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Things to do in Chicago

Here's your key to the city. A definitive guide of the best local spots, as told by local Airbnb hosts.



Best of the best

448 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Situated in the middle of the restaurants, bars and homes of Wrigleyville is legendary Wrigley Field, the second-oldest Major League Baseball stadium in the country. It's a mecca for baseball lover... read more

Home of the Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Champions! Experience a historic original baseball stadium built in 1914. You'll gain an understanding of the uniqueness and loyalty of Cub fans and our... read more

Loyal Fans of Cubs! You are in right place to seeking to find the place to sleep before big day to watch Cubs game! It's only 5-8 minute to walk to Cubs Stadium!

365 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Enjoy free admission to our amazing local museums on these dates: Adler Planetarium September 12-16 October 10 (Columbus Day) November 11 (Veterans Day) December 3-9 Museum of Science and Industr... read more

You could spend the next four years getting to know this encyclopedic institution, which owns more than 300,000 artworks and artifacts from all over the world and every era from antiquity to the pr... read more

This is hands down my favorite museum in Chicago. Spend an hour or a whole day here. Between the soaring ceilings of the Modern Wing to the tiny intricacies of the Thorne Miniature Rooms, you'll ge... read more

#3

Big Star

Food SceneRestaurants
$$· 1531 North Damen Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

289 local Airbnb hosts recommend

My favorite taco place, I think it's far better than Antique Taco (their primary rival, around the corner). Open patio, big bar, no reservations. The Big Star margaritas and the al pastor, panza, a... read more

Mexican street food, good margaritas & other drinks fuel a lively scene at this cash-only hangout. Fantastic outdoor patio that is Ideal in the Sun. They have one of the best Al Pastor and Steak T... read more

As soon as the sun comes out, Big Star is the Beatles and it's 1964 all over again. You can't have the best day possible in Wicker Park if it doesn't involve a little Big Star action, particularly ... read more

#4

Longman and Eagle

Food SceneRestaurants
$$· 2657 North Kedzie Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

191 local Airbnb hosts recommend

While this is a whiskey bar, it is also one of the finest restaurants in the area. When Michelin came to rate Chicago, it was the first restaurant in Logan Square to be awarded a Michelin star--now... read more

Longman and Eagle is an awesome boutique hotel, food and bar in the heart of Logan Square. Known for its impeccable style, you will feel like one of the cool kids here. Outstanding cocktails and ... read more

Michelin starred since 2010. One of the best bourbon lists in Chicago or anywhere else. Excellent farm-to-fork cuisene. Brunch is highly recommended (if you don't show up right at 9:00am, expect... read more

176 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Awesome Local Brewery with Great Food and Character in Logan Square Revolution Brewing is a brewery in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded as a brewpub in 2010, on Milwaukee Avenue in the Logan Square.

Illinois' largest craft brewery. The kitchen, led by Head Chef Charlie Eure focuses on hand-crafted items like their house-made charcuterie and freshly baked breads. They butcher a pig or two a we... read more

Chicago's new hometown craft brewery - Where you can try creative dishes like bacon-fat popcorn and session beers like Workingman Mild, hop-bombs like Double Fist and more bourbon barrel aged beers.

185 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Lula Cafe is one of my neighborhood favorites and seems to be local's number one spot for new American food. Scenester spot that is hard to get into, so I recommend making reservations, otherwise,... read more

Before Logan Square had nearly any acclaimed restaurant and farm-to-table was a buzz-phrase, there was Lula Café. More than a decade on, it's easy to see why people flock for its creative, deliciou... read more

This is Logan Square's original farm-to-table restaurant with spectacular breakfast and brunch, a cafe menu for lunch and "in between times", delicious dinner, and sophisticated bar scene. In good ... read more

211 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Chicago's Iconic Sketch Comedy Theatre Countless e comedy legends got their start here including: Bill Murray, Mike Meyers, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Steven Colbert, Amy Sedaris, Steve Carell, John ... read more

The Second City is an improvisational comedy enterprise, best known as the first ever on-going improvisational theater troupe based in Chicago. It has been a starting point for comedians, award win... read more

Famous improv comedy! Home to Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Rick Moranis, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, etc! Tons of big names!

