Chicago’s architecture is simply remarkable: a wide variety of modernist styles mix wildly with one another here. Even if you’re not interested in architecture you’ll be surprised. The best way to see the ornate skyscrapers is from a boat: Regular water cabs run on the Chicago River, which flows through the middle of the city – but there are also boat tours offered by various operators, where you can take a look at Chicago from the water. Especially recommended is the architecture boat tour through Chicago, where you will get a lot of interesting insights about Chicago’s architecture!
The Chicago Architecture Cruise
I have almost perfected my talent for speed sightseeing, but a half day in Chicago with a huge jetlag was a real challenge. I like to explore cities on foot or by bike (if I can). But after long-haul flights, I’m so exhausted that I often end up in some red Hop-On Hop-Off tourist buses. But in Chicago, a colleague recommended the architecture boat tour to me – and that sounded very relaxing, too.
Chicago: Architecture in the Second City
I knew little of Chicago itself. But as I learned, many people underestimated Chicago. Thus Chicago’s nickname: The Second City. In a way, Chicago and New York are a lot alike: big city, fascinating skyscrapers and a lot of history. But somehow there is nothing distinctive in Chicago: No Empire State Building, no Statue of Liberty, no Big Apple. Or can you think of just one world-famous sight in Chicago? And yet Chicago has so much to offer! Lake Michigan, which is actually more sea than lake. The famous Pan Pizza (which I didn’t try a slice of this time, shame on me!). Gangster stories from the old day, great galleries and a lot of exceptional architecture. And the best way to see it is on a boat tour.
Chicago’s architecture by boat
For Chicago, I highly recommend a boat tour. In good weather, of course. Which, admittedly, can get a little difficult in Chicago – because Chicago has another nickname: The Windy City. And the wind there can really blow you away. In our case, the Chicago wind just swept away the last little clouds and rewarded us with an absolutely fantastic blue sky! No wonder my enthusiasm for Chicago was ignited immediately.
The boat trip was tempting. And did not disappoint. We chose said architecture boat tour through the skyscraper canyons of Chicago. I’m not sure I would have been so engaged with each of the giant skyscrapers if I had just been wandering the streets. Many of the buildings are simply imposing, Chicago was the cradle of skyscrapers over a hundred years ago.
Childhood memories in Chicago
A little anecdote to end on: On the way back to the hotel, our driver raved about Chicago as his hometown, and we realized how much we hadn’t seen of the city despite the great day. He showed us the attractions of Chicago, while we’re driving back, but most of them didn’t look familiar to us. Until we drove past Buckingham Fountain, a huge freestanding fountain, where we immediately sang the theme music from “Married… with Children” – and our driver could not believe that this television series was such a huge success back then in Germany.
The architecture boat tour can be booked on site or online:
➜ Book your Chicago architecture cruise here*
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