From Navy Pier to Millennium Park, there are countless attractions in Chicago that bring millions of visitors every year. If you’re one of those visitors ready to see everything Chicago has to offer, you can choose to get to the city by flying there. Chicago has two international airports that are some of the busiest in the country. Learn more about what each airport has to offer so you can decide which one you should fly to.

navy pier
The Navy Pier.

O’Hare International Airport

O’Hare International Airport, usually simply shortened to O’Hare, is situated about 18 miles northwest of the heart of downtown Chicago. With 77.9 million passengers coming through in 2016, it’s not only the busiest airport in Chicago; it’s also the sixth-busiest airport in the world. O’Hare has four terminals and is a hub for Air Choice One, American Airlines, and United Airlines. It’s also a focus city for Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines. O’Hare offers direct service to 208 places around the world, including 55 international cities and 153 domestic destinations.

tribune tower
The Tribune Tower in Chicago.

Airport Amenities

With such a large airport, you know O’Hare will offer some of the most convenient amenities for its passengers. In fact, if you’re feeling a little stressed from traveling, you can head to the mezzanine level of the terminal three rotunda to find the on-site yoga room. The room offers yoga mats, a video monitor showing yoga exercises, floor-to-ceiling mirrors on one wall, and another wall with frosted glass that allows natural light to come in but still provides some privacy.

If you get hungry, the airport has a large selection of restaurants available at every terminal. With options ranging from full-service restaurants to grab-and-go cafés, it’s easy to find something everyone will enjoy. If you have some time to spare or you need a last-minute gift or souvenir, there are also plenty of shopping opportunities at each terminal. You can find electronics, cosmetics, jewelry, candy, books, clothing, and more.

You should also take some time to check out the aeroponic garden in the rotunda in terminal three. This incredible garden has 26 towers with over 1,100 spots to grow plants without using soil. It’s the first aeroponic garden in any airport, and it provides some of the airport restaurants with fresh herbs and vegetables.

robie house
The Robie House.

Getting to and From the Airport

When you’re ready to head out and explore the city, O’Hare has an extensive transportation line to help you get where you need to go. You can catch a ride on the elevated train, typically referred to as the “L,” by catching the Blue Line from the underground stations at the terminals. This line runs between O’Hare and Forest Park and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Pace, which provides service throughout the Chicago suburbs, has two routes that serve O’Hare. You’ll have to take an airport shuttle out to parking lot E to catch these buses. Additionally, you can get one of the Metra commuter trains that run into the city. You’ll also find the station for this train in parking lot E. Keep in mind that the Metra train only runs on weekdays. O’Hare also has 12 rental car companies you can choose from. Each company has a free, 24-hour shuttle to take you to the rental car center.

lurie gardens
The Lurie Gardens.

Hotels Near O’Hare International Airport

If you’d like to stay close to O’Hare International Airport when you arrive, you have plenty of hotel options. The closest hotel to the airport is the on-site Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel. It’s within walking distance of the domestic terminals, and the international terminal offers a shuttle to it. Here you’ll find amenities that include a fitness center, sports bar, restaurant, and business center.

Holiday Inn and Suites Chicago O’Hare Rosemont Hotel is a four-minute walk to the nearest Metro station, so you can head out and explore popular attractions like Lincoln Park Zoo and the Shedd Aquarium. Amenities at this family-friendly hotel include an on-site restaurant, fitness center, free wireless internet access, and complimentary shuttle to O’Hare. In the rooms, you’ll find desks, flat-screen televisions with cable channels, free wireless internet access, mini-fridges, microwaves, coffee makers, and high-pressure showerheads in the bathrooms.

The Chicago Marriott O’Hare is a contemporary hotel that’s a five-minute walk from the Blue Line, which heads to downtown Chicago and popular attractions like the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The rooms come with 37-inch, flat-screen televisions with premium cable channels, soundproof windows, and coffeemakers. The hotel features an indoor/outdoor pool, fitness center, and a farm-to-table restaurant.

