Top Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Big Bus Tour Guide on Bus

    Where can I buy a ticket for the tour?

  2. Where can I buy a ticket for the tour?

    You can purchase tickets directly from our website or from a member of our Big Bus street sales team.

  3. Lady with Ear Phones in

    Is the commentary available in my language?

  4. Is the commentary available in my language?

    Our tour guides provide a live commentary in English only. We will soon be adding pre‑recorded commentary in a variety of other languages. Check back here for updates!

  5. Tour Guide pointing attraction

    What time do tours start and how often do the buses run?

  6. What time do tours start and how often do the buses run?

    Our services operate every day, excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

    The Big Loop (Red Route)
    First Bus: 9:00am from Stop #1: Chicago Riverwalk (across the bridge from the Trump Tower)
    Last Bus: 4:00pm from Stop #1
    Full Circuit Time: 2 hours
    Frequency: Every 20-30 minutes.

    Timings are subject to change, so please check with a member of Big Bus staff, or contact us with any questions.

  7. Couple looking at a Big Bus Map

    Where can I start the tour?

  8. Where can I start the tour?

    You can board our day tour buses and start your Chicago sightseeing adventure from any of our 14 bus stops.

More Questions & Answers

Tell me about the Big Bus tour of Chicago

Big Bus Chicago offers sightseeing tours of the Chicago on open-top, double-decker buses. An entertaining commentary on the city's history and culture is provided in English by a live guides, who'll share fascinating facts and stories about Chicago's history and culture as you pass all its must-see landmarks and attractions. You can hop on and hop off the bus at any of our 14 different stops to discover and explore the city, and you're free to rejoin the tour as many times as you like within your ticket's validity period.

What can I see and visit?

Our bus stops are located at popular landmarks and attractions, making it easy for you to hop off and explore Chicago. Please check out our Discover Chicago page for information on things to do, landmarks and other attractions you can easily visit with Big Bus Tours.

On which days does the tour operate?

Big Bus Tours Chicago operates most days of the year, apart from Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Occasionally severe weather and special event days could affect our service. Please refer to our service information page for up-to-date information.

How long does the tour take?

A full circuit of The Big Loop (Red Route) day tour takes approximately 2 hours. Please allow for more time if you plan to hop on and off at any of our stops.

Do I need to specify a date of travel?

No. Your ticket entitles you to travel on the day of your choice. If you purchase a ticket that offers validity for more than 1 day, you must travel on consecutive days. You are welcome to buy your ticket on-street if that is your preference, but please note that discounts available online are not available for on-street purchases.

Is there a discount available for groups?

Yes. Please contact us .

Is it possible to hire one of the open-top buses for a private event?

Yes. Please contact us.

What time are the first and last buses?

The Big Loop (Red Route)
First Bus: 9:00am from Stop #1: Chicago Riverwalk (across the bridge from the Trump Tower)
Last Bus: 4:00pm from Stop #1
Full Circuit Time: 2 hours
Frequency: Every 20-30 minutes.

Timings are subject to change, so please check with a member of Big Bus staff, or contact us with any questions.

What is the child policy?

A child ticket is available for children between the ages of 5-15. Children under 5 may travel free of charge. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

How do I redeem my ticket?

Following your online purchase you will receive a confirmation email. This will contain a link that will allow you to print your ticket voucher. Please print your ticket voucher and present it to a member of Big Bus staff at any one of our hop-on, hop-off stops before you start your tour. They will produce a ticket receipt that you will need to carry with you and present to the driver whenever you wish to rejoin the tour.

Are accommodations available for persons with disabilities?

Yes, we can operate wheelchair accessible vehicles with lifts that can accommodate a weight up to 650 pounds. Please be advised that our entire fleet in Chicago is not wheelchair accessible. If you or your travelling partner(s) requires an ADA accessible vehicle, please contact us 48 hours prior to your planned tour commencement. We can then arrange for a suitable vehicle to be available at the time and location required. If you require a different accommodation, please also contact us 48 hours prior to your planned tour commencement so we can make arrangements for an accommodation. Please note that messages left on the office general voicemail do not constitute confirmed arrangements. Please also note that passengers with mobility impairments may not be able to access the upper deck on our buses. We cannot guarantee the accessibility of the various attractions along the tour.

There are no buses running due to weather conditions, what do I do?

Firstly, check the validity of your ticket. If you have bought your ticket online and have yet to have this scanned by our of our on-street representatives – it will still be valid for use for up to 6 months from the point you have purchased. If your ticket was bought on-street or has already been scanned by one of our on-street advisors, and we have cancelled our services due to weather conditions, you will be able to apply for a refund. Check out Term & Conditions for full details.

How can I find the stop nearest to me?

Download the Big Bus Tours app and you’ll be able find your nearest stop and better still, check to see if a bus is heading your way thanks to real-time bus tracking. Don’t forget you’ll need to enable location services and data on your mobile device (please speak with your mobile / cell provider regarding data roaming costs).

I bought the ticket but it’s for someone else. It has my name on it, is this ok?

You're all set! Simply show your voucher(s) to any member of on-street staff who will scan the QR code and hand over your yellow Big Bus Tour tickets. Don't lose them, they're like gold (cash) and cannot be replaced.

Can I buy tickets on the bus?

The easiest place to buy our bus tickets are in advance by booking online or from the Big Bus Tours app. If you want to buy when you’re in city and in person, Big Bus representatives are located at the majority of our stops. They will be able to sell you a ticket before you hop-on to the bus.

Where does the tour end?

You can hop-on and off at any of our stops (unless it’s a panoramic ‘non-stop’ tour). Download the Big Bus Tours app to discover all of our routes, stops and nearby landmarks & attractions.

Does one ticket cover all routes?

For the majority of our tickets, that’s a BIG YES. Look out for this when you’re booking your ticket online or buying in person. Each ticket will state how many routes are included. Typical exclusions are one-loop tours such as Night Tours which are usually panoramic ‘non-stop’ tours.

I bought my ticket but now can’t make that date, can I use it on another day?

Bus tour tickets purchased online or via the app are typically valid for six months up until the point of the ticket being scanned (redeemed) – then the clock starts ticking and you’ll need to enjoy your tour within the time purchased. This is usually, one, two or three days.

Can I use a two or three-day pass on different days?

You’ll need to enjoy your pass across consecutive days, so a two-day pass redeemed on Monday means your pass is valid Monday and Tuesday.

How do I know when the next bus is coming?

Download the Big Bus Tours app and you’ll be able find your nearest stop and better still, check to see if a bus is heading your way thanks to real-time bus tracking. Don’t forget you’ll need to enable location services and data on your mobile device (please speak with your mobile / cell provider regarding data roaming costs).

I am waiting at a stop and can’t see any buses, what do I do?

Hang in there! BIG cities like to throw all sorts of challenges at our drivers, who are doing their best to get to you as quickly (but safely) as possible. If you haven’t already, download the Big Bus Tours app to see if a bus is heading your way thanks to real-time bus tracking.

Contact us

For general enquiries, please get in touch using our contact form. For more specific answers please select one of the options below.