The Best Instagram Spots in Chicago

Glass balcony Skydeck Chicago

The Best Instagram Spots in Chicago

The city of Chicago in Illinois (USA) is really stunning and photogenic! After spending 2 weeks in the Windy City (the nickname of Chicago), I had the opportunity to capture the most beautiful places! Therefore I am sharing with you here the Best Instagram spots in Chicago! I am giving you all the best places to take photos in Chicago, including the famous landmarks, murals and much more! For sure you will be able to take gorgeous pictures in this amazing city!

First of all the city offers fantastic skyline views. The architecture here is stunning! I am providing you all the best places to capture the skyscrapers. The Chicago river running through the city is also adding a lot to the scenery. Last but not least, some places like the Bean or the Skydeck are really unique and will surprise you! Read below to discover the most instagrammable places in Chicago!

The most famous landmark of Chicago is Cloud Gate. This sculpture is nicknamed The Bean because of its shape as you can see! It’s pretty cool to capture it because of the reflection: you can see the skyline of Chicago inside it!

It’s so photogenic under every angles that I couldn’t resist to take a ton of pictures there!!

Best moment of the day to take photos there: definitely early morning at sunrise. Firstly, you will get the opportunity to capture the reflection of the sun rising on the surface of The Bean. You will see it’s pretty epic! Secondly, being one of Chicago’s most popular sights, Cloud Gate gets very crowded during the day. Being there early will ensure you to avoid the crowd.

Location: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602

The Skydeck

On the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower you will find the Skydeck. This is the highest observation deck in the United States and one of a kind Instagram spot!

Up there you will have the incredible opportunity to stand in The Ledge: 4 glass balconies, which extend approximately 1.2 m (4.3 feet) from the façade at 410 meters (1,353 feet) in the air. When you are inside, you can see the streets below and unbeatable views of the city and beyond. It is very impressive and will create stunning pictures for your Instagram!

Best moment of the day to take photos there and photo tips:

  • Be there just before it opens to be one of the first to enter, or 1h prior to closing.
  • Better to come during weekdays if you can as they are less crowded.
  • Be aware that sunsets from here are beautiful but also popular!
  • FYI tripods are not allowed but Skydeck employees are available to help you take your best photo, with your camera or theirs.
  • If you are afraid of heights, this might be a challenge. But you will not regret it!
  • If you come during a busy moment, just be patient and wait for your turn in the glass balcony. You can have a short moment to take a photo alone.

 

Location: Willis Tower, 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606

Entrance info:

  • The entrance of the Skydeck is available with the CityPass, and this will allow you to skip the queue!
  • Admission: Adult – Ages 12 and up $25.00, Youth – Ages 3 to 11 $17.00, Children under 3 are free.

North Avenue Beach

North Avenue Beach is one of the most popular beaches of Chicago. It is the perfect place to relax, to stroll, to workout and to take pretty cool photos for your Instagram!

First of all, this is the best spot to capture the skyline of Chicago! My favorite place for it is at the end of the jetty. Second of all, you can take your photos in the sand: it can be interesting depending on the kind of pictures you want to take!

Best moment of the day to take photos there: at sunset, at blue hour, or at night as the skyline is illuminated.

Location: 1600 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 606

More info here: Beaches of Chicago

The Wrigley Building

To my point of view, the most beautiful building of Chicago is the Wrigley building! This skyscraper was built in the 1920’s to house the corporate headquarters of the Wrigley Company.

The first time I saw this amazing building I was in awe: the intricate details are so unique!

Best moment of the day to take pictures here: it can get very busy during the day as locals are on their way to work or their daily duties. Therefore I recommend to go there early morning.

Location: 400-410 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

The Riverwalk

One of the things I like the most about Chicago is the presence of the river. The Chicago River has an amazing emerald color and will look great on your Instagram pictures! A great place to capture the beautiful river and the architecture of the city is The Riverwalk.

Location: The Chicago Riverwalk is an open, pedestrian waterfront located on the south bank of the main branch of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago.

Best moment of the day to take pictures there: It’s open from 6am to 11pm. You will have plenty of opportunities to take your photos during that time frame as there is no crowd here!

Murals

Chicago is one of those cities where you can find a lot of murals! There are not a lot of those in the cities of Europe compared to the US and I was so happy to be able to take some photos here! This kind of street art is very trendy!

