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Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)

Willis Tower Chicago IL

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Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) Information

Info

Hours:
April- Sept. 9am- 10pm; Oct.- March 10am- 8pm

When to Go:
Spring- Fall

Age Restriction:
All Ages

Nearest Transit:
Quincy/wells (Brown Line, Orange Line, Pink Line, Purple Line)

Important Information:
Chicago tours are available

Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)

Quick Facts

  • Built in 1973, the Willis Tower stands 108-stories over Downtown Chicago, and is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Formerly the Sears Tower, the Willis Tower Chicago naming rights were sold to Willis Group Holdings in 2009.
  • The Willis Sears Tower Skydeck Chicago is located on the 103rd floor of this famous Chicago building, and is open 365 days per year.

Address:
233 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
View Map



User Average Review

Overall:
4.15
Location:
4.5
Information:
4
Fun Factor:
4

Based on 2 reviews

Rating Distribution

4.2 out of 5 Stars

100.0% recommended it

Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) Reviews

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Tour Review : Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)


Jason Bushey

Joined: April 2011

xxx.xxx.244.242

Overall:
4.35
Location:
5
Information:
4
Fun Factor:
4

Would recommend to a friend

Date of stay: 11/11

Went with:

The tour was:

Willis Tower - So impressive in person

The Willis Tower was my favorite piece of architecture that I experienced in Chicago, and needs to be seen to be believed how big and beautiful it really is.

As it was explained to me on the Shoreline Architectural Boat Cruise, the Willis Tower is actually five towers combined together, and believe it or not on a windy day the tower sways back and forth for engineering purposes. If you're at the bottom of the Tower, it's almost hard to see the top of the building, it's so tall. 

One thing that was pretty wild is that you can see people standing on and within the glass-enclosed sky ledges 103 stories above. In fact, my biggest regret from my trip to Chicago was not being able to visit the famous SkyDeck, as the day I visited was the same day as their famous SkyRise race up the stairs to the top of the building. Such a bummer.

Outside of the Tower, there is a plaza area decorated by International flags (and flags of the hometown sports teams), and there are some benches to sit down and relax at. (Or have a smoke, which is what most people were doing each time that I walked by.) Inside the Willis Tower, the staff was polite but you better have a good reason for visiting the building. (I didn't - that's what the SkyDeck is for, apparently.)

No trip to Chicago is complete without a visit to the Willis Tower, which was far more impressive than I anticipated and is perhaps the most iconic attraction in Chicago.

Tour Review : Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)


Joey McCoy

Joined: August 2011

xxx.xxx.244.242

Overall:
4
Location:
4
Information:
4
Fun Factor:
4

Would recommend to a friend

Date of stay: 9/11

Went with:

The tour was:

Willis Tower Chicago - Something Everyone Should Do Once

Going to the top of the Sears Tower is just one of those things you have to do at least once while you’re in Chicago. It’s the tallest building in the United States, so how could you not want to go to the top of it? The view is pretty incredible up there. It’s funny how from up there, the biggest buildings can seem so small in comparison.

I recommend going just as the sun is setting. On a clear day you can see four states! If you go while the sun is setting you’ll see all the lights of the city start to turn on while you can still see the details of all the buildings. It’s very cool!

At the top, there’s four clear glass ledges that you can stand on and look straight down.... about 110 stories or so. It really spooked me out, but when in Rome... I had to stand on it just to say I did. Made my stomach queasy though. There’s also a place where they’ll take great pictures of you standing on the clear glass bottom. My pictures didn’t show up as well as there’s did. But of course, you can only imagine how much they cost. $22!

As I’m not a fan of heights, when I left the tower, I was definitely ready to leave. But it was cool while I was up there. Something everyone has to do at least once. You’ll never forget it!

Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) Photos



Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) Hotel

*Some images shown above are not actual photos from the attraction, but category representations. Visit the attraction's web site for actual photos.

Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)

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Ticket Pricing

  • Adult Price
    $17.00
  • Child Price
    $11.00
  • VIP Price
    $35

Summary

Features: From 1973 to 1996, Willis Tower, originally the Sears Tower, was the tallest building in the world. Today, it remains the tallest building in North America, as the Petronas Towers in Malaysia are now the world's tallest buildings. Built in 1973 and renovated in 1993, it sits on two city blocks and rises one-quarter mile above the ground with 110 floors. The building holds offices (with approximately 10,000 workers), as well as a health club, several restaurants, retail shops and other services.

In the late 1960s, Sears Roebuck and Company, then the world's largest retailer with $8.9 billion in sales, decided to consolidate its administrative operations in downtown Chicago. The company determined it needed 3 million square feet of office space with floors of 50,000 square feet to accommodate its 13,000 employees in their major departments. It was later decided they would strive for the tallest building in the world and offer the upper floors to tenants.

Willis Tower is also a destination for millions of tourists from all around the world. It has been a backdrop in films such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Fugitive. The top attraction for visitors is the observation Skydeck on the 103rd floor. The view from the Skydeck on the 103rd floor of the Willis/Sears Tower is amazing! On a clear day, you can see 40-50 miles -- the city of Chicago and it beautiful architecture, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. The Skydeck also features interactive, museum-quality exhibits highlighting Chicago's history and historic characters. Interactive kiosks provide a tour of Chicago's landmarks. Knee-High Chicago is a kid-level display that extends all the way around the Skydeck. Cool cut-out windows put kids eye-to-eye with scenes from Chicago's most fascinating moments in history. The Skydeck also has high-tech, high-powered telescopes for a closer look at the city.

