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Chicago Cultural Center

Certificate of Excellence
Neighbourhood:
Downtown / The Loop
As featured in Budget Chicago and 2 other guides
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Address: 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
Phone Number:
+1 312-744-3316
Today
09:00 - 18:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun 10:00 - 18:00
Mon - Thu 09:00 - 19:00
Fri - Sat 09:00 - 18:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No
Description:

The Chicago Cultural Center is the nation's first free municipal cultural...

The Chicago Cultural Center is the nation's first free municipal cultural center and one of the most visited attractions in Chicago. The stunning landmark building, opened in 1897 as the city's first public library, is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, and annually presents hundreds of free cultural exhibits and performances. Admission is free.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,196 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1289
    Excellent
  • 483
    Very good
  • 80
    Average
  • 18
    Poor
  • 6
    Terrible
Culture Center Appreciation

Walking into this structure you are taken back to a different time of architecture, and culture. The craftsmanship you witness is of an era that can not be repeated. Look... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
terrymR3609FK
,
Toledo
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2,196 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,876: English reviews
Toledo
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Walking into this structure you are taken back to a different time of architecture, and culture. The craftsmanship you witness is of an era that can not be repeated. Look closely at all the tile work and notice all the variations.

Helpful?
Thank terrymR3609FK
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Absolutely breathaking archtecture and tile work. Very moving. Take time to visit all the floors. A lot of walking on staircases. Use elevators if this is too taxing. We took my 80 year old mother in law with heart condition. She loved the visit and used elevators so she could see it all. Beautiful historical stop in Chicago.

Helpful?
Thank Jacqueline L
Level Contributor
99 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The access to the center and its activities is free. The interior is really wonderful example of more than 100 years old classical style, with its Tiffany glass, stone and glass decoration. Everything is thoroughly restored with full respect for its past glory.

Helpful?
Thank Wanda W. W
Joliet, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
76 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Very interesting set of buildings and they are free. We have gone a couple of times and have seen a display of painted doors from a former city college and architecture for developing countries.

Helpful?
Thank JV12013
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Disappointed as there was no culture to speak off, it would have been better to have a larger exhibition on Chicago as there is a lot of history that we found such as the DuSable which is not in any tourist books

Helpful?
Thank Efua H
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

What is most awesome about the Chicago Cultural Center is that is continuously has something new to offer. I visited just two years ago and it was totally different. Love it.

Helpful?
Thank floyd e
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a must-do in Chicago. Just a quick walk around to see the ceilings and a little art exhibit and then you can go, but you shouldn't miss this.

Helpful?
Thank brink27
Auburn, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
68 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I went into this building because it was called the library. I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was the culture center. I picked up a map when I walked in and went to all the rooms. They are all absolutely beautiful! I highly recommend stopping in if you are in the area. I have walked by this place... More 

Helpful?
Thank Debbie01501
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

From the outside this looks like just another old building. Step inside and be amazed. It feels like you are stepping into a palace of multi cultures.

Helpful?
Thank Michael H
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Chicago Cultural Center could be described as a historical Chicago landmark. Built over a century ago, The Chicago Cultural Center was once the Chicago Public Library. The architecture and specific material used to design building, are the same reasons upon concluding your tour you will appreciate it more.

Helpful?
Thank dcarternba8

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Chicago Cultural Center and other visitors
2 questions
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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Cicero, Illinois
over a year ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

Staying in Downtown / The Loop

Neighbourhood Profile
Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
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