Historically an area filled with warehouses, train tracks, tenements, and slums, it has – like River North – evolved over the years into a fascinating mix of old and new, of poor and rich, of humble and magnificent.

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

NOTE: This tour route is currently offered only as a private tour option.  Contact us to set it up for your group!

On this tour, you will:

  • Exhausted Irish immigrants waiting outside a church to be welcomed to their new country;
  • Courageous German labor activists sowing the seeds of revolution in the streets;
  • Early tavern owners building the city’s very first bridge to help drunk patrons cross the river;
  • A close-up view of where the city of Chicago was "born," and where it continues to soar to new heights;
  • Much, much more!


  • This tour is currently offered as a PRIVATE TOUR OPTION ONLY.  Please contact us here to inquire about setting up a private tour for your group.

Though all of Chicago’s neighborhoods are, of course, culturally rich, the West Loop is perhaps the closest and most accessible "off-the-beaten-path" experience for visitors who would like to get to know Chicago's world-famous architecture on a walking tour, but who wish to stick as close as possible to downtown. 

It is in this neighborhood that some of Chicago’s most famous characters lived their lives and achieved their place in history – people like Mother Cabrini, the first American citizen to be canonized a saint, and August Spies, the anarchist whose labor activism led to the founding of the internationally celebrated “May Day.”  Inside Chicago Walking Tours leads you through grand train stations and immigrant churches, past labor monuments and post-Fire architecture, to the very point where Chicago was officially “born” as a city.  Using the rich historical context of the neighborhood, we then paint a fascinating picture of what’s still to come in terms of Chicago's architecture: gleaming skyscrapers that seem to defy gravity, waterfront parks that finally allow people to enjoy the river as Daniel Burnham intended, and more and more people deciding to embrace this central part of Chicago as not just where they work, but where they live.

The West Loop, with its historical patchwork of cultures and stories, as well as its wide range of architectural styles and periods, is worth the short walk west from the Loop that you might already know and love.  Inside Chicago Walking Tours invites you to come along and explore the “melting pot” that continues to evolve today, and get to know this fascinating part of the city on one of our walking tours.

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