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Chicago River
Chicago River

Chicago River Tours and Tickets

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13,285 reviews

Winding its way through the heart of the Windy City, the Chicago River flows past some of the city’s most notable architecture, including the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), Wrigley Building, and Navy Pier. The river also offers opportunities for exploration, such as river cruises, kayaking, and canoeing, along a revamped riverfront.

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The Loop, Chicago
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29 results

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Chicago Architecture River Cruise

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

star-5
8492
Cruise down the Chicago River to see the city's famous architecture on this boat tour. With commentary from your onboard guide, watch the spectacular skyline glide by, including more than 40 notable buildings like Navy Pier, the Wrigley Building, and the John Hancock Building. Cover all three branches of the Chicago River, passing the East Bank Club, the old Post Office Building and the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower).
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD46.87
From
USD46.87

Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour

star-4.5
860
Step aboard a boat for a comprehensive cruise that details the history of Chicago's architecture. Enjoy views of the Chicago skyline accompanied by architecture-focused commentary that points out each of the landmark buildings. As you cruise through Lake Michigan, snap photos of you and your party against the stretch of Chicago's 26-mile shoreline.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD42.00
From
USD42.00

Chicago Sunset Cruise

Chicago Sunset Cruise

star-4.5
372
Drink in a one-of-a-kind perspective on the Windy City when you go for an evening cruise, perfectly timed to coincide with the sunset. Hop aboard your open-top vessel in the heart of the Magnificent Mile, and cruise along the Chicago River, where your guide will point out architectural highlights. Then, see the skyline from a distance, and watch the skyscrapers light up, when you continue to Lake Michigan for a sunset viewing.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD40.00
From
USD40.00

Big Bus Chicago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Big Bus Chicago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

star-4
1120
Don’t spend time figuring out what to see in Chicago and how to get there—this hop-on hop-off tour provides a mapped-out itinerary of the city's top sights. With several strategically located stops, the tour allows you to explore the Windy City at your own pace. See the world-class Art Institute and landmark skyscrapers, while audio commentary onboard gives you insight into the city's colorful history.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD44.99
From
USD44.99

Chicago 3D Fireworks Cruise
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Chicago 3D Fireworks Cruise

star-4
109
Enjoy Chicago’s fireworks in 3D during a 2-hour boat cruise on the Chicago River or Lake Michigan. Capture stunning photos of Chicago’s skyline from the Lake on Saturdays or from the mouth of the river on Wednesdays. Before the fireworks begin, learn about the history of The Windy City as your boat cruises along the waterfront, passing sights including Buckingham Fountain, Museum Campus and the John Hancock Building. Hear informative commentary from your onboard guide about the landmarks, the locks system and more, then sit back with the best seats in the city for the spectacular fireworks show.
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  • 2 hours
From
USD45.00
From
USD45.00

Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady

Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady

star-5
780
Enjoy a quintessential Chicago experience when you go on an architecture-themed river tour. Pick from multiple convenient start times, and board your vessel—the Lady Liberty—directly from the Chicago Riverwalk. Your trained docent guides will give you a rich introduction to the Windy City’s history, key landmarks, and architectural highlights—and you can spy landmarks like the Marina City towers and Navy Pier from the water’s edge.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
From
USD56.00
From
USD56.00

Chicago River Tiki Bar Cruise from Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago River Tiki Bar Cruise from Chicago Riverwalk

star-4
55
Chicago is well known for its architecture and many visitors admire the buildings on a cruise along the Chicago River. Take your river cruise to the next level aboard a floating tiki bar that allows you to take in all the sights with a drink in hand. Your captain also enhances the atmosphere with island tunes as you enjoy your leisurely sail.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD30.00
From
USD30.00

Chicago in a Day: Food, History and Architecture Walking Tour
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Chicago in a Day: Food, History and Architecture Walking Tour

star-5
294
An excellent choice for first-time visitors, this tour provides a comprehensive overview of the city and hits on both classic attractions and little-known sites. Beginning at the Chicago Theatre, work your way to the Chicago Pedway, an elaborate network of underground tunnels used by locals and commuters. Stroll the Chicago Riverwalk and the Magnificent Mile, then embark on a food tour to taste some of the city’s famous foods.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD104.00
From
USD104.00

Chicago Small-Group City Tour with Optional Architecture River Cruise
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Chicago Small-Group City Tour with Optional Architecture River Cruise

star-5
519
Explore Chicago's iconic landmarks on this sightseeing tour led by an expert guide. Board a comfortable, large-windowed minibus and explore downtown and Northside neighborhoods. You have a chance to get out and visit several locations and hear about the historical and cultural factors that make Chicago unique. Upgrade your tour with a popular open-top boat tour on the Chicago River that focuses on the city's renowned architecture.
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  • 2 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD43.95
From
USD43.95

