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Transfer Options 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

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 has a Net Safety Score of 99 of 100

We’ve introduced a metric indicating how safe travellers feel when using our services during the COVID-19 pandemic. After every ride, we ask each traveller to leave a review.

  • 20 minute gap between transfers

  • Regular Car Sanitisation

  • Contactless ride

  • Sanitiser in every car

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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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