Getting to Milwaukee from Chicago

milwaukeeChicago and Milwaukee are practically sister cities, and in fact many people from Wisconsin refer to Milwaukee as “Chicago North.” The two are just two hours away from one another by car and are connected with frequent bus, train, and air service.

Milwaukee to Chicago

  • Driving distance – 94 miles/150 kilometers

Delta, United, Southwest, American, Continental, and several other airlines fly between Milwaukee and Chicago multiple times per day. If you buy in advance, or strike on a sale you can usually get cheap tickets to Milwaukee for under $150 per person, round trip, but given the short driving distance the cost may not be worth it to you if you have the extra time.

Journey time: Around 30 minutes
Typical price: $80 to $150 round-trip per person

Amtrak connects Chicago to Milwaukee several times a day.Tickets range from $60 to $120 per person, round-trip.

Journey time: About 2 hours.

Bus is usually the cheapest way to transfer between Chicago and Milwaukee. Megabus operates multiple routes between the two cities. The buses are double-deckers and offer free wi-fi on board and if you buy far enough in advance, you can often get tickets for less than $10 per person, round trip. When you compare that to the cost of flying, which take almost as long when you factor in time spent in the airport, it’s nearly a no-brainer that the bus is the better option.

Journey time: 2 hours.


The drive between Chicago and Milwaukee can take anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours, depending on traffic. Going very early in the morning or during mid-day can help avoid some of the worst traffic.

Journey time: About 2 hours.

Photo by magrolino