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John Hancock Observatory

John Hancock Observatory Chicago IL

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John Hancock Observatory Information

Info

Hours:
Daily 9am- 11pm

When to Go:
Weekday Mornings and Early Afternoons

Age Restriction:
All Ages

Nearest Transit:
Chicago (Red)

John Hancock Observatory

Quick Facts

  • The John Hancock Observatory is located on the 94th floor of the famous John Hancock Center.
  • The Hancock Center Chicago Observatory on the Magnificent Mile stands over 1,000 feet tall.
  • The elevator ride to the 94th floor Hancock Tower Chicago Observatory lasts just 40 seconds.
  • Chicago Travelers can save 37% on admission to the John Hancock Observatory (and several other top attractions) with the Chicago Pass to the City! Find out all about it here!

Address:
875 North Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
View Map



User Average Review

Overall:
4.5
Location:
5
Information:
4
Fun Factor:
5

Based on 1 review

Rating Distribution

4.5 out of 5 Stars

100.0% recommended it

John Hancock Observatory Reviews

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Tour Review : John Hancock Observatory


Jason Bushey

Joined: April 2011

xxx.xxx.244.242

Overall:
4.65
Location:
5
Information:
4
Fun Factor:
5

Would recommend to a friend

Date of stay: 11/11

Went with:

The tour was:

Hancock Observatory - Enjoy the view, use the audio tour

For $17, you can travel to the 94th floor of the John Hancock Observatory - a landmark Chicago building that is home to the world’s fastest elevator (20mph! ... It takes about 40 seconds to get to the top.) and Chicago's best views. 

The panoramic views from floor-to-ceiling windows really are amazing, as you have Lake Michigan on one side and the entire Chicago skyline on the other. I was lucky enough to go on a clear Chicago morning, and I could see for miles in every direction.

When you walk onto the 94th floor, you'll be greeted with an iTouch audio tour and headphones. The audio tour is pretty interesting, with audio options for both kids and adults. “Friends” fans will recognize Chicago-native David Schwimmer’s voice as narrator. There's lots of information on the history of Chicago that really put all of the attractions below into context, and I'd highly recommend giving the tour a shot even if you're only up there for the views.

There’s also a café at the top that sells food, sandwiches, coffee and beer, and they take a picture of you at the bottom that you have the option of buying later. I grabbed a hot Mocha - not Starbucks quality but it did the trick on a chilly fall morning.

I had a GREAT time at the Observatory. The views really are amazing, and I may have dealt with a brief case of vertigo. However, if you're less of a tour person, you can skip the admission fee and take the elevator up to the 95th floor and grab a drink at the Signature Lounge. Drinks are pricey (and in some cases just as much as the Hancock Observatory fee), but you really can’t beat the view and the ambiance from that high up.

Overall - and especially if you're traveling with kids - I would definitely recommend the Hancock Observatory Tour. However, if it's simply the view (and maybe a cocktail) you crave, do yourself a favor and take a trip to the Signature Lounge instead.

John Hancock Observatory Photos



John Hancock Observatory Hotel

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

John Hancock Observatory

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94th Floor Observatory on the Magnificent Mile

Located in

Central

Gold Coast

Ticket Pricing

  • Adult Price
    $16.80
  • Child Price
    $11.20

Summary

Features: The Hancock Observatory is located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile. It is the city's only open-air skywalk. Here you'll see a 360-degree incredible view of Chicago, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and other parts of Illinois. 

The Soundscope talking telescopes give you realistic sound effects with narration in English, French, Japanese or Spanish. Skytours provides an overview of the city with 16 stops of one to three minutes each, available in English, Spanish and German. The Observatory is also home to the History Wall, with more than 100 photos on display featuring Chicago's history. Windows on Chicago is user-friendly technology that lets you "tour" more than 80 favorite Chicago attractions. The Observatory also provides for some unique photo opportunities. A great dining option is The Cheesecake Factory, located at the lower level of the Hancock Building. 

