Best time to visit Chicago

Willis Tower (Skydeck Chicago)

Step to the glass box ledge and walk in the air 1,353 feet above Chicago

Willis Tower (Skydeck Chicago)
Willis Tower (Skydeck Chicago)
Willis Tower (Skydeck Chicago)
Willis Tower (Skydeck Chicago)
Willis Tower (Skydeck Chicago)

This 110-storey skyscraper is an icon of Chicago, one of the tallest buildings in America, and the city's most visited landmark. It was initially constructed as the Sear Tower back in 1973, officially opened to the public a year later in 1974, and got its present name only in 2009. The overall height is 1,450 feet (443 meters) and 1,730 feet (520 meters) with the twin antennae.

Needless to say, the tower reveals breathtaking panoramic vistas of the city. Skydeck Chicago is an observation platform set on the 103rd floor. But the favourite attraction is the Ledge, kind of a glass balcony that extends four feet outside the Willis Tower. Would you dare to walk in the sky so high above the land? The views and photos are worth overcoming your fears. So simply have some trust in the glass and take a step forward.

The Skydeck is open to visitors 365 days a year. The usual operating hours are 9 am to 10 pm from March to September, and 10 am to 8 pm from October to February. The last entry is 30 minutes before the closure. On holidays, the opening hours may be different, so check beforehand. The best time to visit is 45 to 30 minutes before sunset. Twinkling nightscape viewing is a magical experience.

Generally, crowds are the least heavy in winter months, except for Christmas time. You may come any other time and skip the line if you buy your admission ticket online, or if you've got a City Pass.

Practical info

What is the Ledge attraction in the Skydeck Chicago?

To get breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline, the Ledge four feet balcony outside the Willis Tower is your go-to. The Ledge is made entirely of glass and is a memorable experience for visitors. Stepping onto the glass overlooks a magnificent view of Chicago that leaves an unforgettable experience. There is no need to worry about safety since it is set to withstand the weight of visitors. Show more

When is the best time to visit Skydeck Chicago for viewing the twinkling nightscape?

Viewing Chicago's Skydeck Chicago twinkling nightscape is most comfortable between 45 to 30 minutes before sunset or between 10 pm to 8 am. The city scape provides an excellent transition from daylight to night, creating breathtaking views, especially when the city lights up the land. By visiting at the above-recommended times, visitors will avoid the crowds and have an opportunity to see the transition and the magnificent skyline. Show more

Where is the Skydeck located within the Willis Tower in Chicago?

On the 103rd floor of the Willis tower, the Skydeck is an observation deck located in Chicago, also known as the Sears Tower. The panoramic windows provide an unobstructed 360-degree view of the city. From the Skydeck, visitors can walk out to The Ledge attraction, a glass-floor balcony, to gain an unforgettable experience of the city beneath them. The location of the Skydeck makes it an ideal place to view landmarks such as Lake Michigan, Navy Pier, and the John Hancock Observatory. Show more

Who can purchase City Passes for Skydeck Chicago, and what are the benefits?

City Passes, available to anyone, offer many benefits when exploring Skydeck Chicago and other Chicago landmarks. These passes offer discounted admission and fast-track entry to the Skydeck, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and more. City passes can be used for a total of nine days after their first use, making the savings bundle an ideal choice for tourists seeking to experience many attractions. Purchasing passes in advance is recommended to save both time and money. Show more

How long does it take to tour the Skydeck Chicago Observatory?

The duration of your visit to Skydeck Chicago Observatory depends on the amount of time you wish to spend there. Touring typically takes one to two hours, except during peak hours such as holidays, weekends or sunset hours, which experience longer wait times. Visitors can make the most out of their visits by avoiding crowds, purchasing tickets in advance, and coming early. Doing so will ensure that visitors have a great time sightseeing. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin