Budget Travel to Chicago
As of July, 2012, Chicago had a population of over 2.7 million people. The third largest city in the United States.
Some famous people born in Chicago include: Ray Kroc, Walt Disney, Hillary Clinton and Bill Murray.
Chicago is known as the Windy City, and rightfully so. If you plan your trip from late Autumn to mid Spring, you'll see why!
While in Chicago, you’ll pay enough for hotel accommodations and parking, so why not visit some of the city’s attractions that are free to see!
Three of the city’s top attractions offer free admission. Click on the link to visit their web site.
Lincoln Park Zoo - The zoo has special activities surrounding each holiday, including Trick or Treating close to Halloween, and ZooLights before and after Christmas. If you drive around a little, you can also find free parking nearby.
Millennium Park - Don't forget to take a classic photo in the reflection of Cloud Gate, also known as "The Bean". Check their schedule for free Concerts in the Park and shows.
Navy Pier - The Crystal Gardens and Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows are just two of the free and unique sites you can see at Navy Pier. Also, check out the free entertainment in the Family Pavilion or the Bud Light Stage.
This is a list of Chicago's sites and museums, which also offer free admission. Put one or more of these museums on your list when planning your vacation.
- Busy Beaver Button Co. Museum
- Chicago Architecture Foundation
- Chicago Cultural Center
- Chicago Sports Museum
- City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower
- DePaul Art Museum
- Eden Place Nature Center
- Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Museum
- Hyde Park Art Center
- Museum of Contemporary Photography
- National Museum of Mexican Art
- Oriental Institute Museum
- Smart Museum of Art
If you are an Illinois Resident, you can receive Free or Discounted admission to the following museums on their Illinois Resident Discount Days.
For free transportation in Chicago, check out the Navy Pier free trolley. The trolley goes to:
- State Street
- Rush Street
- Michigan Avenue
- St. Clair Street
- Columbus Drive
- McClury Court
- Pesttigo Court
- and Navy Pier
- The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the world.
- The Taste of Chicago, in Grant Park, is the nation's premier outdoor food festival.
- The Chicago Jazz Festival is held in Millennium Park each Labor Day.
Check out Chicago's Calendar of Events Page to find what's free to see during your vacation in Chicago!