15 Most Instagrammable Places in Chicago to Spice Up Your Feed
Almost 50 million #chicago hashtags make it quite evident that there is no shortage of Instagram-worthy places in Chicago. The truth is that Chicago is one of the most Instagrammable places on earth. The city was named the world’s 10th most Instagrammable place in a recent study by Big 7 Travel.
In short, Chicago is one big playground for Instagrammers and photographers. There are many contenders for the best Instagram spots in Chicago – from famous photo-worthy landmarks like Cloud Gate aka “The Bean” and Buckingham Fountain to North Avenue Beach.
Trendy restaurants and cafés like Hampton Social or Beatnik are adding to the number of Instagram-worthy places in Chicago.
Some of the top hashtags to accompany images of the most Instagrammable places in Chicago include:
Here are 15 of the top Chicago Instagram spots you can’t miss:
1. Cloud Gate aka “The Bean”
Cloud Gate, more affectionately known as “the Bean” has a place at the top of most lists of Instagrammable places in Chicago.
The public sculpture by Sir Anish Kapoor, a British-born Indian artist, was unveiled on the AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in 2004.
The sculpture was inspired by liquid mercury and nicknamed The Bean because of its shape. A very large bean at that – measuring 66-feet long and 33-feet high. The steel form is made up of 168 steel plates weighing in at 100 tons.
Tip: For the most Instagram-worthy picture of The Bean, it’s best to visit shortly after daybreak when most of the city is still sleeping. The reflection of Chicago’s famous skyline in the early light makes the effort worth it.
Address: 201 E. Randolph St., between Michigan Ave & Columbus Ave Chicago, IL 60602
The historic Chicago Theatre with its colorful neon sign is the perfect backdrop for a photo that says “I’m in the Windy City”.
As far as Chicago Instagram spots go, this is an iconic one. The distinctive theatre marquee with the Y-shaped design behind the word Chicago has become the unofficial emblem of the city.
Built in the Neo-Baroque French-revival style in 1921, the theatre in the Loop area was originally known as the Balaban and Katz Chicago Theatre. With 3,880 seats, it was the largest and grandest “movie palace” of its time and promoted as the “Wonder Theatre of the World”. It’s seven stories tall and takes up almost half a city block.
Tip: Remember to keep the traffic in mind when planning the perfect Instagram shot in front of the Chicago Theatre. Try to avoid the time between 12 a.m. and 2 p.m..
Address: 175 North State St., Chicago, IL 60601
As one of the largest fountains in the world, the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain in Grant Park certainly belongs on the list of most Instagrammable places in Chicago.
The ornamental fountain is a designated Chicago landmark and played a role in the inclusion of Grant Park in the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed and built in the mid-1920s with money donated by art collector and philanthropist Kate Buckingham.
Buckingham Fountain’s rococo wedding cake design style, visible in the pink Georgia marble, granite elements, and bronze sculptures, is what makes it one of the best Instagram spots in Chicago.
Tip: The fountain runs daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. between early May and mid-October with a major water display lasting for 20 minutes every hour. The first one is at 9 a.m. and the last one at 10:35 p.m.
Address: 301 S Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
4. Michigan Avenue Bridge Viewpoint
Another famous Instagram spot in Chicago is the Michigan Avenue Bridge viewpoint. Officially known as the Du Sable Bridge since 2010, this river crossing links Chicago’s north and south sides.
The bridge with its Parisian flair was built in 1920. Some of Chicago’s most famous buildings have sprung up around it, providing an iconic backdrop for your Instagram snap.
Look out for the bas-relief sculptures on the four bridge houses for a mini-history lesson about Chicago. One depicts the arrival of French explorers James Marquette and Louis Joliet and one the first settlers, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable and John Kinzie. The others tell the stories of the Battle of Fort Dearborn and the bridge’s rebuilding after the Chicago Fire of 1871.
Tip: If you’re not a local, this viewpoint can be harder to find than the other Instagram-worthy places in Chicago. Enter 400 North Michigan Avenue in Google maps and it will take you right to it.
