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Chicago Walking Tours


See our Calendar Below for All Tours, as well as Things to Do & Travel Tips

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Architecture Tour

Our Chicago Architecture Tour will lead you along the Riverwalk through the history of the industrial landscape that is home to the world’s first skyscraper

Haunted History

Walk with us as the sun sets through downtown Chicago hearing some of the most gruesome and creepy Chicago stories. Expect more history and humor than hauntings.

Loop and Millennium Park

Join us on the Free Chicago Loop Tour of Downtown Chicago. Learn about history, architecture and other hidden treasures. Tours run on a pay-what-you-want basis.

Riverwalk and History Tour

You will learn about Chicago's greatest triumphs as well as her most devastating tragedies.  You will see the birthplace of the city where the original army settlements were.  Since this tour is on foot, you will get to pause and really appreciate each architectural gem.

Lincoln Park & Blues

Join Free Tours by Foot as we venture through one of Chicago’s well-known neighborhoods, Lincoln Park.  Famous for hidden gems, hired guns, and hot guitars, our guide will lead you through the neighborhood to view the unique and residential streets. 

Winter Riverwalk

Take a winter stroll along the main branch of the Chicago River and take in the beautiful architecture, such as the Tribune Building and the Wrigley Building, and learn the stories behind the people who built them.

Free Tours by Foot is pleased to present the best pay-what-you-like guided Chicago walking tours. 

These interesting and informative sightseeing city tours will take you through many of the Windy City's most famous neighborhoods.

Everyone should be permitted to take a guided tour for a price they feel it was worth or what they could afford – even free!  

Pay-what-you-like tours are tours for every budget.  


We provide a platform for local, freelance tour guides to lead walking tours as well as ghost and architecture tours at no upfront cost, so that you may enjoy a worry-free quality sightseeing experience.

Walking tours are our forte, and we offer a number of daily and weekly pay-what-you-like walking tours of Chicago as well as completely free self-guided options.

You could browse the tours that we have by clicking the links below, by scrolling our public calendar (also below) or it just might be best to go directly to our booking page

There’s no cost to book our walking tours. 

We have roughly 1000 reviews with a rating of 5 out of 5 stars and with 97% of reviewers rating us as very good or excellent.

We are so well-reviewed, yet TripAdvisor seems to hide us from you (probably because they can’t sell our tours for commission).  Read the reviews for yourself.  

