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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Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
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The area
Neighborhood: 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
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • Josue C
    New Haven, Connecticut508 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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 May 4, 2023
  • Sandra H
    91 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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 May 31, 2023
  • Dave F
    Shotton, United Kingdom188 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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 June 10, 2023
  • patlv23
    Winnipeg, Canada698 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Traveled with family
    Written June 24, 2023
  • GillRouch
    St Helens, United Kingdom74 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Traveled with family
    Written July 7, 2023
  • Henry’s Take
    San Diego, California125 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 1, 2023
  • Jen W
    18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 14, 2023
  • Michael W
    Warwick, Rhode Island39 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    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 August 17, 2023
  • Heidi g
    Traverse City, Michigan268 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 29, 2023
  • Roch65
    Ottawa, Canada137 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Would love to return in the future
    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.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 29, 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 wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles3,103 reviews
Excellent
2,047
Very good
914
Average
124
Poor
15
Terrible
3

Helena Möller
12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Fantastic walk and view and the buildings and sourundings are intressting to see and the history of the town is so intresting.
Written April 18, 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.

bdimz
Wisconsin66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
We walked from Michigan Avenue to the Willis Tower and back. There are great views of the buildings and bridges. It is also a great way to stay out of the stronger winds at street level. It also allows you to travel faster as you don’t have to wait to cross the streets.
Written March 26, 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.

JB81ontheroad
Halifax Regional Municipality, Canada390 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
If you have some time to kill in Chicago, I can't think of a better place to spend it than the Riverwalk. It boats such fabulous views of the Chicago River and the city's architectural marvels.
Written March 24, 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.

TravelingSoccerLoon
Saint Paul, MN3,579 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
There are several ways to experience the beautiful architecture of downtown Chicago. One of the best ways is to take an architectural boat tour on the river. However, another option is to stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk. Located on the south bank of the Chicago River, there are several different access points. This is a quiet and relaxing walk and offers stunning views of some of Chicago's most iconic buildings. The views of the Wrigley Building and Tribune Building near the Michigan Avenue Bridge are amazing and are especially rewarding at night when everything is illuminated.
Written March 11, 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.

krishna
Waukegan, IL52 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
The Chicago Riverwalk is indeed a must-visit attraction in the heart of the city. With its serene waterways, lush greenery, and breathtaking architectural views, it appeals to both locals and tourists. Whether you seek a leisurely stroll, a peaceful spot to savor the surroundings, or a variety of activities and dining options, the Riverwalk has something for everyone. It's a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, providing a tranquil and scenic refuge right in the heart of Chicago.
Written February 27, 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.

Sanna
Finland506 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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 February 19, 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
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 December 9, 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
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 November 10, 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.

William S
San Francisco, CA743 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 October 29, 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, MD8,207 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 October 20, 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)

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