Chicago Tours
Big Bus Chicago: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour by Open-Top Bus
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Big Bus Chicago: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour by Open-Top Bus

By BigBus Chicago
About
Known as a world-famous hub for architecture, art, and politics, the lakeside city of Chicago has a wealth of must-see sights. Know exactly where to go in the Windy City on this hop-on, hop-off bus tour, complete with several stops covering everything from the famous Thorne Miniature Rooms in the Art Institute to the Adler Planetarium. Plus, this hop-on-hop-off tour means you can take charge of your own sightseeing itinerary.
from
C$69.57
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 3-99
Duration: 2h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Audio guide: English, Spanish
More

Highlights
  • A hop-on hop-off tour of downtown Chicago makes sightseeing easy 
  • Hop off and get back on as many times as you wish
  • Audio commentary provides important historical context 
  • See highlights including the Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile, and Grant Park

  • Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour by Open-top Bus
  • Professional digital commentary in multiple languages
  • Live Bus Tracking & City Info (Download Free Big Bus App)
  • Enclosed/Climate Controlled Lower Deck, Top Deck Open
  • WiFi on board
What's not included
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Admission to attractions

Hop on the double-decker bus at any of the designated stops to begin your tour. Pop on the earphones provided to listen to audio commentary on the history of the Windy City, from its iconic architecture to the life and times of famous Chicago residents like Al Capone. You have your pick of sights such as Willis Tower, with panoramic views of four different states, the Field Museum, home of world-class history exhibits, or Navy Pier, where you can grab some cotton candy and take a ride on a classic Ferris wheel. And make sure to enjoy the bus ride. You cross the Chicago River and get a front-row view of the Magnificent Mile, with its historic waterfront and luxury retail stores. Don’t forget to save time for the Impressionist masterworks at the Art Institute of Chicago. An insider's tip: duck into the lower-level to see the astonishing detail in the Thorne Miniature Rooms.  The night tour includes views of Chicago's dazzling skyscrapers lit up for the night.  Note, this is not hop-on, hop-off. 

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Pushchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 5096CHICAGO

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Most travellers can participate
  • 1 Day tickets will be valid for same day use. Tickets claimed after 2 pm will be valid for the next calendar day.
  • Redeem vouchers at any Big Bus hop-on hop-off points
  • Please advise at time of booking if wheelchair assistance is required
  • Due to NASCAR route changes, Stops 4, 5, & 6 will be closed between July 4-9. Please see the Big Bus website for the most updated route changes
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund

  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

The tour operator has provided the following answers to customers’ questions.
How often does a bus arrive at each stop during the Big Bus Chicago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour?
A bus arrives approximately every 30-45 minutes.
Answered Mar 2022
Do I have to go to a central location to redeem my ticket for the Big Bus Chicago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour?
You can simply show a printed or electronic version of your ticket at any of the stops to board the bus.
Answered Mar 2021
How will I know which stop(s) to use during the Big Bus Chicago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour?
Our pre-recorded audio guide will communicate upcoming stops. You can also download our free App for more information on routes and times, and what to see and do at each stop location.
Answered Mar 2022
How long is one full circuit of the Big Bus Chicago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour?
A full round trip takes approximately 2 hours if you do not get off on any stops.
Answered Mar 2021