Free Tours by Foot - ChicagoExcellentFree Tours by Foot - Chicago4.9 Based on 278 reviews fromSee all reviews review us onNikki R.Nikki R. ★★★★★ We had a great tour with Michael. He shared so much about the history of Chicago with us.Natalia Torres B.Natalia Torres B. ★★★★★ We did the Gold Coast tour with Brian and really enjoyed it. The tour was fun and informative and I would recommend it.Sue PSue P ★★★★★ We did two of their tours on a recent trip to Chicago, one of Lincoln Park with James and one of the Riverwalk with Michael, both were excellent. We would definitely recommend this company.Allison H.Allison H. ★★★★★ Ylva D.Ylva D. ★★★★★ Had a great tour with Michael! He was informative, funny, friendly, and love answering questions. After the tour, Michael followed up sent an email with information on questions he didn't have the answer to during the tour in addition to a Chicago reading list and recommendations for your visit. Would recommend this tour to anyone interested in learning more about a slice of Chicago's history!H FH F ★★★★★ Easily the best value thing you can do in Chicago. Remember to bring cash to tip your guide because I wish I had more. Michael was awesome and so passionate and knowledgeable. Dress for the occasion too because Chicago can be cold 🥶 check the weather. Also, Michael is just an all round good quality human being, he brings clean beanies for people like me who aren't weather prepared.Sam T.Sam T. ★★★★★ Bruce's Lincoln Park tour was fun and informative, a brilliant way to explore the neighborhood and learn about it's history. I only wish I'd done the tour at the start of my Chicago trip - Bruce has a wealth of recommendations for all over the city. Do this first!ralph S.ralph S. ★★★★★ Very goodOmer G.Omer G. ★★★★★ Great tour with extremely knowledgeable instructor - MichaelLucia S.Lucia S. ★★★★★ Excellent tour given by Bruce this morning! Really enjoyable and informative. I highly recommend it.janice K.janice K. ★★★★★ Chloe T.Chloe T. ★★★★★ I did the Winter Riverwalk and History tour in Chicago in March and it was honestly so amazing. Was it cold? Yes. Was it snowing? Yes. Was the tour worth it? Yes. Our tour guide was Michael and he was so amazing, he just has such a bubbly and inviting personality and I couldn’t have expected anyone better. He brought spare hats for anyone that got cold and always made sure to find alcoves of buildings for us to stand in and escape the wind. The tour went by so quick and we got to see lots of wonderful places and Michael was incredibly eager!!! I highly recommend the tour for anyone visiting Chicago.Elizabeth G.Elizabeth G. ★★★★★ Michael Denini is a gifted tour guide. Very knowledgeable and personable. He engaged the young and the old in a fascinating experience of the city. I learned so much! It left me both wanting to learn more, and just generally more fond of the human race despite our flaws.Jane T.Jane T. ★★★★★ Michael was very informative, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We had a fantastic couple of hours , we only wish it had been the first thing we did when we arrived in Chicago.Joy H.Joy H. ★★★★★ We had Michael D. for the Winter Loop Tour. Michael had so much interesting information. He was lively yet casual -- it was easy to ask questions. He was so knowledgeable about various topics. We will definitely sign up for other tours.Genoveva G.Genoveva G. ★★★★★ Michael was our tour guide for the Architecture Tour. He was awesome. Very punctual and knowledgeable of the history of the buildings as well as the different eras. Even though the weather wasn't the greatest, he was patient and answered all our questions. I definitely recommend him and will take future tours with him. Thank you, Michael!!Ma Esther H.Ma Esther H. ★★★★★ Tomamos el tour de arquitectura con Michael y nos encantó, muy bien informado, muy interesante y super professional, lo recomiendo muy ampliamente.Marina G.Marina G. ★★★★★ We had the architecture tour with Michael and it was amazing and super interesting. We had a great time walking around the riverwalk even if it was in the 30s, he had great history stories. Highly recommend the tour. From TexasDoraBDoraB ★★★★★ I had the architecture tour with China and it was amazing! I had a great time walking around the Loop learning the fascinating stories of the seemingly similar, but otherwise completely different buildings from such a knowledgeable person!I also took the crime tour around Lincoln Park with Bruce and got to know a lot more about gangsters in the early 1900s.Highly recommend!Wandy C.Wandy C. ★★★★★ LOVED the architecture tour with China! a genuine & captivating storyteller with a sense of humour, everything I look for in a tour guide. thoroughly enjoyed the 2 hours spent & would highly recommend her tour when you find yourself in chicagoDENIS V.DENIS V. ★★★★★ Chicago, the Windy City, deserves a solid 5-star rating! It's simply magnificent with its breathtaking skyline, beautiful lakefront, and a vibrant cultural scene. The city's charm is irresistible, making you want to come back again and again. From its iconic architecture to the friendly locals, Chicago never disappoints. A must-visit destination!" ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️gal M. ★★★★★ אחלי סיור, עם china המדריכה. היה מעולהA Z (.A Z (. ★★★★★ Had a great tour listening to the rise of skyscraper architecture with China! Highly recommend booking a tour and exploring the city in this easy and accessible way!Massimo S.Massimo S. ★★★★☆ Veramente comoda da girare a piedi!Vanessa BVanessa B ★★★★★ What a fantastic organization! Did a night time haunted/history tour with Kelly on a Sunday night. Got some great stories, photos, and exercise! Pay what you feel the tour is worth at the end. Definitely worth it!Christjanna M.Christjanna M. ★★★★★ I was traveling by myself and this was a great way to get my trip started. Learned some history, saw cool buildings/art, walked a lot and got some good recommendations for what to do with the rest of my day. Highly recommend any tour with Aram!Su R cSu R c ★★★★★ To experience the real Chicago that too in an inexpensive fashion join their walking tours.They have different tours offered by them to suit your taste.I did their loop tour and architecture tour.Both were super informative.The guides were jolly and cracking jokes at the right moment.TIP: Book at least 3-7 days in advance to get confirmation from them before joining the tourLisa S.Lisa S. ★★★★★ Really enjoyed Aram's walking tour of Chicago🏙️Great guide with the perfect pace and voice!Lots of interesting facts and pointed out so many things you might not notice on your own and told you the history behind them!Thanks for a Great Tour Aram!Mitchell C.Mitchell C. ★★★★★ Great tour this morning with Aram! Highly recommend.Filipe W.Filipe W. ★★★★★ Sally B.Sally B. ★★★★★ We loved our Loop tour with Andy. He was so knowledgeable and interesting. He gave great advice about where to eat. Would definitely recommend.EricEric ★★★★★ J’ai fait deux tours à Chicago et ils étaient tous deux excellents. Les guides Aram et Bruce étaient fantastiques, chacun amène son expérience et sa personnalité et rendent la promenade enrichissante et chaleureuse. Des 7 free tours auxquels j’ai participé durant ces 15 jours aux États Unis, ceux de Chicago ont été de loin les meilleurs. Chaudement recommandé !CynthiaCynthia ★★★★★ I did the Loop tour with Aram. He shared a lot of info and recommendations. He’s an excellent speaker and easy to understand. I recommend his tours to anyone.Тагирова М.Тагирова М. ★★★★★ In March 2023 I took 2 tours by this company at Chicago: Lincoln Park & Gangster Tour (guide Bruce) and Loop and Millennium Park Tour (guide Mike). Both tours were wonderful and super informative. Every time I travel I try to go to a tour by Free Tours by Foot. Highly recommend!Francy LFrancy L ★★★★★ Excellent way to know more about ChicagoMarilia HMarilia H ★★★★★ Bruce was our amazing guide! Well versed in everything Chicago, he knew by heart every single address, dates and details of history. So impressive! Tour was very pleasant and didn't feel rushed. Great for a cold day.liron K.liron K. ★★★★★ Carolina Ríos T.Carolina Ríos T. ★★★★★ My guide was Mike, an extremely kind person who seems to enjoy a lot telling people the fun facts and history of Chicago. Very recommended 👌🏻Hiromi S.Hiromi S. ★★★★★ An amazing tour. Love this company. So informative and learned tons about Chicago history. Scott was amazing! Highly recommended.Brianna S.Brianna S. ★★★★★ Scott is greatEmily A.Emily A. ★★★★★ I’ve done two tours with them now and loved every minute. Guided were engaging and knowledge. I can’t recommend this tour enough. It’s nice to get up close to the buildings as they talk and point out details and tell stories. Their tours are a must do in Chicago!Carol C.Carol C. ★★★★★ I just did a haunted tour with Andy today and it was incredible. Despite not being a Chicago native himself, the guy know knows his Chicago history more than the typical Chicago local. He has done his homework and seems like the guy who is always improving to give the best tours possible. He explains the dark side of Chicago. It isn't just rainbows. Chicago is the home to several serial killers and his knowledge about that is beyond informative. Aside he is very friendly, funny and kind. He seems to have a genuine passion about Chicago. The good and the ugly. Behind the buildings, there is a lot of haunted and dark history with some twisted corruption. I totally recommend a tour with Andy and I am sure the rest of the team is great as well.fabiola C.fabiola C. ★★★★☆ Adriana fue extraordinaria super recomendaciones que nos dio y en español 🙂 Solamente los spots en donde nos paramos casi no hay para sentarseMaría Cecilia V.María Cecilia V. ★★★★★ alejandra estrada G.alejandra estrada G. ★★★★★ I did the Riverwalk & Historical Tour with Aram and hd a great time! Our guide Aran was awesome, very knowledgeable and and entertainer, so he kept things interesting and fun the whole time. I highly recommend doing this tour, and if possible the other ones they offer! Next time I come to Chicago, I’m definitely booking another tour with them!Tamara M.Tamara M. ★★★★★ Aram is a fantastic guide. He’s knowledgeable about the city, it’s architecture and it’s history. He’s also very personable and entertaining. This is a great tour for tourists and locals alike! As a lifelong resident, I learned a few things that I did not know about my city. If you’re wondering if you should do the Chicago Riverwalk tour, do it!Meghan H.Meghan H. ★★★★★ Our tour was absolutely incredible. Mitch was our guide for the haunted history tour and he was phenomenal. He was very sweet and friendly, made sure we were all safe and happy, and was an excellent guide. He knew so much about everything, is a wonderful storyteller, and even added humor to it, but he was also very careful to be sensitive about the tragedies we were discussing. Overall it was an absolutely amazing experience, and I really appreciated allowing us to pay what we could. I was only in town for one night for business, and my budget wasn't huge. Thank you for giving us an amazing experience anyway! I've been on a lot of ghost tours in a lot of places, and this was definitely one of my favorites!Laila Dalla T.Laila Dalla T. ★★★★★ I did a tour with Andy today and he was one of the best guides ever: funny, knowledgeable, individual, giving first hand insights and much more! Guides like Andy make cities appear like hidden gems!js_loader

Our premiere Chicago walking tours are great day or night and serve as introductions to the city, Chicago history and cover the many of the main tourist attractions. 

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Our Regularly Scheduled Tours

  • The Birth of the Skyscraper: Architecture Tour is a great way to discover and appreciate the incredible landscape of buildings in Chicago and it ends in Grant Park near the famed Buckingham Fountain.
  • The Riverwalk and Chicago History Tour follows the path of the Chicago River and focuses on the history of Chicago, the Chicago Flag, and the beautiful buildings that line the river.
  • North Loop and Millennium Park Tour, which covers a great portion of Chicago’s downtown Loop neighborhood, public art, and ends in Millennium Park.
  • Our Chicago Ghost Tour -Haunting History is for folks who love haunting history and creepy tales of the dark side of the White City.
  • On The Magnificent Mile Tour, you will discover fun Chicago facts like the history of deep dish pizza while exploring our most popular downtown area.

Weekly Tours

  • Our Gold Coast Tour meanders through the history of high society where you will be introduced to the glamorous residential neighborhood built around Lakeshore Drive.
  • Explore Lincoln Park on our Lincoln Park and Gangster Tour to appreciate a unique neighborhood scattered with hidden history including tales of Chicago Gangsters.
  • We also offer a West Loop tour which combines great storytelling for history buffs with great photo ops for those more in the “sightseeing” mood! 
  • Get out of downtown and check out the Chicago Street Art on our Wicker Park Culture & Street Art tour.

Winter Tours

We offer tours year-round, even in Chicago's winter, but we take into account the need to be seasonably appropriate for walking tours. Check out our special Winter offers:

  • In the winter, we offer a Pedway Tour that explores the indoor tunnels and paths to discover Chicago architecture and arts in a warmer way.
  • There is also a Winter Loop option where we will spend about half of the time outdoors looking up at the skyscrapers and the other half will be spent inside exquisite public buildings and lobbies.
  • Our Winter Architecture Tour explores the unique landscape of buildings in the downtown area while also popping into many lovely lobbies for warmth!  This tour is abbreviated and adjusted for our Chicago winters.

En Español:


Many of our pay-what-you-like walking tours are architecture tours or architectural points are a large part of them.

These tours include:

In addition to our walking tours, there are other walking tour companies that offer excellent architecture tours.

Another popular option is to take an architectural boat cruise. There are even architectural tours by bus as well as Segway.

If you are on a budget or would just like to take things at your own pace, then consider one of our self-guided walks.


In addition to walking tours, Chicago has bus, bike & boat tours. Read all about them...


We also offer our guiding services for private groups, families, or school groups where we can guide you in the Loop, the South Side and anywhere else in Chicago.

Find out more about private tours...

And much, much more

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