The newest addition to the Skydeck is Sky Ledge. Here you can walk out onto a glass-floored section and look down 103 stories below your feet.

Why We Go: Perhaps the most famous tourist attraction in Chicago, the Willis Tower stands 1,451 ft. tall, and its 103rd-floor Skydeck features the best views of any Chicago landmark Downtown.

  • The Skydeck: The Willis Sears Tower Skydeck Chicago has been attracting Chicago tourists since it opened in 1974, and this family friendly Chicago landmark has interactive exhibits, daring glass ledges (see below), and stunning views of the iconic Chicago skyline and nearby states.
  • The History: The Willis Sears Tower Chicago is a North American icon that has been featured in dozens of TV shows and films over the years, and is the fifth tallest freestanding structure in the entire world.  
  • The Ledge: 103 floors above the streets of Chicago's West Loop, the Willis Sears Tower Chicago has glass ledges that jet four feet out of the Willis Tower, giving you the sensation that you're floating in air at this favorite Chicago landmark

Inside Knowledge: If your stomach begins to growl on your trip to the Willis Sears Tower Chicago, there are a number of on-site Chicago restaurants to choose from. The Restaurant Level at the Willis Sears Tower Chicago offers delicious Mexican food at the Salseria Grill & Cantina, and there is an on-site Starbucks and Corner Bakery as well.

Do's and Don'ts:

  • Do Stay for the Sunset: The Willis Tower Chicago recommends 5pm or later as the best time to visit the Willis Sears Tower Skydeck Chicago, as the breathtaking sunset views are as impressive as any sight you'll see in Chicago. 
  • Do Bring the Kids: This Chicago attraction for kids caters to the little ones, and has hands-on activities like a Willis Tower scavenger hunt and coloring books, and their glass ledges are a thrill for kids of any age.   
  • Don't Wait in Line: For $35, visitors of the Willis Tower Chicago can skip the line with their convenient Fast Pass and take the express elevator up to the 103rd-story Skydeck.
  • Don't Skip the Nearby Fun: Great for a Chicago date night, there are a number of great Chicago nightlife options and restaurants close to the Willis Sears Tower Chicago. Open until 10pm during the Summer, tourists can take in beautiful Chicago views with their significant other, and follow it up with a romantic Chicago evening in The Loop. 

Comments

Sort Reviews By: | | |

Tour Review : Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)


Joey McCoy

Joined: August 2011

xxx.xxx.244.242

Overall:
4
Location:
4
Information:
4
Fun Factor:
4

Would recommend to a friend

Date of stay: 9/11

Went with:

The tour was:

Willis Tower Chicago - Something Everyone Should Do Once

Going to the top of the Sears Tower is just one of those things you have to do at least once while you’re in Chicago. It’s the tallest building in the United States, so how could you not want to go to the top of it? The view is pretty incredible up there. It’s funny how from up there, the biggest buildings can seem so small in comparison.

I recommend going just as the sun is setting. On a clear day you can see four states! If you go while the sun is setting you’ll see all the lights of the city start to turn on while you can still see the details of all the buildings. It’s very cool!

At the top, there’s four clear glass ledges that you can stand on and look straight down.... about 110 stories or so. It really spooked me out, but when in Rome... I had to stand on it just to say I did. Made my stomach queasy though. There’s also a place where they’ll take great pictures of you standing on the clear glass bottom. My pictures didn’t show up as well as there’s did. But of course, you can only imagine how much they cost. $22!

As I’m not a fan of heights, when I left the tower, I was definitely ready to leave. But it was cool while I was up there. Something everyone has to do at least once. You’ll never forget it!

Tour Review : Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)


Jason Bushey

Joined: April 2011

xxx.xxx.244.242

Overall:
4.35
Location:
5
Information:
4
Fun Factor:
4

Would recommend to a friend

Date of stay: 11/11

Went with:

The tour was:

Willis Tower - So impressive in person

The Willis Tower was my favorite piece of architecture that I experienced in Chicago, and needs to be seen to be believed how big and beautiful it really is.

As it was explained to me on the Shoreline Architectural Boat Cruise, the Willis Tower is actually five towers combined together, and believe it or not on a windy day the tower sways back and forth for engineering purposes. If you're at the bottom of the Tower, it's almost hard to see the top of the building, it's so tall. 

One thing that was pretty wild is that you can see people standing on and within the glass-enclosed sky ledges 103 stories above. In fact, my biggest regret from my trip to Chicago was not being able to visit the famous SkyDeck, as the day I visited was the same day as their famous SkyRise race up the stairs to the top of the building. Such a bummer.

Outside of the Tower, there is a plaza area decorated by International flags (and flags of the hometown sports teams), and there are some benches to sit down and relax at. (Or have a smoke, which is what most people were doing each time that I walked by.) Inside the Willis Tower, the staff was polite but you better have a good reason for visiting the building. (I didn't - that's what the SkyDeck is for, apparently.)

No trip to Chicago is complete without a visit to the Willis Tower, which was far more impressive than I anticipated and is perhaps the most iconic attraction in Chicago.