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There are 8 ways to get from Chicago to Palo Alto by plane, train, subway, bus or car

Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner.

Recommended

Fly Chicago O'Hare to San Francisco

  1. Fly from Chicago O'Hare (ORD) to San Francisco (SFO)

Fly Chicago Midway to San Francisco

  1. Fly from Chicago Midway (MDW) to San Francisco (SFO)

Fly Chicago O'Hare to San Jose

  1. Fly from Chicago O'Hare (ORD) to San Jose (SJC)

Fly Chicago Midway to San Jose

  1. Fly from Chicago Midway (MDW) to San Jose (SJC)

Fly Chicago Midway to Oakland

  1. Fly from Chicago Midway (MDW) to Oakland (OAK)

Train, BART

  1. Take the train from Chicago Union Station to Richmond
  2. Take the BART from Richmond to Millbrae

Bus

  1. Take the bus from Chicago to Indianapolis
  2. Take the bus from Indianapolis to Los Angeles
  3. Take the bus from Los Angeles to San Jose

Drive

  1. Drive from Chicago to Palo Alto

Chicago to Palo Alto by train and subway

The journey time between Chicago and Palo Alto is around 2 days 5h and covers a distance of around 2461 miles. This includes an average layover time of around 16 min. The fastest journey normally takes 2 days 5h. Operated by Amtrak, BART and Caltrain, the Chicago to Palo Alto service departs from Chicago Union Station and arrives in Palo Alto Caltrain. Typically four services run weekly, although weekend and holiday schedules can vary so check in advance.

Explore all travel options

Average journey times

Time on transportation:
2 days 5h
Layover time:
16 min
Total time:
2 days 5h

Route information

Fastest journey time:
2 days 5h
Journey distance:
2461 miles
Services per week:
4
Cheapest price:
$227
Carbon emissions:
207 kg CO2

First and last service

First service departs at:
14:00
Last service departs at:
14:00

The schedules shown below are for the next available departures.

Chicago to Palo Alto train and subway schedules

Chicago → Palo Alto
Fully open

Travel safe during COVID-19

Rules to follow in United States

2m

Recommended

Recommended

Travel within United States

Domestic border crossings may be subject to approval, testing and quarantine

COVID-19 help in United States

If you need help, visit the national COVID-19 website or call the COVID-19 Helpline 800-232-4636

Frequently Asked Questions


Yes, travel within United States is currently allowed.

Explore travel options

Domestic travel is not restricted, but some conditions may apply

  • Face masks are recommended
  • There is a social distancing requirement of 2 metres
  • Domestic border crossings may be subject to approval, testing and quarantine

Explore travel options

The national COVID-19 helpline number in Palo Alto is 800-232-4636.

Wearing a face mask on public transport in Palo Alto is recommended.

The social distance requirement in Palo Alto is 2 metres.

Make yourself known to an official member of staff and/or call the national coronavirus helpline number on 800-232-4636.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2021
Exceptions may apply, for full details: Centers for Disease control and prevention (CDC).

We're working around the clock to bring you the latest COVID-19 travel updates.
This information is compiled from official sources. To the best of our knowledge, it is correct as of the last update.
Visit Rome2rio travel advice for general help.

Questions & Answers

The cost-effective way to get from Chicago to Palo Alto is to fly, which costs $100 - $390 and takes 7h 22m.

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The quickest way to get from Chicago to Palo Alto is to fly which costs $190 - $800 and takes 7h 20m.

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No, there is no direct bus from Chicago to Palo Alto. However, there are services departing from Chicago and arriving at El Camino & California via Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Santa Clara & Cahill. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 2 days 13h.

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No, there is no direct train from Chicago station to Palo Alto. However, there are services departing from Chicago Union Station and arriving at Palo Alto Caltrain via Richmond and Millbrae Caltrain. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 2 days 6h.

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The distance between Chicago and Palo Alto is 1859 miles. The road distance is 2171.1 miles.

Get driving directions

The best way to get from Chicago to Palo Alto without a car is to train and BART which takes 2 days 6h and costs $220 - $320.

More details

It takes approximately 7h 22m to get from Chicago to Palo Alto, including transfers.

