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Chicago

Walking tours

Our most recommended Chicago Sightseeing Walking Tours

Chicago River: 1.5-Hour Guided Architecture Cruise

1. Chicago River: 1.5-Hour Guided Architecture Cruise

Experience more of Chicago by boat than on any other architectural cruise. See architectural highlights and enjoy an open-air deck or climate-controlled interior as you travel the main River and its north and south branches. View all of Chicago's architectural highlights during this comprehensive sightseeing tour. Be entertained by the expert and friendly tour guides as they explain the 130 year-long history behind the skyline, while bartenders and staff keep you comfortable with refreshments.  Choose between the fresh air of the open-air decks or enjoy the comfort of the climate-controlled interiors during your cruise. The tour starts at the Michigan Avenue (DuSable) bridge and goes up the main branch of the Chicago River past Wolf Point. It then cruises along the north and south branches of the river, before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk towards Lake Michigan. On the way, learn about ornate, historic early skyscrapers like the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower, the imposing art deco Merchandise Mart, mid-century skyscrapers like the Mies Van der Rohe AMA Building. Don't miss the circular Marina City Towers, the majestic Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower and the tallest building in Chicago) the soaring AON Center, and more modernist structures like Aqua, Trump Tower, Nuveen, and the new Vista Tower. During your cruise, have the opportunity to enjoy a full-service cash bar featuring authentic Chicago products, including local beer and spirits, and Garrett’s Popcorn. Don’t forget to take a selfie at the Grand Staircase at the front of the boat or pose for photos at the picturesque stern or bow of this classic vessel.

Chicago: 1.5-Hour Lake and River Architecture Cruise

2. Chicago: 1.5-Hour Lake and River Architecture Cruise

Experience an architecture cruise along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, a family tradition since 1935. Admire Chicago’s historic and ever-changing skyline with a local expert guide as you cruise through the city. Choose between the open-air decks or the comfort of the climate-controlled interiors during the cruise. Start the cruise at Michigan Avenue (DuSable) bridge and go up the main branch of the Chicago River to Wolf Point before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk towards Lake Michigan. Learn about historic skyscrapers like the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower, the deco Merchandise Mart, mid-century skyscrapers like the Mies Van der Rohe AMA Building, the circular Marina City Towers, the AON Center, and modernist structures like Aqua, Trump Tower, Nuveen, and the Vista Tower. After passing through the Chicago Lock and cruising past Navy Pier, admire the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan, one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. Here you can also see the twin super-skyscrapers, the famous Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, and the John Hancock Building. See the majesty of Grant Park with its famous Buckingham Fountain, and iconic Chicago venues such as Soldier’s Field, Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium. Enjoy several vantage points for memorable pictures throughout, and finally arrive back at Du Sable Bridge on Michigan Avenue.

Chicago: 45-Minute Family-Friendly Architecture River Cruise

3. Chicago: 45-Minute Family-Friendly Architecture River Cruise

Admire Chicago’s impressive architecture from a unique perspective aboard a cruise sailing down the Chicago River, which features an indoor and outdoor deck, along with live commentary tailored to entertain the whole family. Treat yourself to a full-service cash bar at your own expense. Experience the best of the Chicago River from Lakeshore Drive to the Willis Tower, navigating along the South branch of the river, before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk towards Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan. Be entertained by the fun and experienced tour guides as they explain the history behind Chicago’s buildings along the river and the exceptional architects who created this ever-changing skyline. Enjoy the most relaxing way to sightsee in Chicago, exploring the city free of traffic, noise, and congestion. Make sure to visit the full-service cash bar featuring authentic Chicago products, including local beer and spirits. Explore the open-air decks that allow you to feel the cooling river breeze and see the city from many vantage points that provide perfect photo opportunities.

Chicago: Downtown Chicago Helicopter Sightseeing Tour

4. Chicago: Downtown Chicago Helicopter Sightseeing Tour

Discover Chicago from above on this 15-minute helicopter tour. Capture pictures of stunning city views as you fly over downtown Chicago. View sights like Willis Tower, Shedd Aquarium, and Soldier’s field (home of the Bears). Check in at the tour supplier's centrally-located office in Chicago and get ready to take off with a company that is committed to a safety-first policy. Hop aboard a spacious and comfortable helicopter and experience the excitement of lifting off. Feel the thrill of flying north over the Chicago River and past downtown, before looping over iconic Wrigley Field and flying back south along the famous Chicago beaches and Navy Pier. Snap pictures above the Willis Tower, the Chicago River, Wrigley Field (home of the Cubs), Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, and Soldier’s field (home of the Bears). End your tour with a smooth landing.

Chicago: Gangsters and Ghosts 2-Hour Walking Tour

5. Chicago: Gangsters and Ghosts 2-Hour Walking Tour

See a different side of Chicago on a family-friendly guided tour and hear the tales of the ghosts that haunt the city. Explore the famous Chicago Loop district with interesting stories hidden behind each turn. Embark along the Chicago Loop, known as the vice district during the 1920s and 30s. See the places where gangsters such as Al Capone used to party, make deals, and carry out business. Visit haunted locations and old crime scenes led by historians. Stop at the Congress Hotel, Death Alley, and the Palmer House. Enjoy a refreshment along with way, with frequent stops and a restroom break.

