The short answer: the closest airport to McCormick Place in Chicago is Midway International Airport, approximately 11 miles away. The larger O’Hare International Airport is also nearby, about 18 miles away. The exact distance and travel time can vary depending on traffic and the specific route taken.

Address: 2301 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60616

The bustling city of Chicago is not just known for its deep-dish pizza and the iconic Navy Pier. It also houses McCormick Place – the largest convention center in North America. If you’re planning a trip to McCormick Place, you’re probably wondering about the best ways to get there. So, let’s dive right into it!

A Glimpse into McCormick Place

McCormick Place, located in downtown Chicago, is one of the largest and most important convention centers in North America. It spans nearly 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space and hosts numerous national and international conventions, trade shows, and public shows annually.

Getting to McCormick Place from Chicago’s two airports can seem like a daunting task. However, with the right transportation partner, your trip will be a breeze. With Bus Connection, you can simply use the online form on our website to give us the details of your arrival times and the type of vehicle you’d like to travel in – whether individually or in a group – to reach McCormick Place and we will ensure that you receive a smooth pick up and drop off at this esteemed Chicago location.

Airports Near McCormick Place, Chicago

When we talk about airports close to McCormick Place, the city of Chicago offers you two major options: O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport.

O’Hare International Airport

Located approximately 18 miles from McCormick Place, O’Hare has a strong claim to being the most convenient choice.

Midway International Airport

Slightly closer, Midway is around 11 miles from McCormick Place and is a great option for those prioritizing proximity.

Comparing O’Hare and Midway

Let’s compare these two airports based on various factors to make the best choice for your trip.


While O’Hare is further away than Midway, the difference in distance is minimal and shouldn’t greatly affect your trip duration.

Public Transportation

Both airports have excellent public transportation links to McCormick Place, including the “L” train system and various bus routes.
Public transportation from Midway to McCormick Place is relatively straightforward and cost-effective. Here’s the general route using the “L” train:

  1. From the airport, take the Orange Line towards Loop.
  2. Transfer at Roosevelt to the Green Line.
  3. Exit at the Cermak-McCormick Place stop.

Although the “L” train (Orange and Green Lines) is typically the fastest form of public transportation from Midway, you can also take the following bus route:

  1. Take the 62 Archer bus from Midway to Archer & State.
  2. Then transfer to the 29 State bus and ride it to State & Cermak.
  3. From there, it’s a short walk to McCormick Place.

Keep in mind that the bus service can be slower and less predictable than the train service due to traffic conditions.

O’Hare International Airport to McCormick Place

Reaching McCormick Place from O’Hare using public transportation is slightly more involved but still very manageable. Here’s a general route using the “L” train:

  1. From the airport, take the Blue Line towards Forest Park.
  2. Transfer at Clark/Lake to the Green Line.
  3. Exit at the Cermak-McCormick Place stop.

Alternatively, you can also consider taking the Metra commuter rail service. The Metra North Central Service (NCS) goes from O’Hare Transfer to Union Station in downtown Chicago, from where you can take a taxi, rideshare, or a bus to McCormick Place.

To travel from O’Hare to McCormick Place solely by bus would require multiple transfers and is not as direct or fast as using the “L” train. However, if necessary, here’s one way to do so:

  1. Take the 81W West Lawrence bus to the Jefferson Park Transit Center.
  2. Transfer to the 56 Milwaukee bus and ride it to the Washington & Desplaines stop.
  3. Then take the 126 Jackson bus to Jackson & State.
  4. Finally, switch to the 1 Bronzeville/Union Station bus, which has a stop near McCormick Place at Michigan & Cermak.

Given the complexity of this route, taking the “L” train (Blue and Green Lines) or a combination of a train and bus service might be more convenient.

It’s always a good idea to check the latest schedules and advisories on the Chicago Transit Authority’s website or use a GPS-based navigation service for real-time information and directions. And, of course, travel times will vary based on the time of day and current traffic conditions.

Travel Time

Travel time is dependent on traffic. However, both airports usually offer a commute of around 45 minutes to an hour.

The Convenience of O’Hare Airport

O’Hare is one of the busiest airports in the world and offers numerous flights served by multiple airlines.


Major airlines operate out of O’Hare, including United and American Airlines, giving you plenty of options.


O’Hare boasts various amenities, such as restaurants, shops, and lounges, making your wait more comfortable.

Nearby Accommodation

Numerous hotels are within a short drive of the airport, including some that offer shuttle services to McCormick Place.

The Perks of Midway Airport

Midway may be smaller than O’Hare, but it still offers a range of services and convenient amenities.


Southwest is the major airline operating out of Midway, but several others also serve this airport.


Like O’Hare, Midway has several amenities, including eateries, shops, and relaxing spaces for travelers.

Nearby Accommodation

A variety of hotels are available near Midway, many offering shuttle services to McCormick Place.

Choosing Between O’Hare and Midway

So, how do you decide between O’Hare and Midway? It depends on factors like your flight options, preferred airlines, the amenities you value, and accommodation preferences.

Key takeaways

Whether you choose O’Hare or Midway, both airports offer excellent links to McCormick Place. Each has its unique strengths, allowing you to select the one that best suits your travel needs. And if public transportation is not something you are too comfortable navigating, you can always rely on us at Bus Connection to pick you up and drop you off at the right location, at the right time – smoothly and hassle-free. Simply submit your details through the online form on our website and we’ll get back to you immediately. Remember that you can choose your mode of transportation with us, including a six-seater SUV or minibusses and buses and coaches that can seat from 14 to 56 passengers. This is ideal for groups visiting McCormick Place and is one of the fastest and most convenient options at your fingertips.


How far is O’Hare International Airport from McCormick Place?
O’Hare International Airport is approximately 18 miles away from McCormick Place.

How far is Midway International Airport from McCormick Place?
Midway International Airport is approximately 11 miles away from McCormick Place.

Which airlines operate out of O’Hare and Midway?
Major airlines at O’Hare include United and American Airlines. At Midway, the main airline is Southwest, among others.

What amenities can I expect at O’Hare and Midway?
Both airports offer various amenities, including restaurants, shops, and lounges.

Are there hotels near both airports?
Yes, numerous hotels are located near both O’Hare and Midway, with many offering shuttle services to McCormick Place.