Locations: here is a list of some of the best murals in town

  • Flamingo mural: side wall of the Flamingo Rum Club  601 N. Wells Street (it has been replaced now by another mural named “the songbird bird mural”)
  • Angel wings mural: side wall of Federales, a Mexican restaurant located 1009 W Lake St in West Loop
  • Spiral mural: 925 W Randolph right behind Nonna’s Pizza & Sandwiches
  • Tropical mural of Maison Marcel: Lincoln Park window located 2008 North Halsted (Rear) Chicago IL 60614. It’s a French bakery: grab something to eat at the same time!
  • Chicago mural: 2236 N. Milwaukee Ave in Bucktown  (it’s a parking lot so it can be difficult to capture because of the cars)
  • Butterfly mural: 2912 N Milwaukee Avenue
  • Chicago wings mural: Old Orchard mall in Skokie.
  • Floral mural: 4905 Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie
  • Tropical mural of Eden in Chicago: 1748 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60612 (New American cuisine restaurant)
  • Multicolor geometric mural:3358 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL (Lakeview)

Best moment of the day to take pictures there: any time of the day would be ok. Murals are usually not located in touristy or busy places. Just pay attention to the light as it can create shadows that you would not want in your pictures.

The Chicago Theater

The beautiful Chicago Theatre, originally known as the Balaban and Katz Chicago Theatre was built in 1921. It is so photogenic that it appears frequently in film and on television.

The old school style marquee is really cool and will bring a great background for your Instagram pictures!

Best time of the day to take your pictures: preferably when there is not too much traffic, but I managed to take my photos there in the middle of the afternoon.

Location: 175 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

Olive Park

Olive Park close to Ohio Street Beach is a great place to stroll, workout, or to bike.

The park will grant you with an amazing view on the skyline of Chicago and Lake Michigan! Therefore it’s a very popular spot for photoshoots and it will allow you to create beautiful Instagram photos.

Best time of the day to take pictures here: you can come at any time of the day but it is definitely perfect at sunset!

Location: E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611

The Honeycomb

The Honeycomb is a super cool wood pavilion is located in Lincoln Park Zoo Nature Boardwalk. It looks like a honeycomb but has been designed after the tortoise shell. The structure faces south directly towards downtown and provides a nice view of skyline through its arch!

Best time of the day to take pictures there: If the tourists do not go there that much, it’s one of the favorite places of the local for photoshoots. I went there in the middle of the afternoon and we had to be patient to take our photos in between all the wedding photoshoots! Better to come as early as possible!

Location: Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, 2121 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL 60614

The bridges in downtown Chicago

There is something about those riveted bridges in Chicago that I really love! It is probably their industrial style and the fact that they are somehow bringing me back 2 centuries ago!

Locations: Here below is a list of the ones I have captured for my Instagram. They are all photogenic in downtown!

  • Du Sable Bridge: 333 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601
  • Franklin-Orleans Bridge: 307 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60606
  • State Bridge: 229 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

 

Best time of the day to take pictures here: at sunrise for sure! In fact it will be less crowded and the light is just gorgeous!

Bahai Temple

This very unique temple is Bahá’í House of Worship (or Bahá’í Temple). It is located in Wilmette, close to Chicago.This temple has been built to reflect oneness for humanity and to be a gathering place where people of all religions may worship God without denominational restrictions.

Many intricate details are carved into the concrete, which makes this building very special and beyond beautiful!! I find it truly mesmerizing: an architecture masterpiece! If you are looking for something different and original for your Instagram photos (and of course to admire the architecture and/or for religious purposes) it will be interesting for you to drive to this Bahá’í temple.

Location: 100 Linden Ave, Wilmette, IL 60091 – It is around 40 min drive from Chicago

Best time of the day to take pictures here: I went there in the morning and it was very quiet. Because this place is a house of worship I would recommend you to be quick for your photos and respect the place.

Indian Temple

This is the amazing BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir: an Indian temple surprisingly located in the Chicago suburb of Bartlett!

This is the kind of place where you can stare at the intricate details for hours: a feast for the eyes! This magnificent temple is truly photogenic!

Location: 1851 S IL Route 59 Pramukh Swami Rd, Bartlett, IL 60103-3008. You have to drive around 1h from Chicago.

Best time of the day to take pictures here: I have to be honest with you, there is no right time to take pictures here as they do not allow “professional pictures”. You will have to be very fast not to be noticed. The guard checking the cars at the entrance kindly asked us to stop after a little while (I guess we took too much time as we were too perfectionist!). If you take touristy pictures, pictures with an Iphone or architecture pictures with no model inside you won’t have any issue.

I hope you loved the Best Instagram Spots in Chicago! The city is full of gems and deserved to be captured! Which one did you prefer?

