My return flight back to Amsterdam I had the option of a 24 hour layover in Chicago. Since I’ve never been to this city I thought this would be a good opportunity to visit.
What to do for a full day in Chicago? I arrived at O’hare airport at 6.30 PM and took the elevated train to Chicago. A direct line brings you downtown in 40 minutes for only $5 oneway.
First a 15 minute walk to my hotel where I stayed for the night. As I was walking from the station across the river I was just awed by all the magnificent buildings. Wow, I never expected Chicago to be such a beautiful and impressive city.
After I checked in and dropped my luggage I used the rest of the night to check out the city. The first place I went to visit is Navy Pier. The sun was already setting and from here there’s a gorgeous view of the skyline and the lit up ferris wheel. Next to Navy Pier is also a sandy beach to cool of from the summer heat in Lake Michigan
From the Navy Pier I strolled along the River Walk and simply enjoyed the atmosphere.
Chicago River Walk
By now it was 10 PM and I was rather hungry, I stood in line at the popular Shake Shack to grab a burger and headed back to my hostel.
In the morning I woke up early and went straight to the Millennium Park to see the Cloud Gate, also known as the Bean. This shiny object is something I always saw on any Chicago picture and had to see it for myself too. And of course have my own picture with the skyline reflecting from its shimmery surface.
The Bean, Millennium Park
In Millennium Park you also find the Crown Fountain, an art project with thousands of mugshots displaying, with a fountain coming out of their mouths.
Crown Fountain, Millennium Park
With still a whole afternoon of time left I did a bit of shopping along the Magnificent Mile. At the end of the street, next to the John Hancock Center I walked into a 7 story high shopping mall. Perfect as it was pouring rain outside.
The John Hancock Center is one of the 4 tallest buildings in Chicago. From here I took the elevator to the 96th floor to have amazing views of the city. Although this isn’t the tallest building, it has the best views because it’s closer to the lake.
After being back from elevated heights it was time to pick up my luggage and back to the airport. I’m so happy I did this layover. I simply loved Chicago, the buildings, the atmosphere. I might even just liked it better than New York City.