The Loop, Chicago Travel Guide

The Loop Summary


  • The heart of downtown Chicago, with lots to do
  • Grant Park, Millennium Park and the Buckingham Fountain
  • Major cultural institutions, like the Art Institute of Chicago and Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Historic Theatre District
  • Hundreds of fabulous dining options
  • Stunning architecture medley
  • Public art everywhere
  • All subway lines run inside the Loop


  • Pricey hotels
  • Very busy during the day and fairly empty at night

What It's Like

The Loop, the city's main business district, is the heart of downtown Chicago. Here, looming corporate towers and 19th century buildings sit side-by-side, and big-name hotels stand along some of the finest restaurants in the country. Many of the things first-time visitors will have on their to-do list are inside the boundaries of The Loop -- Grant Park, futuristic Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, Buckingham Fountain, the Theatre District, and even Chicago's oldest restaurant, the Berghoff. While walking the streets of this bustling neighborhood, public art by Chagall, Miro and even Picasso seems to pop up at every corner. Though all subway lines stop inside The Loop, most of the major sites are within walking distance.

Where To Stay

The Loop is bounded by Lake Michigan to the east, the Chicago River to the north and West, and West Congress Parkway to the south. Though it's slightly quiet at night and during the weekends, The Loop is one of the most popular places for tourists to stay. For views of the park and Lake Michigan, and proximity to the popular sites in Grant Part and Millennium Park, stay on the east side of the neighborhood. For the quickest access to the Magnificent Mile, stay to the north of the neighborhood, near North Michigan Avenue.


View all The Loop Hotels


Languages: English
Airports: O'Hare International Airport
Midway Airport
Peak: April - June
Off-Peak: Jan. - March
Visa: No, for nationalities included in the Visa Waiver Program
Vaccines: No
Currency: U.S. Dollar
Electricity: 120 V, 60 Hz
Tipping: 15-20% in restaurants and cabs

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