Do not hesitate to ask me any questions!

If you are visiting Chicago, take a look at my other articles:

Save it for later on Pinterest!

About Me

Hello! I am Ophélie, an avid traveller, photographer and foodista. I am French and I live in Paris.

This blog, will give you all my secrets: my best addresses (sightseeing and food) all around the world and in Paris, and my travel and lifestyle tips!

 

Let’s keep in touch!

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51 Comments
  • Lina
    Posted at 11:50h, 21 November Reply

    I was in Chicago 3 years ago and loved it! It really is such a cool city with so many cool photo spots. My favorite is North Avenue Beach – the skyline view from there is just the best!!!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:19h, 22 November Reply

      I love the views we get from North Avenue Beach Alina! It’s so nice to have a big city so close to the water!

  • Ketki
    Posted at 12:03h, 21 November Reply

    I would have been terrified of being photographed at that SkyDeck! But all the other locations look so amazing which are complimented with your beautiful outfits. Great post.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:21h, 22 November Reply

      The Skydeck is impressive indeed but it’s very safe up there and the views are breathtaking Ketki! Thank you and I hope you will visit Chicago one day!

  • Amber
    Posted at 12:22h, 21 November Reply

    Oh my gosh! Those photos are stunning! I also had no idea that Chicago was so beautiful!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:21h, 22 November Reply

      I was in awe all the time I was there Amber! This city is really stunning with the architecture, the Chicago river and lake Michigan!

  • Tania M
    Posted at 12:27h, 21 November Reply

    I need to go back to Chicago after seeing your photos. They are stunning. The architecture around the city is amazing.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:22h, 22 November Reply

      I was so impressed by the skyscrapers in Chicago Tania! I know I would love to go back there too!

  • Krista
    Posted at 13:10h, 21 November Reply

    Definitely going to make a point of visiting these spots when I get to Chicago! Love all of your dresses as well – so pretty!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:24h, 22 November Reply

      Glad you enjoyed all the places I have shared from Chicago Krista! This city has so much to offer!

  • Léa
    Posted at 13:31h, 21 November Reply

    I sooo want to go to Chicago and even more now after seeing your wonderful pictures!! Such a cool and photogenic city, especially for architecture lovers like me!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:24h, 22 November Reply

      Chicago is so photogenic Léa! This city took my heart and I hope you can visit it too!

  • Patri
    Posted at 14:28h, 21 November Reply

    I have never been to Chicago but after coming upon many Instagram posts of the Bean and the beautiful architecture I decided to add it to my US bucket list. What I didn’t know is that the city has so much more to offer and is indeed full of unique spots. Love it! Thanks for sharing.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:25h, 22 November Reply

      So good to read that you already put Chicago on your bucket list Patri! You will love visiting it! Do not hesitate to take a look at my other articles about Chicago if you go there 😉

  • Emily
    Posted at 15:30h, 21 November Reply

    Chicago is such a beautiful city! I love everything, from the skyline to the street art. This is a wonderful set of photos, perfect travel inspiration 🙂

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:58h, 22 November Reply

      I loved Chicago and I am glad you could see how amazing it is by reading the article Emily!

  • Jiayi Wang
    Posted at 16:16h, 21 November Reply

    So many beautiful places in Chicago!! Love love love the murals especially, and I didn’t even know they had an Indian temple! We have one here in London too which looks very similar to it 🙂 Loved discovering this city through you!!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 12:01h, 22 November Reply

      Chicago is full of treasures Jiayi! Oh yes I have seen some pictures of the Indian temple in London. I think there are several Indian BAPS temples in the world built on the same model!

  • Albi
    Posted at 16:36h, 21 November Reply

    Chicago suddenly seems so picturesque so many amazing places, I would never know!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 12:02h, 22 November Reply

      I am so happy you realized how stunning Chicago is by reading this blogpost Albi! I can only recommend to visit this beautiful city!

  • Marguerite
    Posted at 16:46h, 21 November Reply

    Oh wow, you pictures really do make it seems like Chicago is a very instagrammable city 🙂 I had no idea there was such variety in architecture and landscapes!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:30h, 23 November Reply

      It was a great surprise for me too Marguerite! And it was love at first sight with this amazing city!

  • Simona
    Posted at 18:36h, 21 November Reply

    When I came across this article I thought wooow such beautiful photos, but they look familiar. Then I realised I follow you on IG and I saw these photos there 🙂 Great article, thanks for the inspiration <3

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:31h, 23 November Reply

      Oh yes it’s so funny to see that the blogging and Instagram worlds are so close to each other! Thank you for your feedback Simona <3!

