Chicago Riverwalk
Chicago Riverwalk
4.5
About
Located on the south bank of the Chicago River, this bustling urban space is filled with public art, museums, water activities, and more.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Neighbourhood: 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.
How to get there
  • Quincy • 5 min walk
  • Chicago Union Station • 5 min walk
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See what travellers are saying
  • Peter-DG
    Chicago, Illinois49 contributions
    Very nice walk along the Chicago River.
    This is a constantly expanding attraction. I like to walk it when going from the train stations to a Michigan Avenue or Navy Pier destination. Lots to see along the way and places to stop for a snack or drink. Amazing how clean the river is these days after being nearly a sewer may years back.
    Visited November 2022
    Written 19 March 2023
  • Josue C
    New Haven, Connecticut508 contributions
    Chi-Town RiverWalk
    The Riverwalk is one the best places to visit when in Chicago. There are actually two foot paths, aligning both sides of the river. The paths are full of shops, ice cream parlors, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars giving you options in case you get hungry while strolling. This is a scenic way to get from side of the city to another. I felt relatively safe while walking, it was well kept, and well lighted at night time, though I recommend keeping up current events in the city, to make sure of your safety. The river walk is home to many docks, where many people keep their pleasure boats, as well as, a few touring companies, that have tours up river deeper into the city, or down to the Lake Michigan. Weather permitting you'll be able to see folks take their boats out or have parties. As the Riverwalk expands, so those the entertainment, docks, and food scene. on my next visit to Chicago, I will revisit the Riverwalk, to take a boat tour, and relax strolling through.
    Visited August 2022
    Written 4 May 2023
  • Sandra H
    89 contributions
    enjoyable afternoon
    We enjoyed our walk along the river, actually did it several times. Stopped at the Northman (?) for an expensive can of wine and a beer, - just a nice way to spend an hour or so watching the boats go by.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 31 May 2023
  • Dave F
    Shotton, United Kingdom188 contributions
    Lovely walk along the Chicago River surrounded by the amazing Skyline.
    This is a must do thing on a trip to Chicago. It is a lovely riverside walk alongside the Chicago river at the bottom of the Magnificent Mile. The place to catch another must do thing -the Architecture River Cruise. - Really brings the Chicago Skyline to life. Plenty of opportunities to sit, eat drink along the Riverwalk .
    Visited June 2023
    Written 10 June 2023
  • patlv23
    Winnipeg, Canada698 contributions
    Pleasant stroll
    I didn't think we had time to visit the Riverwalk but the hunt for cheaper parking helped us end up there. Definitely a nice place for a stroll or even for outdoor dining. It offers a different view of Chicago's skyscrapers. It's also fun watching the numerous boats going by.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 24 June 2023
  • GillRouch
    St Helens, United Kingdom74 contributions
    Loved the vibe!
    What a beautiful new addition to Chicago. We found the Riverwalk after a long morning walking down the Mag Mile. The restaurants and bars have a great vibe. We went late morning and by lunch they were very busy. We were told that creating a riverwalk was now mandatory for new builds next to the river - great idea!
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 7 July 2023
  • Henry’s Take
    San Diego, California115 contributions
    Free Chicago River Experience
    Trail Series, Part 17 If you’re wanting to explore the Chicago River and are feeling all “Sporty Spice”, we’d recommend that you try walking or running along the Chicago Riverwalk. End to end you’re only talking about 1.5 miles of flat, paved trail, so this experience is accessible to nearly all travelers. We found the trail pretty busy during the early evening, so safety was not a concern whatsoever (even if enjoying it alone at a similar time of day). However, the amount of foot traffic did make running at our desired pace challenging. While bikes, skateboards, etc. are permitted, just know that you’ll be doing a good deal of weaving and bobbing around others. You’ll find numerous restaurants (and a public restroom) in case you are interested in either and the photo opportunities are seemingly endless. If you’re searching for a safe (and free) way to enjoy the Chicago River, this one is hard to beat. And that’s…Henry’s Take. #chicagoriver #chicagoexcercise
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 August 2023
  • Jen W
    18 contributions
    Chicago Riverwalk - fabulous way to see the city.
    The Chicago Riverwalk is fabulous! Beautiful, clean and tidy area, with a great choice of bars and restaurants. We felt very safe, and it wasn't expensive. Perfect way to enjoy the river or just for people watching. Would definitely recommend a river or lake boat trip to fully enjoy the Chicago skyline and buildings, and there are plenty to choose from.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 August 2023
  • Michael W
    Warwick, Rhode Island32 contributions
    Great place to relax or dine
    A typical inner city riverwalk. A nice place to stroll downtown with dining areas, sitting areas and great views of skyscrapers. If you are taking a leisurely paced vacation in Chicago I recommend checking it out.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 17 August 2023
  • Heidi g
    Traverse City, Michigan259 contributions
    Nicely done way to move along the river!
    Hubby and I drove to Chicago from Traverse City, MI (5 1/2 hrs) on a Friday through Sunday for an amazing wedding weekend of our niece. We stayed near the Riverwalk at the Langham, the wedding hotel. We enjoyed our short but full time exploring part of the Riverwalk on the Saturday before the wedding ceremony along with taking an architectural river and Lake MI cruise (90-min/viator.com). We found many cafes and restaurants, markets, and more along both sides of the river. It's not very wide so it can get crowded but folks were mostly considerate. Lots of dogs on leashes. Lots of various boats to watch or ride on: dining boats, personal craft, kayaks, tour boats, etc. Views of so many old and new buildings. Nicely decorated with art and plants/flowers. Fairly clean. Bridges across river have staircases to access the Riverfront. Fountains, lights, benches, walls, etc. to use while there. Highly recommend during the daytime. Was safe. Not sure about dark time/safety but the buildings would be neat to see at night - so take a river cruise for that to avoid any potential unsafe areas of the Riverwalk at night.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Sanna
Finland497 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
The Riverwalk was nice and serene for a leisurely walk during sunset, we combined parts of it with the Lakefront Trail that overlooks Lake Michigan, before looping into Millennium Park. Lots of Canada geese, which made it feel more like you were out in nature.
Written 19 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

