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How to get to Chicago by train

Trips per day563
train lines18
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City Information

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.

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

Union Station

The historic Chicago Union Station is the United States' third busiest train station and a hub for 15 Amtrak train lines with destinations throughout the country. The station also serves bus carriers like Greyhound, Indian Trails and Jefferson Lines, and offers connections to Metra commuter lines. Union Station is also just a quick walk to the nearest Chicago L lines. The current station was built in 1925, to replace the original one dating back to 1881, and today wows visitors with its impressive facade, massive columns, and opulent Great Hall. Located right in downtown and adjacent to the Chicago Loop, Union Station is equipped with many services and amenities, including phone charging stations, shops, and various food and drink options.

Popular train stations in Chicago:

  • Union Station

What train companies travel to Chicago, Illinois?

Located in Illinois, Chicago is accessible by train from 263 other cities. You can choose from 563 daily scheduled trips when you search for trains to Chicago on Wanderu. Amtrak usually has the most trains on any given day.

Looking for other ways to get there? Bus tickets to Chicago are also available..

Train companies serving Chicago

TrainRoutesAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak641d 14h 9m$229.12
Amtrak Empire Builder4220h 16m$139.33
Amtrak Texas Eagle4018h 3m$101.21
Amtrak Cardinal3020h 55m$148.43
Amtrak Southwest Chief3020h 53m$214.34
Amtrak California Zephyr281d 9h 26m$212.51
Amtrak Lake Shore Limited2411h 2m$108.58
Amtrak City of New Orleans197h 44m$72.96
Amtrak Capitol Limited156h 50m$62.64
Amtrak Wolverine144h 36m$55.34

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good price for a train ticket to Chicago?

$9.75 is the cheapest price for a train ticket to Chicago, according to recent searches on Wanderu. You can use our search to check if this price is currently available on buses from your city to Chicago. In the last month, trains from Joliet to Chicago had the lowest average price at $9.91.

Where is the train station in Chicago, IL?

The main train station in Chicago is Union Station. As the busiest station, it has the most train arrivals, although some trains may make other stops in and around Chicago.

Which train service has the best service to Chicago?

Based on customers travel reviews, travelers who booked on Wanderu rave about traveling to Chicago by train with Amtrak Carl Sandburg giving them a 4.7 rating out of 5. Travelers also mentioned that Amtrak Cardinal had the most comfortable train service to Chicago taking into account the seats and amenities that Amtrak Cardinal offers. They rate Amtrak Cardinal a 4.8 out of 5 when it comes to just how relaxing and enjoyable their experience was onboard. If you are looking to arrive to Chicago punctually travelers suggest that Amtrak Illinois Zephyr has the best on time performance on their train schedules to Chicago, rating them a 4.8 based on their on time arrivals.

Where should you stay in Chicago?

A great area to stay in while visiting Chicago is the New East Side. It’s in easy walking distance of many Chicago attractions like Millennium Park and Navy Pier, and is also close to Chicago Union Station. Prices for accommodations vary, so look around a bit to find a good deal.

On the North Shore of the city, Andersonville is a nice neighborhood to stay in. It’s more quiet than downtown Chicago, with many charming restaurants and bars. It’s also close to the Red Line, meaning that the city’s popular attractions are still easily accessible.

For a cheaper neighborhood, consider looking northwest toward Wicker Park. Just off the Blue LIne, Wicker Park is known for its terrific nightlife and excellent cuisine. And if prices in Wicker Park exceed your budget, consider staying in Ukrainian Village, just south. You will still be in walking distance of all Wicker Park has to offer, but avoid the markup.

How do you get around Chicago?

The public transit system in Chicago (known as the Chicago Transit Authority or CTA) is extensive and robust, and includes Chicago’s metro system (known as the “L”) and hundreds of city buses. The Red Line is among the most busy L Lines, and extends from the North Shore down into Chicago’s South Side (including multiple stops in Downtown Chicago). Base fare for a single L ride is $2.50, and single fare for a bus ride is $2.25.

