COVID-19 Travel Guide
Learn more ›

Coaches from Chicago to Madison

Lowest Prices

We partner with the top coach & train carriers to bring you the best deals.

No Wanderu Fees

Without any extra fees, we make it easy to book your tickets.

Best Travel Options

We help you find & compare the best buses & trains in one place.

Chicago - Madison Coach Timetable

Find cheap rental carsFind great deals on cheap cars in the area.
RentalCars logotypeRentalCars logotype

Coach Route Overview: Chicago to Madison

There are 14 intercity coaches per day from Chicago to Madison. Traveling by coach from Chicago to Madison usually takes around 3 hours and 50 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak Thruway coach can make the trip in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Distance122 mi (197 km)
Shortest duration3h 20m
Cheapest price£20.38
Trips per day23
Most frequent serviceAmtrak Thruway
Coach lines3

Coach Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for coaches from Chicago to Madison

(Based on 31 ratings and reviews)




28 May 2022- Visiting family

Amtrak Thruway

Pros: Everything. Tips: The bus is always on time so travelers should not delay otherwise they will miss their bus.

Pros: Everything. Tips: The bus is always on time so travelers should not delay otherwise they will miss their bus.



30 April 2022- Solo travel

Amtrak Thruway

Pros: The bus driver was fantastic. Bus was very clean!! Tips: Use Amtrak!

Pros: The bus driver was fantastic. Bus was very clean!! Tips: Use Amtrak!



22 April 2022- Visiting family

Amtrak Thruway

Pros: Even it was raining the driver did a good job!👍. Cons: All is good. Tips: Always bring a snack (Sandwich or chips).

Pros: Even it was raining the driver did a good job!👍. Cons: All is good. Tips: Always bring a snack (Sandwich or chips).



22 April 2022- Visiting friends

Amtrak Thruway

Pros: Tje drivers drove soomthly. Bery luch appreciated. Cons: The seat had no working outlet on my seat, no cup golder nor table.

Pros: Tje drivers drove soomthly. Bery luch appreciated. Cons: The seat had no working outlet on my seat, no cup golder nor table.



15 April 2022- Visiting family

Amtrak Thruway

Pros: Reasonable good value. Cons: More leg room. Tips: Union station in Chicago not well marked for bus travel.

Pros: Reasonable good value. Cons: More leg room. Tips: Union station in Chicago not well marked for bus travel.

How much is a coach ticket from Chicago to Madison?

£29.43 is the average price of a coach ticket from Chicago to Madison. Taking a coach is an affordable way to make this trip. It’s easy to find a coach 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


Over the next four weeks, the average ticket price of a coach from Chicago to Madison is expected to range from £29 to £33. If you are looking to travel to Madison within the next week, you can find coach tickets starting from £29. The cheapest coach tickets in the next month are £29 and can be found on 21 June 2022.

Monthly average prices

Traveling from Chicago to Madison by coach will cost you about the same throughout the year. In general, coach ticket prices for that route are fairly consistent, so expect to pay around £25 whenever you decide to travel.

Prices as travel date approaches


Most coach companies charge higher ticket prices the closer you book to the date of travel, so it’s a good idea to buy your coach tickets as early as possible. The best way to find cheap coach tickets is to book at least 23 days in advance. By doing so, you can expect to save £1.03 on your coach ticket compared to booking at the last minute.

What coach companies travel from Chicago to Madison?

There are 3 coach lines from Chicago to Madison available for you to search and book on Wanderu. With 11 daily trips, Amtrak Thruway usually has the most coaches running on any given day. Here are some time and price comparisons for all the available options:

CoachDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak Thruway113h 52m£29.74
FlixBus US23h 33m£27.18
Greyhound13h 39m£34.25
  • Amtrak Thruway

    Amtrak Thruway

    Amtrak Thruway, also known as Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach, is a system of intercity passenger buses operated by Amtrak to connect train stations to areas that are not served by the carrier’s railroads. On the bus, passengers can enjoy comfortable reclining seats with leg rests and access to onboard restroom facilities. Amtrak Thruway bus tickets from Chicago to Madison start at £24. On average, there are 11 Amtrak Thruway bus trips on this route every day.

  • FlixBus US

    FlixBus US

    FlixBus US is the American branch of German bus company FlixBus, known for providing sustainable, affordable, and modern bus travel. The company offers cheap bus tickets to popular urban destinations throughout the United States. FlixBus US buses include many amenities, including comfortable seats, free WiFi, power outlets at every seat, and an online portal for free entertainment. On average, FlixBus US operates 2 trips per day from Chicago to Madison, and the average ticket for this route costs only .

  • Greyhound


    Greyhound is the largest nationwide coach carrier in the United States, offering cheap, safe and reliable service across the country. Greyhound has become a household name, serving over 16 million passengers per year with daily trips to over 2,400 destinations. Greyhound performs about 1 bus trips from Chicago to Madison every day, with the average journey taking around 3 hours and 39 minutes to complete. Bus tickets for Greyhound trips to Madison usually start from £26.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a train from Chicago to Madison?

