Chicago Travel Guide - Must See Chicago

Chicago Transportation

Welcome to the Must See Chicago transportation guide. We hope to make your trip more enjoyable by helping you to get around while you are in Chicago area. Our guide offers information on buses, commuter trains, other rail service and taxis.

With about eight blocks to every mile, Chicago is a walking city. Madison Street divides the city north and south, while State Street divides it east and west. The State/Madison intersection marks the origin of Chicago's address grid system. Addresses are relative to the distance from that mark. So an address of 3600 North Clark means that it is 36 blocks north of Madison.

CTA Trains & BusesChicago Transit Authority (CTA)

‘L' Trains:

Not all of Chicago's eight ‘L' lines are "elevated." They do, however, connect the city via above-ground, street-level and subway trains and serve 144 stations all over town, making the ‘L' one of the most efficient and affordable methods of transportation available. Two lines offer round-the-clock service: the Blue Line, which connects the airport and downtown, and the Red Line, with service between the North and South Sides, via downtown.


More than 100 routes lace the city; buses stop every few blocks. Several lines operate 24 hours. Exact change is required.

Single Trip: $2.25. Pay cash or purchase a reloadable Transit Card, available at ‘L' stations and on

Unlimited Ride Passes
Enjoy unlimited rides on all CTA buses and trains with the below passes, which activate upon first use and are good for the number of consecutive days shown on the front of the pass.

  • 1-Day CTA Fun Pass: $5.75
  • 3-Day CTA Pass: $14
  • 7-Day CTA Pass: $23


Metra TrainsMetra Commuter Rail

The high-speed Metra train connects outlying suburbs to downtown and is an easy way to get into the heart of the city fast.

For fares and maps, visit METRA's website at

Metra Train Stations

Downtown Chicago has the following Metra train stations:

amtrak trainsAmtrak

Amtrak is a national rail train service serving Chicago and most of the continental United States. Trains departing
primarily from Union Station.


Some facts about using taxi cabs in Chicago:

  • Taxis are plentiful and easy-to-hail in downtown, and offer a convenient way to get around the city.
  • Taxis charge a base rate of $2.25 for the first 1/9 mile, plus, $.20 for each additional 1/9 mile.
  • If a gas surcharge is in effect, a sign will be displayed inside the taxicab and a surcharge may apply. Tolls are an extra charge; taxis charge $1 for the first additional passenger over age 12 and under age 65. Each additional passenger after first passenger, over 12 and under 65 is $.50.
  • It is standard to tip the driver about 15-20 percent of the fare, plus $1-2 per bag if the driver helps you with luggage.

Please note that all fares are subject to change.

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Palmer House Hilton
  Near Millennium Park
Sheraton Hotel & Towers
  Near Navy Pier
Embassy Suites Lakefront
  Near Navy Pier

Omni Chicago Hotel
  On Magnificent Mile
The James Hotel
  River North Location

Area Hotels Map

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