Chicago: Big Bus Open-Top Panoramic Night Tour

6. Chicago: Big Bus Open-Top Panoramic Night Tour

From the top deck of a double-decker bus, experience Chicago at night. Enjoy a 75-minute, panoramic tour and take in unique views of the Chicago skyline, comprised of world-famous skyscrapers and revolutionary architecture. Take a photo overlooking downtown from the Museum Campus in front of the Adler Planetarium. Be amazed by the beautiful water and light display of The Buckingham Fountain as you discover the bustling nightlife of Chicago. Marvel at the magical light show of the one-of-a-kind Art on the Mart, displayed on the facade of the Merchandise Mart. See the city reflect off The Bean (Cloud Gate) at the famous Millennium Park. Experience the city that built the skyscraper, and see architectural marvels like the John Hancock Center, the Wrigley Building, the Chicago Tribune Building, and the Willis Tower. Finish your tour at the Chicago Riverwalk, with the knowledge that you can continue exploring the city with confidence. From the pioneering skyscrapers to the Great Chicago Fire, this night tour will take you on a journey you won't soon forget. Be sure to soak up the exciting atmosphere that makes the Windy City such a fascinating and dynamic place.

Chicago: Bikes, Bites, and Brews Biking Tour

7. Chicago: Bikes, Bites, and Brews Biking Tour

Working up an appetite won’t be a problem on this signature bike tour combing city sightseeing with the best foods and brews in Chicago.Sample Chicago’s 4 favorite food groups – pizza, hot dogs, brownies, and beer. You’ll learn the history behind the iconic foods and also get a taste of some of Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods. On the daytime version of the tour, cruise through Wrigleyville, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lakeview, and Lincoln Park. On the nighttime version of the tour, bike through the skyscrapers and bars of downtown Chicago and see Millennium Park and Buckingham Fountain at night. On either route, enjoy the beautiful lakefront trail as well. This tour is 13 miles with perfect breaks along the way for sampling. Your experienced guide will keep you safe, in-the-know, and well-fed. Bikes provided.

Chicago Underground Donut Tour

8. Chicago Underground Donut Tour

Take a donut tour of the windy city, and discover the best Chicago has to offer. At each location, you will taste a curated sample of the best donuts. Some of the stops on this downtown tour include Stan's Donuts, Do-Rite Donuts, and Firecakes Donuts, true donut institutions. This two hour walking tour is led by a passionate donut expert who will guide you to some of Chicago's best donut locales. This tour caters to all size groups, both large and small. The donut tour is great for bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthdays, family reunions, weekend getaways, or even corporate events. There are two versions of the Donut Tour: The Classic Downtown Tour, as well as a local neighborhood tour in Wicker Park. Both are great options if you're excited about donuts. It really just depends on what neighborhood you want to explore: if you want to stay downtown or if you want to venture out to the Wicker Park & Bucktown neighborhoods to see how "the locals do it". In either case, don't hesitate to join the tour. Buy your tickets today!

Chicago Food Tasting: 2.5-Hour Guided Walking Tour

9. Chicago Food Tasting: 2.5-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Combine an enjoyable walk around Chicago's downtown to see some of the city’s top sites with stops to sample some of the city’s famous tastes. On this 2.5-hour guided walk, you'll get to taste the foods Chicago is best known for doing right. Enjoy deep-dish pizza, the original Italian pastries, Chicago-style hot dog, and a classic Italian beef sandwich. Enjoy a VIP craft beer sample for an additional fee. Along the way, you’ll see some of Chicago's most iconic spots including Millennium Park, the Chicago Riverwalk, the Art Institute, and the famous Bean. By the end of the tour, your stomach will be full of delicious food and your head will be full of fascinating knowledge about Chicago. During the colder months, the tour makes use of the unique underground Pedway system that connects much of downtown and keeps you warm and cozy. On warmer days, you’ll walk at street level to enjoy the large promenades of the loop. The leisurely walking pace is suitable for people of all fitness levels.

Chicago: 2.5-Hour Taste of Chinatown Food Walking Tour

10. Chicago: 2.5-Hour Taste of Chinatown Food Walking Tour

Explore the complex layers of Chinese culture and the many contributions these people have made to both Chicago and the world. And what better way to show off Chinese culture then through food? Your guide will take the confusion and language barrier away as you sample your way through a variety of Chinatown's best restaurants and well-kept secret recipes. Start your tour at Phoenix Restaurant and begin with some yummy dim sum dumplings and a traditional Chinese tea tasting. Next, it will be time for a sweet treat - buttery custard tarts from Chinatown's oldest bakery. Then, try a unique and delicious spicy meat sandwich from the Xi'an region. Afterward, stroll through the charming Chinatown Square with its ethnic grocery stores and souvenir shops. Finally, taste a sampling of succulent dry chili chicken, followed by the famous spicy Szechuan hot pot. You'll have traveled all over China but only walked a few blocks on this delicious tour of one of Chicago's most fascinating neighborhoods.

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Frequently asked questions about Chicago Sightseeing Walking Tours

What are other things to do than Sightseeing Walking Tours that are worth visiting in Chicago?

The other unmissable things to do in Chicago are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Chicago

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What people are saying about Chicago

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 624 reviews

We took the 18:45 and it was an excellent choice. We could see the buildings under dusk and with beautiful lights. The guide was very active and passionate with her description.

Perfect experience, the best way to see Chicago. The guide was fun and knowledgable, and we learned a lot about the amazing history of Chicago.

The tour was awesome. Very knowledgeable and entertaining guide. The views of the city from the boat were outstanding.

Great introduction to Chicago. The boat was comfortable and the guide was very informative and engaging.

Our guide leader was very animated and seemed to love telling us about the history of the City.