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Getting to Illinois

Find out how to get to Illinois by plane, train, bus and driving. Getting around Chicago and Illinois is easy with our guide to ways to travel around the state.

Getting to Illinois by Plane


Most domestic and international flights to Illinois arrive in Chicago. The two main airports are O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport.

There are many public airports throughout Illinois. Domestic travelers can fly direct to destinations like Springfield, Peoria, Rockford, Moline and Bloomington-Normal.

Getting to and from O’Hare & Midway

Chicago Transit Authority trains run 24/7. The Blue Line ‘L’ train takes you from O’Hare to downtown Chicago in about 45 minutes. Follow the “Trains to the City” signs. If you arrive at the international terminal, follow the signs to the Airport Transit System where you can get a free ride to Terminal 2 and catch the L train to the City. The CTA Orange Line train takes about 25 minutes from Midway to downtown Chicago. Here's more info on catching public transport to and from the Chicago airports.

Regular shuttles to many Chicago downtown hotels leave from airport bus pick-up points. You can also taxi, Uber, hire a limo or rent a car.

Driving to Illinois


Chicago is a major hub, so Illinois is served by many interstate highways, including I-24, I-39, I-41, I-55, I-57, I-64, I-70, I-72, I-74, I-80, I-88, I-90 and I-94.

Driving Distances to Chicago

Cincinnati 300 miles 5 hours
Cleveland 350 miles 6 hours
Detroit 285 miles 5 hours
Indianapolis 180 miles 3 hours
Kansas City 530 miles 9 hours
Milwaukee 95 miles 2 hours
Minneapolis 410 miles 7 hours
Pittsburgh 460 miles 8 hours
Quad Cities 170 miles 3 hours
St. Louis 295 miles 5 hours
Toronto 500 miles 9 hours

Using a toll road or missed a toll? No problem! Visit here to set up I-PASS or Pay-By-Plate.

Getting to Illinois by Train


Chicago is one of Amtrak’s main hubs, coming to a stop at Union Station in downtown Chicago. Amtrak also serves 25 additional cities throughout Illinois.

Getting to Illinois by Bus


Greyhound Lines runs express routes to Chicago from 20 major US Cities, and serves other Illinois destinations, including Bloomington Normal, Carbondale, Champaign, Danville, Decatur, DeKalb, Dixon, Effingham, Freeport, Galesburg, Kankakee, La Salle, Marion, Markham, Mattoon, Moline, Mount Vernon, Naperville, Peoria, Quincy, Rochelle, Rockford, Springfield and Vienna.

One of Chicago's elevated trains running on its raised line near Milwaukee Avenue

Getting Around Illinois

Cars driving on the Great River Road.

Driving in Illinois


Illinois highways and roads are well maintained and provide posted signage for drivers. Taking a road trip is a breeze. Be sure to browse our 100+ road trip itineraries for inspiration!

A Rivian electric vehicle parked on the side of the road

Electric Vehicles in Illinois

EV Charging Stations & Road Trips

Illinois is a great place to explore by electric vehicle. There are over 1200 charging stations throughout the state and we've created custom road trip itineraries designed specifically for electric vehicles. Click the link below and start exploring sustainably!

Rules of the Road

State law requires you to wear a seatbelt when travelling by car, and if you are a motorcyclist, you must wear a helmet. Speed limits are posted in miles per hour (mph) and vary between 70 mph on rural interstates and freeways and 65 mph on urban interstates and freeways.

You may not use your cell phone for texting while driving and you must use hands-free technology to make calls. You can download rules of the road for Illinois here.

A Chicago CTA L Train on elevated tracks travels through the city

Public Transport in Chicago & Illinois

Trains & Buses

Metra run commuter rail services from downtown Chicago to outlying suburbs and surrounding cities. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) serves Chicago and its suburbs.

Additional Public Transportation

Amtrak runs trains to 25 cities in Illinois and Greyhound Lines serves most major Illinois cities.

Want something more private for your group to get around Chicago? Try chartering a bus with National Charter Bus Chicago.

Bikers at Lakefront bike trail in Chicago during summer.

Cycling in Chicago & Illinois


Illinois is a great state to explore by bike, with an extensive network of trails and terrain, from flat prairie to river bluffs and lakesides. Cruise Chicago's lakefront trail or explore the outdoors with ease.

Bike Share Program

Chicago has a bike sharing program and you can find information on bike lanes and bike parking here. Find more useful information about Illinois cycling routes from Ride Illinois and Map My Ride. You can download rules of the road for cyclists in Illinois here.

Biking in Southern Illinois

Find useful information on biking in Southern Illinois. The Bike SoILL map was created to display all of the existing infrastructure for cycling and mountain biking in the region. 

A Chicago Greeter talks to visitors in a visitor center.

Get Inspired at our Tourist Information Centers

Travel Information

Illinois has a network of visitor information centers. The main Chicago Visitor Center is located within Macy’s at 111 N. State Street. There are seven Tourist Information Centers throughout the state.

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