360 Chicago is also known as John Hancock Observatory.

Located 305 meters (1000 feet) in the iconic John Hancock Building, this observatory offers stunning 360 degrees views of the city.

The best part of 360 Chicago is ‘The Tilt,’ considered by many the most thrilling ride in the city.

In this article, we explain everything you must know before visiting the 360 Chicago.

1. How to reach
2. Opening hours
3. What to see
4. Best time to visit
5. Tour duration
6. 360 Chicago tickets
7. 360 or Skydeck
8. The view
9. Day or night?
10. 360 Chicago sunset

COVID-19 UPDATE: 360 Chicago is now open for visitors. As a safety precaution, ticket counters at the venue only accept credit card, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.

To ensure social distancing of 2 meters (6 feet), only a limited number of visitors are allowed per day, so it is better to book your tickets in advance.

>> 360 Chicago ‘Skip the Line’ tickets
>> 360 Chicago’s Sun and Stars ticket

All visitors must wear a mask during their visit. Besides taking all precautions, the handlebars and glass in TILT will also be sanitised after every guest.

How to reach 360 Chicago

360 Chicago is in the heart of Chicago city.

It is at the top of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile – the corner of Michigan Avenue and Delaware Place.

Map Courtesy: 360chicago.com

360 Chicago’s address
875 N Michigan Avenue,
94th floor, Chicago,
IL 60611, United States.

Get Directions

There are many ways to get to 360 Chicago and we detail them below.

Public Transport

The easiest way to get to 360 Chicago is by taking the L’s Red Line to the Chicago subway station.

From the station, the John Hancock Building is just 0.65 Kms (0.40 Miles) and can be walked in less than 10 minutes (map below).

The other option is to hop on to one of these bus numbers – 125, 146, 151, 66 and get down at the bus stop mentioned in the table below.

Bus NoBus Stop to get down at
125Mies Van Der Rohe & Pearson
146Michigan & Chestnut
151Michigan & Pearson 
66Chicago & Michigan

Divvy Bikes

Divvy’s bike program is Chicago’s bike sharing system which now has thousands of bikes and hundreds of bike stations.

There are many bike stations located within walking distance of 360 Chicago.

It is very easy to get a Divvy bike from one of the stations, and get to this attraction.

360 Chicago parking

Parking for 360 Chicago is located at the John Hancock Center garage.

If you show your 360 Chicago tickets, you will receive a $5 discount on your parking fees.

The vehicle clearance is about 6 feet 7 inches.

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360 Chicago hours

360 Chicago’s observation deck opens at 9 am and closes at 11 pm, every day of the year.

The last entry at 360 Chicago is at 10.30 pm.

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Best time to visit 360 Chicago

The best time to visit 360 Chicago is an hour before sunset.

Since everybody wants to see the sunset from 360 Chicago’s observatory, it gets crowded around this time.

But it is the best possible experience at 360 Chicago because you get to see Chicago’s skyline in three different ways – during daylight, twilight and nighttime.

While going down, the Sun creates stunning views on the Chicago Sky. Image: 360chicagoevents.com

If you can’t make it for the sunset, the next best time to visit 360 Chicago is before 10 am so that you can beat the crowd and go straight to the top.

It is also advisable to check the weather before planning your visit – best time and day to visit any observatory is when the skies are clear.

Best time for photographers

It is tricky for photographers to find a photo-worthy attraction which allows photography.

360 Chicago solves this problem for photographers.

On Mondays, 360 Chicago allows photographers to set up shots the way they like.

In fact, they can also use their tripods, both during the day and at night.

Best time for artists

If you have a passion for art and creativity, then you must visit 360 Chicago on Wednesdays.

Painters and illustrators are invited on Wednesdays to bring up their easel and canvas up to the deck of 360 Chicago to capture the stunning Skyline through an artist’s eye.

Best time to visit if you love beer

If you love beer, you must visit 360 Chicago on Thursday’s evening.

On Thursdays, from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm, Revolution Brewing’s locally brewed craft beer is available, plus big TV screens, board games with music etc.

Everything is fun with a sea of city lights all around you.

