Free Walking Tours of Chicago Neighborhoods
The Chicago Office of Tourism’s “Chicago Greeters” program is just that - FREE. It began in 2002 and its growth and popularity have literally exploded every year since.
Visitors can book a Greeter Visit (by phone or online) to more than 25 Chicago neighborhoods such as Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Old Town, and Chinatown. If you’re interested in a particular aspect of our fair city (Public Art, Shopping, Theater in Chicago, Monuments and Statues, etc.), that information is given to your assigned Greeter who will make every attempt to incorporate it into your visit. The program also provides everyone in the group and your assigned Greeter with a 1-day CTA Visitor Pass that can be used to get to, from, and within the neighborhoods that are not walking distance of the Visitor Information Center located inside the Chicago Cultural Center. Tours last from 2-4 hours, and are limited to six participants. Users of this free tour service have come from all over the U.S. and the world and the number of requests continues to grow each year.
Another component of the Chicago Greeters program is the “Insta-Greeter” service. On any Friday, Saturday, or Sunday from 10:00am to 3:00pm, just show up at the Greeters Desk at the Chicago Cultural Center. The Greeter-on-call will be happy to take you and your guests on a 1-hour walking tour on request. Anywhere you want to go, anything you want to see within an hour.
The Chicago Greeters service is staffed by more than 150 civic-minded volunteers who conduct these tours while sharing their love and intimate knowledge of the city and various Chicago neighborhoods with visitors to our world-class city. They grew up, worked in, and/or are long-time residents of the neighborhoods in which they conduct their tours. Who better than a neighborhood native to conduct a fascinating, fun and informative tour of a neighborhood? Another bonus is: Many of the Greeters are multi-lingual and can conduct a tour in the native language of their group! So the Greeter assigned to a visit to Pilsen, for tourists from a Spanish-speaking country, could conduct the tour in fluent Spanish.
The Chicago Greeters FREE tour program is a fabulous way for visitors to get a true “Taste of Chicago”. Special Offer: Local Chicago residents may book a free neighborhood tour for themselves anytime in June or July.
Greeter visits can be scheduled year-round, and are conducted rain or shine. For more information and to schedule a FREE tour/visit to a Chicago neighborhood, just contact the Chicago Greeter program office at:
Chicago Greeter Program
Chicago Office of Tourism