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
Address
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
  • Randolph/Wabash • 8 min walk
  • State/Lake • 8 min walk
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See what travellers are saying
  • patlv23
    Winnipeg, Canada962 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
    Travelled with family
    Written 24 June 2023
  • GillRouch
    St Helens, United Kingdom95 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
    Travelled with family
    Written 7 July 2023
  • Henry’s Take
    San Diego, California1,065 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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 August 2023
  • Jen W
    17 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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 August 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 17 August 2023
  • Heidi g
    Traverse City, Michigan374 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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 August 2023
  • Roch65
    Ottawa, Canada144 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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 August 2023
  • Aurora R
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The River Walk Great Experience.
    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.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 September 2023
  • laura l
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great time in Chicago
    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.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 19 September 2023
  • Bill B
    Bel Air, Maryland18,276 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well landscaped, seasonal flowers, view of boats and river
    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.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 20 October 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.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles3,114 reviews
Excellent
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Average
124
Poor
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Miguel Gómez
Monterrey, Mexico30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
This is a must if you come to Chicago. The Riverwalk is one of the best things you can do, you walk next to the river, seeing all the skyscrapers and the boats passing by. You can eat or take a drink in some of the many restaurants and bars that are in the riverwalk, and take the architecture tour that tells you the story and information about the skyscrapers. Please do the Riverwalk, you will love it.
Written 19 June 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.

sanju_222323
New Jersey16,024 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
There are few better places to enjoy the outdoors than the Chicago Riverwalk. The Chicago River runs through the heart of the city, parallel to the lakeshore, and is known for its large number of movable bridges. In just two miles, there are 18 bridges, each with the ability to allow large boats to pass.

The 1.25-mile pedestrian walkway on the south bank of the Chicago River is the perfect place to take a stroll and observe the city skyline. what I found unique is - it's not a monotonous walk.

Did you know that the Riverwalk is made of six separate coves? Each cove has a unique identity and nickname (Part of my R&D

The Marina (State to Dearborn):
The Cove (Dearborn to Clark): Stop for a snack or rent a kayak
The River Theater (Clark to LaSalle)- plenty of trees and greenery.
The Water Plaza (LaSalle to Wells)- great for families. Adults can relax around a fountain,
The Jetty (Wells to Franklin)- See floating wetland gardens
The Boardwalk (Franklin to Lake)- perfect place to see the Chicago River’s three branches.

it is one of my favorite attractions in the city, the other two are Navy Pier & Millenium Park - I can keep these 3 to the top -best experience in Chicago.

visit the public gardens and art displays, or grab a meal at a popular restaurant or bar overlooking the Chicago River. The Riverwalk is home to many dining options and hosts special events throughout the year, and you can also find several river tours and cruises that depart from the Riverwalk.

Public art is on show throughout the pedestrian trail. But Art on the MART is perhaps the Riverwalk’s most famous work. This is the largest video-projection art installation in the world, taking up approximately 2.5 acres of the MART’s river-facing facade

bw guys, let me tell you a fact- it was not as beautiful in the past as you are seeing right now- strolling along the picturesque Riverwalk, it’s hard to imagine that it was once a shipping channel — and a smelly one at that. After a lot of effort and dedication, though, it has become one of Chicago’s star attractions

The Riverwalk is also the epitome of romance as the sun goes down. Listen to live music, and sip wine on a riverside patio.
Written 16 June 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.

Rachel & Andy
344 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
Visited: 06/07/2023

Would highly recommend following the riverwalk in Chicago. It really gives you a feel for the place. It is a nice walk with plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes along the way, with the occasional tour boat floating telling you about the city and people kayaking too.
It's a really nice, and free, option to enjoy the city.
Written 14 June 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.

DriveAllNight
New City, NY261 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Quintessential Chicago - you can’t be here without walking along the river. Again and again! Loved looking at the architecture as we walked.
Written 8 June 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.

hockeyaw19
Marlborough, MA648 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Business
Did a bit of the riverwalk on a warm day in May. It was largely in the sun but had some areas of shade. Some restaurants and eateries are along the path. It's a nice way to see some of the city from a unique vantage point and away from some of the hustle and bustle of traffic.
Written 8 June 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.

jodlynn95
146 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Terrific stroll with an amazing view! Everyone loved the sights and food. I could walk the Riverwalk every day and not tire of it.
Written 2 June 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.

scott f
32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
Chicago is amazing, must see Starbucks Reserve, Girl and the Goat, Chicago sports teams, lakefront , Museums and a LSD drive to Bahi Temple just to name a few!!!!
Written 21 May 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.

CubanWaters
Montreal, Canada4,004 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Any time of the day a great path along the river to take a stroll on. All types of buildings around, boats going by and a few open spots for a meal, beverage and such. It's safe and closes at 11 pm, I believe. Goes from the heart of the city to pret near all the way down to the lake front.
Written 19 May 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.

Baybug2
Macon, GA317 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
The views were all around. The river was kinda dark, but I can not wait to go back when they turn it green for St. Patrick's Day. It was a windy day, but it wasn't too bad down by the river. It was a different story out on the Navy Pier. Overall, it was a pleasant sunny walk and views just every angle.
Written 30 April 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.

Alexandra M
Texas1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Solo
It was always a dream for me to visit here just because most of my friends are living here and finally I had a chance to visit here and explore the area it is awesome
Written 28 April 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.

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Chicago Riverwalk - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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