Going to Chicago and want to fill your Instagram with amazing images from all the best places in the city?
I have interviewed locals, consulted with experienced visitors to Chicago and scoured Instagram and the web to compile all the best places to get your picture taken in Chicago.
Please feel free to comment and let me know if we missed any gems.
Skydeck at the Willis tower
The Skydeck is a clear deck (clear floors and walls) on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower. Given the clear cube’s construction, it makes for all kinds of interesting photographs. Check out the crazy configuration conquered by Marika!
The Chicago mural is one of the coolest murals bearing a city name of all the cities out there. With big, bold letters and colors, it makes for a great backdrop. The image below comes from Chicago local Guillermo Ortega.
The Chicago Theatre is a famous location for some of the best shows around. It’s iconic sign pulls the viewer back in time and makes for a fantastic image that will stand apart from the rest of Instagram. The background screams for an ultra classy portrait, like the image below of the beautiful Ana Burduja taken by skilled photographer Ellena Badea.
It is always fun to add a sporty shot to your Instagram feed. There is no better place in Chicago than the famous United Center, home to the Bulls (NBA) and the Blackhawks (NHL). If you don’t have great seats, get there early so you can get down close to the court like Clara Sohn did in the Instagram shot below.
The Bean (Cloud Gate) at Millennium Park
Perhaps nothing is as recognizable from Chicago as the Bean located at Millennium Park. The giant reflective bean-shaped statue is sure to be surrounded by tourists taking selfies most anytime you visit, but it is a must-have image if you want to show off your trip to Chicago. Be creative with it and capture a bunch of different unique shots. Here are some examples for inspiration.
In the above image, Juanita Louis captures the classic composition at the bean. The crowds don’t appear to be that bad, and she was able to get a great image showing almost the whole Bean with an awesome reflection and her underneath the center.
In the image below, Juanita Louis shares a great image standing a bit in front of the Bean where the whole Bean can be seen along with the great backdrop of buildings and the crowds.
Another great pose is shown by Ivette Cristea, who made her reflection in the Bean the actual subject of the composition. It just shows how much room there is for creativity at the Bean. There are so many compositions to be had that you can definitely find something unique that will stand out against all the other images at the Bean on Instagram.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
The Jay Pritzker Pavilion is a bandshell located in Millenium Park. It is located on the south side of Randolph Street and east of the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District. Its interlocking metal beams, funky facade and skyscraper backdrop make for an excellent photo opportunity. Masha Avtuvtova captured it all in the image below.
Showing a slightly different angle, featuring more of the skyscrapers, is designer Scarlett Reyes.
Deep Dish Pizza
Nothing screams Chicago like their famous deep dish pizza. You know you are going to eat some while you are there. Don’t forget to capture a great image pulling up a slice of pizza with the gooey cheese stretching all over the place. Check out the awesome image below of Jaskaran Virdi for some inspiration.
The WNDR Museum has some exhibits that make for great Instagram images. For an example, just check out this crazy image from Christy Purnadi.
Eating a Chicago Dog
The only food in Chicago as famous, maybe, as the deep dish pizza is the Chicago Dog. You can’t go to Chicago without trying one so you might as well capture a picture to share too!
Jannette Guillen gives a great example of what you should be doing when you order a Chicago Dog.
Soldier Field is a great place to show off your attendance at a Chicago Bears football game. The classic shot is one from the stands with the field in the background. For this shot, it doesn’t matter how good your seats are, as the higher up you are, the more you can capture of the field. The image below is my sister-in-law with seats that were too good to capture much of the field.
Even better than the selfie from your seats is if you can get down on the field. You will need special access to be on the field, but if you have it, don’t miss the chance for a great shot. Below is an image of my nephews in front of their favorite player, Khalil Mack.
Calder’s Flamingo is a famous statue in downtown Chicago that is well worth the photo shoot. It is a large, stark red statue that stands out against the skyscraper background.
Gus shared the below image capturing all of the Flamingo.
North Ave. Beach
North Avenue Beach is another awesome place in Chicago to capture the skyline and water in the background of your shot. It is also a great beach so in the summer you can capture the normal beach shots as well.
In the creative image below, Randi Bailey shows off the selfie potential at this location.
In the image below, Instagrammer slavina.goes.places shows us the great backdrop of buildings behind the Buckingham Fountain on a clear day.
Local Chicagoan Casandra captures a unique shot with the wind blowing the water all over with the fountain lit up.
South Pond Wooden Pavillion
This is down by the zoo and makes for a great photo spot with the skyline behind you.
Olive Park is another great location on the water where you can capture an image with the beautiful Chicago skyline in the background. As Jenny Romero demonstrates below, the scene is perfect for Instagram.
Lions at the Art Institute of Chicago
In the image below, shares with us by Haley Lothringer, you can see the lion is all decorated during Christmas season.
Any of the Bridges
Photographer Pablo Raya captured the interesting portrait below at one of the many bridges in Chicago where you can see the river and many of the skyscrapers that line its banks.
The Museum Campus is a great place to capture a view of the iconic Chicago skyline with the water in the foreground. Meagan LeDoux was kind enough to share the view with us in the image below.
You can also combine the awesome view of the Chicago skyline with some cool pieces of art at the Adler Planetarium, as you can see in Laura Sleam‘s image below.
Crown Fountain in Chicago is one of the most unique fountains you will ever see, and you have to capture an image there if you are in Chicago. The fountain is almost like a giant TV screen that switches between different faces, and the water comes out their mouths. Below is a picture of my nephews enjoying a summer afternoon playing in the water in front of the fountain.
In the image below, Nayelli B poses in front of Crown Fountain in the fall with the skyscrapers behind it. I wonder if anyone out there has a collection of selfies with all the different faces of the fountain?