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Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60603-6404

The Basics

In addition to permanent collections that include Pablo Picasso’sThe Old Guitarist, Edward Hopper’sNighthawks, and Grant Wood’sAmerican Gothic, the Art Institute hosts about 30 special exhibitions each year. These special exhibits showcase the talents of the museum’s world-renowned curatorial staff and highlight specific elements within collections, scientific research, and other innovations. Even the building itself is a work of art—it was constructed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, which later became the World’s Fair.

You may visit the museum independently or as part of a group walking or Segway tour. Purchase skip-the-line access so you can spend more time browsing the collections than waiting in line. Admission to the institute is included in both the Chicago CityPASS and Chicago Explorer Pass cards. It’s also a stop on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus.

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Chicago City Minibus Tour with Optional Architecture River Cruise
Chicago City Minibus Tour with Optional Architecture River Cruise
$39.95 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Extremely satisfied
Tour guide was very friendly and had a great sense of humor. Took us to all the places we wanted to see! Wonderful experience!!
Dianne_K, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Chicago

star-5
The “Place” to go.
Kristin_A, Oct 2021
Art Institute of Chicago Private Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line Ticket
The building was huge. We ended up spending four hours with our guide, who was fantastic. Then we stayed another two hours. It was an amazing day.
star-5
Excellent Overview
Lewis_C, Sep 2021
Art Institute of Chicago Skip-the-Line Small-Group Guided Tour
The tour was a great over view of the collection. I have been several times but this took me to parts of the Art Institute that I hadn't visited before.
star-5
Super guide Marlin
Michael_D, Aug 2021
Art Institute of Chicago Skip-the-Line Small-Group Guided Tour
Marlin made sure we had a wonderful experience. He was super attentive and worked hard to weave stories into his tour which made a more memorable experience. It was a very enjoyable day!
star-5
Delightful and Knowledgable
AnnTherese_S, Aug 2021
Art Institute of Chicago Private Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line Ticket
Mandy is an awesome guide, with a ton of knowledge and insight into the art, the history of the museum, and Chicago in general. A really great tour!
star-5
Sara the Magnificent
Barbara_S, Aug 2021
Art Institute of Chicago Skip-the-Line Small-Group Guided Tour
Sarah was absolutely fantastic. Not only was she a bibliotheca of information but her passion and communication was absolutely superb. Hope to have the opportunity to see her again. Thank you Viator for finding her!!!
star-5
Amazing museum
Kristina_M, Jul 2021
Art Institute of Chicago Skip-the-Line Small-Group Guided Tour
Wonderful! This is an excellent museum and the tour was outstanding. Our guide was friendly, informative and well-prepared.
star-5
Great experience!
Chris_S, Jun 2021
Art Institute of Chicago Private Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line Ticket
We got to enjoy a little bit of everything throughout the whole museum! Our tour guide gave us a greater appreciation for American Art, although we went favoring The Impressionists.
star-5
Great guide
Allison_H, Jul 2021
Art Institute of Chicago Skip-the-Line Small-Group Guided Tour
Joe was an amazing guide. A wealth of information. Absolutely loved listening to him. He knew everything about so many exhibits.
star-5
Great experience!
Vincent_D, Jul 2021
Art Institute of Chicago Skip-the-Line Small-Group Guided Tour
Enjoyed everything. Our guide Mandy was fantastic! Knowledgeable, friendly and informative. Everything you could ask for on a museum tour. Highly recommend!
star-5
Private Guided Tour with Marlin
johnrsolomon, Sep 2021
Art Institute of Chicago Private Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line Ticket
Marlin is a fantastic guide. He contacted me by text a day before to give me contact information and get acquainted. At this time we scheduled a time for Marlin to meet me at my hotel lobby. This way we were able to walk together to CAI and I could see several of Chicago’s sculptures and landmarks along the way. This was my favorite part, and we had not even arrived at the museum. CAI is amazing. I enjoyed all the art I did get to see, but I need a couple of days to see it all. Marlin shares his love and passion for art and Chicago in a story which helps a person retain the wealth of information received during time with him. This tour was the highlight of my visit to Chicago. Prepare for a lot of walking. It’s well worth it.
star-5
Great Museum
Leann_Z, Jul 2021
Art Institute of Chicago Skip-the-Line Small-Group Guided Tour
Marlin is a great guide.. we learned a lot about the art and the donors. Do not miss this tour! We are now inspired to visit more American Museums!
star-5
Wonderful!
Andrea_A, Jun 2021
Art Institute of Chicago Skip-the-Line Small-Group Guided Tour
Our guide went out of his way to ensure that our tour was engaging for us and our 9 and 7 year old boys! He was organized, kind, personable, and informative! I would highly recommend this tour!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Wheelchairs and strollers are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Hearing-assist devices are available at the Michigan Avenue checkroom and sign language tours and tours with sighted guides are available with advance notice.

  • Dining options include a cafe, outdoor dining, and an upscale Italian restaurant.

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How to Get There

The museum is located in downtown Chicago adjacent to Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park. There are two easily accessible entrances: one from the historic main building at 111 S. Michigan Avenue and one from the Modern Wing at 159 E. Monroe Street. Several parking garages are nearby, or you can choose valet service. A number of city bus and L Train routes pass within a block or two.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

The museum is open daily from 10:30am–5pm, except Thursdays, when it is open until 8pm. General admission is free to all Illinois residents every Thursday evening from 5–8pm. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

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Gardens at the Art Institute of Chicago

The institute’s works of art aren’t confined to walled buildings—they extend into several outdoor spaces as well. You’ll find traditional flower gardens, mature trees, shade-loving plants, succulents, and more on the grounds, plus one-of-a-kind sculptures, outdoor installations, and reused architectural fragments. The perfect place to take a break from the hubbub inside, the gardens provide a much-appreciated respite to museum visitors looking to take a quick breather.

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