veronicagriffith8
Chicago, IL11 contributions
Dec 2023 • Solo
Each and every detail (architecture, real estate, culture and people) provided opportunities to learn, grow, experience and challenge myself to be a better person.
Written 9 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Akbar Akh
7 contributions
Apr 2023 • Family
Walking in riwerwalk and a boat tour in riwerwalk really interesting and had fun moments for us. You can walk and enjoy the green riverside walkway that passes through the south shore and the city center. You can also board cruise ships and learn about the history of the city's most famous attractions
Written 10 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bill s
San Francisco, CA740 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples

Riverwalk in Chi-town is a must. Amidst bars, eateries, and the action on the water allows tourists an opportunity to soak up the beauty and history of the Windy City. A must-see for all. Lotsa fun. People watching is prevalent from the myriad of cafés, pubs, and restaurants. Just steps, literally, from comfortable hotels. Many benches and park-like settings for the accessibility of patrons. A beautiful sojourn in a beautiful city
Written 29 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bill B
Bel Air, MD8,171 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
The Chicago Riverwalk is well landscaped, with seasonal flowers and a view of boats and the Chicago River. The path along the south side of the river is paved with numerous small establishments for eating and drinking. Tour boats depart all along the shore. Helpful maps and rock and wood seats are interspersed. This is a very pleasant afternoon excursion.
Written 20 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephanie M
27 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
This is such a beautiful and bustling area of the city. The views of the river and architecture throughout the city are gorgeous.
Written 16 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

laura l
2 contributions
Sept 2023 • Solo
My first time in the city and I loved it I had a great time walking around doing the Riverwalk going to the theater walking along Roosevelt and South Michigan going to Grant Park. I cannot wait to move to Chicago next month. Such a beautiful city in so much to do.
Written 19 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aurora R
3 contributions
Sept 2023 • Couples
If you only have time to visit one place in Chicago make sure to see the River walk.
Gorgeous path along the river with plenty of options for boat rides, seating and eating all along the river. Great place to enjoy the architecture of the buildings lining the riverbank. The city has done a tremendous job in making this area a very enjoyable experience.
Written 6 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ree Ree A
1 contribution
Aug 2023 • Couples
Great time! Jazz fest was great. Good food. Parking expensive but it was okay since we had a blast. Worth it!
Written 6 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roch65
Ottawa, Canada137 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
We both loved the Riverwalk. If I lived in Chicago, I would definitely come here on a regular basis. The city has done an amazing job of creating a space along the Chicago River, where you can walk and gaze at the beautiful architecture, take a break in one of the many public spaces where you can relax a bit, and stop to have a meal while sitting along the river. We ate at O'Briens. We felt quite safe walking the length of the Riverwalk.
Written 29 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Chicago Riverwalk - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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