This tour designed to hit some of Chicago’s must-see spots may include a ride along Michigan Avenue and The Loop to see incredible Chicago architecture.
- Learn how to navigate The L, Chicago’s famed elevated train system, alongside a local.
- Visit a historic train station, beautifully restored to its early 1900’s glory.
- Appreciate Chicago’s renowned architecture on a new level.
- Discover the beauty and history of Union Station, the beating heart of Chicago transportation.
- Hear stories about The L’s place in popular culture – from blockbuster movies to art and architecture.
- Adult Ages 13+
- Child Ages 6-12
- Young Child Ages 5 & under
All Aboard The L Tour
The L in Chicago is one of the most widely-recognized landmarks in the American Midwest. Join us for a ride and discover the ins-and-outs of this groundbreaking and beloved elevated train system. From historic stations to beautiful skyline views across the city, you’ll be sure to discover a few surprises along the way.
Inclusions: Local, English-speaking guide and two tickets to ride on The L (Chicago’s train system) during your tour.
Exclusions: Additional food or drinks, souvenirs and personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your guide.
- Duration: 2 hours
- Meeting point: The Chicago Theatre (underneath the marquee), 175 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60601. View on Google Maps.
- Starting time: 1 p.m.
- Ending point: A central location near Millennium Park and Michigan Ave
Your tour begins on the ground, in front of the iconic Chicago Theatre. From here, we’ll walk a few blocks through The Loop until we reach the real beginning of our journey: our first platform to board The L.
Many visitors to Chicago are first-time public transit users, or at least on the scale of Chicago’s system (the CTA), and it can feel daunting to take your first ride. Thankfully, your guide is here to help you navigate the intricacies of The L. You’ll have a local alongside you to purchase tickets, explain the maps, and show you the way. Even if you’re a seasoned L rider, it’s always exciting to gain a new perspective for something that you may have come to take for granted.
From its history (built in 1892) to its environmental impact (the entire system is electric), you’ll quickly get a sense of how important the L is to Chicago and its citizens. Its appearances in movies such as Risky Business and The Dark Knight have given it iconic pop culture status.
After a short ride, the first stop on this train tour is a historic station – beautifully preserved and restored to reflect the style and decor of the early 1900’s. Here, you’ll see more than just intricate light fixtures and period tilework. This station also features decades-old advertisements, signs, and maps of the original system, from when the train lines were privately owned.
You’ll then jet off again, weaving through the many architectural wonders of Chicago’s skyline, which you’ll be able to appreciate on (literally) a new level from this vantage point. Your guide will share stories of Chicago’s history, architecture, and more as you rock along in your chosen car. There’s also perhaps an opportunity to travel away from the high-rises, and to catch an unmissable skyline view from one of the train platforms. You’ll then make your way back towards the center of town, catching views of the Chicago River along the way.
Next, you’ll disembark for a short stroll towards Union Station. When we arrive, you may recognize it from the climactic scene in The Untouchables with Kevin Costner, but rest assured, this movie set is the real thing. Showcasing its beaux arts architecture and the soaring skylight, this station is the beating heart of Chicago with thousands of travelers passing through daily.
Make your way, either via water taxi or back on the train, towards the center of the action. As your tour comes to an end, your guide will be happy to give you some final tips as well as recommendations for other sights around town, happy hour bars, shopping, or a great place to grab dinner later that evening.
Dress standard: Please dress comfortably and casually in weather-appropriate attire. Wear comfortable shoes for walking.
Additional information: This tour runs year-round and proceeds rain or shine unless such weather constitutes a dangerous situation.
Closure of sites: In the event of road or attraction closures, your guide will do their best to work around the obstacles or take your tour to alternate locations.