Chicago Urban Adventure River and Lake Cruise

Chicago Urban Adventure River and Lake Cruise

star-4.5
151
See the the Second City from the water with a sightseeing cruise along the Chicago River and the Lake Michigan shoreline. Take in towering skyscrapers and spot the gargoyles that live on to of the city’s historic buildings. Hear stories about the city’s history and culture as you pass Chicago landmarks, museums and iconic buildings. Capture unforgettable images of the city skyline from Lake Michigan, and get a unique look at Chicago that’s perfect for all ages.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD42.00
From
USD42.00

Chicago City Minibus Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Chicago City Minibus Tour

star-5
114
Get to know the Windy City the easy and comfortable way on a small-group minibus tour. Instead of long walks and navigating public transit, see major landmarks like Museum Campus, Buckingham Fountain, the Magnificent Mile, and Millennium Park from an uncrowded minibus with large picture windows. Your driver and guide knows where to find all the best views, and there are plenty of photo stops along the way.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD43.95
From
USD43.95

Original Walking Food Experience in Chicago: 3 Food Stops with 3 Food Samples

Original Walking Food Experience in Chicago: 3 Food Stops with 3 Food Samples

star-5
21
Get to know the food offerings in River North on this small-group walking tour. As you explore, listen to in-depth commentary from your guide on the culinary history of Chicago and the culture of the River North neighborhood. With a small group of just 12 fellow food-lovers, you'll enjoy personalized attention and the chance to chat about your favorite tastings. Samples include the classic Italian beef, a Chicago-style hot dog, and the famous deep dish pizza.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD60.96
From
USD60.96

45-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour from Magnificent Mile

45-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour from Magnificent Mile

star-4.5
233
Get a front row perspective on the exquisite buildings that line the Chicago River during a 45-minute architecture cruise. Hear live commentary about the history and architectural heritage of Chicago on this family-friendly tour, which highlights landmarks such as the Chicago Riverwalk, Michigan Avenue Bridge, Wrigley Building, and Willis Tower. Sit on the open-air top deck or the sheltered bottom deck for the ultimate view of Chicago.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD25.00
From
USD25.00

Private Chicago Highlights Driving Tour

Private Chicago Highlights Driving Tour

star-5
21
Get an insider’s look at the Windy City’s most iconic monuments during this 3-hour private tour. Travel through Chicago aboard a private vehicle as you discover some of the city’s top neighborhoods, including the Loop, River North, the Magnificent Mile (along Michigan Avenue), Streeterville, the Gold Coast and much more. Your private driver-guide and vehicle, bottled water and round-trip hotel transport are all included.
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  • 3 hours
From
USD190.00
Price varies by group size
From
USD190.00
Price varies by group size

Chicago Walking Tour: Modern Architecture

Chicago Walking Tour: Modern Architecture

star-4.5
22
Embark on a walking tour of Chicago's more-recent architecture heritage with a 2-hour stroll highlighting the city's modern, postmodern, and international structures. Especially known for its architectural originality, Chi-town boasts everything from the elegant metal and glass tower of One South Dearborn to the Harold Washington Library, with its Beaux-Arts inspired exterior. Your guide will highlight these and other unique buildings, relaying background on their individual histories and construction en route.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD30.00
From
USD30.00

Chicago River Fireworks Tiki Bar Cruise from Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago River Fireworks Tiki Bar Cruise from Chicago Riverwalk

See Chicago Fireworks the Island Party way. Our floating Tiki Bar offers you the unique opportunity to see the sights of the Chicago River, topped off with a fireworks show. Have questions about the buildings you'll see along the river? Our helpful staff will be happy to answer questions.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD50.00
From
USD50.00

Lake Michigan Mimosa Tiki Bar Cruise from Chicago Riverwalk

Lake Michigan Mimosa Tiki Bar Cruise from Chicago Riverwalk

Enjoy $2 mimosas (all day) and beautiful views of the Chicago skyline aboard our flagship vessel. Enchantment boasts a Tiki Chic vibe, two climate controlled decks, two bars, two bathrooms, premium sound system, outdoor and indoor viewing areas. Our upscale "Admirals Lounge" features top-shelf alcohol, including the captain's private reserve. Your adventure starts on the Chicago Riverwalk when you board vessel. From there you will complete the unique experience of transiting the Chicago Locks. Once on Lake Michigan take in the stunning views of Chicago's skyline.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD60.00
From
USD60.00

Chicago River Mimosa Tiki Bar Cruise from Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago River Mimosa Tiki Bar Cruise from Chicago Riverwalk

$2 Mimosas All Day! Sundays are Fun-Days aboard the floating tiki bar. See the Chicago River the Island Party way. Our floating Tiki Bar offers you the opportunity to take in all the sights and sounds as you relax an enjoy a beverage. Have questions about buildings? Our helpful staff will be happy to answer questions.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD60.00
From
USD60.00

Chicago Family Food & Bike Tour with Top Attractions

Chicago Family Food & Bike Tour with Top Attractions

star-5
56
See Chicago light up with a 4-hour bicycle tour of the Windy City’s most iconic sights and neighborhoods. Follow your guide along a leisurely route, watch the Buckingham Fountain light show and take in daytime or evening views of Millennium Park and the Museum Campus. Sample culinary classics of Chicago, like deep-dish pizza, a true Chicago hot dog, and a tasty dessert for good measure. Upgrade your experience to enjoy a locally crafted beer pairing at three of the food stops. As you pedal through downtown streets, capture unforgettable images of Chicago’s magnificent skyline then finish your tour in the heart of the city.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD79.99
From
USD79.99

