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Things to do in the Chicago Loop

Explore the heart of downtown with our guide to the best restaurants, bars and attractions in the Chicago Loop.

Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

The Loop has a reputation for rolling up its sidewalks at 5pm and being a ghost town on the weekends. But a lot has changed in recent years. Millennium Park and big-ticket events like Lollapalooza have made downtown a major destination for concerts in Chicago all summer long. The revitalized Downtown Theater District has put high-profile musicals on the cultural map next to longstanding institutions like the Art Institute, CSO and Lyric Opera. DePaul University, Columbia College and SAIC have a strong student population living downtown, and long-term living has followed with dozens of new residential towers—which leads to more evening and late-night dining and drinking options. Here are the best things to do in the Chicago Loop.

Top attractions in the Chicago Loop

Best restaurants in the Loop
Restaurants

Best restaurants in the Loop

Best bars and nightlife in the Loop
Bars

Best bars and nightlife in the Loop

Best things to do in the Loop
Things to do

Best things to do in the Loop

Best hotels in the Loop
Hotels

Best hotels in the Loop

Chicago theater in the Loop
Theater

Chicago theater in the Loop

Boutique shopping in the Loop
Shopping

Boutique shopping in the Loop

Discover more of the Chicago Loop

Best downtown Chicago tours
Things to do

Best downtown Chicago tours

Explore the Chicago Loop by boat, bike, Segway and more.

The best lunch spots in the Loop
Restaurants

The best lunch spots in the Loop

There are more options than you think.

Riverwalk guide
Things to do Buy tickets

Riverwalk guide

The river’s edge is one of downtown’s newest hotspots

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Ride a Divvy bike
Things to do

Ride a Divvy bike

Get places on a cheap rental bike.