Four Points by Sheraton Chicago O’Hare Airport is just a 3.6-mile drive from the airport and 2.6 miles from the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Every room at the hotel comes with free wireless internet access, complimentary bottled water, flat-screen televisions, and a work area that includes a desk and ergonomic chair. Additionally, you’ll find on-site amenities such as a cocktail lounge, American restaurant, indoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, business center, and free airport shuttle.

`willis tower
The Willis Tower in Chicago.

Midway International Airport

Midway International Airport, usually referred to as simply Midway, is the other major international airport that serves Chicago. Midway is situated about 10 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. While not as busy as O’Hare, it still handled 22.6 million passengers in 2016. The airport is the focus city for Southwest Airlines, and it offers three concourses.

Airport Amenities

The yoga room at Midway offers a tranquil place where you can relax and meditate. The room provides exercise mats and features live plants and a sustainable bamboo wood floor. Next to the yoga room is the mother’s room. This relaxed space is provided specifically for traveling mothers who are nursing. It has comfortable seating and a wash area with a sink.

Midway is also part of Chicago’s Public Art Program. As you walk through the airport, you’ll see paintings, sculptures, murals, and more. Finally, you’ll find plenty of shopping and dining opportunities on concourse A, concourse B, and the main terminal.

360 chicago
360 Chicago in Chicago.

Getting To and From the Airport

Whether you’re looking to head to downtown Chicago or one of the surrounding neighborhoods, Midway offers a few different transportation options. The Orange Line “L” train connects Midway to the downtown area. The station is just east of the airport terminal at the Midway Transportation Center, and it takes about 20-25 minutes to reach the city center. Additionally, there are nine bus routes that serve Midway and the surrounding neighborhoods. You can also find the bus station at the Midway Transportation Center.

If you prefer to have a rental car, Midway has 10 car rental companies available. The airport’s Rental Car Facility houses all the companies in one convenient location. To reach the facility, you can pick up one of the shuttles at the arrivals curb near the lower level door three. The shuttles run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and every 15 minutes.

northerly island
The Northerly Island Park in Chicago.

Hotels Near Midway International Airport

If you’re interested in staying near Midway International Airport during your time in Chicago, you’ll find plenty of nearby hotels. Best Western Inn and Suites-Midway Airport is a budget-friendly option that’s just 3.2 miles from the airport. The rooms come with amenities such as free wireless internet access, cable television, and a coffee and tea maker with complimentary coffee and tea. Take advantage of the free breakfast before you head out to explore attractions such as the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago and Northerly Island Park.

Courtyard by Marriott Chicago Midway Airport offers contemporary rooms that are just over a mile from the airport. The hotel is also only 8 miles from the Brookfield Zoo. The hotel’s amenities include an indoor pool, business center, fitness center, and on-site restaurant. Head inside your room, and you’ll find a flat-screen television with premium cable channels, desk, free newspaper, and free wireless internet access.

A stay at Hyatt Place Midway puts you 1.4 miles from Chicago Midway International Airport, 13 miles from downtown Chicago, and 4 miles from fun attractions like the Toyota Park soccer stadium and music venue. The modern rooms come with living areas that have a pull-out sofa, flat-screen televisions, free wireless internet access, coffee makers, and mini-fridges. Free hotel amenities include parking, a shuttle to Midway, and a hot breakfast. You’ll also find other great amenities, such as a fitness center, indoor pool, putting green, on-site restaurant, cocktail bar, and business center.

Holiday Inn Express Chicago Midway Airport is a convenient three-minute drive from Midway International Airport. Here you’ll find casual rooms that offer premium cable channels, flat-screen televisions, desks, free wireless internet access, and coffeemakers. Upgrade to a suite, and you’ll also get a mini-fridge, microwave, and pull-out sofa. The hotel itself provides a 24-hour business center, complimentary hot breakfast, 24-hour fitness center, and a free 24-hour airport shuttle.

If you’re planning a trip to Chicago, you might just find yourself flying into one of these top airports. If so, take some time to enjoy the amenities before heading out to experience everything the Windy City has to offer.