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Experience amazing views from Skydeck Chicago, Willis Tower

Published On: April 26, 2023Categories: Bars and pubs, Going out, Monuments, Tourist attractionsTags:

The Windy City is known for many things – its culture, arts, history…and seriously amazing views.  If you’re looking to head up high to take in Chicago’s skyline, you should look no further than Skydeck Chicago.

Located in Willis Tower, this iconic attraction offers insane views of Chicago’s skyline from 1,353 feet above street level. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a longtime resident, a trip to Skydeck Chicago is a must-do activity that should be at the top of your bucket list.

What is Skydeck Chicago?

The Skydeck is an observation deck on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower. It gives you a view of the city from all directions with most of Chicago’s landmarks including McCormick Place, Soldier Field and Northerly Island to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, The Hancock Building to the north, and The United Center to the west. On a very clear day, you can actually even see Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin from the Skydeck – we told you, it’s amazing.

The most exciting part – incase those views haven’t already impressed you – is The Ledge. The Ledge is a glass balcony that extends four feet from the body of the Skydeck and it is the ultimate spot to get a photo (if you dare). 

If you’re up for learning more about the rich history of the Willis Tower (which is the tallest building in Chicago and the third tallest in the whole of the Western Hemisphere!), we recommend joining their interactive Skydeck experience. This shares a tonne of interesting information about the city and is a unique way to get to know more about Chicago. 

Do I need to buy a ticket to Skydeck Chicago?

The Skydeck has implemented timed ticketing so you will need to reserve your tickets in advance to guarantee access.

When is Skydeck Chicago open?

The Skydeck is open year-round, seven days a week. The viewing tower is popular with both locals and visitors so we recommend contacting us for Willis Tower Skydeck tickets and price info in advance.

The opening hours are as follows:

  • March – September: Monday – Friday: 9am-10pm, Saturday – Sunday: 8:30am-10pm
  • October – February: Monday – Friday: 9am to 8pm, Saturday – Sunday: 9am to 10pm

When is the best time to visit Skydeck Chicago?

For the best views, we recommend heading to Skydeck Chicago either just after opening or after sunset. If you’re planning on catching the sunset or taking in the nightscape of Chicago, you should plan on arriving 30-45 minutes before sunset.

Should I visit Skydeck Chicago or 360 Chicago?

Both Skydeck Chicago and 360 Chicago are great spots to visit during your time in the city and we definitely recommend heading to at least one of them. 

Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower offers similar stunning views of Chicago’s skyline, but from a higher vantage point, as it is located on the 103rd floor of the building. Skydeck Chicago also offers an interactive museum, exhibits on Chicago’s history and the famous Ledge, a glass box you can step into that extends out from the building’s side.

360 Chicago Observation Deck is located in the John Hancock Center and offers stunning 360-degree views of the city, as well as interactive exhibits and experiences such as the Tilt experience, where you can lean out over the city from a glass enclosure.

Ultimately, which one you choose to visit depends on your personal preferences and schedule – we simply can’t pick a favorite! 

How do you get to the Skydeck Chicago?

Skydeck Chicago in Willis Tower is located on 233 South Wacker Drive Chicago. From Freehand Chicago, you can get there as follows:

  • 31 minute walk from our doorstep
  • 9 minute taxi ride
  • 17 minute train ride – catch the Red Line 95th/Dan Ryan from Grand and hop off at Jackson. From here, it’s a 9 minute walk to Skydeck Chicago, Willis Tower