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See Chicago Like Ferris Bueller


May 23, 2012 by Amanda

“Bueller?… Bueller?… Bueller?”

What ’80s kid can’t place this line?


It’s from the classic John Hughes flick “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” which tells the tale of a few high school kids who ditch school and have adventures in downtown Chicago.

… Well, of course, that’s the very condensed version of the plot.

But regardless of the subtleties of the plot and characters, there’s no denying that, besides Matthew Broderick, the city of Chicago is also one of the stars of this film. In fact, director John Hughes even admitted this movie was his “love letter” to the city.

Buckingham Fountain

So, whether you want to ditch school or work, or just want to follow in Ferris and Co.’s footsteps for a day, here are the spots you have to visit if you want to see Chicago like Ferris Bueller:

Willis Tower Skydeck

Sloane: “The city looks so peaceful from up here.” 
Ferris: “Anything is peaceful from one thousand, three hundred and fifty-three feet.”

Willis Tower Skydeck

Back in 1986, this massive building dominating the Chicago skyline was still called the Sears Tower. It’s since had a name change, but you can still see the city from 1,353 feet up on the 103rd floor. The Skydeck, as it’s now called, is one of the most popular attractions in the Windy City. Be sure to step out into the glass-bottomed Ledge to really get your blood pumping.

Art Institute of Chicago



Ferris, Cameron and Sloane spend some time at Chicago’s most famous art museum on their day off, striking poses and admiring the artwork at the AIC. Be sure to find “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat, which is the painting Cameron spends a long time staring at in the movie.

Cubs Game at Wrigley Field

“Hey batta batta batta hey batta batta batta SWING batta!”

Wrigley Field

You can’t pull a Ferris Bueller without catching a Chicago Cubs game (and maybe even a foul ball) at Wrigley Field. (Just be sure you don’t get caught on the jumbotron if you really are skipping out on school or work!) If seeing a game isn’t in the cards for you, though, you can also tour the ballpark for a behind-the-scenes look. It’s been home to the Cubs for nearly 100 years.

Chicago Board of Trade (Chicago Mercantile Exchange)

Remember where Ferris proposes to Sloane on the trading floor? Well you can go there, too, though it won’t be quite as easy as Ferris made it look. You can visit the CME Group Visitor Center any weekday, but to see the trading floor, you have to be an important person or student on a tour.

A Parade

Chicago Oktoberfest

If you want a *true* Ferris Bueller experience, you’ll have to visit Chicago in September, when the German-American Von Steuben Day Parade takes place (yes, the crew really did crash a real parade for part of the parade scenes in the film!). Or, just keep an eye out for any large parade or event downtown. Commandeering a float to sing “Twist and Shout,” however, is not advised.


And, of course, we can’t forget the well-known Chicago buildings featured in landmark shots — like Tribune Tower and the “corncobs” of Marina City.



Hit up all these spots in the city, and you’ll be well on your way to being “a righteous dude,” just like Ferris.


Would you ever go on a Ferris-inspired adventure in Chicago?



  1. Chicago is one of my favourite cities in the whole world! I love your suggestions and growing up with Feriss Bueller was a big part of my childhood.

    • Amanda says:

      I really really love Chicago, too. Most of these things would be great to do even if you AREN’T a Ferris fan!

  2. Aaron says:

    Definitely! Have seen a lot of the sights separately, should make a whole day of it in the Windy City. Ideally though wouldn’t have two people joy riding in my vehicle as I’m hanging in the city haha.
    Aaron recently posted..Photo of the Week: The Ultimate New Zealand Meal for Travelers.My Profile

  3. Alex says:

    Pretty cool. I went to the high school that Ferris picks his girlfriend up from at the beginning of the movie.
    Alex recently posted..A Reflection On VaranasiMy Profile

  4. Ayngelina says:

    If you really want to geek out I heard the city of Chicago created a badge specifically for doing everything from Ferris Bueller.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Have you met Bruce?My Profile

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