If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 5096CHICAGO

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Similar experiences

About the operator
Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
  • BigBus Chicago
    2,827
    Chicago, Illinois
    Joined in June 2007
  • Toodles4now
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enjoyable
    A walking tour that we had scheduled had been cancelled so we decided to try this tour. We had previously taken the Big Bus Hop On Hop Off Tour. This tour does go to other places and has an in-person tour guide as opposed to the recording on the hop on hop off tour. We enjoyed the tour and the opportunity to see and hear other things about the city as well as see the lights. One suggestion, the top deck, which is where you want to sit for the best view can get quite chilly as the sun goes down. Bring warm layers.
    Written June 12, 2024
  • anuragl2023
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome night view
    It was a great tour. All the awesome view of Chicago and night view. One of the best cities for views in US. Totally enjoyed it
    Written June 2, 2024
  • cwshats
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice evening
    Entertaining and pretty bus ride through town. Our guide was friendly and informative with some good stories and history tid bits. Beautiful way to spend an evening. It did cool down after the sun went down and there is a breeze on the upper deck so good to have a jacket. The bus route covers a lot more ground than the river tour so if you have time while in Chicago do both! Tons of restaurants near the meeting point. We went to Avli before for Greek food and Portillo's for dessert after.
    Written May 26, 2024
  • markkO4743YS
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great trip.. Spiro was our guide. Excellent job very knowledgeable about the city and everything going on covered many g
    The timing was perfect for our trip. We’re still light out so we got to see many things. And then when it got dark out, it was a whole new adventure.
    Written May 6, 2024
  • Kazzatravel1234
    0 contributions
    1.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ripped off at bus stop ticket seller
    DO NOT PURCHASE TICKET FROM THE BUS STOP , we were ripped off , when we asked how much is it in total for two ,twice !!! So it was clear, he told us the price for one, so essentially we were charged twice as much as we thought, book using viator, you won't get ripped off then. !!!
    Written April 27, 2024
  • robertmW1622NC
    0 contributions
    1.0 of 5 bubbles
    This tour is NOT worth the price
    This tour was completely uninfomative. The canned narrative was both childish and contrived. Between the few sections of the narration there was more music via records than one would expect from a DJ. The narrators were spouting dialog that was just cutesy. We have enjoyed this type of tour in many other cities where we learned about the city. On this one we were "treated" to multiple views of hotels which were featured in the brochure. By far this was the worst tour we have taken and in no way worth the price charged.
    Written November 5, 2023
  • glramsey
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great way to see Chicago!
    We hopped on and hopped off a few times. First driver had us take earbuds to listen. Second time, the driver didn’t talk and there was nothing to listen to using the buds. Third time was a charm. We were lucky enough to have Candace as our driver. She was funny, informative and one of the nicest people. During one of the stops, she offered to take our picture because she saw us struggling to take a selfie. Not once through the trip did she ask for a tip, whereas the other drivers did and contributed nothing to our trip. Candace….you are a rockstar! Thanks from the Philly girls for making our trip fun! Go Birds.
    Written October 1, 2023
  • Michelle Jarrel... T
    0 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Smacked by tree limbs
    This was a great tour with different features and narration than the hop on hop off tour during the day. It is difficult to find the starting place, so arrive early and ask around. There's a sign that says Big Bus, but it doesn't indicate it's where the sunset bus starts. The worst experience was that MANY tree limbs smacked people on the upper deck as we drove by. There was really no way to avoid them without literally lying on the seat. If I had not had on glasses, I probably would have had serious eye damage. Not sure if it's the City's responsibility or the bus company's, but someone must trim those limbs!
    Written August 9, 2023
  • Joe M
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tour guide makes it worth it.
    A non stop Tour ride. Informative with some humor for our guide Matty. We were able to feel Chicago and learn about its history and current buildings and places. Lincoln Park is included on the tour. They new where the "Kodak Island" spots would be. Relaxing and enjoyable. If you want to see Chicago by bus, this it it. It is much better than Big Bus hop on after waiting and hop off.
    Written July 6, 2023
  • A9562VQstephaniem
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great time in Chicago!
    We have been on Big Bus in several cities and have loved them all. We rode again today while in Chicago. This was our first time taking our son who is 3. He had such a fun time and our driver Candice was fantastic! She was so fun to listen to and was awesome with our son. Riding a double decker bus (like Peppa Pig) was the highlight of his trip and Candice made it even better. She took a picture of us on top of the bus from the sidewalk and we were so appreciative!
    Written April 24, 2023
  • 916alemc
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must get for first time in dubai
    Very nice Service! Everything planned out and nice for every Citytrip :) Employee raju in abu dhabi was very handsome
    Written December 20, 2022
  • Gmolz23
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Look for Candice
    Our Hop on Hop off experience was a great because of our driver Candice. She went over and above to personalize the tour and highlight Chicago. When we switch buses other drivers were disappointing with no dialogue and faulty audio. Hope everyone gets to be on Candice's bus, she was exceptional.
    Written December 5, 2022
  • TeresaC819
    0 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful City Light Tour
    I would have rated 5 but we had hard time finding starting location. Actually had to walk from Navy Pier entrance down side street. Wonderful narration with humor and music. History, information and beautiful city lights. A big loop around Chicago including several highlights and neighborhoods.
    Written October 23, 2022
  • tonyasI9863WS
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Chicago experience
    The young man Clifton Davis was so friendly and patient when assisting my family and I on picking and planning the right tour that would suit my family .He”s knowledgeable and because of his personality my family will tour again and highly recommend taking the big bus tour
    Written October 15, 2022
  • AlwaysWellTraveled
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Love it.
    I love the hop on hop off double decker bus tour in any city! If you’re lucky, the driver will enjoy being a newsy tour guide. Chicago ought to re-record their ridiculous and stupid recording on this bus. It really insults the audience w lack of sophistication.
    Written September 21, 2022
See all 2,827 reviews
These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members 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.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

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

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles1,043 reviews
Excellent
575
Very good
198
Average
98
Poor
60
Terrible
112

Brian F
4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Family
Buyer beware! I would leave a lower rating if possible. This company oversells tickets and then refuses to provide refunds. I have done the hop-off tour and found that you are lucky to get seats at times but what is beyond excuse is the evening tour where only one bus runs. They sell more tickets than there are seats in the bus. If you arrive after seats are taken, they don’t care. There is not another bus. They say come another day. Come within the next 6 months. They tell you to go to the website for a refund but they will only give you the run-around on the website. There are no refunds. That is no solution if you are on vacation. You have options when buying tour tickets. Beware of this one! With lots of tour operators in Chicago, you can see the city without being defrauded.
Written June 16, 2021
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.

