Nothing is worse than being stuck in an airport for hours and hours with nothing to do. If this is the situation you find yourself in when stopping through Chicago, the good news is there are some great ways to make those hours fly by. The truth is there are not many attractions or good sightseeing directly near the O’Hare or Midway airports, so you will need at minimum three hours to make a journey into the city. However, both airports have plenty of places to eat, coffee shops to check email, shopping, and bars to catch a game and enjoy a beer.
If you have more than three hours you will get the most bang for your buck by heading to downtown Chicago. The Blue Line goes directly downtown from O’hare, and the Orange Line runs direct from Midway. Plan for a one hour ride each direction from either airport. Both lines are easy to access in both airports with trains running frequently. A one-way ride is $2.25.
Once downtown there are plenty of options to enjoy a few hours. Take a walk along the Magnificent Mile, have lunch under the “Bean” at Park Grill in Millennium Park, then wander through the Art Institute. You may also enjoy having lunch at Giordano’s Pizza to try classic Chicago deep dish pizza. If you are traveling through Midway, then you are just a 30 minute drive from the historic Frank Lloyd Wright Museum in Oak Park.