Sightseeing on a Budget in Chicago
Chicago’s friendly neighborhood feel and proud industrial roots make it a welcoming city for travelers on a budget. With abundant museums, casual eateries, and public parks connected by an efficient public transit system, it's easy to experience the best of Chicago cuisine and culture without breaking the bank. Here's how.
Explore More with a Sightseeing Pass
Save big on Chicago's top attractions with a sightseeing pass such as the Go Chicago Explorer Pass or Chicago CityPass. Customize a pass with your choice of attractions such as the Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, and Adler Planetarium, and enjoy discounts of up to 40 percent on admission.
Get Around on a Hop-On-Hop-Off-Bus Tour
Avoid the expense of car rental by utilizing Chicago's excellent public transit network or booking a hop-on-hop-off-bus tour. These affordable and user-friendly tours combine narrated sightseeing with the flexibility to design your own itinerary, with stops at dozens of Chicago's must-see landmarks. Bonus: The buses are heated during Chicago’s famously frigid winters.
Visit Top Chicago Museums
Chicago's world-class museums are a great way to get cultured on the cheap. From creative collections at the Art Institute of Chicago to science-focused exhibits at the Field Museum and Adler Planetarium, there's something for everyone. Check local event listings for museum free days to save even more.
Find Budget-Friendly Bites
Happily for budget travelers, most of Chicago's signature dishes are heavy on taste but light on the wallet. Look for abundant street fare and casual eats such as deep-dish pizza, loaded Chicago hotdogs, and popcorn. Chicago food tours can show you how to find the most authentic snacks and bars in the city, often for less than the price of a single fine-dining meal.