We are Urban

At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), the city is our campus. Our buildings are interwoven into the fabric of Chicago’s vibrant downtown. You will walk to class among the soaring skyscrapers and unparalleled architecture of one of America’s largest cities. The bright lights of Chicago’s historic theater district will light your path to the Gene Siskel Film Center for an evening screening. The encyclopedic collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, historical treasures of the Field Museum, the stargazing equipment of the Adler Planetarium, and the musical richness of the Lyric Opera are right in your front and back yards. And the rumbling elevated train tracks just outside our buildings can take you out into Chicago’s patchwork of ethnically and racially diverse neighborhoods where you can explore and find even more inspiration.

It is the ideal setting for an artist. Everything from world-class museums and renowned galleries to younger galleries and alternative spaces is easily accessible on foot or public transportation.

This website is a quick reference guide for SAIC students that includes a handful of favorite spots recommended by other SAIC students, faculty, and staff. And of course, don’t be afraid to search for some great surprises and hidden gems on your own! The opinions included here are not necessarily the opinions of SAIC. Consider this a “get started” guide. Be sure to bring your SAIC ID with you when you shop because many places offer discounts to students.

Share Your Recommendations with Us

If you find a place you would like to share with others, please feel free to email your recommendation to us at student_life@saic.edu.