun at Navy Pier, and enjoy a cruise. All these and more are included with your Chicago All-Inclusive Pass. The Chicago All-Inclusive Pass comes with a digital guide including useful attraction information. Use it to help you decide what to do, where to go, and how to get there. Activities, attractions, and tours included with the Chicago All-Inclusive Pass: • Shedd Aquarium (reservations required) • SkyDeck Chicago (reservations required) • Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Chicago: 1-Day Classic Tour • 360 CHICAGO • Adler Planetarium • Museum of Science and Industry • Field Museum • Shoreline Architecture River Cruise • Shoreline Classic Lake Tour • Chicago Children's Museum • LEGOLAND Discovery Center • Bike Chicago: 4 Hour Bike Rental • Chicago History Museum • Lincoln Park Zoo Rides • Museum of Contemporary Art • Robie House • Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Tour • Panoramic and Scenic North Side Tour • Historic Chicago South Shore Tour • Grand Tour • Chicago Theatre Tour • Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home • 10pin Chicago 90-minute Bowling & Pizza (reservations required) • American Writers Museum Attractions and tours are subject to change. Check the digital guide included on your confirmation voucher for the full list of inclusions, opening times, and reservation instructions.

Chicago: Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

4. Chicago: Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

From your vantage point on the double-decker sightseeing bus, you'll enjoy towering views of Chicago’s finest skyscrapers, including the John Hancock Center, the Willis Tower, and the Wrigley Building. Take in the city's most impressive landmarks while listening to entertaining commentary and insight into Chicago's unique and exciting history. Explore this dynamic city with the freedom to hop on and hop off as many times as you wish to visit attractions such as the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Natural History Museum. You’ll travel along the famous Magnificent Mile, considered one of the great avenues of the world, and continue across the Michigan Avenue Bridge over the Chicago River. This hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Chicago makes it easy for you to explore the city's sights at your own pace. All stops are conveniently located to make navigating your way around the city easy. With a choice of 24 or 48-hour tickets, you can take your time discovering Chicago.

Chicago: Gangsters and Ghosts 2-Hour Walking Tour

5. Chicago: Gangsters and Ghosts 2-Hour Walking Tour

See a different side of Chicago on a family-friendly guided tour and hear the tales of the ghosts that haunt the city. Explore the famous Chicago Loop district with interesting stories hidden behind each turn. Embark along the Chicago Loop, known as the vice district during the 1920s and 30s. See the places where gangsters such as Al Capone used to party, make deals, and carry out business. Visit haunted locations and old crime scenes led by historians. Stop at the Congress Hotel, Death Alley, and the Palmer House. Enjoy a refreshment along with way, with frequent stops and a restroom break.

Chicago: Treasures of the Golden Age Walking Tour

6. Chicago: Treasures of the Golden Age Walking Tour

This Historic Treasures of Chicago tour covers the most significant historic architectural landmarks in Chicago’s Loop. Your expert guide, trained by the Chicago Architecture Center, will focus on great cultural buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which harkened back to earlier time periods and were designed in revival styles such as Beaux Arts, neo-Georgian and neo-Gothic. Marvel at exteriors and interiors of dazzling beauty and startling originality, and get a glimpse inside some of the city's most beloved buildings.    The highlights of this walking tour will include the Chicago Cultural Center, home to the world's largest Tiffany dome; the iconic Marshall Field's department store, now Macy's on State; and the Palmer House, a beautifully restored hotel from the 1920s. 

Chicago: Art Institute Skip-the-Line Tour with Guide

7. Chicago: Art Institute Skip-the-Line Tour with Guide

Experience a guided tour around some of the world’s greatest and most iconic art pieces at the Art Institute of Chicago. Avoid the crowds and lines and meet your expert guide at the Institute 30 minutes before opening time. Explore the expansive collection, learning more about both contemporary and classic pieces. Although the museum usually hosts 1.79 million people per year, you will be able to stroll among the pieces at leisure, getting up close and personal with works by famous and infamous artists like Edward Hopper, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Andy Warhol. The Art Institute of Chicago is home to the greatest collection of Impressionist artwork in the world. Your guide will provide expert information on the collection and the museum’s history and hidden gems.

Eastside Chicago: City Exploration Game

8. Eastside Chicago: City Exploration Game

Start the adventure at The Art Institute of Chicago. It will take you between 1.5 to 2 hours to complete and you can also explore at your own pace. Pause the game and resume anytime from the location where you paused it. You will finish at the Fountain of the Great Lakes. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and exact directions on your phone will guide you to the next location. So, are you up for an exciting city game? After your booking, you will receive an email on how to download the game to your phone. You can play on your own, in a large group, or in several smaller groups that compete against each other and meet at the final stop of the game. For larger groups, one person can purchase access for the entire group by selecting the number of people in the group. All group members will be able to download and play the city game on their phones. Alternatively, each person can make their own purchase.

Chicago: Must See Chicago 90 minute Walking Tour

9. Chicago: Must See Chicago 90 minute Walking Tour

Starting at the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), this tour gives you an overview of many of the must see buildings and landmarks in the City of Chicago. Led by an expert guide who has been rigorously trained by the CAC to be equal parts storyteller and educator, you will get a fantastic introduction to the city’s wide variety of architectural styles, construction methods, and materials. There is so much to see downtown, and this tour makes it easy and fun to learn about some of the buildings that make Chicago’s architecture world-class. There are lots of photo opportunities along the way, so be sure to bring your camera! The tour covers three of the main focal points of Downtown Chicago – the Chicago Loop, the heart of historic Chicago; the Chicago River, the lifeblood of the city; and Millennium Park, where the iconic “The Bean” sculpture is located. Landmark buildings covered on this tour include soaring modernist skyscrapers (Willis Tower, John Hancock Center, and AON Building), buildings paying homage to classical styles (Wrigley Building, Tribune Building, the Chicago Theatre, and the Art Institute of Chicago), Art Deco edifices (Carbide & Carbon Building and the Chicago Board of Trade Building), and recently completed skyscrapers (Aqua & Trump Tower). Finally, admission to the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) is also included with your walking tour ticket. CAC exhibits focus on Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, housing types, leading architects and future projects, and include the largest scale model of the city, with more than 4,250 miniature buildings and a cinematic backdrop animating key moments in its history. The stories of the city begin at the CAC.

Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago Exclusive Guided Tour

10. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago Exclusive Guided Tour

Getting to see famous artworks by true contemporary masters is a rare experience, but on a busy day at the art museum you might not even be able to enjoy what you’re seeing! On this exclusive, small group tour of the Art Institute of Chicago, your guide will show you the most famous pieces in a collection of 300,000, and you’ll actually get to enjoy them before the crowds. Meet your expert guide by the Lions on Michigan Avenue, then slip into the doors of the Art Institute for an exclusive guided tour. First, visit the gallery and take in George Seurat’s can’t-miss masterpiece A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. Then, wander over to enjoy alone time with three of Van Gogh’s pieces: The Bedroom, Self Portrait, and The Drinkers. Next, continue your journey into Impressionism with the Claude Monet’s mesmerizing artworks such as Stacks of Wheat, Water Lilies, and Water Lily Pond. Watch these pieces come to life as your guide shares the stories behind these iconic paintings. Visit galleries featuring works by American artists such as Georgia O'Keefe, Edward Hopper, and Jacob Lawrence. Here, you will even get to see the iconic American Gothic by Grant Wood! Finally, enjoy the intriguing works of Spanish artists Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Learn the story behind Picasso's The Old Guitarist before seeing Dalí’s Inventions of the Monsters and the head-scratching Venus de Milo With Drawers statue.

  • Entry tickets
  • Guided tours
  • City cards
  • Other experiences
  • Hop-on hop-off tours
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What people are saying about Art Institute of Chicago

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,729 reviews

I am a lover of the many mediums used for art. I had finally had my first trip to Chicago to visit my best friend of about 22 years. The Art Institute was the no. 1 place I was wanted to see while there. I came across this app and downloaded it. We each got our entry tickets this way. When we arrived there were many people in line to get there tickets. However because we used this app we were able to walk straight through the lobby, not even going to the line for those purchasing tickets, we presented our phones and with a quick swipe we started our walk and inspiration gripped me immediately. For any art lover, you will not be disappointed with The Institute. This app let me start viewing masterpieces without the haste of waiting in line. The ticket price was also a great deal.

Lizzy, our guide was so sweet! You walk through the beautiful city, stop here and there and listen to interesting facts and stories. Halfway through there‘s a break for getting some brownies and using the bathroom. Would definetly recommend! Lizzy always made sure everybody has a great time and no one gets lost and stays with the group. Loved it!

It worked well and was recognized by all the listed vendors. To get the best value you really need to stay busy all day and evening at these venues.

I found really helpful to get the city pass, you skip the long queues everywhere and the process of getting the tickets is really fast

It was a very fun tour and we learned a lot about the city that we didn't know before. Lizzie was an excellent guide!