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The Essentials


Want to make the most of your time in the Loop? No problem. We've boiled down the Loop into this small list to make sure you get the essential Chicago Loop experiences, photos, and memories.

Visit the Art Institute of Chicago for dazzling galleries of acclaimed international art in the world's second largest art gallery.

Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park in the downtown Chicago Loop

The picturesque Clarence F. Buckingham Memorial Fountain is a classic Chicago landmark and one of the largest fountains in the world.

Must-See Chicago is a fast-paced, 90-minute tour introducing Chicago and many of its most famous buildings by the acclaimed Chicago Architecture Foundation.

Chicago's First Lady

Cruise up the Chicago River in an engaging, in-depth tour of some of the finest architecture in the world by a knowledgeable member of the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

Alexander Calder’s abstract stabile anchors the large rectangular plaza bordered by three Bauhaus style federal buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe.

Composed of thousands of inlaid chips in over 250 colors, Marc Chagall’s mosaic artwork The Four Seasons in Chase Tower Plaza portrays six vivid scenes of Chicago.

Chicago Cultural Center, free art and performance in the Loop

Through free art, music, and performance events and a stunning interior design, the Chicago Cultural Center has become a premier Chicago destination.

The Chicago Riverwalk is one of the Loop's most beautiful public amenities. Take a long walk and enjoy the best view of the breathtaking Chicago architecture along the river.

The unique shopping experience, German food and drinks, and diverse holiday entertainment make Christkindlmarket Chicago a holiday tradition and staple.

Have you seen "The Bean?" Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate is a massive reflective sculpture that has become a Chicago legend.

Forget trains, taxis and buses! Divvy is Chicago's bike sharing program, and it's the best way to explore the Loop in the open air.

The Gateway is a new kind of people space in the Loop, where Loop tourists, students, residents, and workers can sit outside and enjoy the summer weather.

US soccer fans gather at Grant Park, World Cup 2014

Proudly referred to as Chicago's "front yard," Grant Park is a public park, 319 acres located in Chicago’s central business district in the Loop Community area.

Enjoy free ice skating under the skyscrapers at McCormick Tribune Plaza's ice skating rink! Open through March 17, 2017 weather permitting.

Millennium Park provides a beautiful backdrop for hundreds of free cultural programs including concerts, exhibitions, tours, and family activities.

The 50-ft high untitled Chicago Picasso in Daley Plaza has become one of Chicago’s most famous sculptures and beloved icons.

Shoreline Sightseeing, established in 1939, began with one vessel offering Lake Michigan Boat Tours showcasing Chicago’s fabulous skyline. They offer fantastic guided Architecture River Tours departing daily and every evening from multiple locations.

Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower offers an eye-popping view of Chicago and, for some brave souls, a chance to feel like you're floating in thin air!