21 Oct 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!
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Cloud Gate AKA The Bean
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! And of course it’s the number 1 of the most instagrammable places in Chicago!
My secret tip for the best moment of the day to take photos there: definitely come 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: Cloud Gate
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 best photo spot in Chicago!
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 my secret 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.
- 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!
My secret tip about the best moment of the day to take photos there: at sunset, at blue hour, or at night as the skyline is illuminated.
Location: North Avenue Beach
More info here: Beaches of Chicago
The Wrigley Building
To my opinion, 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! This is why I ranked it in the best photo spots in Chicago!
My secret tip: 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: the Wrigley Building
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.
My secret tip: 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!
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 – some of the most instagrammable spots in Chicago
- 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 and of course it’s one of the best places to capture in Chicago!
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: Chicago Theater
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.
My secret tip: you can come at any time of the day but it is definitely much better at sunset!
Location: Olive Park
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! You will find the Honeycomb very unique and picturesque: an amazing photo spot in Chicago!
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 locals 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
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! You should check them out: some of the best places to see and to capture in Chicago!
Locations: Here below is a list of the ones I have captured for my Instagram. They are all photogenic in downtown!
My secret tip: come here at sunrise to take the best photos! In fact it will be less crowded and the light is just gorgeous!
The unique temple Bahá’í House of Worship (or Bahá’í Temple) 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, it will be interesting for you to drive to this Bahá’í temple. And of course on top of admiring the architecture you can come here for religious purposes.
Location: Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette – 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.
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: it will please all the photographers!
Location: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Chicago in Bartlett. You have to drive around 1h from Chicago.
My secret tip: they do not allow “professional pictures” here. If you take touristy pictures, pictures with an Iphone or architecture pictures with no one inside you won’t have any issue. Please respect this place as it’s a religious site.
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?
If you are visiting Chicago, take a look at my other articles:
- Have fun in the city: The Top 10 Things to do in Chicago
- My foodie recommendations: Best Brunch and Breakfast in Chicago.
Do not hesitate to ask me any questions about the most instagrammable places in Chicago or to help you prepare your trip there!