Lifestyle

The 30 Most Instagrammed Places in Chicago

If an event isn’t posted on Instagram, did it ever actually happen? Chronicling and over-hashtagging our adventures for all to see has become an obsession, so we got curious about which spots in Chicago are most popular for IGers. By crunching some geotagging data (and following a trail of hearts), we compiled the top 30 most Instagrammed places in the city.

 

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30. University of Illinois at Chicago

While many students snap photos of their Sun Chips and Mountain Dew diets during midterms, some pause to share UIC’s more scenic properties outside of the classroom.


 

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29. Chinatown Square

The two-story outdoor mall in Chinatown attracts shoppers and plenty of dim sum and bubble tea fanatics, especially come Chinese New Year in February.


 

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28. The Vic Theatre

Everybody should tell everyone they know about that cool show they’re at on a Tuesday night… RIGHT NOW.


 

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27. Belmont Harbor

Does it count if a drone takes your pic? Because you can get a pretty nice boat shot from above.

26. Giordano’s Pizza in Lakeview

The Lakeview Giordano’s is the place to be for deep-dish pizza and documenting the big moment, as long as you post before the cheese gets to your brain.

 

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25. Hilton Chicago Hotel

The Chicago landmark with a Beaux-Arts architectural style overlooks Grant Park, Lake Michigan, and the Museum Campus, not to mention its charming interior.


24. Palmer House

The timeless Chicago hotel has all the fame and historic charm to make your green-eyed followers even more envious of your travels.

 

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23. Thalia Hall

The iconic Pilsen hall has punch-filled cocktails in the basement, a beer hall on the main floor, and a music venue upstairs for all your Instagramming glory.

 

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22. Montrose Beach

Remember when it was still warm enough to do yoga on the beach? Thankfully, we’ll always have Instagram to preserve these memories and help us defrost again come winter.


21. Loyola University Chicago

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Just don’t try to jam that whole Malcolm X quote into a hashtag.​


 

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20. North Avenue Beach

Instagrammers have spoken. All your ridiculous cute couple OR pondering solo (but are you really solo?) photos with the skyline in the backdrop must be taken here. Or if your volleyball team wants a group shot before hitting up the bar… that’s OK, too.


 

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19. Allstate Arena

If you’re into pro wrestling, the arena boasts one of the loudest crowds in the WWE. DePaul University's men’s basketball team, the Arena Football League, Chicago Wolves ice hockey, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney On Ice, and musicians also offer lots of action.


 

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18. Aragon Ballroom

The Uptown ballroom -- aka “the Aragon Brawlroom” -- may have left its days of marathon rock & roll acts (six hours or more!) behind, but it still has all the makings for terrific Instagram shots: big band names and a Moorish architectural style that resembles a Spanish village.​


17. The Riviera Theatre

Concert-goers have another Uptown venue making this list. Whether you’re waiting for the show or you're in the band, people sure like their photos of this iconic sign as much as the stage acts.


16. Metro Chicago

More rock shows to ‘gram. Why the hell not? The venue also houses Smart Bar underneath the main venue for some weird late-night shots.

15. Chicago Union Station

The city's primary terminal for commuter trains, and the third-busiest rail terminal in the US after Grand Central and Penn Station makes this a prime spot for people-watching and snapping photos of the magnificent Great Hall.

 

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14. The Adler Planetarium

America’s first planetarium continues to inspire the next generation of space explorers... and onlookers vying to capture THE BEST skyline ‘gram.


 

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13. Grant Park

Lollapalooza might reign supreme in Instagram feeds during the summer, but Buckingham Fountain’s sovereignty is eternal year-round.


12. McCormick Place

Sure, it’s the largest convention center (and hosts the biggest auto show) in North America. But did you know its four interconnected buildings with year-round trade shows also feature a rooftop garden with a view?​

 

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11. Millennium Park Downtown Chicago

You could have guessed that Instagrams of “The Bean” dominate this spot (even when you’re not actually here, you’re here... or something like that). But an interesting fact is that almost nobody realizes “Millennium” is spelled with two n’s, a misspelling that actually screws with the official geotagging. It’s M-I-L-L-E-N-N-I-U-M. You know, like one of the best-selling albums of all time from the Backstreet Boys.


 

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10. U.S. Cellular Field

With over 40,000 unobstructed-view seats, the White Sox stadium is a good spot to capture your ice cream cone, the crowd, AND the field in one shot. Unless you’re going for the 3lb ice cream sundae in a batting helmet… you’re probably gonna need two hands for that.


 

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9. Chicago Midway International Airport

Southwest Airlines flyers: they’ll battle you over seating assignments and gladly snap pics of the aftermath.


8. The Field Museum

No, pretending you’re a dinosaur like SUE the T-Rex or, alternatively, fleeing from her terrifying jaws and claws as if you’re reenacting a scene from Jurassic Park isn’t a requirement (though it should be)..


 

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7. Shedd Aquarium

The mystical underwater world comes alive for those not actually at the aquarium via Instagram. We see all your jellyfish, dolphin show, and shark tank photos.


 

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6. Skydeck Chicago at the Willis Tower

Better hope the glass doesn’t crack again while you’re attempting that handstand… It can be mesmerizing to scroll through what people choose to do with their time on the deck and tag for the world to see.

 

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5. Soldier Field

The oldest NFL stadium is a stalwart Instagram destination for stoked football fans ready to #BearDown on #SundayFunday!

 

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4. United Center

Even when the Bulls look lifeless, the “Madhouse on Madison” is always a top contender for most Instagrammed place in the city.


 

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3. The Art Institute of Chicago

There’s definitely cool art here, but we know you can do more than stare at it for your pics. Still, color coordinating with a work of art is a step in the right direction.

 

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2. Wrigley Field

Because you can’t come to Chicago and NOT see Wrigley Field, or pass up a chance to get a photo with the legendary marquee.


 

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1. Chicago O'Hare International Airport

Chicago’s top Instagrammed place is indeed an airport (we get it, captive audience, lots of time to kill). The transportation hub also grants an opportunity for travelers to tag trips left and right and cause some traffic jams inside the neon tunnel connecting concourses B and C.

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Nicole Bruce is a contributing writer for Thrillist Chicago who almost fell into a bottomless chasm of Instagram photos while writing this story. Follow her away from the ‘grammin abyss on Twitter at @nicoleabruce.