OrExplorer1
Portland, Or67 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
The Chicago BigBus tour is a joke. We have done many hop-on hop-off bus tours in other states and countries and they have all been great. Here they tell you after you purchase your ticket online that you have to get off a few stops later and get a paper ticket. They say you get a free backpack at the second stop (not that we cared). You have to wait over a 1/2 hour until the bus finally moves after you get the paper ticket and get back on. Then they say they are skipping the second stop and they don’t have anymore backpacks (again we didn’t care but why even say that when you get the paper ticket). They tell you nothing other than what the stop is, no history no other information. Too many people not enough buses if you hop off. The most exciting thing was listening to the “co-workers” fight over the radio. Oh and the bus driver yelling out the window cussing at other drivers, using the “f” bomb. Good family tour. NOT!
You can ride the city bus and probably get more information for a ton less of $$.
Written October 10, 2022
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.
Orexplorer1, thank you for leaving us feedback. We are disappointed to hear that your experience was not a positive one. If you'd be willing to provide more feedback, please reach out to us at info@bigbustours.com so we can assist you further. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Written October 18, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Paula F
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Horribly disappointing. First thing I do when I visit any new City is take a narrated bus tour to learn the lay of the land and historical, economic, and fun facts about it. For $60 adult 2 day rate(no discount for seniors) I was handed headphones which I plugged in. Only 2 channels, and they were playing the same music. No facts, narrative about the neighborhoods, buildings or anything. All our female bus drive told us was the stops, like museum (not naming it). Was it the Art Institute, childrens’ or planetarium? We were on the second level so couldn’t ask her. Her drawl was hard to understand and we were not able to go to 2 of the stop because “Our president was in town”. We assumed it was for the United Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Convention but she never said for what. We learned noting from her other than to sit, not stand because she didn’t want to have to have the supervisor throw us off the bus. She must have been a former school bus driver who knew nothing to share about the City of Chicago. Why give out earphones if there is no narrative? Ripoff taxi service that you have to wait 30+ minutes for.
Written May 11, 2022
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.

Jamee E
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
Workers not concerned with Customer Service or customers with disabilities. Day one was raining off and on. My partner and I were waiting at Stop 5 to catch the tour bus to Stop 7 and the bus drove right past stop five, even though we were waving in the rain and waiting in the spot they had left people off the day before. Stop five was moved a bit past the hotel due to construction. We had to take a cab to the Aquarium. At 2pm we tried again to catch a bus. As two people who walk with canes, walking towards stop seven in the cold and rain we flag down the bus in between stop 6 & 7. The driver saw us, waved us toward the stop #7. Waited until we were about fifty feet away and then drove off. The next bus real time showed 55 minutes way. We could not stand in the rain and cold for another 55 minutes and had to take an Uber. On Day 2 we were able to get onto the bus in the morning at Stop 5. We rode until Stop 1. At Stop 1 I spoke to the Lead person about the mix up the afternoon before and he said I do not believe that and walked away. On the new bus at stop four we instructed to disembark and move to another bus, we all got off walked to the other bus and were told to go back to the first bus. No communication over the bus speaker as to what was going on. Back on the bus we were to get off at Stop 5 and the bus drove right by it. I asked the driver to stop so we could get off as that was our stop and he said we would have to ride to stop seven again and take another bus all the way around and they may stop. I spent the money for a 2-person 2 -day ticket and was thoroughly disappointed with the service not to mention the lack of courtesy or understanding for the disabled.
Written May 4, 2022
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.

markeljarez
Detroit, MI18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Friends
This is my second time riding with the Big Bus Chicago and just like the previous time Steven( Stephen) the tour guide and Karen( the bus driver) made it a wonderful experience. The tour guide was very entertaining and knowledgeable. Big Bus Chicago is a definite must if you’re visiting the city for the first time or if you want to stop by most of the major attractions this beautiful city has to offer.
Written March 9, 2020
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.
Thank you so much for riding with us. We're glad you enjoyed your time with Karen and Steven, they really are a wonderful team to receive a tour from. We hope you'll consider us during your next trip to Chicago.
Written March 11, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

EvaLou
Flint, MI135 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
On the day we took the tour, we took the first bus available at the Water Tower around 11 am. For whatever reason, they said the “night” tour wasn’t available that day and rides stop at 5. That didn’t work with what we had planned very well. I wanted to stop at Riverwalk and take the boat tour, get back on and stop at Millennium Park. After the boat tour, we didn’t have time to stop at anything else.

