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How to get from Chicago O'Hare airport to Downtown

Chicago is located on the famous Lake Michigan in Illinois. Known for its amazing music scene, deep-dish pizza, bold architecture and fascinating museums, Chicago is a city that has something for everyone.

After landing in Chicago O’Hare airport (ORD), you have two different transfer options to get from ORD to downtown, taxi or train. Taking a Chicago airport taxi or shuttle is the quickest and most convenient option, as it takes only 30 minutes direct. The cheaper option is the Blue Line train, which costs only $5 USD (€4), but does take at least 45 minutes to reach downtown.

Welcome Pickups offers meet and greet services and a friendly introduction to Chicago at the same price as a regular taxi. Click here to see the cost.

Comparison of the options

Welcome Pickups €99 30min 24/7
Taxi €34 30min 24/7
Train €8 40min 24/7

How to get from Chicago airport to downtown by taxi or private shuttle

Taking a Chicago airport taxi or private shuttle is the quickest and only direct transfer option from Chicago airport to downtown. You can find taxis outside of O’hare airport 24/7 and you will reach your hotel in only 30 minutes.

Taxi fare from Chicago airport to downtown

The local taxi drivers at Chicago airport don’t offer a flat-rate fee for the journey from ORD to downtown Chicago. Instead, they will calculate your fee based on the distance you travel. The average cost will be around $40 USD (€34), but additional fees may be added for the use of toll roads, time of day, traffic level and number of large luggage items.


$40 USD (€34)

Trip Duration

30 Min.

*Prices may vary unless booked in advance

Value for Money

Taxis and private shuttles are available 24/7 at Chicago airport

Where do I get it from?

You can easily spot the taxi rank located just outside of the terminal arrival doors at Terminal 1, 2, 3 and 5. Simply walk to the front of the line and wait for your turn.


Taking a Chicago airport taxi or is the only way to get from the airport to your hotel directly. You won’t have to carry your luggage through train stations, have to wait in the cold for public transport or worry about the safety of your personal belongings.

Editor’s Note

Winters in Chicago are extremely cold, so taking a taxi will not only keep you warm, but it's a great way to avoid the weather delays that can come with travelling on public transport.

Useful Tips

Tipping is expected for Chicago airport taxis. A tip of 10-15% is standard.
Be sure to only accept taxi rides from licensed taxis at the designated taxi rank outside of the terminals.
There are wheelchair accessible taxis available upon request.

How to get from Chicago airport to downtown by train

The CTA Blue Line train runs directly from Chicago airport to downtown 24 hours a day. This is a great option if you’re travelling on a budget as tickets cost just $5 USD (€4) one-way.

How much is the train from Chicago airport to downtown?

A one-way ticket from ORD to downtown Chicago will cost you $5 USD (€4). You can purchase your tickets from the automatic vending machines located in the train station at O’Hare airport.

A great option to save money if you’re planning to use the train more during your time in Chicago is to purchase a Ventra Card. It costs just $5 USD (€4) for the entire day.


$5 USD (€4)

Trip Duration

40 Min.

The Blue Line Train leaves every 3 to 12 minutes.

Value for Money

The Blue Line train runs from ORD to downtown Chicago 24/7.

Where do I get it from?

The O’Hare station is located on the lower level of the airport. From Terminal 1, 2 and 3, you can walk down the pedestrian tunnel and follow the signs for “Trains to City” to reach the train. From Terminal 4, you will need to take the free shuttle bus to Terminal 1 first. The shuttle bus is located outside door 5E.

The CTA train is located near elevator centre 4 in the pedestrian tunnel.


Although the CTA Blue Line train runs from Chicago airport into downtown, it does make a few stops along the way, making it a slower transfer option. In summer the trains can also get extremely hot and crowded, while in winter, waiting on the train platform can be bitterly cold. Once you’re in downtown Chicago, you will also then need to find alternate transportation to reach your final destination or hotel.

Editor’s Note

As the CTA Blue Line Train runs 24/7, it's a great transfer option if you're on a budget, no matter what time you land. However, be sure to keep your personal belongings close if you're making any changes or waiting for trains in Chicago at night.

Useful Tips

There are luggage rails in each section of the train.
The train runs most frequently in the morning and during rush hour traffic.
The longest wait time you will have for the train is 12 minutes.

Welcome Pickups transfer

Welcome Pickups

Book a trained, English-speaking taxi driver to pick you up at the same price as a regular cab from the line

If you feel more relaxed knowing that somebody is waiting for you, you may as well book a Welcome Pickups transfer. As soon as you arrive at the airport you will be greeted by your driver. He will be waiting for you at the terminal of your arrival with a sign that has your name on it. Your driver will help you out with your luggage and together you will make your way to the vehicle. While he is driving you to your accommodation, the driver can give you some tips and recommendations on what to do during your holidays in Chicago. Our drivers are hand-picked and speak fluent English. No need to worry about miscommunication issues that you may face with the local taxi drivers regarding your destination. Relax and enjoy your ride.

Best drivers

Hand-picked english-speaking drivers

Flight monitoring

Drivers are always on time

Quality support

24/7 email & phone support

Cancel up to 24 hours before the pickup and get an 80% refund

Edit or cancel transfers

Read more Book Welcome Pickups transfer

Welcome Pickups - Airport Taxi Services

Welcome Pickups launched its five-star airport taxi service in Athens, quickly moving to Rome, then Paris, and Barcelona, offering English-speaking drivers and advanced technology for flight monitoring, live tracking, and 24/7 customer support. The company then expanded its operations to Lisbon, followed by Budapest and Prague, maintaining consistent service standards with efficient airport transfers.

The expansion continued with Amsterdam, then Tel Aviv, each city benefiting from the same high level of operational technology and customer service. Welcome Pickups began operations in Madrid, Berlin, and  Dubai, rounding out their network. In 2024, the service will be available at over 350 airports worldwide, projecting to welcome more than 2 million passengers.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to get from Chicago airport to downtown?

There are two ways to get from Chicago airport to downtown; taxi or train. The train is the cheapest option at $5 USD (€4) one way. However, a local taxi is much more convenient and costs around $40 USD (€34). If you’d prefer a set-rate fee for your journey from Chicago airport to downtown, you can book your private shuttle with a trusted company such as Welcome Pickups.

How far is downtown Chicago from airport?

O’Hare airport is located 37 km from downtown Chicago. It will take around 30 minutes to reach downtown by taxi or airport shuttle in normal traffic conditions. Whereas, a train from Chicago airport to downtown will take approximately 45 minutes.

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