Chicago River
Chicago River
4.5
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1-2 hours
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Top ways to experience Chicago River
The area
Neighbourhood: Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
How to get there
  • Clark/Lake • 3 min walk
  • Clark/Lake • 3 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
2,020 reviews
Excellent
1,504
Very good
451
Average
56
Poor
6
Terrible
3

Marilyn M
Lincoln City, OR181 contributions
May 2022
Our hotel was on the Chicago River so we had plenty of time to observe the river. Night time gives the city a lovely setting. Day time offers the River Walk, tour information on the river's history and the location and dimensions of the original fort.
Written 9 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sightseer278913
5 contributions
Dec 2022
Even on a gray day the river was fabulous. This is a great way to be introduced and reintroduced to this wonderful city.
Written 19 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Carlos_Gonzalez2013
Ipswich, UK628 contributions
Nov 2022
A must in Chicago. If you love Architecture and a nice walk, do not hesitate to walk through the Chicago river and admire all the buildings. Amazing
Written 9 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

cindy b
Nisswa, MN23 contributions
Nov 2022
The architecture is amazing with the sun reflecting from all the glass! Fun to walk near the river and see boats coming under the bridges. Lots of restaurants and little shops but many were closed when we were there which was ok with us. Lots of places to eat in Chicago!
Written 5 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL8,133 contributions
Nov 2022
According to the Illinois Office of Tourism, the Chicago River is the No. 1 attraction in Chicago, not Cloud Gate or Navy Pier or Wrigley Field or the Art Institute of Chicago or the Museum of Science and Industry. While most people perceive the Chicago River to be the 1.5-mile main stem that flows west from Lake Michigan to Wolf Point in downtown Chicago, passing beneath the Outer Drive, Columbus Drive, Michigan Avenue, Wabash, State, Dearborn, Clark, La Salle, Wells and Franklin Street bridges, where it converges with the North Branch to form the South Branch, which flows southwest and empties into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Along the way, it affords views of some of the city's great structures, including Tribune Tower, NBC Tower, Wrigley Building, Trump Tower, Marina City and Merchandise Mart. In fact, the Chicago River is a system of rivers and canals with a combined length of 156 miles that run through the city of Chicago, including its center (Chicago Loop). It is not especially long but it is notable because it is one of the reasons for Chicago's geographic importance, a link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin and the Gulf of Mexico. The river was crucial in the city's development as a major center of the lumber and meatpacking industries during the 19th century. The Chicago Riverwalk has been developed on the south bank of the main stem to provide dining, entertainment and recreational opportunities for Chicagoans and tourists.
Written 28 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Terve
Singapore, Singapore40 contributions
Nov 2022
Chicago has a beautiful mix of architecture. Majestic building all around. We took the tour on the boat where they point out all the knowledge regarding those beautiful buildings. One of our favourite tours
Written 23 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Terri P
Baltimore, MD218 contributions
Oct 2022
Just a riverwalk but so much more. I cannot believe that this is a new addition to the city as it seems to be the heart of the city. This is a great way to get a glimpse of the city and soak in all in. The nite time is the best time as all of the building are a glow. There are many activities on the walk but it is not crowded. You can walk or just sit and enjoy the flow of the River.
Written 29 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

fozjon
Jaipur, India1,625 contributions
Oct 2022
it was recommended to us to go on the Wendella Architecture tour. We were not disappointed. Our guide, Dave, did a great job with the tour and kept us entertained.
Written 24 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

christopherbO9687MP
Acton, MA540 contributions
Sep 2022
The Chicago River is a great downtown highlight that accents the city. Most cities have a waterfront that forms the boundary of the city; Chicago has this River that splits the downtown with a relatively narrow divider. With the Riverwalk and all the downtown tour boats, there's always something to see traveling along the river.
Written 28 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Skyy
5 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
I would the riverfront a 5. We usually would stay away from downtown, but really enjoyed this experience. Everything was within walking distance.
Written 26 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Chicago River | | UPDATED February 2023 Top Tips Before You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Chicago River

We recommend booking Chicago River tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 24 Chicago River tours on Tripadvisor