One of my favorite things to do in a new city is to take a walking tour and see everything it has to offer. Whether you are interested in architecture, art, or food, Chicago, has you covered – there is always something to do. Depending on how long you are here and the budget you have, the types of tours you can take are endless.
I recently discovered an app that allows you to take free walking tours around the city that are guided by GPS. Put in some headphones and walk around like you already know the place while having an informed guide in your ear. This is great opportunity for solo women travelers who want to explore the city alone, at their own pace, without compromising fun.
Free Walking Tours You Should Try in Chicago
Chicago Introduction Walk
Beginning your tour near Chicago’s Union Station is the Chicago Introduction Walk. With about two hours of walking time, travelers can make your way through 11 attractions that starting near the Willis Tower (Skydeck Chicago location) and end the tour near the Water Tower Place. You’ll be covering iconic locations like the Art Institute of Chicago, Crown Fountain, The Bean (otherwise known as Cloud Gate), Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue Bridge and a few more attractions.
Loop District Architectural Walking Tour
If you plan on staying near the Loop, a great walking tour that women travelers should try is is the Loop District Architecture Walking Tour. With a total of 12 attractions it will take you three hours to complete – depending on how many pictures you take. This tour starts with one of my favorite buildings, the Aqua Tower which is an 87 story building with a gorgeous water flow effect made from glass & concrete then ends with Chicago’s old Opera House which is now known as the Auditorium Building a office/theater space.
Chinatown Walking Tour
Another good walking tour for women travelers on this list is the Chicago Chinatown Walking Tour near the South Loop. Every location is totally a photo worthy spot and although there are only 8 attractions so you will find yourself spending more than an hour to make it through everything. The tour starts near the entrance of the Chinatown Gate and ends at gorgeous Ping Tom Memorial Park, but I recommend aiming to be at Ping Tom Memorial Park in the morning to catch the gorgeous sunrise and the Chicago skyline, then making your way down to do the rest of the tour before grabbing a bite to eat.
Lincoln Park Neighborhood Walking Tour
As always I recommend women travelers to tour one of my favorite areas in Chicago with the free Lincoln Park Neighborhood tour. The tour takes you to Oz Park (does the name sound familiar?), along Lincoln Avenue & you can the tour at Lincoln Park Zoo. The tour is about 2.1 miles in total, but you’ll be walking slowly to appreciate all of the beauty and take pictures.
University of Chicago Area Walking Tour
If you want to take a stroll through buildings that look like castles that are covered in vines and be surrounded by beautiful greenery — definitely try the the University of Chicago Area Walking Tour. Depending on how many pictures you plan on taking, you can get through this area pretty quickly, but its worth every step.
Chicago Old Town Walking Tour
Another great option for a little bit of architecture and food is the Chicago Old Town Walking Tour. Lasting for about two hours and including around 9 attractions (most of the neighborhood is an attraction) the area is filled with Chicago history. The tour starts you on Wells Street and drops you off at St. Michael’s Church. Stopping by the Chicago History Museum is a must if you have the time!
If you tried all of the other tours, and I looking for more, I highly recommend checking out GPSmyCity because they have more free Chicago tours listed. If the tours have inspired you to create your own, then I also recommend checking out the Create Your Own Tour feature that allows you to make points on a map and complete the tour on your own. The GPSmyCity App isn’t just for Chicago, they’re available in over 1000 cities! This means you can take personal a GPS guided tour whenever you want. You can view the full list of locations here.
Other Paid Tours in Chicago
If you are not in the mood for a walking tour, but still want to see most of the city then I have to recommend checking out the tours below. Chicago is a big and gorgeous city and it’s worth trying out a tour (or two) while you spend your time here. These tours aren’t free like the walking tours mentioned above, but I do think that they are worth the money with the experience that you’re getting.