There is no doubt the Loop, also called “Downtown Chicago” or “Central Chicago” is really the nerve center of Chicago. The tour of the Loop will also take you into the history of prohibition and organized crime, embodied by Al Capone and widely illustrated in cinema, or that of the music scene (jazz and blues) through the legend of Buddy Guy and the countless anecdotes that punctuate the history of this protean city. Finally, it will give you an overview of today’s Chicago (with its renovated institutions, its multi-level traffic system, its food courts, organic markets, etc.), that of a city with a never-ending sulfurous past. There are so many things to see in the Loop, as shown below.
Visit the Millennium Park
You can organize the visit starting from where you prefer, perhaps attractions that require more time such as Millennium Park or the visit of the Willis Tower you may decide to do them at a different time. So let’s start right from the green heart of the area, the beautiful Millennium Park, which offers hours of pure relaxation but also contemporary art, concerts, and botany. Millennium Park is the ideal place to take unforgettable photos: the city skyline is right in front of you!
Visit the Art Institute of Chicago
Just further South, you’ll find the Art Institute of Chicago, which houses, among other things, numerous works by Renoir and Monet. There are two main entrances, from Michigan Avenue, which leads immediately to the Main Wing, and from Monroe Street, which leads to the new Modern Wing. The visit does not take more than 3 hours for the most important works, and the museum is currently open from 10.30 to 17 (except Thursdays, which closes at 20). In any case, for opening hours and news, it is good to connect to the official website www.artic.edu or download the Official App on your mobile phone.
Union Station Chicago
While you’re there, you might want to pay a visit to the beautiful building of Union Station, built-in 1925 and recently restored: it was the set of the film The Untouchables, and is the main train station in the city from which Amtrak trains also depart. Union Station Chicago is one of the most popular train stations in the West Loop. Quick public transportation is the best advantage if you live in this neighborhood. There are many West Loop Apartments on rent available on different rental sites. You can search apartments by applying different filters as per your budget, location and amenities required.
Climb on the top of Willis Tower
The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is the tallest skyscraper in all of Chicago, and you will often see it soaring with its massive black block construction and antennas on top (not to be confused with the other observatory, the John Hancock Center which is located between Near North and Gold Coast). Climbing up to the 103rd floor Skydeck is a must, as is a photo on the famous glass balconies that naturally let a truly breathtaking view shine under your feet.
Visit Daley Plaza
At Daley Plaza, you can admire a sculpture designed by Picasso: it has no name (for which it was renamed Untitled), and the artist has never specified what it represents. The only certain thing is that it is made of iron. Don’t be afraid to get close; it doesn’t bite and gives very interesting photos.
Chicago Cultural Center
Continuing on East Washington Street, you will arrive at the Chicago Cultural Center, recognizable by its Tiffany dome. It is a large building that houses art exhibitions, music concerts of various kinds, and film projections; inside, you will also find the Visitor Center of the city of Chicago.
Go underground with Pedway
Also among the perhaps slightly less popular peculiarities is the Pedway, or a series of underground tunnels scattered around the Loop that allow you to make some underground routes, which in winter with a bitter cold can be a good idea.
Have a Riverwalk
You certainly cannot forget one of the top attractions of the Loop, the Riverwalk, or the riverside promenade. Walking along the banks of the Chicago River is not only relaxing but also offers awe-inspiring views, both day and night.