Chicago has two airports- O'Hare and Midway. O'Hare while technically within the city limits is really NW of downtown Chicago. It has 4 major terminals connected by a monorail system. United flies out of Terminal 1. Continental, Northwest and US Air out of Terminal 2. Delta and American out of Terminal 3. Most international flights are out of the new international terminal (5) with the exception of Luftansia which leaves from Terminal 1. There is a monorail which connects the terminals to each other and to the remote parking lots.
It is best to take the EL (found in the basement of O'Hare) to/from OHare/downtown during rush hour. It is only $1.75 and it is quick (about 40 mins.to the Loop). A taxi will cost between $25 and $40. With traffic and weather it can take over an hour from downtown.
Midway airport which is SW of downtown has recently been renovated. It is close to downtown- about a 30 min. cab ride. Discount airlines such as Southwest and ATA fly out of Midway. You can take the Orange line b/w Midway and the Loop.
Taxis are abundant. You can go almost anywhere in the city for around $10. Or, you can take our clean, safe transit system (CTA) referred to as the EL for elevated trains.
When you arrive at O'Hare look for a booth like this on the baggage level. The person there should be able to assist you with any questions you may have.
But don't pull out a camera or the same thing may happen to you that occurred to me!
Because O'Hare is a major hub for United and American, a lot of passengers layover at O' Hare. If you have a lot of time, you can take the el into downtown Chicago and grab a bite or take in a sight or two. Budget at least an hour each direction for transportation and an hour to negotiate the airport so I'd only do this with a 6+ hour layover.
Another option is to get a day pass for the health club at the Hilton for $10 if you want to go for a swim or get in a quick workout. The Hilton is within walking distance of the terminals.
Or since you either don't get or don't want to eat airline food, grab a bite to eat at one of the many good offerings at O' Hare. I usually stop at Pizzeria Uno or Panda for Chinese before hopping on flights, the Tribune food critic suggests Terminal 1-Berghoff, Terminal 2-Fox Skybox, Terminal 3-Wolfgang Puck's.
Most international flights from O'Hare depart from Terminal Five (except for certain departures on American and United Airlines), and all international flights arrive here. It's only a short "people mover" ride from Terminals One, Two and Three. (Unfortunately, the "people mover" doesn't leave from the terminals themselves; you have to schlepp your bags a little distance to reach the "people mover" stations.) Whatever happened to Terminal Four? Don't ask. (I think flights to Hogwarts leave from Terminal Four.) The International flight check-in hall is a hive of activity, especially at holiday time, but it is well-designed and there is plenty of space to mill around. Still, I can't help but note that the restaurant and shopping facilities here are pretty meager, especially when compared with such true international hubs as Amsterdam and London Heathrow.
I don't know if O'Hare still holds the title of the busiest airport in the world but it is quite huge.
O'Hare is the largest of the two Chicago airports, with Midway being the other. It's located NW of downtown Chicago.
The best way to get to/from O'Hare is via the CTA Blue Line. It's a bit of a hike with a number of bags but the inexpensive cost is well worth it.
There are a variety of ways to get from O'Hare to downtown (taxi, hotel bus, train). I'm sure it's the same for Midway but I can't speak from experience. The cheapest option for both airports is the train, which costs $1.50 and can take you just about anywhere. It takes about 45 minutes to get into the loop by this method. The walk to the trains from the terminal is a little long but worth the inconvenience.
I flew there on American from La Guardia, New York into O'Hare Airport - very quick and easy. Chicago O'Hare airport is very modern with some nice shops, and OK places to eat, which was handy on the way out as the flight was delayed...
The rail system is very good in Chicago - in particular - generally the CTA system (which includes the famous 'El' (elevated railway) will take you around the city, and the Metra will take you to the suburbs and further afield. In particular, the CTA Blue line makes getting to and from O'Hare airport a breeze. Check out the CTA website and the Metra webiste for more information.You need to walk around the centre to make the most of it - best in daylight!
Flying: to O'Hara International Airport
How to get to downtown from O'Hara:
Subway, buses, details see Chicago Transit Authority's website:
O'Hare Airport in Chicago is where all international and almost all domestic airplanes arrive. From there you can take a cab (about $30 to the downtown area), or the CTA blue line train. The ticket is $1.50 and you can travel with it about 2h. The first time you change the vehicle (from train to bus) you pay $0.30 for the transfer. For the next one you don't have to pay.
For this purpose use the Chicago Transit Authority buses and trains (also called CTA and the webpage is http://www.transitchicago.com/). There are not so comfortable to travel and not on time, but this is like a tourist attraction. Everybody has to travel with them, just to see in fact how comfortable and nice is to travel in EU with the public transportation. On the picture is the downtown of Chicago, called Loop.
I arrived by plane from NYC. I landed at O'Hare international airport. The largest airport of the world.
During our 7 days stay we rented a car for 4 days (weekend rate! $17 a/day) and travelled to Indianapolis and Milwaukee. Having a car is great, but parking in the innercity is very expensive! If you have to park, use the parking at Meigs airfield. It is much cheaper than nearby carparks !
You can fly directly to ORD with many airlines. From Europe I normally fly with KL/NW via AMS.
It's very easy to get to downtown from the airport with the Elevated Train, or L as everyone calls it. You can board it at any terminal and it takes you right down to the Loop, downtown, that is.
From Ohare the best way to travel is a taxi cab or subway. A taxi cab ride will cost aroun $35...subway $1.50. The subway picks up in the airport and drops you off right in the city. It is a good economical option..
Taxi Cabs - it is cheap, efficient and easy
Although well outside of town the airport most people use to get to Chicago is O'hare (ORD). Lettered ORD for the Orchard Fields it was put in both American and United use it as a hub.
You will find internet access in the B concourse of United's Terminal 1 at O'Hare Airport. This will have to do until the "wi-fi" situation improves!
O'Hare International Airport handles more passengers then any other airport in the world.
Midway Airport usually handles domestic flights.