Perfect time for Yoga enthusiasts

360 Sky Yoga takes place every Saturday’s morning from 9 am to 10 am.

This one hour Yoga class is led by a professional instructor who takes participants through an all–level Yoga flow and meditation.

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How long does 360 Chicago take

Visitors usually spend an hour and a half during their visit to 360 Chicago’s observatory.

Some tourists are known to wind up their visit in just 45 minutes.

However, if you haven’t bought your tickets online – you need to factor in 45 to 60 minutes more in the ticketing line. To avoid waiting, buy the tickets online.

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What to see in 360 Chicago?

There are many things to explore and enjoy at 360 Chicago. We list them below.

Observation deck

360 CHICAGO observation deck offers breathtaking 360 degrees views of the Chicago city skyline and Lake Michigan.

When the weather is clear, you can see up to 80 Kilometres (50 Miles) – up to four different states.

360 Chicago TILT

TILT is one of the most thrilling attractions in Chicago.

This novel feature sets 360 Chicago apart from other observatories.

Tilts are full-length window panes with bars on both sides for you to hold.

Once you are ready, the window panes tilt forward and outward from the 94th floor of John Hancock tower.

These panes tilt out gradually up to 45 degrees more than 305 meters (1000 feet) above the ground.

How long does TILT last?

The TILT lasts for around 2-3 minutes.

However, you may find a queue waiting for their turn to experience the TILT.

Depending on the time of the day and the season this can take 5 to 15 minutes.

Multimedia Exhibit

Chicago Multimedia Exhibit is an experience which begins at the ground floor of the John Hancock tower.

It is a Museum styled just like an exhibition to celebrate Chicago’s history and nine of its culturally rich neighborhoods.

There are educative high definition interactive touch screens in seven different languages for the guests to explore.

Michigan Pete

This is an interactive multimedia exhibit which narrates the construction of the John Hancock Building through the eyes of one of the workers.

Evald Peterson, who was also known as ‘Michigan Pete’ worked as head caisson inspector while constructing the John Hancock Building.

He documented with notes and photographs the whole process, which is now a fantastic history of the iconic building.

Bar 94

Image: 360chicago.com

Bar 94 is perhaps the highest bar in Chicago.

It is on the 94th floor of the John Hancock tower and offers 360-degree views of the city.

If you are above the drinking age, we highly recommend you check it out.

We are sure, it will be a stimulating experience for you.

You will be served locally produced bear by Revolution Brewing and spirits by Koval Distillery.

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360 Chicago tickets

When you buy your 360 Chicago ticket from the venue, you get a physical ticket (as in the pic). But we don’t recommend it because online tickets are cheaper, and offer a better experience. Image: Mysuitcasejourneys.com

360 Chicago offers three kinds of experiences to the visitors.

You can book the regular yet most popular Skip The Line ticket, or you can opt for the ‘Sun and Stars’ ticket, which allows for two visits in the same day.

360 Chicago ‘Skip the Line’ tickets

360 Chicago tickets can be booked with or without the TILT experience. Image: Dangerous-business.com

This Skip the line ticket gets you admission to the 360 Chicago observatory in the shortest possible time.

You can choose to book this ticket with the TILT experience or without it.

Some tourists prefer to see the TILT experience for themselves, and then book it on the spot.

Ticket price (without TILT)

Adult ticket (12+ years):  $22
Child ticket (3 to 11 years):  $15

Ticket price (with TILT)

Adult ticket (12+ years):  $30
Child ticket (3 to 11 years):  $23

Children below 3 years walk in for free.

360 Chicago’s Sun and the Stars ticket

This ticket gets you to access to the most beautiful observatory in the whole of Chicago twice – once during the day and once at night.

Thus you get to see two different spectacular views of the city from the 94th floor observatory.

You can book this experience without or with TILT.

Ticket price (without TILT)

Adult ticket (12+ years):  $26.50
Child ticket (3 to 11 years):  $19.50

Ticket price (without TILT)

Adult ticket (12+ years):  $34.50
Child ticket (3 to 11 years):  $27.50

Children below 3 years walk in for free.

If you want to split half bottle of wine (Italian Prosecco) even as you enjoy spectacular views of Chicago from 360 Chicago, check out this ticket.

