Chicago Architecture by Train Experience

  • 2 Hours
  • Walking Tour
  • Groups up to 16
  • Public Tour
  • Daily

The ‘L’ in Chicago is one of the most widely-recognized landmarks in the American Midwest.

  • See the city aboard the Chicago ‘L’, with an all-day train pass included!
  • Hear the history of the L and how it has helped shaped the city
  • Enjoy an included local beverage and snack along the way
  • Visit landmarks like the hub of Chicago Public Library & historic Quincy Station
  • Learn how to navigate Chicago’s rapid transit system like a true local!

Join us for a ride and discover the ins-and-outs of this groundbreaking and beloved elevated train system as well as the subterranean subway lines beneath the central part of the city and the Chicago River! From historic stations to beautiful skyline views across the city, you’ll be sure to discover a few surprises along the way.

You’ll meet your tour guide at the historic Chicago Theater, where you’ll be introduced to the scale of Chicago’s system (the CTA) and the intricacies of the L. With your pass and map in hand, we’ll start our ride with a background on the L’s historic beginnings, its environmentally friendly impact, and cameos in blockbuster films.

Our first tour stop will be a historic station, beautifully preserved and restored to reflect the style and decor of the early 1900s. 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.

Among the neighborhoods we’ll visit, the Chicago Loop is a lively downtown area where locals shop and dine day and night. Your tour guide will point out the best places to grab a bite of a Chicago staple – deep dish pizza or a loaded hot dog – following your tour. While we’re enjoying the city’s architecture or stretching our legs in the park space along the Chicago River, your tour guide will treat you to a small snack before hopping back on the L.

Among other tour stops we’ll have time to experience the classic Chicago architecture of the impressive Chicago Public Library!

As your tour comes to an end, your guide will be happy to give you some final tips and recommendations for other Chicago tourist attractions, happy hour bars, shopping, or a great place to grab dinner later that evening.

Community Impact

Riding the ‘L’ train in Chicago is a way of life, and its tracks are deeply woven in the fabric of the city. Traveling by train gives our guests a unique shared experience alongside the locals, allows them to tap into the Chicago way of life, and shows how the ‘L’ has played a major role in the development of the city’s communities.

This tour with a true local who knows the ins and outs of the city’s public transportation system shows our guests how to take advantage of mass transit and access neighborhoods beyond the usual and oftentimes overcrowded tourist destinations.

Including public transit on our tour means supporting the Chicago Transit Authority and in turn promoting accessibility for everyone in the city and contributing to future projects to expand this access.

We show our travelers the ease of train travel and the possibilities for city commuters and visitors alike to get around town in an economical and environmentally friendly wa


Chicago Theatre

This is where your Chicago tour begins – underneath the iconic neon sign made famous in both movies and musicals! Here, you’ll meet your tour guide and then set off through bustling downtown Chicago.

The Loop (Chicago)

Your tour takes place in this lively neighborhood of shopping, nightlife, performing arts institutions, and, of course, restaurants with the best food Chicago has to offer! Comprising mostly high-rises, the Loop is also home to the 108-story Willis Tower. The iconic “Cloud Gate” sculpture sits in Millennium Park. Grant Park features the large, rococo-style Buckingham Fountain and the renowned Art Institute of Chicago and hosts annual events like The Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza.

Harold Washington Library

The Chicago Public Library’s main branch features a mix of classic & modern architecture and a winter garden. 

Quincy L stop

Quincy is a historic rapid transit station on the Chicago “L” system. It is located between the Washington/Wells and LaSalle/Van Buren stations on the Loop. 

Sears Tower – Willis Tower

The Willis Tower is a 110-story, 1,451-foot skyscraper in the Loop community area of Chicago. Designed by architect Bruce Graham and engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, it opened in 1973 as the world’s tallest building, a title that it held for nearly 25 years.

Morgan L station

Morgan is a rapid transit station on the Chicago “L”‘s Green and Pink Lines in Chicago’s Near West Side neighborhood. The current station opened at this location in 2012.

Chicago Riverwalk

If the weather is good, we’ll be able to take a stroll alongside this iconic river and soak in the views it has to offer. Sights include Marina Towers, the Britannica Building, and the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower).

Chicago River

The Chicago River is a system of rivers and canals with a combined length of 156 miles that runs through the city of Chicago, including its center.

State/Lake L Station

State/Lake is an ‘L’ station serving the CTA’s Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, and Purple Lines. It is an elevated station with two side platforms, located in the Chicago Loop at 200 North State Street

Price Includes

Price Excludes

  • Local English-speaking guide
  • All-Day CTA pass
  • Small local treat
  • Additional food and drink
  • Souvenirs
  • Tips and gratuities for the guide

Pickup Information

Start time: 1pm

Meeting Location: 175 N State Street, Chicago, IL 60601 Chicago Theater (underneath the marquee on State Street)


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