  • A Capone Connection
    Posted at 19:30h, 21 November Reply

    I have never been to Chicago, but recently it has been on my radar when I saw the skydeck. Thank you for this very conclusive list. I would love to do all of the things you mentioned. I’m saving this for when I am able to get there!!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:32h, 23 November Reply

      The Skydeck is one of the highlight of my trip to Chicago Andrea! I am sure you will love this city!

  • Marcella
    Posted at 21:28h, 21 November Reply

    I have never been to Chicago and never really looked into it but I must say that your photos are very inspiring!
    Thanks for having this surface to my potential destinations. I now know where to go for the best shots!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:33h, 23 November Reply

      I am glad that you discovered this beautiful city with me Marcella! Chicago deserves a visit!

  • Nancy Hann
    Posted at 21:33h, 21 November Reply

    Gorgeous shots! Thanks for sharing all the inspiration.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:33h, 23 November Reply

      You are so welcome Nancy! I love to share the best places in the world and Chicago is part of them!

  • Nina Kogej
    Posted at 21:43h, 21 November Reply

    Oh wow, so many great places to catch the perfect travel photo in Chicago. 🙂

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:34h, 23 November Reply

      I did my best to share a ton of pretty spots Nina! Chicago is so stunning!

  • Kelly
    Posted at 23:17h, 21 November Reply

    Incredibly photos as always! I had no idea there were so many stunning photo spots in Chicago. Would love to visit the Indian temple and check our the skydeck abd the bean. Thanks for sharing.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:35h, 23 November Reply

      Thank you for the compliment Kelly! The Indian temple is magnificent and the views from the Skydeck are fantastic! Great choices!

  • Sarah
    Posted at 00:15h, 22 November Reply

    Gorgeous photography!! Can’t wait to visit some of these spots myself!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:35h, 23 November Reply

      Chicago is fabulous Sarah, I am sure you will enjoy visiting this city!

  • Paula Martinelli
    Posted at 01:24h, 22 November Reply

    Gorgeous pictures!!! So inspiring and I cannot believe I haven’t been to Chicago yet. You showed a beauty that I have never seen before, especially the ones at the Skydeck – they are just WOW!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:36h, 23 November Reply

      The views from the Skydeck are so exceptional Paula! Hopefully you will go visit Chicago soon!

  • roshni
    Posted at 01:58h, 22 November Reply

    omg the murals would be my first spot! they look amazing and so varied!!!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:37h, 23 November Reply

      There are so many cool murals in Chicago Roshni!

  • Charlotte
    Posted at 03:15h, 22 November Reply

    Wow what a great guide and so many beautiful photos! My two favorites are the one in front of the Chicago Theatre and the one on the stairs in front of the Bahai Temple. Stunning!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:37h, 23 November Reply

      Thank you Charlotte! I love the vintage style of the theater in Chicago! And the Bahai Temple was seriously impressive!

  • Taylor
    Posted at 03:18h, 22 November Reply

    All of these spots look amazing in Chicago! I seriously need to go back sometime soon. I was there a few years ago, but for work, so I couldn’t fully enjoy it. You inspired me! 🙂

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:38h, 23 November Reply

      It’s good to know that you want to go again now Taylor! Chicago is also for me the kind of cities I would love to return to!

  • Sam
    Posted at 06:28h, 22 November Reply

    These spots look so incredible! Chicago has been on my list for a while and this guide will deff come in handy when I make it there! Thanks so much for sharing it!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:39h, 23 November Reply

      So great to know that this article will be helpful for you Sam! You will adore Chicago!

  • Cosette
    Posted at 06:43h, 22 November Reply

    That skydeck and those temples! Beautiful photos as usuall. Added some more things to my Chicago list for once I get to visit.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:40h, 23 November Reply

      I was also in awe at the Skydeck in Chicago Cosette! and the temples are so special: they really deserve a visit!

  • jade
    Posted at 08:04h, 22 November Reply

    I always enjoy your posts, your photos are phenomenal! I never thought of Chicago of being that photographic (granted, I’ve never been there!) so this was very surprising. The Indian temple looks like something you for sure wouldn’t find in an American city. Thanks for sharing!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 11:41h, 23 November Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind comment Jade! Chicago is full of surprises as you can see! Maybe you will go there soon!

  • Helena
    Posted at 22:21h, 22 November Reply

    I cannot believe those beautiful temples are right there in Chicago, how stunning! I have family in Chicago so I definitely need to go back and use your amazing guide to visit some of these places!

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