How It Works
It's easy enough...
Choose your tour.
Fill out and submit the reservations/contact form available on our website . Or, if you find it more convenient, call us at 708-557-5400. But later we will still request that you submit the reservation form. Either way, we promise a surprisingly quick response.
Once we hear from you, we will list for you the times and dates available for your choice of tour during your intended time of stay.. Keep in mind that all of our tours are completely PRIVATE...just your party and your private guide....no one else. Therefore, a reserved time is necessary.
No deposit is necessary.
There are no cancellation fees when two hours advanced notice is provided.
On your tour date, and depending upon the tour you have chosen, you will meet your guide at a designated location for any choice of neighborhood tours, or at the Chicago Cultural Center at the corner of Michigan and Randolph for any of our downtown tours, or the guide will come to greet you at your hotel if your place of stay is in the Loop area.
At the end of the tour day, you may pay your tour guide directly in cash. Credit cards are not acceptable. Personal or institutional checks for large private groups will be acceptable.
Most people recognize our personal treatment as refreshingly "old school". Truth is, we are looking to be friends. Being personal sort of follows...don't you think ? It’s that simple.
(see the FAQ's below for more details)
Frequently Asked Questions
Are reservations necessary?
Yes, reservations are necessary but no advanced payment is required.
We would advise that you call in or email your tour request at least 72 hours in advance of your requested date. We do consider "last minute" requests but we cannot guarantee choice nor availability of tours with fewer than 72 hours notice.
What about wheelchair users or physically impaired visitors?
We heartily encourage disabled visitors to join us. We are perfectly comfortable accommodating the disabled and we are sincere in our solicitation of those with physical impairments. Let us discuss with you those tours that we know present fewer accessibility obstacles. If necessary, we will devise combinations of accessible tours and customize an itinerary that satisfies your interests…no extra cost.
Are there tours on holidays and Sundays?
There are no tours on national holidays, nor certain religious holidays. The reason is practical. Many key establishments are not open thereby limiting the opportunities our tours ordinarily offer. There are tours on Sundays.
Is there a minimum number of people necessary for a reservation?
Each tour has its own minimum of participants required for a reservation. See the information box on each tour page. Keep in mind that all tours are private. We do not combine groups nor do we add individuals to reserved tour times designated for other groups.
Are there limits on the number of people in a tour group?
No...there is no limit to the number of members you may include in your group. It is completely your choice. However, keep in mind that it is always our intention to maintain our trademark personal approach. When a group's size affects the quality or the safety of the a specific tour, we may suggest adding an additional guide, usually at no extra cost.
Are large group tours available?
Yes, we are always open to customizing large group tours and will scale down per person costs outside of our regular pricing schedule in order to meet your group's budget constraints. We very frequently serve corporate groups, alumni associations, family and school reunions, wedding parties and fundraising gatherings.
Are school field trips available?
Walk Chicago Tours is Chicago's premiere school group and educational field trip guide service. Many of our guides are former educators who know how to engage students. We cooperate with teachers to meet classroom and curriculum objectives. Student discounts included. No charges for school personnel. See tripadvisor.com for teachers' reviews. Email email@example.com or call 708-557-5400.
Do you provide "step-on" or "ride-along" guide services?
Yes, we can provide step-on or ride-along guides. While we are recognized for our "walking narratives", we have a good deal of experience providing the same engaging narrative approach while accompanying you on the vehicle of your choice (bus, Limo, etc...). We do not contract for vehicle usage.
What about children?
Our tours are not designed for children under age 10. However, if your children are inquisitive and want to go, we encourage you to include them. We are convinced that our tours are substantial educational experiences. They are walks through history, architecture, biography, geography and legend. At the least, they have the equivalent educational value of a school field trip. Discounted pricing for children under the age of 14 will be discussed at the time of booking. There is no children's discount for any of our food tours. Ask for our discounted pricing for children under 14 years of age.
What are the costs?
All of our tours are priced for budget minded visitors. We do not increase fees based upon the number of members in the group. In fact, we are willing to decrease per person costs if the group increases in size. Depending upon the tour and the expected duration of the tour, our tours range in price from $30 per person to $35 per person. However, the minimum fee for a group with just two members begins at $40 per person. Payment is made in cash directly to the tour guide at the end of the day. We cannot accept credit cards or travelers checks.
Does Walk Chicago Tours accept credit cards?
Does Walk Chicago Tours accept checks?
As a matter of policy, we do not accept personal checks. Clients should be prepared to pay in cash. However, as a matter of practice, we do accept checks from corporations, educational institutions and other professional organizations. In the spirit of wanting to support all visitors to Chicago, if there are special extenuating circumstances preventing payment by cash, let us know before arrival. Possible exceptions can be discussed.
At what time do tours meet?
The choice of tour time is the choice of the visitors. However, tours cannot begin before 8:30am, nor after 4pm. Daylight, traffic rush hours and opening times for venues along the tour route are all limiting factors. But once again, tour times are the choice of the visitors from those times available in the daily schedule. Walk Chicago Tours recommends morning start times.
Where do we meet our guide?
If you are staying in a downtown Loop area hotel, we will come to get you. There will be no need to worry about finding us. If you are staying outside of the Loop area, you will meet your guide at the Chicago Cultural Center at the corner of Michigan and Randolph. USE THE RANDOLPH STREET ENTRANCE ONLY. Your guide will be waiting for you in the Randolph Street lobby. Your guide will approach you upon entry. If you choose a neighborhood tour, a designated neighborhood meeting place will be explained.
What about inclement weather?
We will proceed unless you express that the weather conditions are not acceptable. However, if the weather services issue "hazardous warnings", we reserve the right to suggest cancellation. Should you decide to cancel due to unacceptable weather conditions, call the WALK CHICAGO TOURS HOTLINE at 1-708-557-5400 at least three hours before tour time. There is no cancellation fee for adverse weather situations. However, if weather causes cancellation after the tour is underway, full payment will be requested.
What if we have to cancel due to extenuating circumstances?
Again, please try to give us at least three hours notice. Situations do occur, but they should be reconciled with the least amount of inconvenience to all involved. Call the WALK CHICAGO TOURS HOTLINE at 1-708-557-5400. A guide on call will answer between the hours of 9 am and 10 pm CST. During other time periods, a voice mail prompt will be available.
How far will we walk?
On the average, our walks cover about a mile to one and a half miles. (Two kilometers on the metric scale) The pace is very casual and non-athletic. We stop as often as you might care to do so. Restrooms are always within reach. Refreshment stops need only be requested.
Where do tours end?
Most of our tours do not bring the group back to the starting point. However, if you have a secondary destination for the day, your guide will instruct you as to how best to get there.
Is tipping allowed?
Tipping is allowed but never expected. Gratuities are earned.