The Art Institute of Chicago Parking Guide

Last Updated on March 25, 2021 by Snezana Grcak

Located in the heart of Chicago, the Art Institute is one of the largest art museums in the States. Its great collection spans centuries and many iconic works. The museum hosts an array of events and special exhibitions and has around 1.5 million visitors every year. If you wish to go and see almost 300,000 artworks in downtown Chicago, let us inform you of the general ticket prices, the Art Institute of Chicago parking options, and some convenient parking alternatives. 

Let’s dive in!

How Much Are Tickets to the Art Institute of Chicago?

The Art Institute works on Mondays and from Thursday to Sunday. It’s open to the public between 11 AM and 6 PM, while members can enter the museum at 10 AM. The museum offers two entrances; the main one is at 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603, while the 2009 Modern Wing is accessible at 159 E Monroe St.

General admission for adults is $25, but the price is lower for Illinois residents, students, seniors, etc. Of course, the residents must bring proof of residence, such as a valid ID, lease, or bill. See below for the full ticket price list.

General AdmissionChicago ResidentsIllinois Residents
Adults$25$20$22
Seniors(65+)$19$14$16
Students$19$14$16
Teens(14-17)$19Free$16
Children*FreeFree Free

*The Art Institute of Chicago offers free access to children under the age of 14. 

Apart from children, free access to the Art Institute of Chicago is available to Illinois educators, WIC and LINK cardholders, university and corporate partners, as well as members of the military (and their families). You cannot get a free pass online — visit the admission counter upon arrival.

The Art Institute visitors can also purchase a Fast Pass, which allows them to avoid the admission lines at entrances and provides quick access to special exhibitions. It costs $35 for adults and $29 for seniors, students, and teens.

Chicago CityPASS gives you the opportunity to visit Chicago’s top attractions at a discounted price! The pass includes the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and places like the Art Institute of Chicago, 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck, and Museum of Science and Industry. It also covers the Fast Pass admission at the Art Institute.

To purchase the Art Institute tickets, do it online and in advance. Select the date of your visit, choose the type of admission, and follow a few simple steps. 

The Art Institute of Chicago Parking Options

Due to the museum’s convenient location, the guests can choose from a variety of car parking facilities. In addition to the official Art Institute parking service, several parking garages are within walking distance from the museum. So, visitors don’t need to worry about locating an affordable public parking spot. Keep reading for all vehicle parking information and a few tips and tricks on saving money.

How Much is Parking at the Art Institute?

The Art Institute of Chicago provides its guests with convenient valet service available at the Modern Wing entrance (159 East Monroe Street). The event parking rates are subject to change, but the standard parking cost is $28, and only cash is accepted. (Due to the pandemic, valet parking may not be available; see the website for up-to-date info.)

As a suitable substitute for the official Art Institute parking, we suggest that you park your vehicle in one of the nearby garage parking structures. Millennium Garages are a great choice, and all of them offer discounted parking prices if you reserve parking online. See the list below for the online short-term parking prices.

Up to 3 hoursUp to 12 hours
Grant Park North$8$14.95
Grant Park South$7$13.95
Millennium Lakeside$7$13.95
Millennium Park$7$13.95

Note that these are the online rates, so be sure to pre-book your parking space! The drive-up rates are much higher, and the price for 2-8 hours of parking is approximately between $30 and $40 (so, the difference in price is significant).

The recommended garage is the Grant Park South, located at 325 S Michigan Ave, and it’s only a 3-minute walk from the museum. Grant Park North and Millennium Lakeside are also very close, approximately a 5-minute walk away. 

Accessible Parking

ADA parking near the Art Institute of Chicago is available in the East Monroe Street Garage, Millennium Park Garage, and Grant Park North Garage. Visitors driving oversized vehicles should note that vehicle clearance is 8’ in the first and 8’ 3” in the second garage. You have to display a disabled parking permit or license plate to use these spots. Standard parking rates apply.

The Art Institute of Chicago Parking Alternatives

Guests who don’t want to pay nearly $30 for a spot at the museum should definitely book parking in one of the Millennium Garages. However, you have a couple of more alternatives. Let’s check them out! 

Street Parking

Chicago offers plenty of street and metered parking spots that cost between $2 and $6.50 per hour, depending on the location. For example, in The Loop, on-street parking is $6.50 an hour. If you’ve planned on parking on Columbus Drive, note that both sides of Columbus Drive (east of the museum) are “no parking” zones between 4 and 6 PM. Anyway, wherever you decide to park, please read the street signs carefully.

Public Transportation

Chicago’s Art Institute is one block east of the Loop and easily accessible via public transit. The Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, and Purple lines stop at the Adams/Wabash station, one block west of the museum. Several CTA bus lines also stop in front of the Art Institute. Currently, the “L” train fare is $2.50 per adult, while the one-way bus fare is $2.25. The visitors may also use Metra; the museum is accessible from the Van Buren and Millennium stations. One-way fares start at $4.

Groupon

When visiting Chicago’s top attractions, using a Groupon can really reduce your expenses. While the museum offers free access and discounts for children and seniors, this is the best deal for adults. So, don’t hesitate to look for an Art Institute Groupon before your visit; you may come across discounts for general tickets, private tours, memberships, and more.

FAQ

Do general admission tickets include access to special exhibitions?

A general admission ticket includes access to all museum’s non-ticketed exhibitions. Some special exhibitions do require an additional charge.

What items are not allowed in the galleries?

Bags, camera bags, backpacks, balloons, food, toys, umbrellas, and wrapped packages are not allowed inside the galleries.

Does the Art Institute have wheelchairs?

Yes, they are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Is there a bike-sharing program that I could use?

Divvy is Chicago’s bike-sharing program; several stations are available near the Art Institute. 

Bottom Line

Parking near the Art Institute of Chicago doesn’t cost a fortune if you plan ahead. Millennium garages are your best option — they are very close and can save you over $20 if you reserve parking in advance. To avoid parking altogether, use one of the public transportation services and reach the museum for as low as $2.25. Several train/bus stations are a short walk away from the Art Institute.

Parking Access offers much more! We provide useful information on Chicago Monthly Parking, as well as Wrigley Field Parking, which is a 15-minute drive away from the museum. Plan on having a trip soon? Be sure to use our Chicago O’Hare Parking Guide — check out all the options and make a reservation on the spot!