Chicago – Windy City: You should see this! (Part 1)

Cloud Gate im Millenium Park

In the first part of our travel tips for “Chicago – Windy City: You should see this!” we will ride The Loop, visit Buckingham Fountain, walk the Magnificent Mile and marvel at the view from the John Hancock Center.

We wake up at around 6 a.m., only half shaken by jet lag. A good time to start the day. From our hotel room at the Hilton Garden Inn Chicago O'Hare we have a brilliant view of downtown Chicago and the sunrise.

Blick aus dem Hotelzimmer nach Chicago Downtown
View of downtown Chicago from the hotel room

We are slowly getting ready and will first have a relaxed breakfast. The buffet is okay and the service is very friendly. A nice thing is the fresh preparation of omelets, pancakes, waffles and much more.

Mit “The Loop” nach Downtown Chicago

Well strengthened, we let the hotel shuttle take us to the train in Rosemont. We grab a $10 day pass and then it's a 40 minute old, rickety train to the Loop. Local residents call the downtown district of Chicago the Loop. The first destination we chose is the Buckingham Fountain.

Chicago – Windy City: You should see this! – Buckingham Fountain

The famous fountain in Grant Park, directly on Lake Michigan, was dedicated in 1927 and is one of the largest fountains in the world. Unfortunately, as was to be expected, this is inactive over the winter period. The fountain only operates from mid-April to mid-October from 8am to 11pm. With more than 800 permanently installed lights, the play of colors at dusk is particularly worth seeing. This begins at dusk and lasts about 20 minutes (More information).

Buckingham Fountain
Buckingham Fountain

Chicago – Windy City: You should see this! – Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate im Millenium Park
Cloud Gate at Millenium Park

We walk at the Columbus Dr. north along the Art Institute to Millennium Park. The goal there is the famous "Cloud Gate" which looks like an oversized, chrome-plated bean. I am very surprised that it is very clean despite the weather. In any case, the rush of people here is very large and it is not that easy to take a few reasonable pictures. Millennium Park is worth a visit as the adjacent skyscrapers and low-flying planes are very impressive.

Michigan Avenue Chicago – Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile is the shopping and promenade in Chicago. It leads a large part along Michigan Avenue. We stroll north along the wide boulevard with its exclusive shops, museums, restaurants and hotels until we Peninsula Hotel had achieved. Here we had arranged a meeting for lunchtime.

The Peninsula Hotel Chicago

We have an appointment in the lobby and are first invited to lunch. There's a perfectly cooked burger. The atmosphere is really good. At the neighboring tables, wealthy ladies are having a good time in good company with champagne. For dessert we eat a very tasty, salted caramel ice cream. They just can't do good coffee, unfortunately there is only filter coffee. Afterwards we were guided through the hotel by two managers of the house and got an insight into the rooms and The Peninsula Chicago. A really nice hotel for $350 USD a night.

We walk Michigan Ave. further north and make a little detour to the Apple Store. Where the largest crowd of people can be seen, you can find the iPad Pro. A nice thing, especially in connection with the pen.

Chicago 360 – John Hancock Center

John Hancock Center - Chicago 360
John Hancock Center – Chicago 360

Chicago - a city of skyscrapers. A visit to the John Hancock Center is definitely part of it. We buy a ticket to get to the visitor platform on the 94th floor. A great view awaits us there! If you want a special thrill, you can “lean out of the window” on the TILT and enjoy the view of the Magnificent Mile in a different way at a height of 330 m. We'll stay until the sun goes down. Seeing downtown from up here is something.

Chicago – Windy City: You should see this! – Chicago at night

Before we drive back to the hotel, we make another detour to Millennium Park. But this time by bus. Now in the evening everything is beautifully lit and to our surprise a large crowd has gathered around the Cloud Gate to hear the singing of the Christmas choir.

We continue to the nearest subway station and witnessed a full-scale roadblock. People gathered in a circle and demonstrated against racism. The reason was that the day before a police officer had shot a “black man”. A funny mood is in the air and we hurry to get to the next station. The Blue Line takes you back to O'Hare. From our station we then took Uber (How does Uber work?) drive to the next target to buy beer and water. For dinner there is something delicious from Panda Express. What else there is to experience in culinary terms in Chicago, we have in one extra contribution summarized for you.

Chicago Travel Guide

Chicago - Windy City: Das solltest du sehen! (Teil 1) 1Chicago - Windy City: Das solltest du sehen! (Teil 1) 2For the perfect city trip to Chicago, we recommend you this guide. Here you will not only find a detailed city map, but also a lot of information about all the important sights. You will also be shown great suggestions for detours to the outskirts.

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Chicago - Windy City: What's worth seeing?
  • Buckingham Fountain
  • Cloud Gate
  • Magnificent Mile
  • Chicago 360 – John Hancock Center


Hi, I'm Robert and I've been infected by the flying virus since my first flight in 1993, in a Tupolev Tu-154. Chances of recovery are zero. Since I've been dealing with mileage programs even more intensively and am Topbonus Platinum and Star Alliance Gold, everything has gotten much worse. :-) Luckily for me, I have a very understanding family who are happy to share my passion with me and benefit from it. In the summer of 2015 we moved from Berlin to near Munich and now also have a great and above all functioning airport right on our doorstep. So there will be many more exciting trips and pictures, nice that you are there!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Matthias

    You guys should not write in English. It’s one of the worst writings ever… Sorry!

    1. Robert

      Hi Matthias! The translation is an automated procedure by a tool. Please send your request to WordPress :D

  2. Mass

    Great photos! I didn't seem to see everything back then :D

    1. Robert

      Thanks! Wait and see what comes next :D

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