Touring Chicago at Sunset with Big Bus Tours

The one thing about living in Chicago is that there is always something fun to do. When you are born and raised here you think you have seen everything the city has to offer you but every now and then something new comes along that gives you a fresh take on the city. We were lucky to be invited to check out the new Sunset Tour Experience from Big Bus Tours and it was an amazing experience.

Our journey started at the Hard Rock Cafe where we were greeted by the team at Carol Fox and given a brief note about the event. My family and I grabbed some appetizers and complimentary drinks while waiting for the night to begin. While waiting we talked to John Curran, Big Bus Tours Senior Vice President and General Manager. We talked about the Hard Rock Cafe, about our kids, and how music is that great connection between people. It was great getting to know him and learning a little about what the night had in store for us. Before we left on the tour John welcomed and thanked everyone for attending and told us how this tour was made by Chicagoans to share the love of the city to others.

As we walked outside the Hard Rock Cafe we could see our bus waiting for us. We were greeted by our tour guide, Spiro, and took a few pictures and videos while everyone was boarding the bus. Spiro let us know the route we were taking and away we went. Whenever my family goes anywhere I am the driver and am just focused on our destination and paying attention to what is in front of me. It felt really good to not have to worry about that on this tour. I was able to relax and just watch the city around me as we drove around. It was also great to hear about the places you pass by and learn some history about them. Spiro had great anecdotes about each building and statues and kept the mood of the tour relaxed and cheerful.

There were many highlights on this 90 minute tour. A few of my favorites were seeing a wedding photoshoot while driving through Lincoln Park, seeing the Chicago Theater Marquee up close at night, and watching how the orange colors of the sunset was reflecting off the buildings while we were stopped at the Museum Campus as the sun was setting. This will probably be eveyone’s favorite part of the tour. We were able to get off the bus and just enjoy the sunset. Seeing the bright colors cover the skyline was a beautiful moment and it was the perfect selfie/Instagram moment for all in attendance.

The Sunset Live Tour is an incredible experience that everyone in the city should go on at least once. I feel that the route will probably change every few years so maybe once will not be enough. This is also a perfect way to show visiting relatives the city while seeing many sights at one time. My family had a fun time on the bus and we can not wait to visit some of the locations we passed and learn more about our beautiful city.

Read more about the Big Bus Tours below and how you can book a trip for your family.

Big Bus Tours, the global leader in open-top bus sightseeing, is kicking off the summer season with the launch of an enhanced Sunset Live Tour experience in Chicago. Available now through Oct. 19, Chicago area locals and visitors alike are invited to experience breathtaking views and memorable photo opportunities during the 90-minute live-guided tour as the sun sets on the Windy City.

Scheduled to depart from and return to Chicago’s Hard Rock Café (63 W. Ontario St.), the Sunset Live Tour takes its guests on a panoramic tour of the city’s Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Magnificent Mile, lakefront. Led by a live guide, guests can take in captivating storytelling of the city’s history from the bus’ top deck alongside the magnificent scenery, architecture, landmarks and neighborhoods that make Chicago a world-class destination as they are illuminated by the golden hour. New this year, Big Bus Tours will offer a live guided, Spanish language Sunset Live Tour every Friday evening.

Sunset Live Tour start times are outlined below:

  • Now – Aug. 11: 7:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 12 – Aug. 27: 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 28 – Sept. 17: 6:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 18 – Oct. 1: 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 2 – Oct. 19: 5:30 p.m.

“Our Sunset Live Tour offers an unparalleled perspective of the city’s stunning scenery and world-renowned architecture during a truly magical time of day,” said Big Bus Tours Senior Vice President and General Manager John Curran. “Experiencing these views from above street level while cruising the city streets is sure to create unforgettable memories for both Chicago locals and visitors.”

Sunset Live Tours is an exciting addition to our daily Big Bus Tours’ Hop-On Hop-Off experience, which allow visitors to explore popular destinations within Chicago’s vibrant downtown area, taking in historic sites, cultural institutions, hidden gems and more. The 11 stops featured on the Hop-On, Hop-Off Route include:

  • Chicago Riverwalk
  • Skydeck Chicago & Willis Tower
  • Millennium Park & The Art Institute
  • Hilton Chicago & Grant Park
  • Adler Planetarium
  • Museum Campus
  • Sheraton Grand & Loews Chicago Hotels
  • Navy Pier
  • Water Tower & The Magnificent Mile
  • 360 Chicago
  • Hard Rock Café & River North

A full Hop-On, Hop-Off route map is available here. Service begins at the Chicago Riverwalk (98 E. Wacker Drive) at 10 a.m. and the last bus departs at 5 p.m. daily. Pickups are available at each stop every 20-30 minutes and the full route circuit takes approximately two hours. Upon boarding, guests will receive a set of headphones to use on-board for recorded commentary in English and Spanish that complements the route. Guests are encouraged to hop on to discover and hop off at their leisure to explore the city via Hop-On, Hop-Off one-day or two-day ticket packages.

Individual tickets for all Chicago tours begin at $49.50 for adults and $35 for children ages 3-12. Tickets are available online at and advance ticket purchases are recommended. A variety of ticket packages are also available online. Tickets are available for on-site purchases at Big Bus tour stops throughout the city. For more information, visit

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