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Chicago Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 177
Total Sleeping Rooms 50,482
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 2,019
Committable Meeting Rooms* 295
Convention Center Space 3,200,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 2,600,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 103,760 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $215
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $74
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $246
*Maximum for a single hotel

Chicago Airport Information

Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)

Approximate taxi fare: $42 USD

Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)

Approximate taxi fare: $53 USD

The 2nd-busiest airport in the U.S., O'Hare International is the largest hub for United Airlines and the 2nd largest hub for American Airlines. As the primary airport for the Chicago area, O’Hare International sees more than 66 million passengers a year, making it the fourth busiest airport in the world.

The Chicago Airport System's Art and Exhibits Program brings color and spirit to the airport decor. Spread among its two airports, the system's collection features permanent works in the Edward "Butch" O'Hare Museum and The Battle of Midway Exhibit. Other exhibit pieces at O'Hare have included a Brachiosaurus skeleton from the Field Museum and 744-foot-long kinetic neon sculpture lining the ceiling of the underground walkway between Concourses B and C.

Travelers at O'Hare can enjoy a number of dining and shopping options, many of which offer a chance to enjoy some Chicago treats upon arrival or as a last stop before departure. Chicago Style Hot Dogs, Gold Coast Dogs and Pizzeria Uno join other fast food and full-service eateries. Chicago News and Gifts provides souvenirs alongside other shops such as Mont Blanc, Sunglass Hut and Brookstone. Wi-Fi capability and a number of power stations where guests can recharge electronic devices for free are available.

Hourly, daily and economy parking is available at O'Hare International. A special lot for international parking is also available.

Airline carriers serving O'Hare International Airport

  • Aer Lingus
  • AeroMexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air Canada Jazz
  • Air France
  • Air India
  • Air Jamaica
  • Air One
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Alitalia
  • All Nippon
  • American Airlines
  • American Eagle
  • America West
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • British Airways
  • BMI British Midland
  • Cayman Airways
  • Continental Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Iberia Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Jet Blue
  • KLM Royal Dutch
  • Korean Air
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Mexicana
  • Northwest Airlines
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • TACA Airlines
  • Ted
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines and United Express
  • US Airways
  • USA 3000
  • Virgin Atlantic

Chicago Train Information

Chicago Union Station

Chicago is one of largest passenger rail hubs in the United States. Traveling in and out of downtown Union Station, travelers can reach major cities all across the continental United States.

Chicago Union Station serves numerous Amtrak routes: California Zephyr (Chicago to Emeryville, California); Capitol Limited (Chicago to Washington, DC); Cardinal/Hoosier State (New York City to Chicago); City of New Orleans (Chicago to New Orleans); Empire Builder (Chicago to Portland/Seattle); Hiawatha (Chicago to Milwaukee); Illinois Service (Chicago to Quincy, Missouri, St. Louis, and Carbondale, Illinois); Lake Shore Limited (New York City and Boston to Chicago); Michigan Services (Chicago to Grand Rapids, Pontiac and Detroit); Missouri Routes (Chicago to Kansas City); Southwest Chief (Chicago to Los Angeles); and Texas Eagle (Chicago to San Antonio).

Chicago Union Station is open daily from 5:30 AM to midnight.

Chicago Public Transportation

Regional Transit Authority (RTA)

The Regional Transit Authority oversees the three public transportation operators in Chicago and northeastern Illinois: the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra commuter rail and Pace bus.

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

The CTA operates a bus system and a rapid transit system, known as the "L," in Chicago. The L Train runs on eight routes, designated as Yellow, Red, Brown, Blue, Green, Pink, Purple and Orange. The Blue line has a stop at the O'Hare International Airport, while the Orange line stops at Midway International. Chicago is one of few cities with 24-hour transport service, as the Red and Blue lines both run all day.

The CTA buses run throughout urban areas at over 12,000 stops. Regular and express routes are available, and designated "Owl" buses provide service from midnight to 5 AM.

The Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus offer reduced fares for travelers. Full fare with either card is $1.75 and 25 cents for transfers, which allow for two additional rides within two hours after the first boarding. Transit Card fare is $1.75 on buses, $2 at rail stations and 25 cents for transfers. Cash fares are $2 per ride, exact fare only.

Visitors' passes are available, offering unlimited rides when activated at first use. Two-day passes are $9, three-day passes are $12 and five-day passes are $18.


Metra runs commuter rail lines in Chicago and its suburbs. Its over 200 stations are spread through six counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will. The trains travel as far north as Kenosha, Wisconsin, and as far east as South Bend, Indiana.

Metra fares are calculated based on distance traveled within its designated zone system. Tickets can be purchased at Metra station ticket booths.


The Pace bus systems offers bus and paratransit service to over 200 suburbs surrounding Chicago, with some stops in the city as well.

Regular full fare for Pace is $1.50, but fares vary based on type of route; transfers are 25 cents. Children under 7 ride free. Pace buses also accept CTA farecards.

Chicago's Free Trolleys

A great, affordable way to see the city, Chicago's Free Trolleys run to popular attractions and shopping districts. Guest can reach the Museum Campus, Michigan Avenue, Navy Pier and more on the trolleys; all the routes also connect to a CTA or Metra station.

Trolleys pick up and drop off only at designated stops. Trolleys run about every 20 minutes at varying schedules based on day and season.


When the temperatures drop in the Windy City, guests can still enjoy easy, fast and, most importantly, warm transportation. The extensive downtown underground Pedway spans 40 blocks of the central business district, connecting businesses, retail stores, hotels and other public transportation stations.

Truly an underground city, the Pedway has numerous shops, restaurants and public art displays. It is open 24 hours a day, though access to buildings within the system is generally based on standard business hours.

Rental Cars

Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National operate at O'Hare International. Agency counters are located at the lower level near the baggage claim of each terminal. All these companies as well as Thrifty serve Midway Airport. Counters are located on the lower level of the terminal.


Taxis are plentiful on the streets of Chicago; in fact, the city has the 2nd largest fleet in the nation with 6,900 vehicles. Fares start at $2.25 for the first 1/9-mile. Each additional 1/9-mile is 20 cents. The first additional passenger is $1. Each additional passenger after the first is 50 cents.

Taxi fare from O'Hare International Airport to downtown averages $35 to $40. Taxi fare from Midway to downtown is about $25 to $28.

Distance To...

Distance Estimated Driving Time Estimated Min. Flying Time Estimated Flight Cost
Milwaukee, WI 93 mi 1 hr 30 min 44 min USD $241+
Grand Rapids, MI 178 mi 2 hr 56 min 45 min USD $216+
Indianapolis, IN 182 mi 2 hr 56 min 50 min USD $216+
Detroit, MI 282 mi 4 hr 31 min 1 hr 4 min USD $237+
St. Louis, MO 297 mi 4 hr 33 min 1 hr 05 min USD $118+
Columbus, OH 357 mi 5 hr 25 min 1 hr 5 min USD $261+
Atlanta, GA 719 mi 10 hr 55 min 1 hr 45 min USD $134+
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