Why We Go: The amazing panoramic views of the Downtown Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan 1,000 feet high make the John Hancock Observatory one of the most popular Chicago attractions Downtown.

  • Panoramic Views: From the sprawling Lake Michigan shore to the magnificent Chicago skyline, the Hancock Center Chicago Observatory showcases all of the best sites and attractions the Windy City has to offer via 360-degree floor-to-ceiling windows and an open-air walkway.   
  • 96th Floor Drinks: Two floors above the Hancock Tower Observatory Chicago, the 96th floor Chicago bar is a romantic Chicago rooftop lounge that provides guests with unparalleled ambiance and breath-taking views of Downtown Chicago.
  • Fun for Kids: Every kid just wants to be bigger - at the John Hancock Tower Chicago, they can pretend their on top of the world! Give your kid a couple of quarters for the high-powered telescopes, and let them explore the sights of Chicago from this family friendly Chicago attraction.  

Inside Knowledge: Make an afternoon out of your trip to the John Hancock Center Chicago and stop in to the Lavazza Espression Cafe on the 96th floor for a high-end Chicago cocktail and kid-friendly Chicago restaurant items. 

Do's and Don'ts:

  • Do Bring Your Significant Other: The unparalleled ambiance, stiff cocktails and thrilling skyline views at the John Hancock Observatory inspire a romantic evening perfect for a special occasion in Chicago.  
  • Do Enjoy a Sundae: Sundaes and shakes at the 96th floor cafe at the Hancock Center Chicago provide tourists with a tasty treat when they visit this stunning Chicago landmark on the Magnificent Mile. We recommend the Chicago Gelato or their signature fruit smoothies
  • Don't Forget Your Camera: With unparalleled views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan surrounding you, you'll want to make sure you bring your camera to  the John Hancock Observatory in Chicago.
  • Don't Miss the Season Pass: Chicago locals and tourists that travel to Chicago frequently can take advantage of an annual pass for $79. The Sky High Pass is a special Chicago discount that also gives you 10% off of the Lavazza Espression Cafe menu, and pays for itself after just a handful of visits to this top Chicago tourist attraction

Comments

Sort Reviews By: | | |

Tour Review : John Hancock Observatory


Jason Bushey

Joined: April 2011

xxx.xxx.244.242

Overall:
4.65
Location:
5
Information:
4
Fun Factor:
5

Would recommend to a friend

Date of stay: 11/11

Went with:

The tour was:

Hancock Observatory - Enjoy the view, use the audio tour

For $17, you can travel to the 94th floor of the John Hancock Observatory - a landmark Chicago building that is home to the world’s fastest elevator (20mph! ... It takes about 40 seconds to get to the top.) and Chicago's best views. 

The panoramic views from floor-to-ceiling windows really are amazing, as you have Lake Michigan on one side and the entire Chicago skyline on the other. I was lucky enough to go on a clear Chicago morning, and I could see for miles in every direction.

When you walk onto the 94th floor, you'll be greeted with an iTouch audio tour and headphones. The audio tour is pretty interesting, with audio options for both kids and adults. “Friends” fans will recognize Chicago-native David Schwimmer’s voice as narrator. There's lots of information on the history of Chicago that really put all of the attractions below into context, and I'd highly recommend giving the tour a shot even if you're only up there for the views.

There’s also a café at the top that sells food, sandwiches, coffee and beer, and they take a picture of you at the bottom that you have the option of buying later. I grabbed a hot Mocha - not Starbucks quality but it did the trick on a chilly fall morning.

I had a GREAT time at the Observatory. The views really are amazing, and I may have dealt with a brief case of vertigo. However, if you're less of a tour person, you can skip the admission fee and take the elevator up to the 95th floor and grab a drink at the Signature Lounge. Drinks are pricey (and in some cases just as much as the Hancock Observatory fee), but you really can’t beat the view and the ambiance from that high up.

Overall - and especially if you're traveling with kids - I would definitely recommend the Hancock Observatory Tour. However, if it's simply the view (and maybe a cocktail) you crave, do yourself a favor and take a trip to the Signature Lounge instead.