Check out how to get to and from the airport, get around the city, rideshare options, and other unique laws that travelers need to know about in our guide.

Getting Around in Chicago

Getting Around in Chicago

So, you’re searching for your flights to Chicago, but have you thought about how you’ll you get around once you’re there? This large city has dozens of places of interest and multiple options of transportation. Some places to check out are the Lincoln Park Zoo, The Magnificent Mile, Chicago’s Botanical Gardens and Lincoln Park Conservatory.  But before you take off, read on to learn how you can get around town!

Getting to and From the Airport

woman in shuttle bus being helped out

If you arrive at O’Hare International Airport, your hotel may offer complimentary shuttle service; if not, you can take the CTA Blue Line “L” Train from the airport to downtown. It costs no more than $5.00 per ticket and travel time is about 45 minutes. Other options include taking a taxi (which costs up to $50.00 if you are traveling downtown) or taking an airport shuttle van, which costs over $25.00 per ticket.

Chicago Midway Airport is closer to well-known attraction than O’Hare and so arriving here reduces travel costs. A taxi ride from the airport may set you back anywhere from $30.00 to $35.00 while an airport shuttle van ticket costs over $15.00. Alternatively, you can save money by taking the CTA Orange Line “L” Train for no more than $2.25.

Getting Around the City

Chicago’s train and bus system is excellent, as evidenced by the fact that over a quarter of the population has not even bothered to buy a car to get around. You can buy a one day, three day, seven day, or even a thirty day pass depending on how long you are staying and how much traveling you plan to do. Full train fares start at $2.25, while bus fares start at $2.00. Reduced fares and student fares are also available to qualifying individuals. If you want to travel to a suburban area, you can take the high-speed Metra train for as little as $2.75 per ticket.

Taxis are abundant in town and the base fare starts at $3.25. Be prepared to tip the driver if he or she helps with your luggage. You will also have to pay extra for tolls and additional passengers.

Water taxi services are ideal if you pay a visit to Chinatown, Willis Tower, and/or Museum Campus. Fares start at $3.00 for a single ride and $11.00 for a day pass.

RELATED: Haven’t planned your itinerary yet? Here are top things to do in Chicago! 

Rideshare Options

Getaround, a peer-to-peer car sharing service, offers hourly and daily car rentals. Rental costs start at $5.00 per hour and include both insurance and roadside assistance costs.

Uber operates in the Chicago area and offers nine ride options: UberPool, UberX, UberXL, UberESPANOL, UberCAB, UberSELECT, UberSUV, UberBLACK and UberCAB (WAV) for disabled individuals. The base fare ranges from $1.70 to $14.00 depending on the transport method you pick.

Lyft offers Lyft Line, Lyft, and Lyft Plus. The base fare ranges from $1.70 to $3.00 and the maximum fare for any service is capped at $200.00.

Unique City Laws

dice hanging from rear view mirror

Before you head out the door to catch your flights to Chicago, there are a few unique city laws to know. You can’t drink in the city unless you are over the age of 21 or are enrolled in a culinary program. Dog lovers should be aware that it is illegal to give your dog whiskey (but other alcoholic beverages are apparently fine!).

You can be arrested for vagrancy unless you have at least $1.00 on your person, so make sure you don’t spend everything you’ve got when out and about in town.

If you rent a car, don’t hang anything off the rearview mirror, including fuzzy dice, air fresheners or your GPS unit. It’s illegal in the state to do so. You can also be given a ticket for up to $120.00 if your car has an outdated or improperly city sticker.


Did we miss anything? Feel free to share your Chicago travel tips and experiences below.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *