A distinctive feature of the Chicago skyline since the 1960s, the twin concrete columns of Marina City were once the tallest residential buildings in the world. Their scalloped “corn cob” exterior made them instantly recognizable and a popular setting in movies like Batman Begins,Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and The Blues Brothers.
Discover the architectural gems of the Windy City from an ideal vantage point on a cruise down the Chicago River. Offered several times throughout the day, it’s easy to fit the leisurely excursion into your itinerary. Covering more than 130 years of architectural history, the tour is the perfect opportunity to see a huge area of the city without the hassle of taxis and public transit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore Chicago's gangster past on this mafia tour in a coach vehicle. Drive around the Windy City to see where Al Capone, The Untouchables, Hymie Weiss, and John Dillinger, among other thugs hung out. A history-savvy guide introduces you to some of the most storied locations of Chicago’s criminal past, including Holy Name Cathedral, Biography Theatre, and the site of the bloody St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. You'll be able to get out and pose for pictures in front of a historic courthouse, among other infamous sites.
Discover the ‘dark side’ of the Windy City thanks to this 2.5-hour, bus-based, nighttime crime history tour of Chicago. Explore the lives of notorious mobsters like Al Capone, Frank Nitti, Bugs Moran, and more as you explore infamous crime scenes like the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, learn about ‘The Enforcer’s Safe,’ and stop by local watering holes.
Immerse yourself along the Chicago River and admire the astonishing architecture and landmarks that have shaped the Windy City and beyond.
Our expert guides will show you Chicago through a new lens and explore this city’s history, architecture, and legacy with you.
Chicago is acclaimed as one of the best cities for architecture in the country—but amidst the gems, it also has some less aesthetically pleasing buildings. On this tongue-in-cheek, small-group walking tour, you’ll explore Chicago in the company of an architectural expert—and will discover some of the city’s ugliest buildings, from the Trump Tower to the Illinois Center. As you go, learn more about the city’s history.
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.
Chicago is world-renowned for its architecture—and this small-group walking tour offers the ideal introduction to its iconic buildings, its architectural eras, and the starchitects who have left their impression on the city. Meet your guide at the Chicago Architecture Center and set off on foot: you’ll discover highlights like the Wrigley Building and Marina City, will see works by Renzo Piano and Frank Gehry, and will learn all about Chicago history.
This tour explores a worldwide phenomenon called “Dark Tourism” — the field of interest in visiting sites of death and tragedy. On this 2-hour walking tour, we will cover the real stories behind some of Chicago’s darkest characters, like rival gangsters shooting each other in front of a church where they had just prayed, and psychopaths who went about life as if nothing had happened after murdering innocent people. We'll talk about the origins of ghost stories, and present-day hauntings of buildings in downtown Chicago. We’ll talk about how places can unfairly get labeled as “haunted” simply because of their eccentric design.
Covering just under 2 miles on foot, we’ll explore where ghosts have made their presence known, and where gangsters welcomed fellow criminals as they ran the city. We’ll visit sites of the real-life tragedies that stain Chicago’s storied past, like the Iroquois Fire and the Eastland Disaster. Chicago has its beautiful side: come see the darker side with us.
Leave all the planning to your guide, and discover the best of Chicago in one day, on this introductory coach tour. In the morning, depart from Chinatown and set off to see local landmarks like Millennium Park, Grant Park, Michigan Avenue, and more. You can also customize your experience: upgrade to visit the Art Institute of Chicago, go for a river cruise, or even visit the 360 Chicago observation deck.
Explore Chicago your way and on your own schedule on a private walking tour that's completely customized based on your interests. Whether you want to learn Windy City history or focus on architecture, street art, or Chicago's food scene, your local guide knows all the best places to see, shop, and dine. Plus, get plenty of personalized recommendations on where to go once the tour ends.
Are you looking for a way to see Chicago without joining a tour group? Explore at your own pace with this affordable walking tour.
• Take in Chicago’s concrete giants and hear fascinating stories about quirky artworks, local tragedy, and the city’s journey to revitalisation
• Hear from producer Phil Biedron, an actor and tour guide whose passion for storytelling lead him to create this VoiceMap tour
• Do it all in two hours or linger at stops along the way with complete control over when you start and finish
• Get unlimited use before your booking date and after it
• Use the virtual tour option at home
Once you’ve booked, you’ll receive a ticket with instructions and a unique code listed under “Before You Go”. Then simply install the VoiceMap app and enter your code.
The app displays directions to the starting point, and when you’re in the right place, just pop in your headphones and tap start. VoiceMap has automatic GPS playback, with turn-by-turn directions. It also works offline.
Discover Chicago by private boat with a local Chicagoan to highlight its fascinating history and architectural marvels along the way!
Before we board, we’ll take a short walk in the Chicago Loop, a bustling area filled with gems like the ostentatious Marshall Field building, the stained-glass-domed Cultural Center, and the Chicago Theatre, adorned with its emblematic marquee.
After arriving at the dock, you’ll board your own private boat and set sail along the Chicago River. As we glide along, your guide will point out some of the city’s most fascinating landmarks. Stare up in awe at Willis Tower, once the world’s tallest building. Spot Union Station, which you might recognize from several famous films. And gaze upon a behemoth Art Deco building so large it once had its own zip code!
We’ll also pass by Wolf Point, formerly occupied by Native Americans and later by many of Chicago’s first commercial buildings. Afterwards, you might want to explore all these sites and more on foot!
Discover the beauty of Chicago at night during a 1.5-hour cruise on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Watch the city sparkle as you pass landmarks such as Museum Campus, Willis Tower, Aon Center and the John Hancock Building, and the illuminated waters of Buckingham Fountain. You'll learn about the history of the city from live commentary by your knowledgeable guide as you glide along the waterfront of Chicago.
1 hour 30 minutes
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ:What's the best way to experience Marina City?