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360 Chicago or Skydeck Chicago

Tourists visiting Chicago tend to compare Skydeck Chicago (also known as Willis Skydeck) with Hancock 360 Chicago.

They want to know which is better – 360 Chicago or Skydeck Chicago – so that they can choose the best experience.

The 360 Chicago observatory is only 3.2 Kms (2 Miles) from Skydeck Chicago observatory.

This proximity further confuses tourists.

Here is a short countdown: 360 Chicago vs Skydeck Chicago

1. Location

Location is important because based on the tourist attraction you are visiting or the hotel you are staying in, one observatory may be closer than the other.

360 Chicago is located on Michigan Avenue and Skydeck Chicago is on Wacker Avenue (entrance is on Jackson Boulevard).

Skydeck Chicago and 360 Chicago are 3 Miles apart (4.8 Kms).

However, if you won’t be staying in the city centre, the location won’t matter much because they aren’t that far apart.

2. Ticket prices

360 Chicago’s tickets are cheaper than Skydeck’s tickets.

Skydeck Chicago has a standard entry ticket which costs $23 for adults aged 12+ years and $17 for children aged 3 to 12 years.

360 Chicago tickets are a dollar cheaper at $22 (for adults) and $15 (for kids).

3. Waiting times

The average waiting time at Skydeck Chicago is double the waiting time at 360 Chicago – during peak times.

This is why if you are travelling with impatient kids (or elderly adults) it may be worthwhile to opt for 360 Chicago.

4. Opening hours

Sometimes the opening times of the observatories may help you decide on which one to visit.

360 Chicago is open daily from 9 am to 11 pm, and the last entry is at 10.30 pm.

Skydeck Chicago is open daily from 9 am to 10 pm.

However, during the lean months – October to February – the hours get reduced to 10 am to 8 pm.

5. Additional Features

However, what really differentiates Chicago’s two observatories is their unique feature – 360 Chicago’s Tilt and Skydeck Chicago’s Ledge.

To experience 360 Chicago’s Tilt, you must pay $7 extra.

You can buy 360 Chicago tickets with the Tilt experience beforehand, or you can decide to upgrade at the venue.

Skydeck Chicago’s Ledge is a glass box extending 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) away from the main walls of the Willis Tower.

There are four such ledge boxes, and you don’t need to buy a ticket to try them out.

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360 Chicago view

On a clear day, the 360 Chicago observatory in Hancock building offers excellent views of the city and beyond.

In fact, you can even see the other States across Lake Michigan.

You get fantastic views of the Navy Pier, downtown Chicago etc.

Ironically, you can even see the Willis Tower (which has the Skydeck observatory) in the Chicago skyline.

Visitors love the large glass panes of this observatory, which make it easy to look around and take photos.

The night time view is also brilliant – you can see the lit up Chicago skyline.

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360 Chicago at night

This is a question many tourists ask.

That’s why we thought it is best if you see the night views from the 360 Chicago Observatory platform, yourself.

If you have the time and the money, we suggest you visit the building twice – once in the morning and once at night.

For this, you must buy the Suns and Stars ticket, which allows you two visits within 48 hours.

However, at night one side of the building will just be dark since there are no lights on Lake Michigan.

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360 Chicago at sunset

If you don’t have the time and money for the Sun and Stars ticket, we have yet another suggestion.

You don’t have to choose between the night and day – do both with a single ticket and in one visit.

Plan your visit, just before sunset.

However, be ready for long lines because many tourists prefer to check out the sunset from 360 Chicago.

If you opt for this time, you can witness the City skyline during the day time, see it change colours as the sun sets, and then watch in admiration as the lights come up one by one.

Once the sunset is over, the crowd thins down making it seem like a private preview of the city of Chicago. Buy the regular ticket

Popular attractions in Chicago

# Chicago Architecture Tours
# Chicago Skydeck
# Art Institute of Chicago
# Field Museum

Observatories in USA

# Empire State Building
# One World Observatory
# Top of the Rock
# Chicago Skydeck

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Divya Madaan

She loves to visit the popular holiday destinations because they are easy to explore as a tourist.

She also loves to plan much and fix an itinerary before stepping out of her hotel room.

For her, people and the cuisine in a holiday destination are more critical than Museums and monuments.

Favorite Cities: Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore, London

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