What to expect
- Explore the northern reaches of the Chicago River on this informative guided walking tour
- Snap great photos as you pass the Tribune Building, Trump Building, and Wrigley Building
- Follow your expert guide to learn the fascinating stories of the men and women who built these iconic buildings
- Stroll over to Navy Pier to see the Ferris wheel, the Stained Glass Museum, and tons of food vendors
About this Activity
Note: The total walking distance is just over one mile (1.6 km). A max of 5 people can book at a time as per our partner's strict group booking policy. If you are group of 6 or more and place multiple bookings to go around our partner's restriction, our partner will immediately cancel your bookings. As this tour is no cost upfront, you have the opportunity to name your price depending on how you value the tour, pay-what-you-wish is for every budget! This tour works on the honor system, so please understand that if you make a reservation and don't show up without 24 hour notice, future tours will be placed on stand-by status.
|Duration / Session||2 hours|
|Rating||22 positive reviews|
Neha B.Twilight Riverwalk & History Tour October 24, 2014
I had 2 tours with Claire from Free tours by Foot in Chicago: River walk tour and Ghost tour. Both the tours were informative and fun. Claire is an amazing tour guide. I have had walking tours in many cities across US and Canada, and Claire was one of the best tour guides I have had. Highly recommended! Goodluck! Neha
Francisco S.Loop Highlight Tour October 21, 2014
Perfect way to get around the city and learn its history. Clair and Bruce were great guides. It something to not miss out.
Neil H.Twilight Riverwalk & History Tour October 12, 2014
We done 2 tours, the downtown loop one and the river walking one, Both were with Mel and were awesome. They helped make our stay as we gained loads of info and saw things we would otherwise have missed. A must do for any first time visitor.
D A.Loop and Millennium Park Tour October 1, 2014
Took the Loop- Millennium tour. Have been to Chicago many times before and have taken free walking tours in Europe so decided to try one in North America. Mel was very passionate about her city so she made the tour very enjoyable and moved quickly. Given Mel's theatre background, she had some interesting knowledge about the Loop that I didn't know. If it is your 1st time to Chicago, it would be best to do this tour and one other tour to get a real sense of the city.
From a value sense (would suggest tipping at least $10 per person but it is free so up to you) the free walking tours can't be beat .
Klaura .Twilight Riverwalk & History Tour September 27, 2014
We had planned to do the loop tour and it was so good we decide to join a second one (the river tour) in the evening.
We learnt lots of things and enjoyed the 2 tours very much. It was really worth it.
Terri T.Loop and Millennium Park Tour September 26, 2014
My friends and I took the Millennium - Loop tour with Michael. It was a fantastic morning! Our group was small (7) with 4 people visiting Chicago from other countries which only added to our enjoyment. Michael was knowledgeable, entertaining and very flexible -- modifying the tour to meet our particular interests. It is obvious he loves his job and city!
D O.Twilight Riverwalk & History Tour September 24, 2014
We undertook this evening tour on the day we arrived in Chicago after a recommendation from our son on a previous visit . So glad we did the tour . Claire , our guide , was informed and entertaining , her passion for "the best job in the world !" was obvious . She shared many anecdotes of the amazing buildings and landmarks with the group , going at a relaxed pace , ensuring her group stayed together and allowing some time to take photos at various points on route .
We had intended doing an Architectural River Cruise during our trip but this tour meant that was not required . Two entertaining hours well spent , a great introduction to an amazing city , thanks again Claire .
Susannah L.Loop and Millennium Park Tour September 24, 2014
After experiencing these tours in DC, one of the first things I did when I arrived in Chicago was check out what Free Tours by Foot offered. I did the Loop and Millennium Park tour with Mel as guide. She was great...told us a lot of information about the area, history of particular buildings and gave good tips on things to do, eat and see beyond her tour. Fantastic local knowlege, engaging and interesting. Tour length of around 2 hours, the walking pace and photo opportunities were all good.
Meg .Loop and Millennium Park Tour September 16, 2014
We did the Loop and Millennium Park tour with free tours by foot. Claire was our guide. It was a wonderful 2 hour walk around the architectural highlights of downtown Chicago. Claire was great - knowledgable, helpful and fun. I would thoroughly recommend taking the tour. I was sorry we did not get a chance to take their evening riverside tour, which sounded great.
Visited September 2014
Devon H.Loop Highlight Tour September 14, 2014
My brother and I did the loop tour with Mel and absolutely loved it!! She was especially knowledgable about theater things, which was interesting. We maybe would have liked more about the great fire - but the other history we did learn was excellent!
Mel was especially helpful in giving personalized information for group members about other things to see and do and eat. Not just in the city, which she was very knowledgable about, but also our continuing road trip. Also, she has wonderful hair and is very funny!! Although, I think perhaps we have the same sense of humor as her because other people didn't seem to laugh as much as us.
Overall, it was a great way to start out our sightseeing and help us get our bearings in the city. And to inspire my brother to become a tour guide...
Hayley S.Loop and Millennium Park Tour September 12, 2014
I did the Loop and Millennium Park tour with Mike yesterday at 2pm. It went over the two hours, till about 4:45, just in case people need to be somewhere else, but I didn't mind learning more! He was very informative about the different buildings we visited and very passionate about Chicago. I would recommend Free Tours By Foot in Chicago to anyone wanting more information about the making of downtown Chicago from an informed local. I hope to do another tour with the company when I visit Washington DC in a few weeks.
