Even if you don’t like “art,” the Art Institue of Chicago is a must see if you are in Chicago.

  • The Art: To say that the Art Institute of Chicago has a great collection is a massive understatement.  Tested Travel has visited some of the great museums of the world, and the Art Institute of Chicago is right up there at the top.  The second largest art museum in the US, the collection covers 11 different departments — African art, American art, ancient and Byzantine, architecture, photography, textiles, painting, sculpture, and on and on.  There are great works including Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, and Grant Wood’s American Gothic.  And, don’t forget the lovely Chagall windows!  One could spend hours and hours just in one wing.  You’ll have lots of company visiting the museum. More than 1.5 million people visit the museum annually!
  • The Building: The Institue was founded in 1879 and the building constructed in 1893, just in time for the Columbian Exposition. Expansions over the years have added buildings and created a bit of an art maze to get from one area to another.  Fortunately, there seem to be lots of docents and staff around to give you directions.
  • The Food:  While a museum restaurant might not usually warrant a stop, the  Museum Cafe (the less fancy of the dining options) offers delicious fare in light and airy setting. A healthy and tasty meal — with a wine–felt like the perfect way to top off our visit. Tested Travel ate a fresh greens salad with chicken and soup and pasta.  Yum!
  • The Location: The Art Institue of Chicago is located in the heart of downtown Chicago and right at the edge of Chicago’s famous Millennium Park.  There is ample car parking in the Grant Park and Millennium Park garages (underground).  Public buses run along Michigan Avenue, providing easy access to the Art Institute.

Good to know: Children under 14 are free!

Read more about the Art Institute of Chicago on their website.