Best Chicago Skyline Views [Free & Paid]

Looking for the best Chicago skyline views? I have put together a list of the best places to take pictures of Chicago’s skyline. Many of these places are also on my list for the most instagrammable places in Chicago but this post is focused on places and spots where you can photograph Chicago’s incredible skyline.

Best Chicago Skyline Views)

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. I may make a small commission if you make a booking using my links at no extra cost to you.

Adler Planetarium Skyline Walk

view from Adler Planetarium Skyline Walk

I think that The Adler Planetarium Skyline Walk offers the best view of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. It is worth talking photos here in the day, at sunset and in the evening when the lights are on.

As the name says, this walk surrounds the Adler Planetarium and is located less than 1/2 mile from the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History.

Click here to see its location in Google Maps.

Lincoln Park

Chicago skyline view from Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park has great Chicago skyline views. One of best places to photograph the Chicago skyline is from the Bridge over South Pond.

Click here to see the location in Google Maps.

North Avenue Beach

Chicago skyline view from North Avenue beach
Chicago has many beaches but North Avenue Beach offers one of the best skyline views of Chicago. The popular beach is located right next to Lincoln Park so you can combine both in a visit.

There is a long pier from the Lakefront Trail that goes west into the lake where you can shoot photos of the skyline from a variety of angles.

Search for Photographers Point at North Avenue Beach or click here to see the location in Google Maps.

Ping Tom Memorial Park

Chicago skyline view from Ping Tom Memorial Park a popular photo spot
Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood is a hidden gem. It is close to the Chinatown-Cermak red-line train station.  In the summer, you can also take a water taxi from the Riverwalk.

On a Boat or Lake Cruise

Another way to see the beautiful Chicago skyline is to take a skyline lake cruise on Lake Michigan. The lake breeze is much cooler than the temperature on land so summer is the best time to be on the lake. You can pick from a variety of cruises including day cruises, sunset cruises and evening cruises. There are also several firework cruises on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.

Chicago River and Chicago Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk offers great skyline views
There are many places to take skyline photos from the Chicago Riverwalk along the Chicago River. You can also take photos from the bridges crossing the Chicago River and overlooking the Riverwalk.

Milton Lee Olive Park

Milton Lee Olive Park is a hidden gem on Lake Michigan offering spectacular views of the city and lakefront, serene paths, and circular fountains. It is located just north of Navy Pier and east of Ohio Street Beach. Sunset is the best time for photos.

Click here to see its location on Google maps.

Promontory Point

skyline view from Promentory Point Chicago

Promontory Point offers a skyline view similar as the Adler Planentarium but from further away. Promontory Point is located at 55th Street in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It is a bit out of the way for visitors staying in the downtown area, but you can combine it with a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry and Jackson Park (which has cherry blossoms in the spring). If you are driving you can park in the parking lot on the other size of Lake Shore Drive and walk under a tunnel to reach the point.



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360 CHICAGO (formerly John Hancock Observatory) on the 94th floor of the 875 North Michigan Avenue (the building formerly known as the John Hancock Center) is an observatory with great panoramic views of Chicago.

Tip: 360 CHICAGO gets crowded especially on weekends.  For fewer crowds visit right after it opens during midweek. Click here to buy a skip the line ticket.

READ: Best Chicago Photography Spots for more Chicago photo spots.

LondonHouse Chicago


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LH Rooftop rooftop bar located on top of the LondonHouse Chicago hotel has great views of the river.

Kennedy Rooftop at Hyatt Place Wicker Park


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Kennedy Rooftop located on the seventh floor of the Hyatt Place Wicker Park has great skyline views.

The Up Room at The Robey


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The Up Room located on the 13th floor of The Robey in Wicker Park has impressive skyline views.

What are your favorite Chicago skyline views?

Planning a trip to Chicago? Check out my Chicago guides and itineraries:


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