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Chicago to Palo Alto bus services, operated by Greyhound USA, depart from Chicago station.

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Chicago to Palo Alto train services, operated by Amtrak, depart from Chicago Union Station.

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The best way to get from Chicago to Palo Alto is to fly which takes 7h 22m and costs $100 - $390. Alternatively, you can bus, which costs $270 - $410 and takes 2 days 13h.

Mode details

Map of how to get from Chicago to Palo Alto.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 1859.4 miles
  • Duration: 7h 22m

What companies run services between Chicago, IL, USA and Palo Alto, CA, USA?

American Airlines, United Airlines and three other airlines fly from Chicago to Palo Alto hourly. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Chicago to Palo Alto via Indianapolis, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Santa Clara & Cahill in around 2 days 13h.

Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Website
southwest.com
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Francisco via Denver
Ave. Duration
6h 25m
When
Monday, Thursday and Friday
Estimated price
$280 - $450
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Francisco
Ave. Duration
4h 41m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$170 - $650
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Francisco via Las Vegas
Ave. Duration
6h 37m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$170 - $650
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Francisco via Los Angeles
Ave. Duration
6h 40m
When
Tuesday and Wednesday
Estimated price
$170 - $650
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Francisco via Burbank
Ave. Duration
6h 50m
When
Monday, Thursday and Friday
Estimated price
$170 - $650
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Francisco via Phoenix
Ave. Duration
6h 50m
When
Saturday and Sunday
Estimated price
$170 - $650
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Francisco via Denver
Ave. Duration
6h 50m
When
Tuesday and Wednesday
Estimated price
$170 - $650
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Jose via Denver
Ave. Duration
6h 11m
When
Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday
Estimated price
$130 - $470
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Jose via Las Vegas
Ave. Duration
6h 30m
When
Tuesday and Wednesday
Estimated price
$140 - $480
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Jose via Phoenix
Ave. Duration
6h 30m
When
Tuesday and Wednesday
Estimated price
$140 - $500
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Jose
Ave. Duration
4h 36m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$180 - $650
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Jose via Las Vegas
Ave. Duration
6h 16m
When
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Estimated price
$180 - $650
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Jose via Denver
Ave. Duration
6h 25m
When
Monday to Friday
Estimated price
$180 - $650
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Jose via Santa Ana
Ave. Duration
6h 28m
When
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Estimated price
$190 - $700
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Jose via Phoenix
Ave. Duration
6h 30m
When
Saturday
Estimated price
$190 - $700
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Jose via San Diego
Ave. Duration
6h 35m
When
Monday, Thursday and Friday
Estimated price
$190 - $700
Flights from Chicago Midway to San Jose via Los Angeles
Ave. Duration
6h 35m
When
Saturday
Estimated price
$190 - $700
Flights from Chicago Midway to Oakland
Ave. Duration
4h 35m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$160 - $450
Flights from Chicago Midway to Oakland via Las Vegas
Ave. Duration
6h 23m
When
Monday to Friday
Estimated price
$160 - $450
Flights from Chicago Midway to Oakland via Denver
Ave. Duration
6h 25m
When
Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday
Estimated price
$160 - $450
Flights from Chicago Midway to Oakland via St. Louis
Ave. Duration
6h 30m
When
Tuesday and Wednesday
Estimated price
$160 - $450
Flights from Chicago Midway to Oakland via Kansas City
Ave. Duration
6h 35m
When
Monday, Thursday and Friday
Estimated price
$160 - $450
Flights from Chicago Midway to Oakland via Santa Ana
Ave. Duration
6h 35m
When
Sunday
Estimated price
$160 - $450
Flights from Chicago Midway to Oakland via Phoenix
Ave. Duration
6h 35m
When
Saturday
Estimated price
$160 - $450
United Airlines
Website
united.com
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Francisco
Ave. Duration
4h 43m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$210 - $450
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Francisco via Denver
Ave. Duration
6h 23m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$210 - $450
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Jose
Ave. Duration
4h 36m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$280 - $750
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Jose via Denver
Ave. Duration
6h 29m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$280 - $750
American Airlines
Website
aa.com
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Francisco
Ave. Duration
4h 36m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$240 - $650
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Jose
Ave. Duration
4h 34m
When
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Estimated price
$280 - $650
Alaska Airlines, Inc.
Website
alaskaair.com
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Francisco
Ave. Duration
4h 58m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$210 - $550
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Jose
Ave. Duration
4h 34m
When
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Estimated price
$280 - $650
Delta
Website
delta.com
Flights from Chicago O'Hare to San Jose via Salt Lake City
Ave. Duration
6h 40m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$290 - $440
Train operators
Amtrak

