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Des Moines to Chicago bus

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Des Moines - Chicago Bus Schedule

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Journey Information

There are 4 intercity buses per day from Des Moines to Chicago. Traveling by bus from Des Moines to Chicago usually takes around 9 hours and 29 minutes, but the fastest Burlington Trailways bus can make the trip in 6 hours and 10 minutes.

Distance309 mi (497 km)
Shortest duration6h 10m
Cheapest price$129.57
Trips per day2
Most frequent serviceBurlington Trailways
Bus lines2

Bus Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for buses from Des Moines to Chicago

(Based on 5 ratings and reviews)

5.0

5.0

Angela

May 19, 2022- Solo travel

Burlington Trailways

Pros: The Driver. Cons: Bathroom smell of urine.

5.0

Carl

July 19, 2021- Visiting family

Burlington Trailways

The bud driver (Dan) was friendly and helpful.

How much is a bus ticket from Des Moines to Chicago?

$129.57 is the average price of a bus ticket from Des Moines to Chicago. While it’s on the pricier side for a bus ticket, taking the bus is still a cheaper alternative to flying. It’s easy to find a bus ticket at this price or lower when you use Wanderu to book your trip online in advance of your travel date.

Average prices by travel date

$164$109$55MayJun

Bus tickets from Des Moines to Chicago are expected to cost between $132 and $157 over the next four weeks. If you're planning a trip to Chicago within the next week, you can find the cheapest bus tickets starting from $132. Don't wait too long to book your ticket, as prices tend to rise as the travel date approaches.

Monthly average prices

$170$136$102$68$34JJASONDJFMAM
If you're on the hunt for the cheapest bus tickets from Des Moines to Chicago, mark your calendar for May. During this period, you can expect to find the lowest average ticket price of the year, just $79. However, taking the bus from Des Moines to Chicago during November is not so cheap. This time of year, ticket prices often reach an average of $138. The best way to find deals on a trip in November is to plan ahead and book your bus ticket as early as possible.

Prices as travel date approaches

$170$136$102$68$343020100

To save money on bus tickets, buy them as early as possible. Bus carriers usually charge higher ticket prices the closer you book to the date of travel. Book your ticket at least 17 days in advance to save up to $27.84.

What bus companies travel from Des Moines to Chicago?

There are two bus lines that have daily service from Des Moines to Chicago that you can compare and book on Wanderu. Of these two carriers, Burlington Trailways usually offers more choice, with 4 scheduled trips per day.

BusDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Burlington Trailways49h 21m$136.89
Tornado Bus11d 19h 11m$354.61
  • Book Burlington Trailways from Des Moines to Chicago from $130. There are 4 Burlington Trailways schedules from Des Moines to Chicago and you can expect on average to pay for a Burlington Trailways ticket to Chicago. In Des Moines, Burlington Trailways departs to Chicago from Des Moines and no other station. In Chicago, Burlington Trailways arrives at Bus Station - 630 W Harrison St and no other station.

    An average trip on Burlington Trailways from Des Moines to Chicago takes 9 hours and 21 minutes , while the fastest available Burlington Trailways trip will get you to Chicago in 6 hours and 10 minutes .

    On weekends, Burlington Trailways offers 4 trips per day and you could expect to pay for a weekend getaway trip to Chicago.

  • Tornado Bus is a Texan bus company operating in Texas and Mexico. Their bus service connects cities such as Houston, McAllen, San Antonio, and the international border at El Paso. Their buses offer onboard WiFi, plenty of leg room, air conditioning, restrooms, and power outlets.

Frequently Asked Questions

The bus takes an average of 9 hours and 29 minutes to cover the 497 kilometers from Des Moines to Chicago. However, the fastest bus only takes 6 hours and 10 minutes. It’s definitely on the longer side, so plan to get comfortable for a long road trip. Keep in mind that your actual bus may arrive earlier or later than scheduled, depending on whether there is more or less traffic than usual.

