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Chicago Small-Group City Tour with Optional Architecture River Cruise

Badge of ExcellenceChicago, United States
Likely to Sell Out

From $43.95

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 2 to 4 hours (approx.)
  • Pickup from select hotels
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


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.
  • Upgrade to include a boat tour on the Chicago River
  • Small-group tour limited to 12 passengers ensures a more personalized experience
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off from most downtown Chicago Hotels

What's Included

  • Local guide
  • Three photo stops
  • Transport by 12-passenger, air-conditioned minibus
  • Chicago River Architecture Boat Tour (if option selected)
  • Complimentary pickup at most DOWNTOWN CHICAGO hotels
  • Gratuities
  • Food and drinks

Meeting And Pickup

Pickup points

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Pickup details

Tour picks up from most downtown Chicago hotels. We can return you to your hotel if you just take the Mini Bus tour. For those choosing the Mini Bus and Boat Tour, your tour ends at the boat dock at Michigan Ave and Wacker Drive. You are responsible for finding your way back to your hotel after the river cruise.

What To Expect

After pickup from most downtown Chicago hotels, board your climate-controlled minibus with a small group of 12 people or fewer. Embark on a sightseeing tour which has won Chicago's Concierge Preferred award several years running. 

Listen to historical and informational commentary from your guide as you admire the world's first skyscrapers in downtown Chicago, known as ‘the Loop’. Take in panoramic views of Lake Michigan and other sights through the oversized windows on the minibus.

Drive through several Chicago neighborhoods like Gold Coast and Lincoln Park to get a feel for daily life in the city. Make photo stops at Museum Campus, which boasts the best view of the Chicago skyline, and other locations like the Willis Tower and Millennium Park. Please see the Itinerary section for a full list of attractions visited.

Optional Upgrade: For more sightseeing by water upgrade your tour to include a boat ride down the Chicago River. This open-top boat tour provides an in-depth look at the architecture of Chicago. Additionally, learn about the role the river has played in the city’s history.

The Magnificent Mile (Pass By)

Chicago's main shopping street

Navy Pier (Pass By)

Popular tourist attraction

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • You MUST contact the local supplier to reconfirm your reservation
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

about cancellations.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.

Q:What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Chicago Small-Group City Tour with Optional Architecture River Cruise?

A:The policy on face masks and attendee health is:
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas

Q:What is the policy on sanitization during Chicago Small-Group City Tour with Optional Architecture River Cruise?

A:The policies on sanitization are:
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips

This tour is especially recommend for first time visitors as an introduction to the city.
We are so glad we took bus tour in addition to River tour- very worthwhile!
I highly recommend if you need a tour of Chicago!
543 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 543 reviews
Great informative tour
Lottie, Oct 2022
We loved our tour! Rick was very informative, and funny! He is very knowledgeable about Chicago. The mini bus is comfortable and has great windows for taking photos. Plenary of great stops along the way.
Kathy_M, Sep 2022
Excellent, very knowledgeable and friendly tour presenter. Highly recommend. Got to see so much of the city we otherwise would have missed. Great trivia and history.
Great tour of the city....
Pierre_D, Jul 2022
This was a great tour and our guide Rick was very knowledgeable and funny. We had a great group, and the sites he pointed out would have never been discovered on our own. Highly recommended. The smaller tour size was perfect.
2 travelers found this review helpful
Awesome tour
Shekila_E, Sep 2022
My husband and I visited Chicago 9/23/22 weekend just to get away and because Chicago was a bucket list spot.. We loved the tour. Rick was nice, on time and very knowledgeable. I wish the Bean was an actual stop and not a drive by. But Rick was so nice to drop us back off at the Bean for a photo op.. I loved how it wasn't a huge bus, it made it more of a private tour feel. Of all the stops our fave was the Chicago skyline.(see photo attached).. I definitely plan on visiting this beautiful city again and would definitely do the tour again.
Informed and Fun.
Robyn_T, Jul 2022
Enjoyed the info from Rick on the bus and Mike on the boat. Just enough time spent on both parts. Great!!
1 traveler found this review helpful
Great tours!
Jeffrey_P, Sep 2022
Both tours were incredible. Our city bus tour guide Rick was especially great. A mean old lady stole my wife & my seat after the first stop. After the 2nd stop she tried to steal someone else’s seat & he put an end to this. The lady yelled like a child it wasn’t fair. More importantly, Rick was a Knowledgeable tour guide. The architectural tour was amazing and Antonio was an excellent guide
Response from Host, Sep 2022
Thanks Jeff. It was a pleasure showing you both the best of Chicago. Sorry about the seat nabbing situation. Glad you could get them back at the next stop. In all my years of doing this, I have never seen anything like it.
1 traveler found this review helpful
The complete chicago tour
Josefina_J, Oct 2022
River cruise , the best and the city tour , not a rush tour of the city .. very detail and the driver is very friendly, respectful and knowledgeable ..we had a wonderful time .. Thank you very much ..
Thank you for a awesome...
Debra_W, Sep 2022
Thank you for a awesome trip around the city. We came from Florida to see the city and it was beautiful
Response from Host, Sep 2022
Thank you for the kind words Debra! I am really glad that you enjoyed the tour and the city!
Great lesson in history
Jon_M, Aug 2022
It was amazing. I learned a lot about Chicago and the background behind all the things that needed to happen for Chicago to be the amazing city it is
Excellent tours
Sandra, Aug 2022
I’ve been to Chicago many times but never knew the history nor seen all the things it had to offer. Both tours were very educational. It’s a very beautiful city. And All the tour guides were great with explaining the attractions.
Martin_K, Jul 2022
The history of Chicago. Seeing historical buildings. The boat tour was the best. I enjoyed how the staff was explaining about Chicago. She was amazing
Great tour
Tina_W, Sep 2022
Did bus part then got to pick a time for river cruise. We chose 7:30pm. It was dark so the city was all lite up. It was beautiful.
Great tour
Renee_S, Sep 2022
The tour was superb. Rick on the van and Becky on the boat were considerate and professional tour guides who presented significant facts about Chicago’s history, culture and architecture.
Comfortable tour without the crowds
Charlette_F, Jul 2022
I had a great time. I picked this minibus tour because I don’t like crowds and lots of noise and this was such a great decision! The bus was air conditioned and very comfortable. Loved hearing the history of the buildings on both the bus tour and the architectural boat tour. I liked how we made a few stops so we can venture out and take pictures. Our tour guide was funny and knowledgeable. I would do this again.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Excellent, couldn’t ask for more
Christina_B, Aug 2022
This tour combined with the riverboat architecture tour was the best that you can do. It is a must to do first when you arrive into the city. It covers everything. You may not need to take any other tour. The bus driver was wonderful. Extremely knowledgeable, covered every part of the city from the south near the Field Soldiers museum and planetarium up to the north way past Oak Beach. He have hints on getting to places, suggestions of where to eat, talked about the architecture etc. haven’t found anything he didn’t cover. The architecture boat trip just topped it off. The girl guide was very knowledgeable about all the key buildings and very engaging with the visitors. Couldn’t want for more
Boat tour is great!
Susan_A, Jul 2022
Boat tour was the best. The guide was excellent…..shared so much interesting information and seemed to love doing so. We learned many new facts.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Okay tour
Susan_G, Sep 2022
This bus tour was okay, if you're satisfied by quick glances at many sites. Best were the stops at the Buckingham Fountain, the view of the Chicago skyline, and the Frank Lloyd Wright designed lobby of The Rookery. The tour guide was adequate; nothing special. The bus has seen better days. The air conditioning system was inadequate, the seats were not particularly comfortable and the configuration only provided side-by-side seating for three couples. We were not among the three and when we tried to change seats after one of the stops, we were told we could not.
Response from Host, Sep 2022
The review before this one and the one following were written by people on the same mini bus at the same time.. Enough said.
Loved small van and boat tour
Robert_B, Jul 2022
Rick was the BEST guide ever. Really showed off Chicago and Kyle on the boat tour was funny and amazingly knowledgeable. Won’t ever take big on off bus tour again. Small van and stops were perfect
1 traveler found this review helpful
Highly recommend this...
Jane_C, Sep 2022
Highly recommend this tour. Saw many interesting sites with information about each. Service was excellent!
Response from Host, Sep 2022
Thanks Jane!
Great and Informative Bus and Boat Tour.
Phil_C, Sep 2022
The Tour Driver on the bus was great. He was informative, engaging, and funny. The speaker on the boat portion of the tour knew his "stuff." He was also well spoken and easy to understand.


Product code: 5538MINI