#8

Green Mill

Drinks & NightlifeBars
4802 North Broadway Street·Map·Hours·Website·

177 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Al Capone used to entertain here! This will hit the lists for top Chicago music venues - and it's true. Especially great Jazz and local musicians every night of the week. Often there is not cover c... read more

The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge (or Green Mill Jazz Club) is an entertainment venue on Broadway in Uptown, Chicago. It is known for its jazz and poetry performances, along with its connections to Ch... read more

Swinging sounds are on tap nightly, from big-name artists to local late-night jam sessions. This iconic jazz and blues bar uptown is remenicent of Al Capone and the Prohibition era. Sit back with a... read more

418 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Lincoln Park Zoo is a free 35-acre zoo located in Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois. The zoo was founded in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the U.S. It is also one of a few free admission... read more

Beautiful zoo, and it is FREE admission thanks to generous donors. Take a stroll and stay as long or little as you would like. Great spot to walk to along a path to the lake. I recommend stopping h... read more

Lincoln Park Zoo is a free 35-acre zoo located in Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois. The zoo was founded in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the U.S. Free admission

#10

Violet Hour

Drinks & NightlifeBars
$$$· 1520 N Damen Ave·Map·Hours·Website·

161 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Fantastic speakeasy, recently named the best cocktail bar in the USA! Sometimes hard to find amidst the ever-changing wall mural, Violet Hour is a dark, sumptuously appointed retreat from the harsh... read more

Like other cities, Chicago has its own speakeasy inspired bar serving up meticulously crafted cocktails. House rules include "No cell phones" and "Don't bring anyone that you wouldn't bring to you... read more

This hip cocktail lounge is exactly what you’d expect from a bar named after a line of T.S. Eliot poetry: pristine (the carefully constructed cocktails, like the aquavit-based Coattails, are excell... read more

#11

Parson's Chicken & Fish

Food SceneRestaurants
$· 2952 West Armitage Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

157 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Fried chicken or fish, Negroni slushies, great music and a great outdoor space that make you feel like you are at the best bbq ever make this a super hotspot all summer long. In the winter there's ... read more

Because who doesn't like hanging out with the cool kids and eating fried chicken? Frozen slushy Negroni's are the crowd favorite.Ping Pong for the playful during the summer and ice skating ring in ... read more

This is almost all outdoor seating - big picnic tables, a fire pit, ping pong tables- its just plain cool. Serves the best fried chicken around and negroni slushies. Really worth checking out.

134 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Soldier Field is an American football stadium on the Near South Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It opened in 1924 and is best known as the home field of the Chicago Bears of the National ... read more

Soldier Field is so close to us I love it! We go to see the Bears, concerts and festivals. This year Beyonce and ColdPlay will be here, and the Copa America Centenario soccer (football) tournament.

Why pay the price for parking if you can leave the car in the parking garage and walk to Soldier Field? Awesome summer concerts and the home of Da Bears.

145 local Airbnb hosts recommend

As one of Chicago's most popular beaches, North Avenue Beach features a unique beach house inspired by a beached ocean liner. Visitors can hit the volleyball courts, grab a snack or rent a bike. Am... read more

Best chicago beach! Lots of sandy beaches, with a beach house that has a restaurant on top. The beach is packed during the summer days, but is always a fun time. Volleyball courts open for use, and... read more

North Avenue Beach is located in Lincoln Park at 1600 N. Lake Shore Drive (North Ave. @ Lake Michigan). As one of Chicago's most popular beaches, the beach features a unique and popular beach house

143 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Old style theatre (boasting only 4 screens), there's always the best selection of films; and regular events (screenings of old films, themed movies etc.). The best part? With all the regular movie ... read more

This old school movie theater was recently renovated to feature cushy chairs and a full service bar for the nearly first run movies and camp classics that they show. Luckily they didn't renovate t... read more

Cheap prices!!!! Also they have a bar if you don't feel like sneaking your own drinks in. Sometimes they do open mic comedy in the anteroom before showings! They often have late night showings of c... read more

#15

Scofflaw

Drinks & NightlifeBars
$· 3201 West Armitage Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

137 local Airbnb hosts recommend

It's around the corner from our place. Put on your best pretentious hipster outfit and check it out. While it's not really our scene, we still make it there for a cocktails, delicious food, and b... read more

In the Neighborhood $$: Great cocktail bar offering some good beers on tap, as well as, a limited food menu for late night snacking. It's first come first serve basis so that you walk in seat your... read more

A very good cocktail bar. There's always a Seinfeld reference on the menu, they give you freshly baked chocolate chip cookies at midnight, and the burger is one of the best I've had in the city.

