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Sightseeing on a Budget in Chicago

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.

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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details

9 Tours and Activities

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Big Bus Chicago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Big Bus Chicago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

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902
Don’t spend time figuring out what to see in Chicago and how to get there—this hop-on hop-off tour provides a mapped-out itinerary of the city's top sights. With several strategically located stops, the tour allows you to explore the Windy City at your own pace. See the world-class Art Institute and landmark skyscrapers, while audio commentary onboard gives you insight into the city's colorful history.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$26.10
From
$26.10
Taking safety measures

Chicago CityPASS

Chicago CityPASS

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334
Get the most out of your trip to Chicago as you enjoy discount access to five of the city’s top attractions with the CityPASS. This easy-to-use mobile ticket grants you free entry into top-tier sights including the Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago (Opening with reimagined experience in Spring 2021), and the Field Museum plus your choice of admission to 3 of the following attractions: Adler Planetarium, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, and the 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck. Also enjoy a wealth of useful Chicago tips and savings at a variety of other venues and retailers.
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  • 9 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$109.00
From
$109.00

Go City: Chicago Explorer Pass - Choose 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 Attractions

Go City: Chicago Explorer Pass - Choose 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 Attractions

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217
The easiest and most affordable way to explore some of Chicago's top attractions at your own pace, the Chicago Explorer Pass by Go City saves you up to 40 percent off compared to buying individual attraction tickets. Create your own sightseeing itinerary by choosing 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 attractions, tours, and activities from among more than 25 top sites, including SkyDeck, 360 Chicago, the Field Museum, a shoreline sightseeing cruise, a hop-on hop-off Big Bus tour, Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, and LEGOLAND® Discovery Center. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes are valid for two years from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for 60 days and/or the remaining number of attraction choices purchased.
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  • 60 days
From
$59.00
From
$59.00

Chicago Pizza Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Chicago Pizza Tour

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240
Enjoy Chicago’s only bus guided neighborhood pizza tour.  Eat like a local as you travel off the beaten path into Chicago neighborhoods to savor the best pizza.  Your local guide will teach you the science behind ingredient selection and baking as you sample slices from historic pizzerias.  In just a few hours, you’ll leave stuffed, and with an understanding of why pizza is such an important part of Chicago’s culture.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.00
From
$60.00
Taking safety measures

Chicago Favorites Ultimate Food & Walking Tour

Chicago Favorites Ultimate Food & Walking Tour

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284
Stroll through downtown Chicago on this walking food tour. Visit Millennium Park, the Palmer House Hotel and other city landmarks. Taste quintessential Chicago foods such as deep-dish pizza, hot dogs, plus chocolates and pastry. All food tastings are included, and the tour covers an easy 1.5 miles (2.4 km) suitable for most fitness levels. Upgrade your tour to include three pours of local craft beer.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.99
From
$69.99
Taking safety measures

Famous Tastes of Chicago Food Tour

Famous Tastes of Chicago Food Tour

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153
Discover Chicago’s food, history, architecture and culture on this 3-hour, small-group walking tour. Try six of the Windy City’s quintessential staples from local restaurants and specialty food shops like Pizano’s Pizza and the Berghoff, the oldest family run-establishment in Chicago. Taste local favorites including deep-dish pizza,  Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich and chocolates from Fannie May, just to name a few. Along the way, see and learn about the historical, cultural and architectural components that make up this legendary town.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$70.00
From
$70.00

Field Museum of Natural History Admission Tickets

Field Museum of Natural History Admission Tickets

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149
Delve deep into the world of natural history with this Field Museum admission ticket in Chicago. Spend as long as you like exploring the museum's collection of more than 26 million artifacts. Get to know SUE, the world's largest T. Rex, or stroll through the sparkling Hall of Gems. Time travel through 13,000 years of history in the Americas, from the Ice Age to Inca and Aztec temples. Take advantage of the free daily tours, led by Field Museum docents.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$26.00
From
$26.00
Taking safety measures

Go City: Chicago All-Inclusive Pass with 25+ Attractions

Go City: Chicago All-Inclusive Pass with 25+ Attractions

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Enjoy admission to more than 25 of Chicago's most popular attractions with Go City's All-Inclusive Pass. Enjoy the freedom to create your own itinerary and save far more than if you were to purchase individual attraction tickets. Take a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the Windy City, admire the stunning views from SkyDeck Chicago, discover fascinating creatures at Shedd Aquarium, and much more. You can visit as many attractions as you like over the course of 1, 2, 3 or 5 days. Save your pass, available as your 'ticket' after purchase, on your mobile device; don't waste time redeeming vouchers. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes are valid for two years from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for the number of remaining consecutive days purchased.
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  • 1 to 5 days
From
$95.00
From
$95.00

Bike Tour of Chicago's Lakefront Neighborhoods

Bike Tour of Chicago's Lakefront Neighborhoods

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148
Pedal past the lakefront neighborhoods of Chicago's North Side on this bike tour of the Windy City. Follow a local guide along quiet streets, city parks and scenic beaches, starting at Lake Shore Drive and continuing along Rush Street and the Magnificent Mile. Catch a glimpse of the Playboy Mansion, Oprah’s penthouse and the Victorian houses of Old Town. Select from several departure times in the morning or afternoon.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$49.99
From
$49.99
Taking safety measures