With so many cultural institutions, Chicago is a hotspot for performing and fine arts. With one of the most renowned art museums, an unparalleled symphony and 5 Tony award winning theaters, the "City of Broad Shoulders" stands head and shoulders above the rest. Delve into the cultural side of the city with this 2-day sightseeing itinerary of all things art.


DAY 1: The Number One Museum in the World Says TripAdvisor

Chagall Windows, Art Institute of Chicago



❏ Start with brunch at Remington's on Michigan Avenue. The classic American grill is located right across from Millennium Park so take a peek at "The Bean" (aka Cloud Gate) if you haven't yet.

❏ Visit the free Chicago Cultural Center where the world's largest Tiffany stained glass dome resides and visual art galleries thrive.

❏ While you're at the Chicago Cultural Center, meet up with a free InstaGreeter tour guide who can show you public artwork throughout the Loop, showcasing pieces by Picasso, Chagall, Miró and Calder.



❏ Spend the afternoon at the Art Institute of Chicago. Its superb collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artwork is matchless.

❏ In the Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing, grab a fresh, organic lunch in a sophisticated setting at Terzo Piano.



❏ Feast on Italian cuisine at Tesori for dinner. Fresh ingredients and handmade pastas are the focus at this trattoria, which offers up several tasty chicchetti options to start and a daily happy hour.

❏ Head over to nearby Symphony Center (conveniently located right next to Tesori — you don't even have to leave the building!) to hear the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

❏ Get a good night's sleep at the Park Hyatt Chicago, where dramatic lake and city views, original artwork — including Gerard Richter's painting of Milan's Piazza del Duomo — and an inviting lounge at the onsite restaurant NoMI Kitchen will make you never want to leave.


DAY 2: Galleries, Poetry & Over 200 Theatres to Choose From

Oriental Theatre



❏ Grab a breakfast flatbread at Farmhouse. The farm-to-tavern concept may be known for its great craft beer selections, but brunch is a winner too with other items to round out the menu like Stuffed French Toast, a 6-oz. ribeye Steak and Eggs, and the very-filling Farmer's Breakfast.

❏ Then browse art galleries in River North. Local experts from Chicago Gallery News offer free seasonal tours, but you can also take a self-guided outing of the district's many galleries.



❏ For lunch, enjoy regional Italian food and delectable wine at Quartino Ristorante.

❏ See the colorful Tiffany dome at the Driehaus Museum. This palatial home is a stunning example of grand, 19th-century living in Chicago.

❏ Pay a visit to the Poetry Foundation, which houses a 30,000-volume poetry library and an exhibition gallery.



❏ Have dinner at the chic Vermilion, and dine on Indian and Latin American fusion. Need help deciding? The Lobster Portuguese topped a USA Today "Top 20 Dishes" list.

❏ Later, take in a Broadway production at one of the city's historic theaters such as The PrivateBank Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre or the James M. Nederlander Theatre.


DAY 3: Contemporary Art + Shakespeare Classics

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago



❏ Take in live music with brunch at The Lobby inside The Peninsula Chicago.

❏ Walk over to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. You'll find a linger-worthy afternoon of original exhibitions. Featuring photography, sculpture, video and paintings, it has a rotating collection of 2,500 objects.


❏ For dinner, sample delicious seafood at Riva Crabhouse. The views from here on Navy Pier are a perfect backdrop to dishes like Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes and Alaskan Salmon in Thai Coconut Broth.

❏ Spend the rest of your evening with the Bard at the global theatrical force that is Chicago Shakespeare Theater.


PLUS... 6 Nightcaps with Live Music

POPS for Champagne

  1. Green Mill: Watch jazz at a place that hasn't changed since  Al Capone frequented it.
  2. Howl at the Moon: Clap and stomp to the sounds of dueling pianos.
  3. POPS for Champagne: Enjoy live jazz while sipping the bubbly.
  4. Redhead Piano Bar: Cocktails and sing-alongs are  the fashion here.
  5. Andy's Jazz Club: Step into one of Chicago's most traditional jazz clubs.
  6. Elbo Room: Live bands and karaoke entertain at this lively venue.


Related Listings

Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar
626 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 698-5000

65 E. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 786-9911

10 W. Hubbard St.
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 527-4060

Driehaus Museum
40 E. Erie Street
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 482-8933

Broadway In Chicago
17 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 977-1701

NoMI Kitchen
800 N. Michigan Ave., 7th Fl.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 239-4030

Park Hyatt Chicago
800 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 335-1234

Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 744-3316

20 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 782-6000

Related Articles




Terzo Piano
159 E. Monroe St.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 443-8650

Riva Crabhouse
Navy Pier
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 644-7482

Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 443-3600

The Redhead Piano Bar
16 W. Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 640-1000

The Lobby at The Peninsula Chicago
108 E. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 573-6695

Farmhouse Chicago
228 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 280-4960

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 280-2660

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-5600

Featured Partners