With 77 distinct communities in Chicago, there's no limit to what you can discover – from rich histories to diverse cultural traditions, and hidden treasures to local landmarks. Let a friendly local be your guide and introduce you to the city in a whole new light.
Completely free and uniquely customized to your own interests, Chicago Greeter is a year-round service that offers visitors the opportunity to explore Chicago with an insider leading the way.
Pre-register yourself for a solo trip or a group of up to six people 7-10 business days in advance and select a neighborhood or interest area of your choice. You'll be paired with a Greeter who will welcome you downtown then take you on a 2-4 hour visit across the city. Set off by foot together and travel to the surrounding areas by bus or train with a single day transit pass provided complimentary.
This incredibly popular service is offered in 10 languages and covers over 25 neighborhoods and 40 interest areas. Want to stop into that little pizza place in Andersonville? Discover the town within a town in the Pullman Historic District? Seek out that speakeasy bar in Wicker Park? Find your next art purchase in Pilsen? Or stroll down the cobblestone streets of Old Town? Chicago offers something for everyone – get an insider introduction with personalized itineraries that can range from:
- Architectural Highlights
Explore The Loop – birthplace of modern architecture – and see the evolution of the skyscraper. Discover ornate mansions in Wicker Park, gothic architecture in Hyde Park and gold-domed churches in Ukrainian Village. Or see the work of legendary architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and contemporary architect Rem Koolhaas in Bronzeville.
- Fun for Families
Play with public art such as the splashy Crown Fountain or Cloud Gate (also known as ‘the Bean') in Millennium Park or the iconic Picasso in The Loop. Connect with the great outdoors at a nature preserve in North Park or check out the animals in the always-free zoo and farm in Lincoln Park. Let loose at Navy Pier and the Chicago Children's Museum in Streeterville. Take snapshots of the wooden scoreboard at the ballpark in Wrigleyville.
- Gay Chicago
Chicago is proud to be home to one of the world's most active and welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Explore the many LGBT-friendly businesses, restaurants and bars in Boystown (part of Lakeview) and Andersonville. Visit the Center on Halsted, the largest and most comprehensive LGBT community center in the Midwest.
- Ethnic Chicago
Immerse yourself in vibrant cultures in ethnic enclaves such as Chinatown (the fourth largest in the U.S.), the heart of the city's Mexican American community in Pilsen and the bastion of Greek heritage that is Greektown. Visit Southeast Asian shops, grocers and restaurants on Argyle Street in Uptown, or head to Milwaukee Avenue, the heart of Polish Chicago. Discover the Swedish roots of Andersonville and the German-American roots of Lincoln Square and Wicker Park, now home to trendy boutiques and restaurants.
- Greeter's Choice
Not sure what to choose? The most popular type of Greeter visit is a one-of-a-kind experience that lets your Greeter choose from his or her must-sees in Chicago. Leave the sightseeing up to them and enjoy the ride.
Chicagoans love their city and want to show it off! Through Chicago Greeter, a team of over 200 enthusiastic volunteer residents are ready to let you in on their secrets, share their favorites and show you around just as if you were a visiting friend.
See sides of the city you may not have adventured out to on your own, while learning to navigate the streets and public transportation system and taking away a truly authentic Chicago experience. Learn more and reserve your Greeter at ChicagoGreeter.com.
InstaGreeter gives visitors the stellar Chicago Greeter experience without the need to pre-register. These hour-long guided walks are perfect as a last minute alternative if you didn't register in advance or don't have time for a full Greeter visit. Just drop at meeting locations downtown (open all year) and select Chicago neighborhoods (open seasonally) during open hours:
- The Loop (Chicago Cultural Center Visitor Information Center, 77 E. Randolph) offered Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays year-round between 11am-3pm
MILLENNIUM PARK GREETER
Experience stunning architecture, beautiful landscapes and innovative and interactive public art on a free guided walk of Chicago's 24.5-acre, award-winning Millennium Park. Catch the Millennium Park Greeter (open seasonally) twice daily – no advance registration required.
- Millennium Park (Millennium Park Welcome Center, 201 E. Randolph) offered daily from May-October at 11:30am and 1pm