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10 Incredible Architecture Walking Tours

Lovers of architectural gems will want to make a beeline for these walking tours to explore historic buildings, modern skyscrapers and dramatic cityscapes.

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Chicago is known worldwide for its modern skyscrapers and iconic buildings, like Willis Tower, John Hancock Center and the Art Institute of Chicago. The city’s architectural gems are so well-known, in fact, that the Chicago Architecture Foundation offers more than 85 guided tours dedicated to the city’s design, including signature walking tours like Evolution of the Skyscraper. The city even offers a self-guided tour for those who want to mix and match architectural highlights, including those along the Magnificent Mile and River North.

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Given the global popularity of Antoni Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, it’s no surprise that Barcelona is a must-go for architecture lovers. Best known for his organic style that blends ceramics, stained glass and wrought iron, Gaudi’s architectural works can be found across Barcelona, well beyond La Sagrada Familia, which remains unfinished. ForeverBarcelona offers a variety of private walking architecture tours that explore Gaudi’s vision and masterpieces, including Casa Mila and Park Guell, as well as lesser-known works, like Casa Calvet and Torre Bellesguard.

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Philadelphia boasts a broad mix of architectural styles, from Art Deco to Beaux Arts to Victorian, making an architectural exploration of the City of Brotherly Love an absolute must-do. The Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia offers more than 20 different walking tours, enabling visitors to dig in to the architecture of historic Philadelphia, like Old City Hall, or explore the grand residences and magnificent brownstones in Rittenhouse Square. The city’s Mural Arts program even offers walking tours along Mural Mile, encouraging guests to take in the city’s public art.

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You’ll find magnificent architectural design and breathtaking structures around every corner in Toronto. Look to the Toronto Society of Architects for walking architecture tours, including the Culture & Campus Tour, which explores the architecture that emerged a decade ago during what the City of Toronto refers to as its "Cultural Renaissance," a period that developed the city as a major destination for arts and culture. Highlights include the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art and the bold, love-it-or-hate-it Michael Lee-Chin Crystal addition to the Royal Ontario Museum.

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