Also, the app wasn’t working at all and the busses aren’t as frequent as what they state. It just made it more stressful for me than what it should have been. I would recommend the tour but as others have said, the narration is really cheesy. But, the kids loved riding on the top and looking around the city. It’s also great if it’s your first time there. I hope they fix these kinks. It would be 5 stars if they did.
Written August 1, 2021
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.

Terry T
Springfield, MO30 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Love the route, stops and dependability. BUT, they have removed the live docent from the bus who narrates, real time, what you could and should look for on both sides of the street giving a history of the city and the various buildings/sites you pass as you go. Up until COVID, they have always done the live guided tours. NOW, their solution is a very poorly done audio tour where you plug a set of wires earphones into the bus receptacles at each seat and listen to the recorded audio. The problem with this approach is that it is not very informative at all, has a bunch of music on it to fill the time, and it is not gel-codes to locations so there is very little specific narration of what you are about to see or are passing by as the bus proceeds along its route. SO, the bus tour is now really nothing more than a reliable taxi ride to high traffic areas within Chicago. In my opinion, it is no longer worth the money I paid for it in 2018 or 2019 when the route and fee included a live host (docent) to narrate your trip and answer questions about places of interest. Very, very disappointing!
Written July 25, 2022
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.

Bee80204
Denver, CO5,062 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I’ve ridden on these buses in three different cities and I’m a fan. It is comforting to ride with other people on a tour especially when I travel alone. And the freedom of being able to get on and off at the stops you want makes it fun. I bought my ticket online and downloaded their app. Couldn’t figure out how to link my ticket to the app but the app was useful in getting descriptions of the different attractions. There is also an ‘if lost’ option which shows you where the nearest stop is. Another option is the route map with where the buses are in real time. I don’t know how good it was as it didn’t seem to work when I looked.
I showed up to the stop I picked without knowing what time the bus was coming. I had to leave according to his schedule so I was prepared to wait. The ticket agent scanned my ticket - which was sent via email - and printed out a paper ticket which I could show whenever I needed to board again. He also took a photo for me against an interesting backdrop on a nearby building. The bus came 5 minutes after I arrived which was super lucky for me. Masks are required when you go through the bus or in the enclosed seats but not if you sit up top.
There is narration and fun quizzes piped through the sound system. If people are conversing it makes it hard to hear so I made sure to check my map to keep track of stops. So much to see on both sides of the bus since the architecture of Chicago is interesting. I love the ornate sculpting on the buildings. My favorite is the Chicago Tribune building.
I got off at the Magnificent Mile / Water Tower stop to visit an old church and Bloomingdales which I saw from the bus. And then I got off at Portillo’s on a whim as some people were discussing their famous hot dogs and I needed lunch.
Didn’t want to wait for the bus to come round again so I walked and caught a ride share back to the hotel. It was a fun tour with favorable weather and friendly associates.
Written September 26, 2021
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.

Fresh Flowers
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
This tour really fit the bill for us. It allowed us to see and get a lay of the city along with some history of the landmarks. We were amazed by our driver, Jerry’s ability to wiggle that big bus thru the downtown traffic. And Bongi, our guide, was very knowledgeable, personable, witty, and talented. She even sang for us.
The bus was clean, the seat were fairly comfortable, and being outside on the top of the double decker bus was great because we took the tour in February. It was a beautiful sunny day.
The tour started on the hour and goes thru all the stops. If you get on at their 5th stop, you can get off at the 8th and then pick it up again an hour or two later and finish out the tour back to the 5th stop where you started from.
Written February 22, 2020
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.
We are thrilled y'all enjoyed the tour of downtown Chicago! Driving through Loop traffic here in the Windy City is certainly no easy feat and we're glad you felt safe and comfortable aboard our buses. Hopefully you will consider riding Big Bus Chicago during your next visit!
Written February 23, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Imaditani
Dubai, United Arab Emirates84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
I have tried the big-bus tours in other countries. However in Chicago, the tour is very personal with a tour guide in the cabin which I didnt experience before. The tour overall was good and takes 24 minutes between each stop, and it actually stops at all the key locations.
I am bad on names, i had the first tour guide who was informative then i went into a stop and tried another guide who was also fine and went into another stop. The last guide, Matty, I went with was so funny, informative and so close to the visitors; I literally didn't want to leave the bus because of him and his funny jokes. His Trump impersonations were so funny and accurate. Matty you made my day and I wish the trip was even longer
Written March 17, 2020
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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Big Bus Chicago: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour by Open-Top Bus provided by BigBus Chicago

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