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Chicago Cultural Center

Certificate of Excellence
Downtown / The Loop
As featured in Budget Chicago and 2 other guides
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Address: 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602-4801
Phone Number: 13127443316
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Mon - Thu 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri - Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No

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 1,989 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1156
  • 450
    Very good
  • 75
  • 14
  • 5

wow!!! unbelievably beautiful Tiffany dome. So glad that we got a chance to see this. We very much appreciated the amazing work of art!

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Michelle S
Torrance, California
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1,989 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,700: English reviews
Torrance, California
Level Contributor
112 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

wow!!! unbelievably beautiful Tiffany dome. So glad that we got a chance to see this. We very much appreciated the amazing work of art!

Thank Michelle S
Vadnais Heights, Minnesota
Level Contributor
48 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

You have to check this out! So beautiful, and free! When we were there, we were unable to get into the room with the domed window as they were setting up for a wedding. How lucky that couple was to have such a romantic and gorgeous setting for their ceremony!

Thank JandD
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The building is cool but there wasn't much of anything else inside. I don't know if everything was closed or what, but I wasn't impressed. See the dome and then move on.

Thank Christian N
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

A must when traveling in Chicago and it is free. Across from Millennium Park. They have amazing displays of artwork, music, and so much more throughout the year. I take classes here and the programs are wonderful! The mosaic and details of the interior are stunning! Truly awe-inspiring.

Thank DarleneS54
Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

First of all, this is the former main library of the Chicago Library System which is fabulously built of marble from Italy, Vermont and Tennessee. Absolutely beautiful! In the Randolph entrance, we saw people playing Mah-jongg, reading, working on their computers. Air conditioning was welcome relief on a hot summer day. Movies are shown some evenings (check their calendar). Admission... More 

Thank gpfnancy
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

My mum and I went only to see the building itself, not the exhibits inside. Honestly, you don't even need to see the galleries for this place to be worth visiting. The details in the architecture are seriously incredible and especially lovely when they catch the light.

Thank Amy C
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

It was great to see the local artworks and some of the history but the best part of the visit was the beautiful architecture, marble and mosaic detailing in the building!

Thank Hannah R
Oregon, Illinois
Level Contributor
22 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I have driven or walked by the Chicago Cultural Center many times but never stepped inside. My kids and I had time so I suggested we peek in. Wow! We were amazed at the elaborate architecture and mosaics in the south side entry way. We proceeded to adventure up the double sided staircase to be amazed by a glass dome.... More 

Thank stranclan2zam
Level Contributor
137 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We had the pleasure of attending an amazing wedding here.We never realized how beautiful this building was until the reception in the ballroom.We could not believe all the work that went info this building which was once the Chicago library.Its right across from the Bean so go see it next time you are downtown.

Thank cricket23chicago
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

In my opinion, the best thing about this place is the architecture details inside the building. Have not seen any other building in Chicago this this much detail inside.

Thank Fernando G

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Questions & Answers

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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

Neighborhood 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.