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Get information about the Willis Tower Skydeck

The Willis Tower has become an essential component of the well-celebrated name that Chicago has made for itself on the architectural stage. Formerly known as the Sears Tower, it is located on the 103rd floor and is one of the tallest buildings in the world. It is the highest point in Chicago and offers amazing views of the city. On a cloudless day out, not only will you be able to see the beauty of the city and the lakefront but also maybe up to 50 miles out and possibly view four other states. Let us gain a deeper perspective of the Willis Tower Skydeck and learn what to expect and how to get there.


The Willis Tower Skydeck has been part of Chicago’s history since 1973. Formerly known as the Sears Tower, the Tower is about 110 stories high and is a welcoming anchor in the heart of downtown Chicago. In 1970, the construction of the Sears Tower began. The tallest building in the world was completed by 1973 was with the help of 2000 construction workers. In 1982, the iconic broadcast antennae were added to the tower. In 1985, the Wacker Drive Atrium was added to the base of the tower which features a distinct arched glass construction.

The Skydeck underwent its first-ever renovation in the year 2000. The tower was renamed from ‘Sears Tower’ to the ‘Willis Tower’ in the year 2009. Another five-year-long renovation plan began in 2017 and by 2022 the renovations were complete featuring a Catalog, the art of the neighborhood, rooftop, greenspace, and more. If you live in Chicago and are watching your favorite radio or television shows, you might just be tuning in to a signal from the Willis Tower. The tower’s antenna features rotating colors that light up the sky every night and celebrate everything from awareness to sports teams.

Willis Tower Skydeck 1 scaled

What to Expect

The Skydeck is 1,353 feet off the ground and is located on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower. Not only is there an amazing view to enjoy but also a lot of fun activities and exhibits to learn from. These displays and exhibitions showcase the history of the city, and the bright future Chicago is heading into. You also get extremely specific information about the building . Willis Tower has been actively working on reducing its carbon footprint through implementing measures towards recycling, lighting, and shading to reduce its environmental impact and practice greening.

Things to See

  • The Ledge – Ledge is now the newest and the coolest part of the Skydeck. You can stand on a reinforced glass sticking out from the side of the tower. You will feel your pulse quicken as you step out onto the glass but it is worth every second of it. The glass balcony provides a picturesque view of the Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Wrigley Field, and much more. The ledge does extend out more than 4 feet off the building, so it gives you the impression that you are walking on the clouds. The line for the ledge can be a long wait up to 30-40 minutes sometimes. You usually get 2-3 minutes before having to move on for somebody else. Therefore, be ready and in a position to take pictures and videography.
  • Skydeck Theatre – Here you can watch and enjoy an interesting 9-minute movie that gives some background on Chicago’s architectural success. You will also get to learn about how the Willis Tower had initially begun as a dream and eventually turned into a breathing reality.
Willis Tower Skydeck 3 scaled

Skydeck Amenities

They have a limited number of amenities at the Willis Tower Skydeck. Some of these include: –

  • Accommodations – The Willis Tower Skydeck is now accessible to people in wheelchairs, scooters, and strollers with ramps and elevators. The Ledge is also available for these people. If you are looking for complimentary wheelchairs, they are available on a first-come, first-use basis. For video presentations, hearing assistance receivers are available. For disabled guests, licensed guard dogs are allowed entry.
  • Restaurants – There are quite a few eating options available inside the Willis Tower and in and around them. The ones within are: – Argo tea, Starbucks, French Accent, Salseria Grill and Cantina, Market Creations, Corner Bakery, Venice Cafe, Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins. Some restaurants in and around the Willis Tower include – The Billy Goat Tavern, Poag Mahone’s, Wow Bao, Chicken Planet, and Giordano’s.

Things near the Willis Tower

Here is a list of a few things located just within walking distance of the Willis Tower Skydeck that visitors can visit during the day.

  • Greektown
  • National Hellenic Museum
  • Giordano’s Pizza
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Grant Park (with Buckingham Fountain)
  • Crown Fountain (at Millenium Park)
  • Union Station
Willis tower scaled

Getting there

The address for Willis Tower is 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL, 60606. The entrance to the Skydeck is located on Franklin Street, on the east side of the Willis Tower. Due to its location downtown, it is easy to access through driving, public transportation, or biking.

  • Driving – If you are coming to the Tower by driving, parking is available at 211W Adams, the official garage of Willis Tower. For Skydeck visitors, there are both All-Day and evening passes available. The way to get there is from Interstate by exiting at Jackson Boulevard and heading east to Wacker.
  • Public Transport – Take brown, orange, or purple lines to Quincy Station. From there it will just be a short walking distance to the Franklin Street entrance. Buses #7, #126, and #156 all stop near Jackson & Wacker.
  • Biking – You can burn some calories while getting there by riding a bike. You can grab a bike at Divvy Station near you and ride it to Willis Tower if you do not have one by yourself. You can then deposit it at the Divvy Station at Franklin and Quincy or Franklin St and Jackson Blvd.


The Willis Tower Skydeck is open 365 days a year. The hours of operation range from 10 am-8 pm daily in the winter and 9 am to 10 pm daily in Spring/Autumn/Summer. If you would like to get an unobstructed view of the city for yourself, it is best to get there on a bright day. The best time for avoiding crowds is weekday mornings and it will mean waiting in fewer lines to get to the Ledge. You can buy tickets at the location or on the Willis Tower website. The price of tickets is $19.50 for adults 12 and up. For children from ages 3 to 11, it is $12.50, and it is completely free for children under the age of 3.

Willis Tower Skydeck 2 scaled


  • For a more fun and educational time, make sure you check out Skydeck’s website for Kids before visiting.
  • If you are looking to get good photos, avoid the busiest times of the day.
  • Check the sunset timings of the day that you visit and arrive an hour before. This way you can get the city views in daylight, sunset, and after dark when the lights are shining.
  • People in Chicago still refer to it as the Sears Tower.
  • You can skip some of the lines with a Chicago City PASS or Go, Chicago Card.

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