#16

Girl & The Goat

Food SceneRestaurants
$$· 809 West Randolph Street·Map·Hours·Website·

126 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Stephanie Izard is a great chef with a few Chicago restaurants (Little Goat Diner & Duck Duck Goat). This is her main restaurant and while you typically have to book reservations months in advance,... read more

Stephanie Izard's (of Top Chef fame) restaurant. Unless you scored a reservation months ago, you'll have to try your luck at walking in (try early or late). Try the pig face.

One of the best restaurants in the city. Innovative small plates from Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard

127 local Airbnb hosts recommend

The United Center is home to our city's basketball and hockey teams, The Bulls and The Blackhawks, respectively. Both excellent teams, you'll find watching a game live a great way to spend your eve... read more

Home of the Chicago's basketball team, the Bulls, and hockey team, the Blackhawks. Also a popular concert venue for popular artists' national tours.

Home of the Chicago Bulls and Black Hawks. 66 or 65 bus going east. Transfer to Damen bus at Damen. You can walk from Grand but I do not recommend it at night. Rough neighborhood.

119 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Hands down the best thin crust pizza in the city. Get a classic or use some of their creative toppings. Either way, their enormous, piping hot pizzas are going to please you. Head over on Saturday ... read more

Thin-crust pies & house brews in a sports-bar setting with karaoke & live bands some nights. We are not fans of Chicago style pizza. A favorite spot for the Dave Grohl/the Foo Fighters

This is a fun restaurant that brews their own beer (and it’s all super tasty), and makes some great pizza. They have live band karaoke on Saturday nights, too. Off the Damen stop. (Fun fact: the re... read more

#19

Au Cheval

Food SceneRestaurants
$$· 800 West Randolph Street·Map·Hours·Website·

128 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Best burger in Chicago hands down. Prepare for long waits, especially on the weekend. Go at lunch when they open, put your name on the list, and then hop over to Haymarket across the street for a d... read more

Do yourself a favor and get the best burger of your life at Au Chaval. Chase it with a pickle back. If you are feeling decedent order the chopped chicken liver, foie gras terrine, or bone marrow.

Best burger in Chicago, hands down. Put your name in and prepare to wait hours... they will text you when your table is ready as your sipping cocktails at Lone Wolf or beers at Haymarket Brewery.

#20

Hopleaf Bar

Drinks & NightlifeBars
5148 North Clark Street·Map·Hours·

124 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Creative, Belgian-focused food + best beer selection in the city; Try the house specialty - Mussels in white wine sauce served with frites & aioli

Fine Food. Better Beers, Wines & Spirits. Belgian Specialties. This is a MUST DO. Huge selection of beers and food way beyond bar food standards. Try the mussels.

Great neighborhood gastropub specializing in Belgian and other craft beers. Amazing mussels and frites! Beer garden is perfect on a warm summer evening.

#21

Bang Bang Pie Shop

Food SceneBakeries
$· 2051 North California Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

112 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Our favorite pie and biscuit shop, Bang Bang is a must stop before jumping on the train to head downtown. If you have a car you can park for free on California, grab breakfast then walk 5mins to ... read more

In the Neighborhood $: Bang Bang has some of the best pies in the city! Not just desserts but savory meat pies too. There biscuits are very popular and so is breakfast. It has a hipster vibe and... read more

Sweet pies, savory pies, candied bacon, breakfast biscuit, ham biscuit, sausage biscuit. Mouth watering goodness. Open all day.

104 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Though it’s staffed by world-class researchers at the forefront of their field, the museum’s real draw will always be the virtual-reality trips through time and space in the Sky Theater, which feat... read more

Ok, so we're not huge fans of this place...BUT, right outside of it, along the North side of that peninsula, is hands down the most beautiful vantage point for viewing the Chicago skyline. Take a p... read more

The Adler is home to three full size theaters, extensive space science exhibitions, antique scientific instruments and print materials, and Doane Observatory, a research-active, public observatory.

