1893 World's Fair Tour with Bars in Chicago, IL

Chicago DetoursInside Southest Entrance of Congress Plaza HotelChicago, IL 60606
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Presented by Chicago Detours, 1893 World’s Fair Tour with Bars and Food offers a three-hour experience that’s broken up into 95% indoors and 5% outdoors. Tour highlights include seeing the grand lobby of the Auditorium Building, tasting mouth watering German food at the Berghoff Restaurant, a secret alley building, one of the last elevators with a human operator in downtown Chicago and more.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Chicago Travel Experts
  • Tour duration: approximately 3 hours.
  • Guests may purchase drinks while on the tour.
  • Two small snacks are included.
  • Guests must be able to walk and stand without assistance.
  • Kids are welcome, but the tour is ideal for adults.


from 1893 World's Fair Tour with Bars
This walking tour proves why the 1893 World’s Fair captures imaginations more than any other event in Chicago history. Unlike other World’s Fair tours, you’ll dig deeper into the story on this downtown tour. You'll visit some of the few remaining and spectacular buildings from the time of the World’s Fair, also known as the World's Columbian Exposition. Here, the architecture and landscape still show the World’s Fair imprint even today, nearly 125 years later.

On this fun and insightful walking tour, you’ll venture into beautiful architectural spaces from the era. Along with guide commentary, your guide will show you photos and archival materials via shared iPads that illuminate this historic event of the 1893 World's Fair.

Also, you will enjoy light snacks and we'll play a few educational games, such as scavenger hunts, with prizes for the winning team. Plus, you can opt to get drinks (on your own tab) at two stops, and we end in a building from 1893 with numerous drinking options!

You can think of this 2.75-hour-long walking tour as being 5% outdoors, 95% indoors, 20% clue-based games and visual scavenger hunts, 10% drinking time, and 100% awesome historical tour time. We know the math doesn’t add up – we hope you get the idea!

With just intermittent walks outside, the 1893 World’s Fair Tour makes for a great walking tour in all seasons. This tour makes the World’s Fair’s lasting impact come to life. We hope you’ll join us!

Walking Tour Highlights:
  • Colorful mosaics in a hotel built for the 1893 World’s Fair
  • The sweeping grand lobby of the Auditorium Building
  • Ride one of the downtown’s last human-operated elevators
  • A secret building hidden in an alley
  • The Monadnock Building
  • The opulent Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

1893 World’s Fair Tour Includes:
  • Professional tour guide commentary
  • Shared iPads with historic photos
  • One small snacks
  • Game prizes and gifts

Reservation Does Not Include:
  • Drinks: At the tour meeting spot, we welcome you to get a drink at the bar before check-in. To streamline the tour, we take your order and cash for your second drink at check-in ($8 for beer, $10 for wine, includes gratuity). At the third drink stop, you may independently purchase a beer, wine, or cocktail of your choice.
  • Dietary restrictions: one small snacks is included. We may be able to accommodate vegetarians. If you are gluten-free, dairy-free, or have other allergies, we cannot make substitutions.
  • Tour guide gratuity.

Tour ends promptly three hours after your scheduled start time. We end inside the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 12 S. Michigan Ave.

Tripster Customer Reviews

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
"Loop Interior Architecture Tour"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 19, 2019 NEW
Ellen, our guide, was very kind, knowledgeable,and able to answer all additional questions at every turn!
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Terry P
Los Angeles, California
"Excellent tour"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 23, 2019 NEW
We wanted to familiarize ourselves with Chicago on our first day in the city so we selected Detours for a visit to local architecture in the Downtown area and we were glad we did. The tour was great. Brian, our guide, was a local architect who did a great job introducing us to several of the key downtown buildings. We also visited an old Methodist church and learned about the Pedway system. We highly recommend this tour.
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Ash T
"Fun, interactive and super educational tour!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 31, 2019
My husband and I live in Chicago but like to go on tours occasionally to learn fun new facts about our city. We ended up going on the 1893 World's Fair tour, with Elizabeth as our tour guide, and had a blast! Our tour guide led us to various different historic buildings (and bars) throughout downtown Chicago and had visual and audio aides ready the entire time. It honestly felt like witnessing a History Channel documentary come to life! She also had interactive games for us to play which made engaging with the history really fun. I'm astonished at the number of things I learned over the course of a few hours and can't wait to go on another tour of theirs! I can't recommend this company (or this specific tour) enough!
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Valerie M
Chicago, Illinois, USA
"These people really know what they are doing"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 04, 2019
This was a fun, interactive, and interesting way to check out the Fulton Market neighborhood in Chicago. I had actually lived in this area for about a decade, and was impressed by how much they had really dug into the local culture, history, and people. There were so many things I didn't know! Our tour guide Alex was terrific and the food choices were fabulous (although not necessarily the fancy stuff that you might expect from that neighborhood).
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Leslie W
Chicago, Illinois
"Monadnack Building Plus"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 06, 2019
We took a short walking tour of the historic preservation of the Monadnock Building with a most knowledgeable guide. We learned the difference between renovation and restoration, the fascinating history of the building itself, and observed first-hand the details which render this building to have a legitimate feel of the 90s...that would be 1890s. As someone who has walked by the building often, it was a wonderful revelation. The contrast between this restored building and the renovated Fisher building across the street was very clear. The building is truly a Chicago treasure.
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1893 World's Fair Tour with Bars is located at Chicago DetoursInside Southest Entrance of Congress Plaza HotelChicago, IL 60606
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Frequently Asked Questions about 1893 World's Fair Tour with Bars

How early should I arrive?
We suggest arriving 10-15 minutes prior to your tour time. Also, consider time for parking.

Where does the tour begin?
You will meet inside the main lobby of the Congress Plaza Hotel at 520 S. Michigan Ave. Come early and grab yourself a drink in the bar, located in the lobby.

Where does the tour end?
The walking tour ends at Chicago Athletic Hotel, 12 S. Michigan Ave.

What should I wear?
We suggest comfortable walking shoes. Please be prepared to walk or stand for the tour duration. We advise a bathroom break. While we are not outside for most of the duration of our Chicago walking tours, please come prepared, i.e. water, umbrella.

Is parking available?
Chicago Detours offers our guests a special discounted rate for parking at the Grant Park North Garage, accessible from Michigan Avenue at Randolph Street. Rate is $15 ($38 value), valid up to 12 hours. Upon check-in for the tour, ask the tour guide for a voucher for the discounted rate. This is four blocks from the tour meeting point, and right at the tour's end location.

Is audio, video or photography allowed?
Please, no video or audio recording devices. Minimal note-taking permitted. Photography during the tour is welcome – but don’t get left behind!

Does the walking tour operate rain or shine?
Rain or shine we go! No refunds. In the case of serious conditions, we’ll call you.

Is the tour appropriate for children?
We welcome kids but adults will have a better time! We let you judge whether your child is interested in history

Are there bathrooms on the tour?
We advise a bathroom break before the tour.