My best friend and I were on our way to Michigan and decided to stop in Chicago from our long drive. We only had one full day in Chicago and I thought to myself, “what can I do and see in this amount of time”? To make the most of this stop in Chicago, I made a one-day itinerary to see the most of the windy city. Read on to see what you can do and see in 24 hours in Chicago!

Here is a play by play of my day in Chicago:

For us who didn’t have a lot of time and money, we felt like we were not going to see as much as we wanted. Wrong! All we paid for in Chicago was an Airbnb outside the city (cheaper), food, parking, and one activity. Our Airbnb was around Union Park.

When we woke up from our Airbnb and headed into the city and tried to find cheap parking. We ended up finding this lot that didn’t have many cars and paid about $20 for the whole day. The parking lot had a kiosk to insert money and then it gives you a pass that you have to go back to your car and put it on your mirror. You can pick how long you’ll be parked there for cheaper prices, but we weren’t sure how long we were going to be and didn’t want to risk it and paid for a whole day.

We started walking around downtown and found the infamous bean! There were SOOOOOO many tourists there snapping photos but it was pretty cool. You just take your pictures and leave. The bean is in this park right by Lake Michigan which was really pretty and we decided to hang out around there. There were live bands and this is where we had lunch.

The Bean in Chicago

After hanging around the park and the bean, we kept walking around downtown where we saw the opera house and the Art Institute of Chicago where Farris Buller filmed. We were thinking of going in but it was $25 dollars to get in and we passed on that. We snapped a couple photos and went over to another park that had this giant fountain across the street. This turned out to be Buckingham Fountain. From there, we got into an Uber to head uptown to the Sky Deck.

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago

If you’re an adrenaline junky and love heights then go up to the Sky Deck! It cost $20 to go up and I dragged my best friend, who hates heights, up with me. She ended up thinking it was pretty cool. When you buy your ticket at the window outside the building, you walk inside and go straight up an elevator. While in the elevator there is a big screen where it tells you how high you’re going.

Once at the top, there will probably be a lot of people standing in line to stand in the window. Once it is your turn to take your pictures it was a little scary at first I have to admit. But your first step is the hardest. Once you’re standing up there it gets easier and it’s pretty awesome. There is a separate sky deck for people who want a professional picture but they were asking around $30 for them to take your picture. Other people in line took ours.

Sky Deck Chicago

After the Sky Deck, we headed over to a pizza restaurant because you know, when in Chicago! Chicago is known for its deep-dish pizza. There are more things we wish would have done but I shall return!