"Thursday is usually the day of the week when buses are busiest. If you are planning to travel on a Thursday, you should make sure to book tickets well in advance as they may sell out.

On the other hand, Monday is typically the least busy day for bus travel on this route. For a less crowded trip, try to book your bus travel for the beginning of the week."

The first bus leaves at 8:00am and the last bus leaves at 11:00pm. To see the times for all buses from Des Moines to Chicago, enter your specific travel dates in the search bar.

There are 4 scheduled buses that travel from Des Moines to Chicago every day, so you have a decent number of options to choose from. This includes 2 direct buses, where you can stay on the same bus without having to transfer to a connecting bus at any point during your trip.

City Information

Des Moines

Des Moines, IA, US - DSM-0

Image credit: Unsplash

Des Moines is the capital city of Iowa and the most populous city in the state. It has been named the third-largest insurance capital in the world because of its relevance in the US insurance industry. Des Moines is home to historic landmarks, especially in the East Village area. These include the gold-domed Iowa State Capitol building. Art lovers can visit the Des Moines Art Center, which has notable contemporary collections, and the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, a pedestrian space with public attractions. Des Moines also has spots for outdoor adventures, like the Blank Park Zoo, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, and Living History Farms.

Des Moines offers diverse places for entertainment, like the Praire Meadows Casino, Racetrack & Hotel, and the Salisbury House & Gardens, a concert venue in a 1920s manor. In the heart of the city is Downtown Des Moines, which has different attractions and entertainment venues, festivals and concerts, shopping spots, sports teams, restaurants, bars, and breweries.

It's very easy to access Des Moines when you're traveling by bus. Over a hundred neighboring cities offer bus lines to the city, powered by companies like Jefferson Lines, Tornado Bus, Burlington Trailways, and El Expreso Bus. The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority also provides bus routes throughout the city.

Chicago

Known for its innovative architecture, cultural contributions to jazz and house music, and of course that irresistible deep-dish pizza, the many sights and experiences in Chicago make it one of the best urban vacation destinations for millennials and a top destination in Illinois.

You can't beat the views of the city and Lake Michigan from the SkyDeck in the Willis Tower; at over 1,300 feet, this is the highest observation deck in the U.S. Snap that classic selfie with the Bean in Millennium Park, then wander the many museums in nearby Grant Park. Navy Pier is a popular tourist hotspot for its parks, restaurants, and attractions right on Lake Michigan, and baseball fans will find paradise in Wrigleyville, home to the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field and sports bars galore.

Chicago's enormous parks offer plentiful opportunities for outdoor activities in gorgeous urban settings. Many companies offer kayak rentals or boat tours on the Chicago River, with special tours running on Saint Patrick's Day, when the entire river is dyed green. When you’re ready to buy some souvenirs from your epic trip, hit the big brand stores on the Magnificent Mile, or shop local in neighborhoods like Andersonville and Wicker Park. And don't miss the chance to laugh until you cry at The Second City comedy theater, famous for launching the careers of comedians like Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert.

Chicago is one of the biggest transportation hubs in the Midwest, and provides easy access to nearby destinations ideal for day trips, as well as international travel from two airports. Thanks to plenty of bus and train stations throughout the city, getting to the Windy City is a breeze.

Station Information

Where does the bus leave from in Des Moines?

Main departure station: Des Moines

Des Moines has two bus stations with service to Chicago.

All bus stations in Des Moines:

  • Des Moines

  • Diversity Insurance Inc

Where does the bus arrive in Chicago?

Chicago Greyhound Bus Station - CHIGLI3-0

Image credit: Jeramey Jannene

Link to image attribution

Main arrival station: Bus Station - 630 W Harrison St

These are the two stations where buses may stop when they arrive in Chicago.

Bus stations in Chicago:

  • Bus Station - 630 W Harrison St

  • 3501 S California Ave

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