Finding The Best Chicago Architecture Tours For You

Chicago has been a leader in architecture for over 100 years now. Ever since the days of Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago’s architectural marvels have wowed the world. This is why you will find so many Chicago architecture tours around the city. So many buildings and skyscrapers to explore that a tour is almost required for those unfamiliar with this urban landscape of beauty.

However, the tours vary so widely. That is why Welcome Inn Manor sorted out the best architecture tours in Chicago.

Best Chicago Architecture Tours

Walking Tours

Chicago Loop Art & Architecture Walking Tour

Chicago Tours offers an interesting architecture and art walk. Not only do you get to see well-renown sculptures, like the Picasso statue in front of the Daley Center and the infamous CloudGate (commonly referred to as the Bean) sculpture in Millennium Park. Also, do not forget to go to Buckingham Fountain, also located in Millennium Park. Your best bet for seeing the fountain is late in the afternoon. That way, you can observe the amazing carvings on the fountain, and as the light fades watch the colored water shows.

Then sprinkle in some of the greatest architectural finds in the city, including the Chicago Cultural Center (a good place to check out later on in your trip) and the Thompson Center (State of Illinois’s weird glass dome structure). Along the way, you will see the skyscrapers that have made an indelible impression on the city’s growth.

Free Chicago Loop Highlight Tour

One of the new trends in tourism are free walking tours of the city. Well, these tours are not exactly free, but we will discuss that in a second. Free Tours By Foot is one of the new breed of tours operators here in the US. In Europe these types of tours are all the rage.

This is not an architectural tour, but does highlight a lot of the city’s amazing architecture in the loop. Then at the end of the tour, you tip your tour guide based on how well you think they did. $10-15 tips per person are common for these tours, and are still cheaper than a number of other tour operations in the city. This is a walking tour, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and be aware of the fact that this tour attracts a younger crowd. 

River Boat Tours

Chicago Architectural Cruise – Weekends and Holidays

Chicago architecture and art are just one part of the city. What is going downtown without checking out the Chicago river or lakefront. The iconic waterways of downtown Chicago add their own intrigue and amazement for visitors. Just look at the majestic Michigan Avenue Bridge and you can see an interplay between nature and commercial architecture.

As you travel down the river, you will see the Wrigley Building, Chicago Tribune, and many other historic buildings that have defined this Midwestern architectural mecca.

Chicago Architecture Foundation River Boat Tours

If Chicago Tours does not have any room, then you might want to take a river cruise with the Chicago Architectural Foundation. Their devotion to the Chicago Architectural scene is immense. Travel down the river with them, and go back in time as you see how Chicago led the development of the modern architectural era of skyscrapers and designs.

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

Viators operates the final river cruise tour. They go through the north and side branches of the river, also hitting Willis Tower and the East Bank club, as well discussing the history on the major events that formed the current Chicago skyline.


Self Guided Chicago Loop/Architecture Tour

Do you want to go at your own pace? Then Metro Walkz self-guided tour might be the best solution for you. If you hate being part of the tourist trap with 100 strangers, then you might want to consider exploring the city on your own. Metro Walkz can help you with self-guided

Enjoy Your Next Architectural Tour

Have fun exploring the Chicago treasures. Let us know what tour you decide to take, so we can verify what the best architectural tours in Chicago are right now.

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