Chicago Sights



John Hancock Observatory

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

John Hancock Observatory Review

Designed by the same team (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill) that designed the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, this multiuse skyscraper is distinguished by its tapering shape and enormous X braces, which help stabilize its 100 stories. Soon after it went up in 1970, it earned the nickname "Big John." No wonder: it's 1,127 feet tall, 1,502 feet counting its antennae. Packed with retail space, parking, offices, a restaurant, and residences, it has been likened to a city within a city. It's impressive from any angle and offers mind-boggling views from a 94th-floor observatory, where, like the Willis Tower, you can see to four states on clear days. Those with vertigo might prefer a seat in the Lavazza Espression Café or the bar of the 95th-floor Signature Room. The tab will be steep, but you don't pay the observatory fee and you'll be steady on your feet—maybe.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 875 N. Michigan Ave., Near North, Chicago, IL 60611 | Map It
  • Cost: Observatory $17.50
  • Hours: Daily 9 am–11 pm; last ticket sold at 10:30 pm
  • Website:
  • Location: Near North
Updated: 06-11-2013

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
  • Experience  
    Don't Miss  

    John Hancock Center Review

    Visited during the week so consequently a short wait,don`t bother paying extra for a fast pass during the week.You must choose a fine day to make the most of a great view,admission included an audio tour narrated by David Schwimmer which is worth listening to.

    by Reedswood, 9/10/10

Add your own review


Travel Deals in Chicago

View all travel deals
* Some taxes, fees additional

View more trip reports

  • Chicago and Where Else

    We've never been to Chicago other than changing planes.

    We'd like to go for a few days but that's a lot of flying to spend 3-4 days in one place.

    Any add-ons in the area?

    Thanks. Read more

View more travel discussions

· News & Features

View more blog stories