343 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Go see the famous "bean" and take a picture! This 24.5-acre park features Frank Gehry's Pritzker Pavilion and serpentine bridge; sculptor Anish Kapoor's 110-ton Cloud Gate (a.k.a. “The Bean”); and... read more

Millennium Park is absolutely beautiful! Do not miss this wonderful open-space park during your Chicago visit. It is free and features the very cool, iconic sculpture, that is great for photo-ops: ... read more

This 24.5-acre park features Frank Gehry's Pritzker Pavilion and serpentine bridge; sculptor Anish Kapoor's 110-ton Cloud Gate (a.k.a. “The Bean”); and Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain, with its ever-... read more

#24

The Whistler

Drinks & NightlifeBars
$· 2421 North Milwaukee Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

98 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Small but super trendy. Good drinks, backyard court in summer. Recently "dressed up" as the Star Wars cantina bar. From an online review: DJs, live music that spans genres, or Movieoke (exactly wh... read more

Trendy yet laid-back bar featuring incredibly delicious and creative cocktails plus DJs or live music every single night with no cover! FYI - they ID *everybody* ... even if you're 102!

Part delicious hand crafted cocktail, part music venue, part social theater, this cozy venue hosts poetry slams, local bands, and book readings. The back patio is also pretty magical. Hipster parad... read more

#25

The Field Museum

Arts & CultureMuseums
1400 South Lake Shore Drive·Map·Hours·Website·

182 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, this massive natural history museum still packs ’em in with more than 30 perm... read more

Founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, this massive natural history museum still packs ’em in with more than 30 perm... read more

State-of-the-art museum of science & invention, with the world's largest Tyrannosaurus Rex. Other exhibits: Inside Ancient Egypt Evolving Planet Underground Adventure The Ancient Americas Grainge... read more

96 local Airbnb hosts recommend

There are few reminders left of Chicago's legendary blues scene, with Kingston Mines in Lincoln Park perhaps the best. Open until at least 4 a.m. every night, stop by with a group of friends, park ... read more

This bar has been around for almost 50 years and plays live blues music until 4 in the morning. Open 7 days a week for your blues fixings. A total Chicago staple!

Down Home Blues Chicago Style. Pop your finger, stomp your feet to these down home blues. Good Food, Good Drinks, Good Time. Check their website for who's performing, price and menu.

#27

The Boiler Room

Food SceneRestaurants
$$· 2210 North California Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

95 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Really cool and popular primarily pizza restaurant where you can pickup individual slices, whole pies, or go in on a PB&J special where you get a PBR, shot of Jameson, and slice of pizza for $8. Ba... read more

Great place for vegan pizza just a quick 15 minute walk away. Vegan slices on Tuesday nights or grab a whole pie any other day. You can always get regular slices. PBJ special (PBR, shot of Jameson,... read more

Pizza and beer. The good stuff, as well. By-the-slice or by-the-pie, this is thin crust exclusively, no Chicago-style deep dish here. Take out available, call ahead. Or wait at the bar while watch... read more

95 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Classic Chicago music venue. Open 7 nights a week with live music every night. Free Mondays always pack out with cheap drinks specials. Early evenings on Friday feature their in house country band.

This is a dive bar and one of the best venues to see live music in the city. It has distinctly punk roots, though they have different kinds of music every night. Monday nights are usually free shows.

The Empty Bottle is a great place to see a live show or get a drink. It is annexed to Bite Cafe, which serves great food all night, and there's a photo booth and a pool table inside. Monday nights,... read more

90 local Airbnb hosts recommend

McCormick Place hosts the Chicago Auto Show as well as most large conventions in town. To arrive here, walk south 2.5 block to 22nd street and catch the #21 bus heading East. Then a 5 minute walk.

The premier convention facility in North America. Located just minutes from downtown Chicago, McCormick Place attracts close to 3 million visitors each year.

Coming in for a convention at McCormick Place? Catch a quick cab or Uber ride, take the CTA bus or walk about 7-8 blocks if you feel like it.

81 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Access 18 miles of the lake, various beaches, trails, and parkland. Take Belmont bus east to Belmont & Sheridan. Walk on Belmont under Lake Shore Drive to trails and Lake Michigan. Unique to Chicag... read more

The Lakefront trail is 18 miles right along Lake Michigan. It is one of our favorite places to ride bikes or walk or simply appreciate being in the city. Along the trail you'll find Chicago's most ... read more

This beautiful trail includes 18 miles of smooth pavement along Lake Michigan connecting all the beaches between the North Side and Downtown. Good for a walk, run, or bike ride, with incredible vi... read more