City Guide / Chicago

Famous Movie Spots You Can Find in Chicago

By Kailey Hansen | Jan 19, 2022
Skyline view of Chicago

Chicago is a city with many stories to tell—including those that appear on the big screen. From transforming into Gotham City for “The Dark Knight” to Ferris’ playground in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” Chicago is the perfect city for movie buffs. You’ll have a field day sightseeing many spots that were used for some of the most memorable moments in cinema.

With apartments available across the greater Chicago area, Landing members will have quick access to famous filming locations. Check out some of the most notable Chicago appearances in movie history below: 

‘Home Alone’ 

Located along the north shore, just a short Metra train ride away from Downtown Chicago lies the serene suburb of Winnetka, Illinois. Visitors will find lakeside beaches, nature trails, and grandiose houses nestled across this neighborhood. Winnetka’s claim to fame, however, is that it boasts the original “Home Alone” house, where the McCallister family infamously left Kevin home alone back in 1990.

Decades later, fans of the cult classic holiday tale still flock to 671 Lincoln Avenue to catch a glimpse of the McCallister’s home. Just don’t linger too long, as this is a private residence! While in Winnetka, there are plenty of places to shop and dine. Near the Metra station and Hubbard Woods area, you might also stumble across the familiar park where Kevin flees a cop after stealing a pharmacy toothbrush.

Perhaps the second most coveted location from the movie is Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, where the entire flustered family (minus Kevin) scrambles to make their flight. Chances are, if you’re traveling through this airport you’ll walk along the giant corridor that really is decked out for the holidays during wintertime.

‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’

When Ferris Bueller ditched class back in 1986, he and his sidekicks, Cameron and Sloane, made their mark on the Windy City. All it takes is a leisurely stroll through Downtown Chicago to spot some of the most memorable moments from this John Hughes classic.

The movie shows off some of the city’s best architecture, including the Willis Tower where Ferris and friends visit the Skydeck to get a bird’s-eye view of the city (pro tip: you can actually visit the Skydeck!)

A trip to The Art Institute of Chicago is also a must, as this landmark has its very own montage where the crew explores the Chicago museum and Cameron stares into Georges Seurat’s famous painting, “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.” 

Whether you’re a sports fan or a movie lover, you’ll also want to head north of downtown to Wrigley Field, where the three lovable juvenile delinquents enjoy their day off catching a Cubs game. 

‘The Dark Knight’

In 2008, Chicago got a makeover and transformed into Gotham, home to Batman and all his foes. The award-winning film opens with a bank robbery scene that was shot inside Chicago’s Old Post Office (404 West Harrison Street).

The Wayne Enterprises Headquarters is located smack-dab in the middle of downtown in what actually is known as Daley Plaza, the business center area that houses Christkindlmarket during the holidays.

Superhero fans will also want to peer at the impressive Willis Tower, where Batman stands looking down on his city, and make their way to Navy Pier, used in action scenes between Batman and the Joker.

Additionally, if you happen to drive through the Lower Wacker Drive underpass, you’ll probably recognize it as the tunnel that the Batmobile speeds through! The filming locations for this movie don’t end here, so visiting Chicago is a worthwhile mission for diehard fans of Gotham’s defender.

‘While You Were Sleeping’

If you grew up watching this Sandra Bullock romantic comedy, where a ticket collector saves a man from an “L” train accident and then gets caught up in a hilarious lie, you know that it’s a Chicago movie at heart. Bullock plays Lucy, a single woman employed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) who finds herself pining after a cute guy she sees every morning on the train platform.

If you’re commuting anywhere by “L” downtown, you’re likely to zip through the station that Lucy works at, Randolph/Wabash. Throughout the film, you can also see her strolling along the Chicago River or hanging around her old-school courtyard apartment—a true depiction of Chicago living—which is located in the artful and eclectic neighborhood of Logan Square (3017 W. Logan Boulevard). 

‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’

In this beloved ‘90s rom-com, Julia Roberts plays a food critic who heads to Chicago after hearing that her best friend (Dermot Mulroney) is getting married to the “girl of his dreams,” Kimmy (played by Cameron Diaz). Of course, a love triangle ensues as all three characters prepare for the big wedding.

There are plenty of filming locations to visit from this movie, including Union Station, the surprisingly picturesque train depot that runs through Downtown Chicago, and Fourth Presbyterian Church (126 E. Chestnut Street), which is used as the wedding venue and located along the Magnificent Mile, one of Chicago’s most well-known main streets.

You can also live out moments from “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (no love triangle required) by catching a White Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field, taking a Wendella Architectural Boat Tour along the Chicago River, or stopping by the renowned Macy’s Department Store on State Street (then Marshall Field’s).

‘When Harry Met Sally’

While the majority of this movie takes place in New York City, Harry very literally first meets Sally at the University of Chicago, located in the neighborhood of Hyde Park. While there aren’t many more Chicago spots in this film, it’s still one worth noting to Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal fans.

Once Harry and Sally decide to carpool together to the Big Apple, the pair can be seen cruising along Lake Shore Drive, Chicago’s famous lakeside expressway that comes with gorgeous views of the city and Lake Michigan.

Honorable mentions

Other movies with Chicagoland filming locations include: 

  • “Risky Business”
  • “Divergent” 
  • “Bridesmaids” 
  • “Miracle on 34th Street” 
  • “Wanted” 
  • “The Fugitive” 
  • The “Transformers” movies
  • “Wayne’s World” 
  • “Groundhog Day”

Land a great apartment in Chicago

If you like the idea of moving to Chicago, Landing offers fully furnished apartments with flexible lease terms, concierge services, seamless transfers, and all the amenities you need. Browse our available apartments in Chicago or contact us to learn more about renting an apartment from Landing.

Kailey Hansen

Kailey Hansen is a freelance writer and communications professional based in the land of deep-dish pizza. She has lived in both the city and the suburbs of Chicago and enjoys writing about the amazing things the Windy City has to offer. When she's not dishing about the best places to grab a slice of deep-dish, you can find her writing (and obsessing) about binge-worthy TV shows for BuzzFeed and why cats are the best (and absolutely outlandish creatures) for Rover's blog, The Dog People.