About Hyde Park
Hyde Park, home to the University of Chicago, is a great community with a lot to see. It is one of the City of Chicago’s 77 “community areas.” They are not formal administrative districts, but everyone knows these neighborhoods by name, so if you say you’re going to Hyde Park, Chicagoans will know what you’re talking about. (This is useful if you explore Chicago and are unsure how to get back. Just ask a cab or bus driver how to get to Hyde Park.) If time allows, we encourage you to explore both the neighborhood and the rest of the city.
Getting to the University from O’Hare Airport
Getting to the University from Midway Airport
Information about both airports, Uber and shuttle services
Getting to the University from Union Station
How to Get Around the City
We are very grateful to MEHAT for their permission to borrow and adapt this and other information from their website.
The information on this page is also available as downloadable pdf.
Via public transportation (Chicago Transit Authority, or “CTA”), the trip from O’Hare to Hyde Park takes the better part of two hours and costs $5.25. From the baggage claim level, follow signs for the CTA Trains. In the station, buy a CTA card at one of the machines, loading it with $5 to $10 (or more, depending on how often you intend to use the card). CTA cards can be used on trains and buses. Bus and train fare is $2.25, and a transfer costs 25 cents. If you don’t purchase a CTA card, only buses accept cash, and they require exact change. Unlimited-ride visitor passes also are available for one, three, and seven days. For more information, visit www.transitchicago.com.
Board the Blue Line and, after a roughly 45-minute ride, get off at the Jackson stop. Head upstairs to street level, walk east one block to the intersection of Jackson and State Streets, and catch the #6 bus heading south, using your CTA card. The #6 bus will take you straight to Hyde Park along Lake Shore Drive. There are several stops in Hyde Park, but we recommend you get off on 57th Street and walk a few blocks west to central campus.
A taxi from O’Hare to Hyde Park costs about $50 and takes about 45 minutes—except during rush hour, when it may take twice as long. If you arrive in the afternoon or early evening, it may actually take less time to come by public transit.
Midway Airport is closer to the university. Follow signs for the CTA Trains, which also lead to the CTA buses. Board the #55 bus to Hyde Park and, after about 45 minutes (maybe a little longer during rush hour), get off at University Avenue. A taxi from Midway to Hyde Park costs about $30 and takes about half an hour.
You can also use Uber to and from the airports: https://www.uber.com/cities/chicago/.
If you are arriving by train, you will come in to Union Station. From there walk east to State Street (about 7 blocks), from which you can catch the same #6 bus to Hyde Park as described above (O’Hare Airport).
Downtown Chicago consists of the main commercial district (known as “the Loop” after the above-ground train tracks that form a loop in this area) and residential, retail, and/or recreational areas on all sides. Most of the downtown action takes place around Millennium Park and along Michigan Avenue north of the river (called the “Magnificent Mile”). There are also restaurants all over the city, which you can easily search online and generally access by public transit. The areas around downtown and on much of the north side are largely safe, but take normal precautions as you would in any big city.
The quickest and most affordable ways to get between Hyde Park and downtown are the Metra Electric commuter rail and the #6 bus.
To get anywhere beyond the Loop, the quickest route is to take the “L” trains (known as such whether they’re underground or elevated). From Hyde Park, take the #55 or the #59 bus west to where these streets intersect with the Green or the Red Line. Use CTA Bus Tracker to find out when the next bus is due.