Chicago Board of Trade Building

Chicago Board of Trade Building: Our most recommended tours and activities

Chicago River: 1.5-Hour Guided Architecture Cruise

1. Chicago River: 1.5-Hour Guided Architecture Cruise

Experience more of Chicago by boat than on any other architectural cruise. See architectural highlights and enjoy an open-air deck or climate-controlled interior as you travel the main River and its north and south branches. View all of Chicago's architectural highlights during this comprehensive sightseeing tour. Be entertained by the expert and friendly tour guides as they explain the 130 year-long history behind the skyline, while bartenders and staff keep you comfortable with refreshments.  Choose between the fresh air of the open-air decks or enjoy the comfort of the climate-controlled interiors during your cruise. The tour starts at the Michigan Avenue (DuSable) bridge and goes up the main branch of the Chicago River past Wolf Point. It then cruises along the north and south branches of the river, before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk towards Lake Michigan. On the way, learn about ornate, historic early skyscrapers like the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower, the imposing art deco Merchandise Mart, mid-century skyscrapers like the Mies Van der Rohe AMA Building. Don't miss the circular Marina City Towers, the majestic Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower and the tallest building in Chicago) the soaring AON Center, and more modernist structures like Aqua, Trump Tower, Nuveen, and the new Vista Tower. During your cruise, have the opportunity to enjoy a full-service cash bar featuring authentic Chicago products, including local beer and spirits, and Garrett’s Popcorn. Don’t forget to take a selfie at the Grand Staircase at the front of the boat or pose for photos at the picturesque stern or bow of this classic vessel.

Chicago River Architecture Cruise: Skip-the-Ticket-Office

2. Chicago River Architecture Cruise: Skip-the-Ticket-Office

Skip the lines at the ticket office and climb aboard a state-of-the-art cruise for a 60- or 75-minute cruise of all 3 branches of the Chicago River, and marvel at the architecture that has made the city so legendary. Get an insight into the buildings and engineering of a city that gave birth to the skyscraper and is the spiritual home of modern American architecture. Your expert guide will lead you down the Chicago River to uncover hidden gems, as well the city’s most renowned landmarks, such as the John Hancock building, Trump Tower, Marina City, Willis Tower, and more. Relax with a glass of something cold from the cash bar, as you cruise the Windy City’s waterway, and learn its status as a modern metropolis and one of the world’s most beautiful cities. End your tour in the same place where you boarded the boat.

Chicago: City Minibus Tour with Optional Architecture Cruise

3. Chicago: City Minibus Tour with Optional Architecture Cruise

Start with a pickup from your downtown Chicago hotel. Board your climate-controlled minibus and embark on your guided sightseeing tour. Begin in the heart of downtown Chicago, at The Loop. Here you'll see incredible architecture, including the world's first skyscrapers. You'll even go inside one that features a beautiful lobby designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The stop also includes views of The Chicago Board of Trade and the Willis (Sears) Tower. After The Loop, head through Grant Park, which is known as the city's front yard. The centerpiece of the park is the Buckingham Fountain. Museum Campus is up next, with three museums, Soldier Field, and the most spectacular skyline views in the city. After a 10-minute photo stop, travel around Millennium Park, featuring The Bean, before heading up north along Wacker Drive, which parallels the Chicago River. Arrive in the fancy Gold Coast nightlife area and residential neighborhood - one particularly interesting sight here is the original Playboy Mansion.  Then, take a trip through part of Lincoln Park, and end the tour by zipping along Lake Shore Drive, past beaches, and old mansions, before being dropped off at your hotel. For those wanting the ultimate Chicago experience, add on the option of the world-famous architecture cruise of Chicago. After your minibus tour and a short break, climb aboard a state-of-the-art cruise vessel for a 75-minute cruise of all three branches of the Chicago River. Marvel at the architecture that has made the city so legendary. Gain insights into the buildings and engineering of a city that gave birth to the skyscraper and is the spiritual home of modern American architecture. An expert guide will lead you down the Chicago River to uncover hidden gems, as well as the city’s most renowned landmarks, such as the John Hancock building and more.

Chicago: Private Architecture Tour - 3 or 6 Hours

4. Chicago: Private Architecture Tour - 3 or 6 Hours

Start with pickup from your hotel and meet your local tour guide, an expert on the architecture of Chicago. Travel through the city in luxury private transportation to discover its rich architectural history. See famous buildings such as the Sears Tower, The John Hancock Building, and the Wrigley Building Discover Gothic gems along the Magnificent Mile, historic brownstones, and the Frank Lloyd Wright homes of Oak Park. Enjoy a unique added value opportunity to view not only the outside but the amazing hidden interior of many of the buildings on the tour. At your discretion, make numerous stops along the tour to go to the top of the sky decks of famous skyscrapers. Walk along the Chicago River and enter the inside of buildings designed by many famous architects. This tour has several different options. Enjoy the sites of the downtown Chicago area with its many skyscrapers, amazing interiors and great photo opportunities. You may also choose the Oak Park Frank Lloyd Wright Homes and Studio option in lieu of the downtown tour where you will have the opportunity to view the interior of his very first home and studio along with over two dozen of his original structures lining Forest Street in Oak Park anchored by Unity Temple, considered to be the world's first building of the modern architectural style. Each of the above separate options are 3 hours long. If you are to choose both options for a full 6-hour touring experience, enjoy a lunch stop at one of Chicago's many famous hot dog stands or deep-dish pizza joints.