Amtrak will take you from Chicago to Madison, but there are no direct trains between the two cities (which means you’ll need to transfer). The trip will take you at least 4 hours. A bus can get you from Chicago to Madison in as few as 3 hours, and tickets start as low as $15. Train tickets from Chicago to Madison are usually at least $45.

Is Chicago to Madison a good day trip?

Madison, Wisconsin, is a great day trip from Chicago. At least 30 buses run daily between the cities going each way, so you could arrive in Madison as early as 10:15 a.m. and leave to head back to Chicago as late as 11:15 p.m.

Is it safe to travel by coach from Chicago to Madison during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our coach partners have implemented several different policies to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. From limiting vehicle capacity to enhancing cleaning protocols and upgrading air filters, coach carriers are committed to maintaining a safe environment. For details on what each company is doing to ensure their fleet remains safe for travel, click here.

In addition, federal law requires all coach passengers to wear a face covering for the entire duration of the trip. Please make sure you are wearing a face mask or you may not be allowed to board the coach.

Please visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide for more information on all carrier policies and the latest travel advisories issued by every U.S. state, Canadian province, and European country.

How long is the coach ride from Chicago to Madison?

The coach takes an average of 3 hours and 50 minutes to cover the 122 miles from Chicago to Madison. However, the fastest coach only takes 3 hours and 20 minutes. It's the perfect amount of time to take a nap, get some work done, or watch a movie. Keep in mind that your actual coach may arrive earlier or later than scheduled, depending on whether there is more or less traffic than usual.

What is the busiest day of the week to travel by coach?

Because many passengers travel from Chicago to Madison at the beginning of the work week, Monday is usually the busiest day for coaches. If you are planning to travel on a Monday, you should make sure to book tickets well in advance as they may sell out.

On the other hand, Wednesday is typically the least busy day for coach travel on this route. If you're looking for some extra space on the coach, traveling mid-week is your best bet.

When do the earliest and latest coaches leave Chicago?

The first coach leaves at 08:00 and the last coach leaves at 21:00. To see the times for all coaches from Chicago to Madison, enter your specific travel dates in the search bar.

How many coach trips to Madison are there per day?

There are 14 scheduled coaches that travel from Chicago to Madison every day, so you have a decent number of options to choose from. This includes 23 direct coaches, where you can stay on the same coach without having to transfer to a connecting coach at any point during your trip.

Need more travel options? Consider taking the train from Chicago to Madison; ticket prices start at £24.46.

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 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.


Consistently ranking high on the lists of the best places to live in the USA, Madison still maintains its quaint and idyllic small-town vibe despite being the capital city of Wisconsin. Sitting among the city’s most iconic and most popular landmarks is the Madison Memorial Union, which is located within the campus of the University of Madison. The building features a lakeview terrace filled with colorful chairs, allowing visitors to chill out and enjoy the sun. If you are interested in the history of the state or architecture as a whole, head over to the State Capitol building, which was built between 1906 and 1917. The building features lavish council chambers, which were modeled after the famous Doge’s Palace in Venice, along with other architectural highlights. If you wish to stay close to nature, the Olbrich Botanical garden, with its famous Thai Pavilion and Garden, will certainly be a great choice.

As a college city, Madison features numerous cutting-edge establishments that will make your mouth water. For some of the best dining views in town, head over to Graze, where you can also grab some of the best cheese curds in Madison. If you want to enjoy the best brunch in town, Sardine might have what you need.

The busiest bus/train station in Madison is located on Collins Ct. The city is served by the Dane County Regional Airport, 6 miles northeast of downtown.

Station Information

Where does the coach leave from in Chicago?

Chicago, IL - Union Station - CHIUST-0

Image credit: Jeramey Jannene

Link to image attribution

Main departure station: 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.

All coach stations in Chicago:

  • Union Station

  • Canal St

  • Bus Station - 630 W Harrison St

  • 350 S Illinois St

  • 200 N Second St

  • Bus Terminal - 720 W Muhammad Ali Blvd

Where does the coach arrive in Madison?

Main arrival station: University of Wisconsin - Gordon Center

Coaches arrive in Madison at 5 stations, depending on which coach line you are traveling with.

Coach stations in Madison:

  • University of Wisconsin - Gordon Center

  • Dutch Mill Park & Ride Lot

  • Phillips 66

  • Dutch Mill Park & Ride (West Lot)

  • University of Wisconsin

Need a return trip from Madison to Chicago?

Search Coach Tickets

Plan your next adventure

Wanderu is the simplest way to book bus and train travel.

With just a quick search on Wanderu, you can compare bus and train schedules and prices from hundreds of travel companies in one convenient place to find the trip that works best for you. Wanderu’s simple checkout process makes it easy to book cheap bus and train tickets hassle-free and with no additional fees. Most importantly, as Wanderu is an official partner of all leading bus and train companies, we always have the best bus and train deals out there.

Book coaches and trains on the go with the Wanderu app.

Download our app and snag the best travel deals across North America & Europe.Learn more

Available on iOS & Android