Address: North Michigan Avenue & East Wacker Drive, Chicago
Recent developments on the south bank of the Chicago River from Lake Street to Lake Michigan have turned this into one of the most Instagrammable places in Chicago.
The Chicago Riverwalk is 1.25 miles long and offers beautiful views of the moving water surrounded by world-class architecture. There are four distinct districts: the Confluence, the Arcade, the Civic, and the Esplanade.
Bars, cafes, and restaurants provide welcome refreshments while there is enough nature left to enjoy in the small parks. Or you can rent a boat or kayak to take it all in from the river. Don’t forget to visit the Vietnam War Memorial near Upper Wacker Drive.
Tip: The sculptural staircase that links Upper Wacker Drive and the Riverwalk near the River Theater is a great Chicago Instagram spot. There is also a place to sit under the trees for peaceful views.
Address: 376 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago IL 60601
If you’re out to have fun and post about it on Instagram, Navy Pier is the place to be in Chicago.
Stretching into Lake Michigan, this year-round destination for entertainment-seekers was completed in 1916. It served as a temporary home for military personnel during WWI and WWII.
Today, you can expect firework displays, live music, rides and games, a Centennial Wheel, cruises, and art exhibitions on a visit to Navy Pier. There is no admission fee, although individual attractions may charge fees.
Tip: Make sure to have your picture taken at the following Instagram-worthy places in Chicago’s Navy Pier development – the Centennial Wheel, the Offshore Rooftop and Bar, the top floors of West Garage, inside Crystal Gardens, and along the Wave Wall.
Address: 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago IL 60611
A beach with a city skyline in the background – just another reason why there is no shortage of Instagrammable places in Chicago.
North Avenue Beach in Lincoln Park is one of the city’s most popular beaches. The lakefront trail attracts active lovers of the outdoors, from runners and walkers to bikers and rollerbladers. Families also love spending time on the beach where free sand pails keep kids busy.
Make time to explore the unique Art Moderne style North Avenue Beach House that emulates a lake ship. The upper decks and portholes offer some of the best views of the city skyline.
Tip: For the most striking Instagram shot, visit North Avenue Beach right before sunset when it’s bathed in golden light.
Address: 1601 N. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60611
8. Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo
Instagrammers are flocking to the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. The main attraction is the zoo’s pavilion, dubbed the honeycomb, which perfectly frames the city skyline.
Besides being one of the best Instagram spots in Chicago, the Nature Boardwalk is also a living laboratory for the city’s Urban Wildlife Institute. While scientists study the birds, insects, fish, frogs, turtles, and other wildlife, ordinary visitors can simply enjoy the green oasis in the heart of the city.
The famous pavilion is meant to provide shelter for open-air classes. However, the tortoiseshell design consisting of interconnected fiberglass pods is perfectly framing the city skyline to make it one of the most Instagram-worthy places in Chicago.
Tip: The Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo is open 365 days a year and entrance is always free.
Address: 2121 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL 60614
Not a strip of the coast as the name suggests, but a prestigious Chicago neighborhood filled with architectural gems. Walking through the streets of the Gold Coast will present you with plenty of Chicago Instagram spots to boost your feed.
Gold Coast is defined by stately homes on the shores of Lake Michigan – from vintage row houses to high-rise apartment buildings. Potter Palmer, a wealthy Chicago businessman, was the first to build a lakefront mansion here in the late 1800s. The rest of the rich and famous soon followed suit.
Tip: Stroll down tree-lined East Oak, North Rush, and North Clark Street to find some of the best Instagram spots in Chicago. There are plenty of trendy restaurants and shop fronts around Mariano Park to provide a great background.
Address: Roughly bounded by North Avenue, Lake Shore Drive, Oak Street, and Clark Street.
10. Milton Lee Olive Park
Milton Lee Olive Park is another of the Instagrammable places in Chicago that offers a combination of nature, water, and city views.
The most popular spot in Olive Park for Instagrammers, especially at sunset, is the cantilevered deck that extends over Lake Michigan. The black granite benches and stainless steel railing make for great props.
