Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago

Located in the Loop, the heart of Chicago, Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago, the city's most famous museum, are not to be missed.

They contribute to the city's international reputation and its urban and artistic renewal.

These two must-sees are complementary and require at least a day's visit.

So, after an enriching discovery of this fabulous museum, there's nothing more pleasant than being in the vast park.

Admire the works of art outside in the sublime urban setting of this surprising city.

The Cloud Gate in Chicago's Millennium Park

The Cloud Gate in Chicago's Millennium Park

- © Luis Boucault / Shutterstock

The heart of Chicago

These two major centres of interest are located in the Loop district. This is the nerve centre of Chicago. You can schedule these visits for the same day.

That way, you can combine a visit indoors with the pleasure of strolling outside. There's nothing nicer than taking time out in a garden in the middle of the city...

Millennium Park, a redeveloped park that has become a symbol of the city

It's not really the park that has become the symbol of Chicago. In fact, it's the sculpture it houses that's been the talk of the town.

The Cloud Gate, by sculptor Anish Kapoor, is instantly recognisable. It has become an inseparable part of the city.

Also known as 'The Bean', this work of art blends in perfectly with the park.

Millenium Park in Chicago

Millenium Park in Chicago

- © Creative Family / Shutterstock

Completely redesigned and redeveloped to mark the year 2000, Millennium Park occupies the north-western part of the vast Grant Park.

The park opened in 2004 and has been a magnet for photographers ever since. Nothing is more photogenic than the stunning contrast between the garden and the glass, concrete and steel buildings.

The Pritzker Pavilion is a bandstand built by the famous architect Frank Gehry.

In winter, Millenium Park is also home to an ice rink, to the delight of young and old alike.

The Art Institute of Chicago, admire art in the second largest museum in the United States

This was one of the first art academies founded in the United States (as early as 1866).

Quite simply, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the richest museums in the world! It's a magical place, perfect for those who love art in all its forms.

Entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago

Entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago

- © MaxyM / Shutterstock

The building housing the collection is colossal, as is the wealth of its holdings. With more than 250,000 works, it is possible to discover an infinite variety of cultures.

All fields of art are on display, with an obvious penchant for modern art.

The collection of paintings is staggering. Impressionism, post-impressionism and surrealism are the art movements best represented.

Among the masterpieces on offer are Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, Grant Wood's American Gothic and Van Gogh's Chambre à Arles,

Sculpture, furniture and collections of Asian art complete this collection of works of art. Allow plenty of time - a minimum of 3 hours for a first approach.

Where to stay near Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago?

A 4 star hotel ideally located in the heart of Chicago. As an added bonus, the Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park are within walking distance of the hotel.

Restaurant, bar, fitness centre and car park complete the list of services offered by the hotel.

Keep an eye out for special offers, as double rooms are sometimes available for less than €200 per night for two people.

Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown Chicago

Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown

Contemporary design hotel close to Millennium Park and the Underground.
8.7 Superb
£186 / night

Practical information

👉 When should you go to Chicago to discover Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago?

You can come all year round. Temporary exhibitions are held at the Art Institute (programme on the museum website).

In winter, there is an ice rink in Millennium Park. Spring and summer are festival seasons. Amphitheatres and bandstands liven up this part of the city.

How do I get to Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago?

The area is very well served and linked to the rest of the city, particularly by public transport.

There is an efficient network of train, metro and bus services.

There are preferential fares for getting around this part of the city. The Chicago Transit Authority coordinates the bus and metro networks.

Several underground car parks complete the range of options for accessing these major tourist sites.

👉 Admission and opening times :

  • Art Institute of Chicago open every day from 10.30am to 5pm, closing later on Thursdays until 8pm. Admission charge, reduced rate for children.

  • Millennium Park open daily from 6am to 11pm. Free admission, many shows in summer, some may be ticketed.

by Jude JONES
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