Helen D.Twilight Riverwalk & History Tour September 7, 2014
Went on the Twighlight Riverfront tour with Claire yesterday. The tour was awesome!!! As soon as we arrived she introduced herself and asked where we were from. We met at the Chicago Theatre, where the tour kicked off. We covered Merchandise Mart, the Marina buildings, the waterfront/ Vietnam memorial, Trump building, Wrigley building, Jeweler building, Tribune building, and a few more I am forgetting to mention. Claire had some great knowledge on the history of these buildings, the riverfront, and just the city in general. She pointed out so many fun facts that I would have never known wandering around the city by myself. She was extremely professional and a lot of fun to listen to. I felt like she was a friend showing us around the city. She kept a great pace, and allowed plenty of time to snap some photos along the way. You can tell she was passionate about history, architecture, Chicago, & her job as a tour guide for FTbF. She left us off at the centennial fountain just in time for us to watch it go off :-) At the end of the tour, she made sure folks were able to get back to the train or made suggestions for the rest of the evening - like heading over to Navy Pier to watch the summer Saturday night fireworks go off. She helped recommend a place for us to eat, too. I almost want to take away a star because I wish it was longer than 2 hours (not because it was short, but I literally didn't want it to end! It was so much fun!!)
Very happy with the tour and the idea of a 'pay what you wish' attraction. My friend took the Philadelphia tour by the same company and said it was equally as awesome. Highly recommended. . Being new to the city, I will probably take them all (eventually). Thanks Claire!!!!!
Viola R.Twilight Riverwalk & History Tour September 6, 2014
I can really recommend this tour and our great tour guide Seth! He told us a lot of insider information about the city and very interesting facts about the architecture and the history of chicago. I really liked that we could ask him whatever we wanted to know :) He gave us a lot of good ideas what to do during our stay in chicago and helped us orientate ourselves.
Maria B.Loop Highlight Tour September 3, 2014
Today I did the Loop tour with Claire. She was really great providing interesting facts about Chicago history and its architecture. She is really passionate about the city and makes the time fly when talking about Chicago and its building. I really enjoyed the tour, have fun and learned a lot about Chicago and its building. If you have time and want to learn about the city, this is made for you!
Bonny C.Loop and Millennium Park Tour September 2, 2014
Let me state for the record that I'm not normally a tour person. However, I was in Chicago alone and wanted to learn something instead of wander aimlessly just stumbling on things like I usually do. That's my style and I love it. I took two tours - the Loop and the Millenium Park Tour with Mel and the Riverwalk Architecture at Twilight Tour with Claire. Both were amazing in different ways. Mel was funny and lively and told lots of neat stories. Standing in Death Alley hearing the story of Oriental Theatre was something that I will never forget. I could have wandered by that alley a million times on my own and never would have known. She made the history of Chicago interesting. Claire's tour really gave a neat insight into the architectural history and present of Chicago. I enjoyed both and would take tours with them any time. I enjoyed the emails before and after. It may be pay as you like, but they are worth top dollar. I'll bring back my friends to Free Tours by Food.
Amy I.Loop Highlight Tour July 31, 2014
tour starts right by an argo tea shop with nice tables outside. start here by resting your feet.
Mel was our guide and she was great, she had great stories and kept us moving and motivated. she gave us old history and really current events. she is super enthusiastic and even made some suggestions about where to eat and what else to see and do.
i highly recommend this tour!
Ana T.Loop Highlight Tour July 30, 2014
I travelled with my family (me, 2 sisters and my mother) and we absolutely loved it. Mel's background in performing arts and her love for the city certainly help her tour guiding abilities. She is absolutely enthusiastic, loud speaker (which is great for this specific profession) and authentic. She knows how to entertain and connect with the tourists and finds interesting things tailored to the audience :) during the tour, there was a massive rain shower and that didn't stop her, us or most of the group, that stuck together until the last minute and group photo. Mel was so sweet and bought plastic bags for those who didn't have an umbrella. Also towards the end of the tour her lovely husband Emir joined us and being a tour guide for the same company himself made the evening even more special. We got to know a lot about the central buildings of Chicago, the city's history, its politics and people. We definitely recommend this Tour to everyone!
Fernando L.Loop Highlight Tour July 28, 2014
My wife and I took the Loup Highlight Tour with Larry as our guide. It was an amazing experience and way beyond anything we were expecting. Everything about the tour was perfect â€“ the information, the clarity, the pace. My wife is not a native English speaker but she had no trouble following along. We took some other tours (paid and free) and they were nowhere near as good as this one. We kept referring back to the information Larry gave us during the rest of our trip in Chicago. It was invaluable to really appreciating our time there. The fact that it was free makes it even more amazing. We did tip generously at the end because we got so much value out of it but at no time was tipping even mentioned. Larry was a class act all the way. I highly recommend this tour.
Froskilis .Loop Highlight Tour July 27, 2014
I love free tours. You pay what you think is worth, so they usually make it worth paying for. The tour took as around the main loop attractions and ended in the bean (Cloud Gate). My guide was Mel; she knows a lot about Chicago and made it really entertaining.
T L.Loop Highlight Tour July 20, 2014
Excellent way to experience Chicago! Mel our tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable. She directed us to more free and low cost cool attractions of Chicago. She really welcomed our family to Chicago! We would do it again!
Eduardo B.Loop Highlight Tour July 14, 2014
That's a great way to get a first glance at the city and then plan better what you can do there from the information, the stories and the advice provided throughout the tour!!
Trang H.Loop and Millennium Park Tour November 12, 2017
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