John Hancock Observatory

(312) 751-8598 | View Website

875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions   60611

41.898947 -87.622917

Open Hours

Mon - Sun: 9:00 am-11:00 pm

 
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Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side

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John Hancock Observatory

Reviews for John Hancock Observatory

John Hancock Observatory
Recommends

If you just want to have a date at a high place, head to the Signature Lounge instead. But, during the winter, you can go "Skating in the Sky." That's right, they set up an ice rink all the way up there. How much more awesome can you get?

Doesn't Recommend
2.0
over a year ago

should be closed during fundraising events...40 min wait – We had purchased tickets in advance of our trip to Chicago. We arrived only to discover that there was a hike/climb of the tower & we had to wait 40+ minutes to take an elevator up or down. Once in the observatory it was sweaty, hot, and you are trapped without a chair until you can go down. It was not first-come first-served, and rather all the parents & children were hustled in front of us, causing even longer waits to get up to the observatory or back down the elevators. The staff seemed frazzled, and in our opinion, the entire observatory should have been closed and tickets refunded to tourists... as with any race or fundraising event, close it down except to those participating. It wasn't worth the money for the view. It's a good view, but not spectacular. There are more impressive sites the world over...save your money.

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

Really interesting, great views – I really liked going to the John Hancock Observatory. It was really interesting. I loved the little sound recorder that told us about the different buildings and the history of Chicago. It was David Schwimmer's voice (Ross from Friends) If it was just some nobody spouting off boring facts in my ear it would have been boring. Schwimmer made it interesting and fun.

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

Best view on the north side – With the exception of the Sears tower this is the best view from any building in Chicago. It's a must for Chicago tourists. I love the view of the lake when you look east from here and the restauarant upstairs is amazing too. Great place to hang out

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

Better than Sears – The view from the Hancock Observatory is probably the best in the city. The observatory itself is kind of weak, and the lines can be long, but you're here for the view anyway, right? For up top, you can sometimes make out Michigan and if it's super super clear, Wisconsin. You get sweeping views of the lake beaches from way up north to around the bend down south. Lake Shore Drive is beautiful up here at night. As is Navy Pier. Plan on about 45 minutes to enjoy it all, plus 15-30 minutes in lines.

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

great way to see Chicago – It was beautiful being at the observatory at night. It would have been more romantic if there hadn't been so many noisy kids there. If you do go, try to go as late as possible. Also, go when you have some time, because you'll have to wait in line for the elevator both to go up and down.

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

Better than the Sears Tower – Thanks to the proximity of Lake Michigan, the view seems better here even though you're not as high up as at the Sears Tower. Less of a line here and no pre-trip movie presentation, as well as an outside viewing area mean a more enjoyable visit. The view is great, and they have a few exhibits up top where you can take your picture that make you look like you're hanging from a suspended beam or are waskhing the windows up high. When you're done, stop by the gelato store at the bottom for some good food!

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

All grace and strength, it's shorter than the Sears Tower, but it's still among the world's 10 tallest buildings. – The View
The third tallest building in Chicago (after the Sears Tower and Aon Center ), the Hancock stands 1,127 feet tall, 100 floors high. The Hancock's greatest draw is the option of kicking back in the 96th floor Signature Lounge with a beer or cocktail and taking in a lakeside view of the city. Add the killer location on North Michigan Avenue, and you have the Chicago insider's favorite sky-high pastime.

The Background
Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the same prominent Chicago firm that designed the Sears Tower, the Hancock--"Big John," as it was nicknamed--was completed in 1970 after five years of construction. It can withstand winds up to 132 miles per hour.

Recommends
4.5
over a year ago

Tower of Dreams – The John Hancock Center was breathtaking, the view was incredible, and the staff was very friendly.

Recommends
4.5
over a year ago

Picturesque View – This is a nice place to go after eating an early dinner at one of the restaurants downtown and watch the sun set. The view is incredible, almost too hard to describe with words, as you have to see it to feel it.

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

Signature Room Rating – I have only been in the Signature room in the John Hancock, and it is great. It is a very good view, while you enjoy an awesome buffet.

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