11 Most Instagrammable Spots in Chicago

From brightly coloured interactive art galleries to modern architecture and a seriously impressive city skyline, Chicago practically begs to be photographed. Immerse yourself in the 'windy city' by reading our top most Instagrammable spots in Chicago, and get ready to snap away!

The City of Broad Shoulders is filled with popular tourist destinations, but a step off the beaten path can lead you to some interesting and unusual discoveries. Here are just some of the many lesser-known attractions to check out the next time you are in Chicago.

most instagrammable places in Chicago

For a unique, fun day out, check out AmazingCo’s Chicago Insta Worthy Adventure. The self guided experience takes you to a number of the city’s most Instagrammable and photogenic spots (think brightly coloured murals and leafy green parks), while also giving you heaps of information on the areas you’re visiting and photo tips and tricks!

1. Cloud Gate

We couldn’t write a list of Chicago’s most Instagrammable spots without mentioning Cloud Gate. Known also as ‘The Bean’, Cloud Gate is a huge, reflective sculpture made of stainless steel and resembling, as the name suggests, a bean. The sculpture is a hit with tourists due to its reflective appearance (which makes for great warped photos!).

So make sure you get to the attraction early enough to take some pictures without too many people in the way. While getting super close to the Bean enables you to take some fun, warped pictures of your own reflection, make sure to stand back and capture the sculpture in its entirety too.

The Cloud Gate, known colloquially as the bean, is a sculpture by the artist Anish Kapoor that does not leave one indifferent. Visitors feel irretrievably attracted by this brilliant steel creation of 20 m long by 10 high and 110 tons of weight. Its surface reflects the buildings and the people that surround it. Stand below it and see its bulging, shiny belly, sensational giant mirror.

One of Chicago’s most famous attractions is the bean. The colloquial name readily describes the shape of the structure, which stands in Millennium Park. Named Cloud Gate by the artist, the structure is large enough to walk under, and covered with reflective materials, so that it reflects the images of observers.

Because of its shape, the reflections are distorted and sometimes multiplied. Of course, if you go, it is imperative that you stand under the Bean. Only there do you get the best reflections.

2. University of Chicago

It’s time to head back to university! While a place for hitting the books for students and academics alike, the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago makes for some impressive photos due to the building’s unique structure and architecture. The library is shaped like a huge glass dome, and looks magnificent from the outside.

Try capturing the building at twilight, when the dark sky contrasts beautifully with the warm glow of the lights inside the building. For a different vantage point, take a peek inside the building and photograph the high glass dome ceiling from below.

3. Buddy Guy’s Legends

If you’re looking for a blues club, this place is top-notch. The food is delicious, the atmosphere welcoming, and the musicians excellent. There is a cover charge to stay for the show, and no way to make reservations. The music really completes the atmosphere.

4. Yale Building

Nestled within the Englewood neighbourhood of Chicago is the Yale Building, a seven story residential property, constructed in 1892 by architect John T. Long. The building is open to the general public and frequently visited by tourists and photographers alike due to its beauty. The sunlight basked atrium features stark mustard yellow walls and impressive stairways leading to balconies with cascading green hanging vines.

The building has a gentle and peaceful feeling to it, with a trickling fountain giving off a tranquil indoor jungle atmosphere.

5. Muntu Dance Theater

A dance theater that holds its standards for authenticity and credibility, the productions of the Muntu Dance Theater are wonderful. There are different ensembles, including both dancing and drumming ones, and the performances are spectacular.

6. Wndr Museum

Featuring bright, colourful walls and interactive installations, Chicago’s Wndr Museum may as well have been made for Instagram. Self professed ‘immersive art and technology experience’, the museum beckons its visitors to play with and ask questions about the interactive and beautiful art it houses - making for a great day out and impressive photographing opportunity.

From colourful and vibrant neon lit rooms, to dazzling light displays and shimmering mirror balls hanging from the ceiling, Wndr Museum is any Instagrammers dream.

7. Millennium Park

Chicago is home to its fair share of parks and outdoor recreational spaces, none more impressive than Millennium Park. While home to the Bean, the park offers much more than its impressive reflective sculpture, with multiple other public art installations dotted throughout the green, leafy expanse. Millennium Park is also situated just a stone’s throw from the Lake Michigan shoreline, a favourite for professional and budding photographers alike.

Chicago Blues Festival is not only the biggest music festival in Chicago, but also the biggest blues festival in the world. Being a free event, it attracts big stars and a crowd of over 500,000 people. It is a three-day occasion, occurring in five phases in Millennium Park.

8. Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum

Literary fan or not, Ernest Hemingway’s original birth house (now a museum) makes for some pretty pictures. Situated in the leafy Oak Park neighbourhood, the house sits large and proud, adjacent to others of similar charm.

After snapping the house (or even entering the museum for an educational day out), meander through delightful Oak Park Village, where lush green trees make space for quaint independent coffee houses and boutique stores.

9. Chicago Riverwalk

Situated on the banks of the Chicago River lies the Chicago Riverwalk. Here, you’ll find countless bars and restaurants dotted along the pedestrian path, as well as a plethora of photo opportunities. While the looming skyscrapers surrounding the waterway make for excellent pictures, consider stopping for a bite to eat and waiting for the sun to set.

The city lights twinkling in the water exude a shimmering, magical aura, making your photos that much more Instagrammable.

10. The Green Mill

Located in the heart of the Uptown Neighborhood, the Green Mill is a historic jazz club with a notorious past. Al Capone frequented the club, and he even had his own special table facing the door. A tunnel underground was meant to provide a quick escape in the event of a police raid.

Though the tunnel is not open to the public, you can get a spot at Al's table if you arrive early enough. The Green Mill serves cocktails and features live jazz performances to get your feet moving. A quick walk down the street from the club takes you to the famed Riviera theater and several bars and restaurants for even more entertainment options.

11. Pullman Historic District

The Pullman Historic District, now part of the National Parks Service, was once a company town built by railroad car innovator George Pullman. This model community dates back to the late 1800s, and the structures there today are a testament to the breathtaking architecture and style of the past.

A visitor center on the grounds provides access to exhibits about the town's past, and walking tours offer a unique look at the different sites in Pullman. You can also visit the National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum to learn more about the contributions African-American railroad porters made to the shaping of history.

Kalyan Panja