The closest L stop to Chicago Union Station is Clinton, which is about .2 miles away, and situated on the Pink and Green lines. Slightly further away is the Quincy stop, about .4 miles east, which services the Pink, Brown, Purple and Orange lines.

For easy transport to O’Hare International Airport, take the Blue Line northwest to the end of the line. To get to Midway International Airport, take the Orange Line southwest to the end of the line.

Other ways people get around Chicago include using Uber and Lyft, or just waving down a taxi, which are still prominent throughout The Windy City.

What are some fun things to do in Chicago?

Chicago is filled with excellent attractions for visitors of every age and interest. Among the most famous sites in Chicago is “The Bean,” a reflective sculpture in Millennium Park in the shape of a giant kidney bean.

Another amazing attraction in Chicago is the Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower. The Willis Tower was built in 1973, has 110 floors, and is the second tallest building in the world. Purchase tickets to visit the SkyDeck, where you’re treated to panoramic views of the city and Lake Michigan.

Are you a fan of baseball? Then make sure you stop by Wrigley Field for a Chicago Cubs game. The stadium is among the oldest in Major League Baseball, and whether you’re a die-hard sports fan or not, offers a throwback experience that just about anyone can appreciate.

If you enjoy comedy, check out a show at Wrigleyville’s improvOlympic. The theater has shows every night of the week, and has long been a training ground for famous comedians who have gone on to star in TV shows like Saturday Night Live.

What are some good restaurants in Chicago?

Established in 1923, Lou Mitchell’s is a terrific place to eat breakfast. It is also conveniently located near Chicago Union Station. Lou Mitchell’s is known for their hearty breakfast meals, and for serving breakfast and lunch all day long.

For some good barbecue at a reasonable price, check out Blackwood BBQ, just a few blocks north of Union Station, and if you like Indian food, the fast-casual restaurant Naansense is also an excellent option.

In the mood for an evening cocktail? Then you might have a terrific time at the rooftop bar Cindy’s, near Millennium Park. Cindy’s is a bit pricey, but the view is well-worth it. Get one drink there, then jump on over to the famous Billy Goat Tavern on Lake Street, where drinks are more reasonable.

What is the best time to visit Chicago by train?

Spring and fall are the best overall times to visit Chicago. Summer can be humid and sweltering, and everyone knows the brutal reputation of Chicago winters. That said, if you’re traveling to Chicago for the winter holidays, then train may be the best way to travel. That way you don’t have to drive your own car through the ice and snow, which means your ride will be safer and more comfortable (and probably faster, as you won’t get stuck in traffic from all the accidents the weather is causing).

Is Chicago a popular train travel destination?

Chicago is the third most popular destination for train trips in Illinois. It also ranks number 154 in United States. Chicago has the most train connections in the region. There are 434 train schedules arriving in Chicago each day.

What is the population of Chicago?

The population of Chicago is 2720546. Chicago ranks number 2 in terms of population in Illinois and number 78 in all of United States.

How much do train tickets to Chicago cost?

Train tickets to Chicago range from $10 for a short trip to Chicago, while a 60 to 200 mile train trip to Chicago starts at , and a longer trip by train to Chicago can be as cheap as . Looking to travel across state or province lines? A trip from out of your region will be as low as $12 .

What type of traveler does Chicago attract?

People who take the train to Chicago are most often visiting their families or loved ones. With frequent schedules, the ability to book and hop on a train last minute make taking a train to Chicago easy whether you're planning a trip far in advance or need some quality time with loved ones at the last minute.

What train station is located closest to the city center of Chicago?

The closest train station to the city center of Chicago is Union Station, located just 0.5 miles away. Select Union Station as your arrival if your plans call for exploring the downtown area of Chicago. Search on Wanderu and in the search results you can filter travel options by arriving or departing station.

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