With 250 theaters, more than 200 art galleries, 7,300 restaurants, and nearly 100 unique neighborhoods, Chicago is one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the world. Chicago boasts a storied cultural history and a great dedication to the arts and sciences.


The city is home to many of the nation’s finest cultural institutions including the Chicago Cultural Center, the Symphony Center, and the Civic Opera House. Notable museums include the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry. The Art Institute of Chicago, the second lifargest art museum in the United States, houses one of the finest collections of Impressionist art in the world, and 1.5 million visitors tour the Art Institute’s galleries every year. Chicago is also the only U.S. city with five Tony award-winning theater companies, whose 1.7 million patrons generate an annual economic impact of $750 million. The city plays host to 150 theater world premieres and draws more than five million people to its shows annually. As the London Guardian wrote, “Chicago is…the current theater capital of the world.”

Noted for its history in the rise of blues, jazz, hip-hop, and house music, Chicago boasts an incomparable music scene. Summer festivals such as the Blues Fest, Jazz Fest, and Taste of Chicago brought 2.5 million visitors to Chicago in 2013, and Lollapalooza has solidified its place as one of the major summer music festivals, selling out in a mere hour in 2013 and drawing over 300,000 music fans and pumping $120 million into the local economy. Now in existence for over 75 years, the Grant Park Music Festival draws another 300,000 to the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park for its 10-week-long classical music series every summer.