Would you like to see something else on your visit to the ”Windy City” than the usual places; the famous installation ”Cloud Gate”, locally known as ”the Bean”, or the sky deck on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower? Here are six lesser-known and a bit uncommon places to check out in Chicago.

1. The Gardens at the Art Institute

There are actually two gardens at the Art Institute, which is near the Millennium Park. These South and North Gardens are perfect for chilling out and relaxing from the bustle of the city. South Garden is great for having an outdoor lunch and the North Garden shows you a nice glimpse of art with its many sculptures – especially if your time doesn’t allow you for a full visit to the Museum. Winter doesn’t make an exception, except perhaps only to the length of your visit.

2. The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank

This is a bit of a quirky one, but here you can learn how to spot a counterfeit bill – certainly a very useful skill for us travelers. They even have guided tours, but you can just venture on your own as well. When leaving, don’t forget to pick up your bag of ”Fed Shreds”, a bag consisting of shredded money not fit for circulation anymore, worth $364. But you’re not able to piece them back together, I’m afraid.

3. Have a Stroll in Albany Park

This neighborhood has some of the best Middle Eastern restaurants of Chicago. To get here, take the Brown Line subway. After a hearty dinner, walk among the Arab shops, bakeries, and get a feeling of the East.

  1. Beach on the 12th Street

Yes, there are beaches in Chicago. This one is not often crowded and it’s right next to the Alder Planetarium, another interesting spot to check out if you’re in the neighborhood.

  1. Find the Book You’ve Been Looking For in Bookman’s Corner

Do you fancy burying yourself in the middle of bookshelves, tucked way too full of old, rare, and odd books of about every topic possible? Then you just have to pay a visit to the Bookman’s Corner at Lakeview (2959 N Clark St). You could spend hours there, just checking out the huge piles of books, spread all around. I’ve also heard that the prices are right, so bookmark this place into your ”Places to Visit in Chicago” list.

  1. The Movie Fan’s Place: Odd Obsession Movies

What Bookman’s Corner is for a bookworm, Odd Obsession Movies on Milwaukee Avenue is for a movie fan. They may have all the latest hits, but like their name suggests, they are specializing to the independent, obscure and more bizarre movies. You can also buy some film-related t-shirts and posters. Weird cult movies are your thing? Odds are good that you’ll find some gems from here.

While you are exploring the lesser known Chicago and want to rest your head for the night in a centrally located hotel, check out the Radisson Blu Agua Hotel Chicago.

This article is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.

What do you think are the best sights in Chicago?

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