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How to get to Chicago by bus
|Trips per day||382|
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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.
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 bus stations in Chicago:
Bus Station - 630 W Harrison St
Dan Ryan Bus Station
3501 S California Ave
Chicago O'Hare Bus/Shuttle Ctr
Terminal 5 Station, O'Hare Intl Airport
What bus companies travel to Chicago, Illinois?
Located in Illinois, Chicago is accessible by bus from 209 other cities. You can choose from 382 daily scheduled trips when you search for buses to Chicago on Wanderu. Amtrak Thruway usually has the most buses on any given day.
Looking for other ways to get there? Train tickets to Chicago are also available.
Bus companies serving Chicago
|Bus||Routes||Avg. Time||Avg. Price|
|Tornado Bus||151||1d 0h 32m||$194.82|
|Indian Trails||75||6h 38m||$37.78|
|Barons Bus Lines||54||8h 54m||$59.40|
|Burlington Trailways||43||8h 48m||$81.62|
|FlixBus US||18||5h 30m||$42.73|
|El Expreso Bus||10||21h 17m||$206.46|
|Amtrak Thruway||8||3h 21m||$38.74|
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.
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.
OurBus is an intercity bus company based in New York City. OurBus provides cheap bus tickets to some of the most popular cities in the United States. All OurBus coaches come equipped with a generous roster of amenities, including extra legroom, freshly cleaned restroom, free WiFi, power outlets at every seat, and complimentary bottled water. With cheap bus tickets, OurBus is one of the best ways to travel by bus if you are looking for comfort at a good price.
Which bus carrier has the best service to Chicago?
Based on customers travel reviews, travelers who booked on Wanderu rave about traveling to Chicago by bus with Van Galder giving them a 4.8 rating out of 5.
Travelers also mentioned that Van Galder had the most comfortable bus service to Chicago taking into account the seats and amenities that Van Galder offers. They rate Van Galder a 4.4 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 Windstar Lines has the best on time performance on their bus schedules to Chicago, rating them a 5 based on their on time arrivals.
Frequently Asked Questions
The busiest bus station in Chicago is Union Station. There are several other active stations in addition to this main station. The most popular bus stations in Chicago are:
- Union Station
- Bus Station - 630 W Harrison St
- Dan Ryan Bus Station
The Loop is a great region of Chicago for bus travelers to stay in. The Central Loop area is easily accessible by public transportation, as is West Loop (where you’ll find great food) and South Loop (which has great museums).
Just north of the Loop is River North, which has the best nightlife in all of Chicago. Search around a bit when booking accommodations, as all these neighborhoods have cheap hotel options available.
Perhaps the two most recognizable sights in Chicago are the metallic “The Bean” and the Chicago Skyline.
For “The Bean” (actually called Cloud Gate), you’ll want to head to Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, where the sculpture resides. For the best views of the skyline, you have your choice of observation decks at Willis Tower’s Skydeck Chicago and the 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck.
Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, is also a popular attraction as one of the oldest baseball stadiums in the country. Also worth visiting are the Shedd Aquarium and the Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, the Chicago Riverwalk and (for anyone looking to get some shopping in) the Magnificent Mile.
Chicago is filled with great restaurants. Lou Malnati’s deep-dish pizza and Italian beef sandwiches at Al’s Beef both have a number of locations that are easily accessible by public transportation, making it simple to enjoy the delicacies Chicago is known for.
For a newer Chicago classic, Papa’s Chache Sabroso is a great spot for jibaritos (a Puerto Rican sandwich that uses two slices of fried plantains instead of bread).
West Loop is known for having great food. Tons of amazing restaurants are just a 5– to 10–minute walk away from the Ashland and Morgan “L” stops. Try out Girl & the Goat, the restaurant of Top Chef fan-favorite Stephanie Izard.
And for dessert, drop in at the Original Rainbow Cone. The original Original Rainbow Cone is a bit out of the way, but the Navy Pier location is perfect for tourists who are in the area.
|Departure||Avg. Time||Avg. Price|
|New York||1d 2h 53m||$161.62|
|Fort Lauderdale||1d 12h 20m||$231.84|
|San Diego||2d 14h 21m||$331.17|
|Lafayette||1d 11h 6m||$220.20|
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