After entering the park, a wide lane of honey locust trees lead to the lakeshore. They provide a nice contrast to Chicago’s architectural background. Also, look out for a series of five circular fountains which are connected by diagonal walks.
Tip: Combine your photoshoot at Milton Lee Olive Park with a visit to the Navy Pier, that other fun Chicago Instagram spot. The two are only a few minutes’ walk apart.
Address: E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611
As an extension of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, it’s not surprising that Nichols Bridgeway is one of the most Instagram-worthy places in Chicago.
The aesthetically pleasing pedestrian bridge rises over the Lurie Gardens to connect Millennium Park to the West Pavilion on the third floor of the Art Institute’s Modern Wing.
From various locations on Nichols Bridgeway, you have great views of the park, the city skyline, and Lake Michigan. The view down E Monroe Street is particularly Instagrammable.
Tip: If you like the effect of night photography, this is a nice spot for long-time exposure shots. The lights of cars and skyscrapers offer an enchanting background.
Address: Nichols Bridgeway, Chicago, IL 60601. The bridge begins at the Great Lawn of Millennium Park, crosses over Monroe Street, and connects to the third floor of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.
A rooftop bar that was recently voted second best in a nationwide survey, must surely be Instagram-worthy. Only the POV Rooftop Bar & Restaurant in Washington DC is ranked higher than the LondonHouse Bar in Big 7 Travel’s list of 25 best rooftop bars in the US.
Instagram-loving guests adore the views of the Chicago River, Lake Michigan, and the Magnificent Mile from the tri-level bar atop Chicago’s LondonHouse.
The iconic 1923 building was known as one of the “Big Four” around the former Michigan Avenue Bridge when it was the headquarters of London Guarantee & Accident. Today, a modern 22 story all-glass tower addition has transformed it into one of Chicago’s most sought-after hotels.
Tip: Make use of the glass railing on the 22nd floor LondonHouse Rooftop Bar to ensure no part of the river view is left out when you take your Instagram photo.
Address: 85 East Wacker Drive At, N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601
Once a drama, music, and paint club for the Gold Coast’s rich housewives, the 3 Arts Club Café is in the beautiful atrium of a century-old building that is now the flagship store for Restoration Hardware.
Plenty of natural light, a central water fountain, olive trees, and an enormous crystal chandelier are what make this such an iconic Instagram spot in Chicago.
Delicious Mediterranean and Northern California-inspired cuisine complete the 3 Arts Club Café experience. And even if you don’t plan to shop, it won’t do you any harm to wander through one of the US’ fanciest furniture stores when you’re done.
Tip: There are two reasons to get to the 3 Arts Club Café early – one is to set up your perfect Instagram shot and the other is to find a table before it gets too busy.
Address: 1300 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60610
It will be hard to find a trendier riverfront spot in Chicago than Beatnik On The River – a boho-chic café/restaurant where you can laze around drinking cocktails on Indonesian daybeds.
Inspired by writers and artists of the 1950s and 60s Beat Generation, the restaurant’s décor offers plenty of bright colors, plants, and bohemian touches that are contributing to making it one of the most Instagrammable places in Chicago.
The setting can easily trick you into thinking you’re on an oasis in the middle of the Chicago River.
Tip: Order one of Beatnik On The River’s colorful cocktails to add some real tropical vibes to your Instagram feed.
Address: 180 N Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606
Fancy drinking Rosé all day? Even if you don’t, you’ve got to have at least one glass in the Rosé All Day Lounge of The Hampton Social’s flagship restaurant in the bustling River North neighborhood.
The restaurant’s “Rosé All Day” sign is now one of the most popular Instagram spots in Chicago. But it’s not the only thing that makes The Hampton Social Instagrammable. There are also airy, summery interior, coastal-inspired food, and fabulous cocktails.
Try to visit before or after lunch If you want to snap yourself in front of the sign without a waiter or another guest photo bombing the shot.
Tip: There are two Hampton Social locations in Chicago featuring the Instagrammable Rosé All Day sign. If you can’t make it to the River North location, try the one in Streeterville.
Address: 353 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
Have you visited any of those Instagrammable Places in Chicago? Would you add anything to the list? Comment Below!