Nightlife Tour, Chicago

Legendary Cocktail Lounges play an important part in Chicago's nightlife. Here you can feel the city pulsing with the beat of extraordinary performances of live jazz, blues, rock, folk and country. At Chicago's cocktail lounges you can meet the trendiest people and relax over the magnificent cocktails. Take this walking tour to discover the most famous cocktail lounges that Chicago has to offer.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Nightlife Tour Map

Guide Name: Nightlife Tour
Guide Location: USA » Chicago (See other walking tours in Chicago)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Author: Xena
1
Roof At the Wit

1) Roof At the Wit

One the hottest bars in downtown Chicago, Roof at the Wit boasts one of the most impressive views of the city. An open-air rooftop lounge with a sophisticated touch, the Roof also offers a great menu with tempting and original choices such as Duck Fat Fries, Roasted Grape Bruschetta, and Sugarcane Shu Mai Skewers. The Roof also features an assortment of unique and tasty cocktails, including Hank’s Highball, consisting of Maker’s Mark, grapefruit bitters, and grapefruit juice, as well as a host of other inventive drinks. Entertainment includes live DJs, including local favorites and world-renowned names. The Roof at the Wit is also available as a space for private events.

Operation hours: Monday - Friday: 4pm – 2am; Saturday: 4pm – 3am
2
The Underground

2) The Underground

A basement bar reminiscent of a bomb shelter, the Underground is notable hangout for celebrities and sports stars in the city. With a decidedly military theme to its décor, interior design cues include radioactive symbols on large, imposing pillars, and an armor-plated DJ booth, to name just a couple. Attractive waitresses in tightly-clad military gear serve up inventive military-themed cocktails and late-night snacks. The Underground includes two full service bars, and although there is no dedicated dance floor, the space is laid out in a way that accommodates small groups for dancing and mingling. Comfortable couches are also provided for relaxing. Themed nights take place here as well, including costume parties and fashion shows.

Operation hours: Thursday – Friday: 10 pm – 4 am; Saturday: 10 pm – 5 am; Sunday: 10 pm – 4 am
3
Signature Lounge

3) Signature Lounge

Signature Lounge, situated on 96th floor of John Hancock Center, offers magnificent views of the entire Chicago city. They serve signature cocktails along with a gourmet menu, including delicious appetizers and good dessert selections. If you want to enjoy the beautiful city views and sip premium martinis, Signature Lounge at 96th is the perfect place.
4
Primary

4) Primary

Featuring the city’s hottest up-and-coming talent as well as the world’s best DJs, Primary is a boutique nightclub that can hold a capacity of up to 240 guests. Previous performances offered here include Orchard Lounge, WildKats, Crystal Castles, Onur Ozer, Tommy Four Seven, and many more. A variety of sounds can be heard at Primary, such as house, dubstep, underground disco, indie dance, and more. Its spacious dance floor measures heats up thanks to top-notch audio from its Void sound system as well as its impressive wall of LED lights. As this popular club offers some of the city’s best entertainment, as well as reasonable prices on drinks, it can get quite crowded.

Operation hours: Wednesday – Friday: 10 pm – 4 am; Saturday: 10 pm – 5 am
5
Zebra Lounge

5) Zebra Lounge

Located on the first floor of a beautiful vintage building, Zebra Lounge has been open for over 65 years. Wonderful live piano music is played at this lounge every night. There are only a limited number of ten tables at Zebra Lounge, so go earlier to get a seating.

Walking Tours in Chicago, Illinois

Create Your Own Walk in Chicago

Create Your Own Walk in Chicago

Creating your own self-guided walk in Chicago is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Millennium and Grant Parks Walking Tour

Millennium and Grant Parks Walking Tour

Chicago offers a wide range of amazing green outdoor spaces. Grant and Millennium are two lakefront parks, that represent the city's progressive design streak from the 19th century to the 21st. These parks feature amazing architecture and design. Take this walk to explore the beauties the two parks have to offer.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Art Galleries Tour

Art Galleries Tour

The art world in Chicago is considered vast. There is a large number of art galleries in this city and each gallery has its own unique setup and outstanding exhibitions on display. The beautiful galleries feature works in a wide range of fields, from up-and-coming artists to famous artists like Pablo Picasso. Take this walking tour to explore some of the most famous galleries in Chicago.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Chicago is the thirds largest city in the United States, it is located on the shore of Lake Michigan, and it offers numerous vibrant tourist attractions. It is a thriving center of international trade and commerce and a city of world-class status and unsurpassed beauty. It features world-famous museums and galleries, amazing architecture, lake front parks and a huge variety of restaurants and shops. Take this orientation walk to explore the best tourist attractions in Chicago.

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.1 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Chicago without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Chicago, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.9 km
Best Jazz and Blues Clubs Tour

Best Jazz and Blues Clubs Tour

Chicago is considered to be one of the most important destinations where Jazz & Blues developed. In the 1920s this city became a center of hot jazz. At the same time blues started to invade Chicago. So if you are a fan of Jazz and/or Blues or you simply like listening to great music, take this walking tour and don't miss the chance to visit some of the best Jazz & Blues clubs in Chicago.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Chicago without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Chicago, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Chicago Souvenirs: 15 Distinct Local Products to Bring Home

Chicago Souvenirs: 15 Distinct Local Products to Bring Home

One of the most fascinating cities in the U.S., if not the whole world, Chicago has no shortage of things closely associated with it, often due to their direct origin (blues, gangstership, etc.), so one might literally be spoiled for choice as to what to choose as a "piece" of Chicago to...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Chicago for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Chicago has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Chicago's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as Chicago CityPASS, Go Chicago Card, or Chicago Explorer Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Chicago's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving your precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Chicago hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: The Silversmith Hotel, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago Athletic Association.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Chicago, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Chicago typically costs somewhere between US$30 and US$70 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker (or a bus trolley, in winter) to enjoy sightseeing of Chicago in comfort listening in the headsets either to the recorded commentary in a variety of foreign languages or to a live on-board commentary from a local expert, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the route as often as you like. The tickets are valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours.

- Dig into the infamous chapter of the history of Chicago, once the criminal capital of the United States, on a crime tour exploring the city’s underworld at its height back in the 1920s-30s. See the actual places and hear the stories associated with the mob names like Al Capone, John Dillinger, and other notorious gangsters.

- Explore the well- and not so well-known pieces of Chicago's design-rich architecture on a 2-hour guided walk to some of the city's prominent landmarks, elegant lobbies, and underground corridors accompanied by educational insights from an expert guide.

- Pedal your way around Chicago on a 4-hour guided bike tour for a chance to get a profound understanding of the city, to taste all of its classical eats in a single go, plus to see the most spectacular highlights of its north side neighborhoods and to cruise one of the most popular waterfront bike paths in the U.S.

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of Chicago – this usually lasts about 1.5-2 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise could have done by walking.

Day Trips


If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Chicago, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Oak Park or Plano. For as little as US$55 per person you will get a chance to discover the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District – the birthplace of the famed Prairie Style architecture, as well as to explore the exterior and interior of the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe and to learn about the life and work of this prominent architect. For any of these tours you will be picked up at a designated place in Chicago and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle to the destination of your choice and back again.