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Best Free Chicago Tourist Attractions


While many of Chicago's museums and attractions every so often have "free days", there are a number of Chicago tourist attractions that offer free admission year round. Here are some of my favorite free Chicago attractions.

Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain
Bruce Leighty/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Opened May 26, 1927, the Buckingham Fountain is one of Chicago's most recognizable landmarks, and its free hourly water show in the summer is fun for young and old.

Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center lures in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year with its numerous free events, impressive architecture and its proximity to tourist hot spot Millennium Park

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Located at the north end of the zoo, the Lincoln Park Conservatory was built over the course of 5 years between 1890 and 1895, and features four serene greenhouses -- the Orchid House, the Fernery, the Palm House, and the Show House, all displaying fantastic arrays of flora.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo
Photo © Andrew Stamm

An oasis in the city, the Lincoln Park Zoo open and free 365 days a year -- and just because it's free doesn't mean it's lacking. Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the most beautiful in the country, featuring historical architecture and world-class wildlife exhibits.

Millennium Park

Crown Fountain
Photo © Prescott Carlson

There's plenty to do at Chicago's Millennium Park -- you can gaze at yours and the city's reflection in The Bean, listen to a concert at the Pritzker Pavilion, quietly reflect at the Lurie Garden, or splash around in the Crown Fountain


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