Chicago Walking Tour: Art Deco Skyscrapers Riverfront

Chicago Walking Tour: Art Deco Skyscrapers Riverfront

star-5
11
Tour the lobbies of five opulent Art Deco skyscrapers built near the banks of the Chicago River during the business boom of the Roaring '20s. Learn how Art Deco reflected the era’s fun-loving optimism with lavish materials and geometric ornament. Discover the origins of Art Deco while admiring buildings like the Carbide and Carbon Building (now Pendry Chicago), the Chicago Motor Club Building (now the Hampton Inn) and the colorful, but often overlooked, Trustees System Service Building (now the Century Tower)—all of which are designated Chicago landmarks.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD30.00
From
USD30.00

Best of Chicago: Discover Art, Food, and Architecture

Best of Chicago: Discover Art, Food, and Architecture

star-5
47
The Windy City is known for its spectacular architecture and eclectic food scene. Experience both on this tour through the downtown that combines sights with nibbles. Take in famous landmarks like the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, and Cloud Gate on foot along the Chicago River. Taste popcorn and chocolate from two beloved city eateries during the tour.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD51.50
From
USD51.50

Gangsters and Ghosts of Chicago In-App Audio Self-Guided Tour

Gangsters and Ghosts of Chicago In-App Audio Self-Guided Tour

Spice up your visit to Chicago on this in-app audio tour through the creepiest places of the city of lights! Explore the most haunted sites and buildings securing tragic and mysterious stories of Chicagoans. Hear about rise and fall of the most infamous gangsters of all times, Al Capone and John Dillinger. Dive into the atmosphere of Chicago's turbulent era of the Prohibition and the Great Depression. The mobile app helps you explore Chicago with a private self-guided audio tour (included). The audio tour has clean navigation, filled with exciting stories from professional guides. The audio guide on the mobile app is the best way to enjoy the tour at your own pace and be independent of a group tour. The mobile app is available on App Store and Google Play and works offline. Enjoy your party only!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD12.93
From
USD12.93

Discovering Chicago through Iconic Movie Scenes with Self-Guided Audio Tour

Discovering Chicago through Iconic Movie Scenes with Self-Guided Audio Tour

Chicago is known for its history, culture, architecture, and it's also full of many famous film locations. This tour is hinged on an idea to showcase the city's downtown via movies — an excellent experience for a movie buff! The mobile app helps you explore Chicago with a private audio tour (included). Find out shooting locations of 10 movies you watched or heard about. Have fun and slide down the famous Picasso sculpture like the Chicagoans do. Sneak into the Gotham mafia’s dining place and check who frequents it in real life. Discover Bruce Wayne’s, known as Batman, temporary place of residence. Admire a picturesque riverfront and cozy marina view lined with the pointy skyscrapers. The audio guide on the mobile app is the best way to enjoy the tour at your own pace and be independent of a group tour. The mobile app is available on App Store and Google Play and works offline. Join the tour and imagine yourself being on a film set!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD16.87
From
USD16.87

Chicago Architecture Walking Tour: See Interiors of Chicago River Tour Buildings

Chicago Architecture Walking Tour: See Interiors of Chicago River Tour Buildings

star-4.5
18
Get a panoramic view of the Chicago River on a tour that combines walking and a boat trip, and explores downtown's iconic architecture and colorful neighborhoods. Follow your local guide to see the highlights of the Windy City up close, from architectural details to historic buildings by the water. Hear stories about Chicago’s culture and history as you escape the ordinary tourist’s boat tour, and set out on foot to discover the city with a knowledgeable insider.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD35.00
From
USD35.00

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People Also Ask

What is unique about the Chicago River?

The most unique characteristic about the Chicago River is that the river actually runs backwards from its original mouth in Lake Michigan. The river was civil engineered to run the opposite way of its natural flow. Also, the Chicago River runs right through Chicago, allowing people to get great views while wandering the city.

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Can you swim in the Chicago River?

No, you aren’t allowed to swim in the Chicago River. There are many reasons the water is unsafe to swim in, ranging from hazardous bacteria to boat traffic. Plus, even though the Chicago River is cleaner today than it used to be, you should still steer clear of swimming in the water.

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Why is Chicago River so blue?

While visiting the Windy City, you may notice that the Chicago River is especially blue. The river is blue because the river’s clay bottom, lake water, and algae all mix to present a bluish color. This is most evident on warmer days, especially in the summertime.

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Are there any fish in the Chicago River?

Yes, the Chicago River does indeed have fish that call it home, and you can go fishing in certain areas. The types of fish you’ll find include carp, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, catfish, and rock bass. You can also catch (and see) crayfish there, too.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Chicago River?
Q:
What are Chicago River hours of operation?
A:
Chicago River hours of operation: Open daily. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.