360 CHICAGO vs SkyDeck Chicago: Comparing the Differences Between the Two Observation Decks

As a hub of architectural style and advancement, there is quite a bit to marvel at from above in Chicago. From panoramic views of unique skyscrapers to the Chicago River, SkyDeck Chicago and 360 CHICAGO both offer incredible views of the Windy City. So how do you decide which one to visit on your trip?

We’re breaking down the differences between the two popular observation decks so you can choose between them- or visit both!

What’s Included with General Admission:

To start, both SkyDeck Chicago tickets and 360 CHICAGO tickets are included with the Go Chicago Card.

That means you can visit BOTH observation decks for one price, which can save you up to 45% off vs paying separately at the gate.

Below we’ll break down what is included with general admission tickets to each observation deck

SkyDeck Chicago

  • Entrance to the observation deck
  • Unbeatable views of the city and beyond – see parts of 4 different states (Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana & Michigan), Soldier Field, Chicago River and more
  • A chance to step out onto The Ledge – an all-glass balcony that extends from the side of the building
  • Access to Reaching for the Sky, all interactive exhibits and displays

360 CHICAGO

  • Entrance to the observation deck
  • Panoramic views of the city – see Navy Pier, Lake Michigan, Magnificent Mile and more
  • Skip the line privleges
  • Access to all interactive exhibits and displays

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Location

Sometimes when choosing between SkyDeck Chicago and 360 CHICAGO, it simply comes down to the logistics of getting there or what fits your sightseeing schedule. Lucky for you, both of these decks are located in prime locations full of other great Chicago attractions and sights.

SkyDeck Chicago

SkyDeck Chicago is located just blocks from Millenium Park and the Museum Campus and is very easy to get to by car or public transportation.

Millenium Park is home to the famous Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) sculpture and you can’t take a trip to Chicago without snagging a picture in front of it. Aside from housing one of the most famous works of art in the city, the park is also a fantastic and lively greenspace with plenty of other installations and things to see.

Journey a bit further down into the park and you’ll find the best museums in the city. Explore the Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum, The Shedd Aquarium and more.

Getting in: The Art Institute of Chicago tickets, Shedd Aquarium tickets and The Field Museum tickets are also included on Go Chicago Card.

360 CHICAGO

360 CHICAGO is located between Oak Street Beach and the famous Navy Pier. Also easily accessible by car or public transportation, you’ll find plenty to do in the area after your trip to the top of Chicago.

Navy Pier is another famous Chicago landmark. Stretching far out into Lake Michigan, the pier is full of shops, restaurants and attractions. Ride the Centennial Wheel or pop into a store while enjoying beautiful views of the water.

The Museum of Contemporary Art and The Chicago Children’s Museum are also located close by. Whether you’re traveling with family or you’re a major art-lover – or both – checking out these two institutions is a must.

Getting in: Navy Pier Centennial Wheel & Rides tickets, The Museum of Contemporary Arts tickets and The Chicago Children’s Museum tickets are also included on Go Chicago Card.

Comparing the views

360 CHICAGO

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Here you’ll find unparalleled views of the city and Lake Michigan. From the 94th floor, you can take in the sheer beauty of the coastline, Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier and beyond.

Make sure to have your camera at the ready – from 1,000 feet up you can just see just about everything in the Windy City.

SkyDeck Chicago

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From 1,353ft up there’s very little you won’t see up at SkyDeck Chicago.

The 103rd floor provides panoramic views through all-glass windows and The Ledge, a glass balcony that extends from the side of the building. Take in the architectural style of the skyscrapers, look for Navy Pier and other landmarks and see if you can spot the four different state lines visible from the top!

Upgrades & Other Experiences

In addition to observation decks and interactive displays, one of these observation decks offers even more to do.

SkyDeck Chicago

Your SkyDeck Chicago tickets already include all that there is to see at this observation deck! Enjoy taking a step onto The Ledge, learn more with the interactive exhibits and see the entire city atop the all-glass floor.

When visiting, consult their website to see if any special events are happening.

360 CHICAGO

While your 360 CHICAGO tickets already include admission to the observation deck with skip the line privileges and all interactive exhibits, there’s even more to see here.

  • TILT is 360 CHICAGO’s moving all-glass balcony. TILT is the first of its kind and extends from the building, offering never before seen views. The balcony can hold up to 8 visitors at a time and moves around to give you different vantage points. TILT is not included in general admission and can be purchased separately through 360 CHICAGOs website.
  • 360 SKY ART happens once a month and allows artists of any skill level to bring their supplies and paint at the top of the observation deck. This is a separately ticketed event.
  • 360 HOPPY HOUR 360 CHICAGO and Revolution Brewing Company team up every week bring you local drinks. This takes place every Thursday from 6-9pm and you’ll be able to join in on the fun with your general admission tickets!
  • 360 SKY YOGA is every Saturday from 9-10am and is separately ticketed. Yoga enthusiasts will love the chance to practice from 1,000 ft in the sky.
  • 360 SUNDAY FUNDAY is a free event as well that takes place every sunday from 1-3pm. Take the whole family to enjoy kid-friendly performances by Myster AJ and Mr. Dave music. Kids can also ride TILT free on these days from 9am-4pm.

In Ssummary; the Biggest Differences between SkyDeck Chicago and 360 CHICAGO

While the two observation decks both offer incredible views, there are some differences to note before choosing which one you’d like to visit.

SkyDeck Chicago: includes admission to the observation deck and their protruding glass balcony. Located just blocks from Millenium Park, it’s a great place to start a day of exploring the city. Nearby museums, attractions and authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza are calling your name!

360 CHICAGO: while their extended balcony is not included, you will still see incredible views of the city and enjoy skip the line privileges. It’s within walking distance to Navy Pier, which is full of tourist attractions, shops and restaurants to try. It’s a great way to see some of the greatest landmarks from the top and then visit them after you return from your journey into the sky.

All in all, your sure to have a great time and see beautiful sights no matter which one you choose.

Save On Admission (And Visit both with Go Chicago Card)

We can make it even simpler for you – don’t even choose! With Go Chicago Card you can visit both observation decks and 25 more top Chicago attractions. Use your Go Chicago Card to visit both and compare the two for yourself. You’ll enjoy totally unique experiences at SkyDeck Chicago and 360 CHICAGO.

Save up to 45% off combined admission to over 25 attractions including SkyDeck Chicago, 360 CHICAGO, Shoreline Architecture River Cruise, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, The Field Museum, tours, museums, bike rentals and more.

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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