Amtrak is a rail service that connects the US and three Canadian provinces. Covering 21,000 route miles (34,000km) Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily. These medium and long distance intercity services operate at speeds of up to 240km/h, to more than 500 destinations. Founded in 1971, it is based in Washington, D.C. and offers four classes of travel: First Class, Sleeper, Business and Coach. Ticket fares are divided into five subclasses: Saver, Value, Flexible, Business and Premium. Amtrak trains are known for their wide seats, plug-in power, big windows and storage capabilities.

Rome2rio's guide to Amtrak
Contact Details
Phone
+1 215-856-7924
Website
amtrak.com
Train from Chicago Union Station to Richmond
Ave. Duration
2 days 3h
Frequency
Twice daily
Estimated price
$210 - $300
Schedules at
amtrak.com
Coach Seat
$210 - $300
Premium
$500 - $750
Flexi Coach Seat
$450 - $700
Business Seat
$490 - $700
BART
Phone
94604-2688
Website
bart.gov
Subway from Richmond to Millbrae
Ave. Duration
1h 9m
Frequency
Every 30 minutes
Estimated price
$10 - $13
Website
bart.gov
Bus operators
Greyhound USA

Greyhound is a leading bus company based in Dallas, Texas, serving over 3800 destinations across North America, Mexico and Canada. Greyhound carries around 18 million passengers a year who travel 5.4 billion miles (8.6 billion km) a year on their fleet of around 1700 vehicles. For travel flexibility, you can board or get off a Greyhound bus at official Greyhound stations, partner stations and curbside stops. There are around 230 Greyhound stations across the US where you can both catch your bus and buy tickets, that are also available on the official website and via the mobile app.

Rome2rio's guide to Greyhound USA
Contact Details
Phone
+1 214-849-8100/1-800-231-2222
Email
ifsr@greyhound.com
Website
greyhound.com
Bus from Chicago to Indianapolis
Ave. Duration
3h 35m
Frequency
Twice daily
Estimated price
$25 - $35
Website
greyhound.com
Economy
$25 - $35
Flexible
$45 - $65
Bus from Indianapolis to Los Angeles
Ave. Duration
45h 30m
Frequency
Twice daily
Estimated price
$200 - $280
Website
greyhound.com
Economy
$200 - $280
Flexible
$290 - $410
Bus from Los Angeles to San Jose
Ave. Duration
8h 40m
Frequency
5 times a week
Estimated price
$45 - $65
Website
greyhound.com
Economy
$45 - $65
Flexible
$70 - $110
Hoosier Ride
Phone
800-544-2383
Website
hoosierride.com
Bus from Chicago, IL to Indianapolis, IN
Ave. Duration
3h 55m
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$27 - $55
Book at
hoosierride.com
Child Fares
$27 - $40

Want to know more about travelling around United States

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More Questions & Answers

The quickest flight from Chicago O'Hare Airport to San Francisco Airport is the direct flight which takes 4h 30m.

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Chicago to Palo Alto bus services, operated by Greyhound USA, arrive at San Jose station.

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Palo Alto is 2h behind Chicago. It is currently 1:31 AM in Chicago and 11:31 PM in Palo Alto.

Chicago to Palo Alto train services, operated by BART, arrive at Millbrae station.

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Yes, the driving distance between Chicago to Palo Alto is 2171 miles. It takes approximately 33h 9m to drive from Chicago to Palo Alto.

Get driving directions

Alaska Airlines, Inc., Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines offer flights from Chicago O'Hare Airport to San Francisco Airport.

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There are 258+ hotels available in Palo Alto. Prices start at $100 USD per night.

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The best way to get from Chicago to Chicago O'Hare Airport is to subway which takes 42 min and costs $1 - $5.

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