In this post, we cover how to reach downtown Chicago from Midway International Airport. If you are flying into or out of O’Hare International Airport, click here for a post on that. For more details about visiting the windy city, consider reading our Chicago Visitors Guide for budget tips, details about popular attractions and travel guides.
Those coming on International Flights can reach the ‘L’ by following the signs to the Airport Transit System (ATS) where they can get a free train ride to Terminal 2. From there they can locate the “CTA Trains” to the city.
From Midway airport to downtown the train ride (Orange Line) should take only about 25 minutes and the fare should be around $2.25.
For more details about taking the train in this city, please read our post about navigating Chicago Public Transportation.
The following section provides details about both bus and van shuttles you can use to get from Midway International Airport to downtown Chicago.
If you’re interested in using one of these services, you can find the pick up points just outside the baggage claim area on the lower level roadways of both domestic and international terminals at Door 3.
When it comes to van shuttles from Chicago airports to the city center, few services are as popular as this, and they offer transportation directly to many downtown hotels.
You are allowed 1 standard-sized suitcase and carry-on bag, but you may need a private van if you have any additional baggage. To ensure the safety of your baggage, they will never remove it from your presence.
This bus shuttle offers airport transfers to and from Midway International Airport. Customers can bring up to 2 bags for free, but additional baggage may cost a bit more.
The best feature of this service is that they provide drop-offs in several locations in both Indiana and Illinois.
If you’re looking for an alternative to bus/van shuttles, there are many private services in the windy city. In this section, we’ll provide details about each of the private cars you can take from Midway to Downtown Chicago.
There are a wide range of companies providing this service and prices range from $25-$45 per person on average depending on which one you pick.
Many private transfers ask you to pay a flat fee for the service, but they don’t charge more for additional passengers up to a specific limit.
Here are a few of the best options and the number of passengers allowed per group below.
Outside of the airport terminal, there will be people waiting to get you into a car and headed to your destination without too much of a wait.
From Midway International, the taxi fare should be approximately $40 + tip and take 20 – 30 minutes.
There are flat rates for shared taxis from both airports, so if you ride with at least one other passenger, you can save a bit of money. This option is only $18 per person from Midway.
Check the City of Chicago’s taxi passenger information page for help calculating how much it will cost to get from the airport to your hotel or other destinations downtown.
If you’re interested in shared rides, you can also use a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft to get from Midway International Airport to downtown Chicago.
This typically costs about $25 from Midway International Airport.
After scheduling your Uber or Lyft, you can find the pickup point where your driver will arrive by following the Rideshare Pickup sign nearest to your terminal.
You’ll have to download either app onto your smartphone to use these rideshare services.
Both of these discount sites usually offer airport transfers, and sometimes they also have additional coupon codes (often an extra 10% – 20% off) which can save you even more money.
Check both the top and bottom of the page for banners that could include coupons you can use to increase your discount.
Although there aren’t currently any passes that offer transfers from the airport to downtown hotels, you should still keep in mind that you can use a tourist pass to get 20% – 50% off tickets for many popular attractions in Chicago.
Whether you’re coming here on vacation or you have a bit of time to explore the city, these passes are a great way to help you stick to a budget.
For anyone short on time, consider a “build your own pass” option to save 20% off 2 or more attractions. This is the easiest choice for anyone with plans to visit only a few locations while in the windy city, because you can save some money without getting carried away.
That said, if you want to see a lot of museums or cultural landmarks while you’re in Chicago, an all-inclusive or pick-your-attraction pass may be more to your liking.
All-inclusive passes cover the admission of dozens of attractions for a specific amount of time (1, 2, 3, or 5 days). The more you use the pass, the more money you’ll save.
In order to save at least 50% off General Admission prices with this pass, it’s important to use it for around 4-5 attractions per day.
On the other hand, pick-your-attraction passes give you one flat price for a set number of activities (3, 4, or 5).
The best deal you can get with this pass is about $24 per activity. While that’s definitely a great deal for anything that usually costs $40-$60 or more, a build-your-own-pass is better for anything cheaper than $20.
Here are a few of the best attractions included with Chicago tourist passes:
For more information, check our post covering Chicago tourist passes.