Chicago: Must See Chicago 90 minute Walking Tour

5. Chicago: Must See Chicago 90 minute Walking Tour

Starting at the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), this tour gives you an overview of many of the must see buildings and landmarks in the City of Chicago. Led by an expert guide who has been rigorously trained by the CAC to be equal parts storyteller and educator, you will get a fantastic introduction to the city’s wide variety of architectural styles, construction methods, and materials. There is so much to see downtown, and this tour makes it easy and fun to learn about some of the buildings that make Chicago’s architecture world-class. There are lots of photo opportunities along the way, so be sure to bring your camera! The tour covers three of the main focal points of Downtown Chicago – the Chicago Loop, the heart of historic Chicago; the Chicago River, the lifeblood of the city; and Millennium Park, where the iconic “The Bean” sculpture is located. Landmark buildings covered on this tour include soaring modernist skyscrapers (Willis Tower, John Hancock Center, and AON Building), buildings paying homage to classical styles (Wrigley Building, Tribune Building, the Chicago Theatre, and the Art Institute of Chicago), Art Deco edifices (Carbide & Carbon Building and the Chicago Board of Trade Building), and recently completed skyscrapers (Aqua & Trump Tower). Finally, admission to the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) is also included with your walking tour ticket. CAC exhibits focus on Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, housing types, leading architects and future projects, and include the largest scale model of the city, with more than 4,250 miniature buildings and a cinematic backdrop animating key moments in its history. The stories of the city begin at the CAC.

Best of Chicago: Skydeck, River Cruise & City Walking Tour

6. Best of Chicago: Skydeck, River Cruise & City Walking Tour

At Willis Tower, take the first elevator of the day up 103 floors to the Skydeck, the 3rd tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. On a clear day views extend to 4 States!! Back on ground level, it’s time to traverse Chicago’s Loop, alongside your local guide and see the city’s Art Deco architecture will be laid out before – or rather, above – you! Pass the magnificent Board of Trade Building and take in the statue of Ceres, Ancient Greek goddess of the harvest, looming over the skyline three stories high. The Loop may be a business district but it’s much more than that—including the birthplace of the world’s first skyscraper. At the Monadnock Building where your expert local guide will be waiting to take you on a journey through the city’s most storied structures Next, walk through the awe-inspiring lobby designed by Frank Lloyd Wright at the Rookery. Many elements here only an expert can point out, including the secret glass mosaics adorning the lobbies. You’ll listen to the history of the cast of characters that brought Chicago to world-wide fame, admire one of the world’s most historically significant doors and get a view of the largest Tiffany glass dome in the world. Millennium Park is the next stop where the iconic Cloud Gate can be found. After getting a picture in front of ‘The Bean’, it’s time to walk up Michigan Avenue for more architectural stories and history. The last stop of the day is Chicago’s iconic Riverwalk for a 90-minute architecture cruise, passing down the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Enjoy the snacks and refreshments available to purchase on board, and take in the day’s discoveries from the water.

Chicago: Elevated Architecture Walking Tour

7. Chicago: Elevated Architecture Walking Tour

Join a walking tour to explore Chicago’s memorable architecture from the unique perspective of elevated trains and station platforms. Learn the history behind the "L" system and hear how it has shaped the development of buildings within the Loop. Experience riding the “L” for yourself. The city's first elevated train started making trips in 1892. Now considered one of Chicago’s most defining features, the "L" offers one-of-a-kind views of downtown. By being more than 20 feet off the ground, you'll see architectural details that are missed by most pedestrians at street level. With this tour, you’re in for one of the most comprehensive tours in the Loop, passing hundreds of buildings and Chicago highlights. As you make your way around the city, listen to narration by your guide about Chicago’s transit system and architectural significance.

Other Sightseeing Options in Chicago Board of Trade Building

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What people are saying about Chicago Board of Trade Building

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 4,935 reviews

I had a very Knowledgeable and fun tour guide . The trip was interesting and funny. I learned a lot about the city and it's architecture. Highly recommended! Totally worth it.

Very interactive guide and he was also super knowledgeable. The views were amazing so 10/10 worth it

Awesome experience! Staff was professional, funny, and knowledgeable. Highly recommend!

Great tour on the Chicago River. Jack was a knowledgeable guide.

The best city tour I've ever experienced! Highly recommend.