For most modern travelers, capturing the moment is just as important as the moment itself. So we're bringing you the top spots to photograph a city renowned for its beautiful cityscapes and architectural wonders. But no one knows better than an expert photographer, right? Read on to see the very best spots to photograph the Windy City, brought to you by urban photographer Sébastien Nagy.
Stunning photos below ↓
1. The bean
You can’t travel to Chicago and miss out on snapping one of its most photographed landmarks, now can you? Cloud Gate, better known as the "bean", is an urban sculpture created as a result of a design competition. TIP: stay at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago, a mere 200 meters away, for a chance to catch its unique reflective properties at dawn! Oh, and by the way, a well deserved selfie is a must in this oh so Instagrammable spot!
2. Chicago Theatre
Theatre is a pretty big deal in Chicago. In fact, it’s one of its main claim to fames (up there with blues and impressive architecture). With more than 200 theatres, the city is home to a rich and varied performing arts community. The Chicago Theatre, originally known as the Balaban and Katz Chicago Theatre, is the unofficial emblem of the city. With its distinctive Chicago Theatre marquee, it appears frequently in film, television, artwork, and photography. You’ll find it on North State Street in the Loop area of Chicago. Check it out at night like Sébastien Nagy has done to capture its buzzing atmosphere.
3. From inside the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
The view from the 16th floor of the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago is simply sensational. Book a stay with Blu and you'll get a chance at a showstopping view of the Windy City's downtown. This beautiful shot was taken between two rain storms. Talk about a silver lining!
4. The Flamingo
Built in 1974, the Flamingo is a 16 meter high abstract sculpture in Chicago's Federal Plaza. A real treat for architecture and design enthusiasts like our expert photographer Nagy. The sculpture's setting, surrounded by black skyscrapers, makes for unique composition opportunities. Be adventurous and try out a variety of angles.
5. 360 Chicago observation deck
Located 310 meters above the famed Magnificent Mile in the iconic John Hancock Building, this is one of the city's most iconic attractions. Offering - you guessed it! - a 360 degree view of the city skyline, 360 Chicago observation deck is where you should head if you're interested in aerial photography. It's also home to TILT, Chicago’s highest thrill ride: an enclosed moving platform that literally tilts you out over Michigan Avenue from the 94th Floor. Afraid of heights? Consider yourself warned!
Psst! catch of glimpse of Lake Michigan while you're up there!
6. Willis Tower
Did we mention Chigago has some impressive skyscrapers? Again, if you're brave enough, you'll want to experience yet another bird's eye view of the city. If 310 meters wasn't high enough for you, how about 500? For many years, Wilis tower was the highest in the United States, until it was ousted by other megastructures. Go to the very top floor to snatch a panorama like this one. And if you're really up for it, experience The Ledge, a glass balcony extending four feet outside the 103rd floor of the tower!
7. Chicago River
Once you've seen Chicago from above, take it in from below. The Chicago river which runs through the downtown area is over 251 kilometers long, so lots of opportunities for photography and architecture lovers. The River Walk, a pedestrian waterfront located on the south bank, is one of the most interesting places to photograph the city. Grab a hot dog, and go for a leisurely stroll while you're at it.
8. From below the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
Designed by famed architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, the Aqua hotel is a photo opportunity on its own. The sparkling blue high rise with its unique wave-like facade attracts tourists and photographers alike. The undulating form of the balconies is said to have been inspired by a common topographic feature of the Great Lakes region. And the tower's proximity to Lake Michigan is also what influenced the name. The Radisson Blu Aqua hotel is the first Blu to open in the United States, offering an innovative new standard for upper-upscale accommodation in Chicago. It's also a recipient of the coveted Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence award. You'll be happy to have top notch services and a luxurious room to retire to after a jam-packed day of exploring!