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Getting to Chicago

Chicago, the largest city in the Midwest, lies in the heart of the United States. That makes getting here a breeze, no matter how you like to travel. Explore options by plane, car, train, and more.

Getting here by plane

Chicago is home to two international airports conveniently located in the center of the country, with thousands of daily inbound and outbound flights to more than 240 destinations.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Multi-award-winning, environmentally conscious O’Hare (ORD) is one of the largest airports in the world. It lies just 16 miles from downtown Chicago and boasts four terminals — three domestic (Terminals 1, 2 and 3) and one international (Terminal 5).

Chicago Midway International Airport
Midway (MDW) is the nation’s premier point-to-point airport, offering value-oriented leisure and business travel to over 60 destinations. It’s located only 11 miles from downtown Chicago.

Gary/Chicago International Airport
A member of the Chicago Department of Aviation, Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY) is a full-service airport used for private aviation. Located just 25 miles from downtown Chicago, it’s a convenient location for corporate and weekend flyers entering the Chicago metropolitan region.

All Americans traveling by air will need a REAL ID or another accepted form of identification to board a flight within the U.S. on and after May 7, 2025. A traditional driver’s license will no longer be accepted through airport security. Domestic travelers may use:

  • REAL ID (generally marked with a star in the upper portion of the card)
  • U.S. passport or passport card
  • U.S. military ID
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • Enhanced driver’s licenses (offered in MI, MN, NY, VT and WA. Generally marked with U.S. flag)

Learn more about REAL ID and how to get one.

Transportation to/from O’Hare and Midway
Both O’Hare and Midway are within easy reach of downtown Chicago.

Flight resources

Getting here by car

Chicago’s central location and its position as a hub for the nation’s major interstates make it a convenient drive from anywhere in the country. Chicago is accessible via several major interstates and highways: I-90 (Kennedy Expressway), I-94 (Dan Ryan Expressway), I-55 (Stevenson Expressway), I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway), and I-294 (Tri-State Tollway).

View an interactive parking map of downtown Chicago to search for public parking lots and garages by address and points of interest.

Want to pay for parking in advance? Find the perfect Chicago parking spot by comparing price, location, and amenities. Reserve your spot now with, iParkit, Millennium Garages, or SpotHero.

Find average drive times to Chicago. And find traffic and road conditions from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Getting here by bus

If you’re headed to Chicago from a Midwestern metropolis like Detroit, Indianapolis, or St. Louis, catch a leisurely ride on a private charter bus. Charter buses include free WiFi, reclining seats, panoramic windows, and plenty of legroom. Find a private charter bus today using CharterUP’s online booking platform.

Greyhound Lines, Inc.
Greyhound has five Chicagoland locations, including two 24-hour stations and 20 express routes to major U.S. cities. Find Greyhound stations.
Megabus is a budget-friendly, city-to-city service. Find Megabus stations and rates.

Getting here by train

Chicago’s iconic Union Station serves both Amtrak and Metra, the city’s commuter rail service. Originally designed by Daniel Burnham and completed by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, Union Station is a glowing expression of Chicago’s status as a national railroad hub, and remains a treasured part of the city’s history.

Additionally, the Richard B. Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago serves the three commuter rail lines of Metra’s Union Pacific District, which approach the terminal elevated above street level. There are also two Metra stations in the Loop: Millennium Station on the Metra Electric District line and Lasalle Street Station on the Rock Island District Line.

With 21,000 miles of routes across the United States and Canada, Amtrak offers more than 300 high-speed trains to more than 500 destinations daily. Find Amtrak routes and fares.

Metra Rail
The high-speed Metra commuter rail train connects outlying suburbs to downtown Chicago, and is a fast and easy way to travel to the heart of the city. Find fares and route maps.

South Shore Line
South Shore Line serves Chicago through Northern Indiana to the South Bend Airport. Call (219) 874-4221 ext. 245 for group rates. Find South Shore Line routes and fares.

Getting here by private motorcoach

Want to prepay and reserve a space for your motorcoach? Prepay online for the McCormick Place Marshalling Yard located at 31st and Lake Shore Drive or the 18th Street Lot at 18th Street and Lake Shore Drive. Additional motorcoach parking options include Lincoln Park Zoo, Soldier Field/Museum Campus, and the Griffin Museum of Science and Industry. Learn more and reserve spaces.

Download the Chicago Motorcoach Loading Zones and Parking Map.

Chicago traffic and construction updates

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