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Chicago Architecture Foundation

Certificate of Excellence
Neighbourhood:
Downtown / The Loop
As featured in My Chicago Faves
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Address: 224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60604-2505
Phone Number:
+1 312-922-3432
Website
Today
09:00 - 21:00
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 21:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit cultural...

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit cultural organization with tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages. Visit CAF on Michigan Avenue to view our 1,000-building scale model of Chicago, shop in our award-winning store, or participate in a fun LEGO® building event in our ArcelorMittal Design Studio. Choose from 85 tours by boat, walking, bus, or even L train, including the CAF River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises. Tours depart daily and are led by CAF's expert docent guides. Every October, check out CAF's free annual Open House Chicago festival. Proceeds from CAF’s tours and gift shop, as well as grants, sponsorships and donations, support this educational mission.

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Book In Advance
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US$75.00*
and up
Chicago Explorer Pass
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US$18.00*
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Historic Skyscrapers
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US$18.00*
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Art Deco Skyscrapers

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,028 reviews
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    Very good
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    Poor
  • 9
    Terrible
Hands down, the best use of 90min in Chicago

The perfect "thing to do" for all ages - great for locals and tourists. I have been on 5 tours with the Architecture Foundation over the past 8 years and it's the only one I... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Shelliu
,
Chicago, Illinois
via mobile
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2,028 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,903: English reviews
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,261 reviews
522 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 438 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

The perfect "thing to do" for all ages - great for locals and tourists. I have been on 5 tours with the Architecture Foundation over the past 8 years and it's the only one I recommend. For Easter, several friends and families were in town for a tournament and we needed something that worked for teenagers, 30-49 something's and older... More 

Helpful?
Thank Shelliu
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
424 reviews
117 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Had to go on our last day in Chicago so couldn't choose a nice day. The volunteer guide did a great job. Learned so much and now appreciate stuff about buildings I never knew before. Thought $46 is quite expensive for a 90 minute up a rive and back.

Helpful?
Thank GrantHay
Los Altos, California
Level Contributor
189 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

You get a very intimate view of the city from the river and the buildings just keep getting more beautiful and interesting each time I take the tour. The docents or tour guides are super knowledgeable and have a great way of telling the city's history too. No cheesy jokes just great information. If you are a fan of architecture... More 

Helpful?
Thank tarheeltraveler367
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Have taken several tours - by boat and walking. The boat tour is probably my favorite Chicago tourist activity (even if you're not a tourist!)

Helpful?
Thank xteach
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Highly recommended!! Of course the day we went the weather was outstanding. Our guide was excellent and was able to answer our additional questions. And we appreciated the available beverage service.

Helpful?
Thank Jayne0602
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation, responded to this review

Hi Jayne, Thanks so much for recommending our tour to others on TripAdvisor! We're happy to hear that you enjoyed your tour and we hope to see you again soon. More 

Hugo, Minnesota
Level Contributor
87 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

It is well worth the investment even if architecture is not your thing. The ride was just long enough and we learned a whole lot about the City.

Helpful?
Thank Jnbartunek
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation, responded to this review

Thanks for cruising with us! We greatly appreciate your feedback. More 

1 review
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Wonderful explanation of Chicago architecture with anecdotes from someone who knows what she is talking about. Not to miss !

Helpful?
Thank Carlos G
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation, responded to this review

Hi Carlos, Thanks very much for touring with us as well as for sharing your tour experience. We're glad you enjoyed it and we hope to see you again! More 

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Our guide was knowledgeable and passionate. It was 90 minutes of wonderful learning and seeing. I would recommend the tour to all over the age of 10. Chicago is an incredible city.

Helpful?
Thank shopkins_storey
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation, responded to this review

Thanks very much for sharing your CAF tour experience with us. We're glad to hear that you had such a good time! More 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
43 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

The use of headsets on this tour was helpful, easy to hear the guide. Also did a Chicago Detour walking tour, that I felt was much better, more information. This was a nice tour but at 2 hours, I felt it was long, the architecture was beautiful but I think we could have moved along a bit. Not a long... More 

Helpful?
Thank summerfish1971
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation, responded to this review

Thank you for touring with us. Your feedback is very helpful for us. More 

Schaumburg
Level Contributor
50 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

This is where you want to start your Chicago adventures. Economically priced; a great way to get to the city and its rich history, present, and future. Foot, bus, bike, segway and boat (the latter being the most popular) are all fun ways to travel and absorb the wonders of this city. Maybe consider becoming a member. It pays off... More 

Helpful?
Thank Tiffrock12
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation, responded to this review

Thanks so much for your thorough review of our tour offerings as well as for your support in becoming a member with us. More 

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Chicago Architecture Foundation and other visitors
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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?

Staying in Downtown / The Loop

Neighbourhood Profile
Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
Explore this neighbourhood