Things to do

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.


By Morgan Olsen

Posted: Friday February 8 2019


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

Discover more of the Chicago Loop

Best downtown Chicago tours

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

The best lunch spots in the Loop

There are more options than you think.

Riverwalk guide

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

Ride a Divvy bike

Get places on a cheap rental bike.