How far is Naperville from Chicago?

Naperville, despite being a year older than Chicago, has not been exposed to such a rapid and extensive urban development. It still conveys that nice small-city charm that once made Chicago a pleasure to live in., The best part is that it's a short drive away from the "Windy City". How far, exactly? Let's find out!

How far is Naperville from Chicago? On average, it takes 45 minutes to travel between Naperville, IL, and Chicago. Naperville is 30.3 miles from Chicago via Ogden Avenue and driving the shortest route (I-295) takes 38 - 45 minutes. The fastest BNSF train takes 40 minutes but slower schedules can be up to 1.25 hours. 

If you're curious about the best routes to get from Chicago to Naperville (and vice versa) and wish to know a bit more about Naperville and what it has to offer, keep reading!

From Naperville to Chicago: Routes and costs

As disclosed above, Naperville and Chicago are separated by a mere 30 miles. Considering that Chicago is among the largest U.S and worldwide cities, it’s an enviously short commute. 

Here are the average travel times between Naperville and Chicago Union Station for various transportation options (and the cost of each): 

*Based on average fuel Illinois prices in January 2022 ($3.44) at 6.0L/100km 

Keep reading for more information on planning your journey between Naperville and Chicago. 


By car, you should expect a 42-minute drive on average. If you take the I-290 (West lane), it's a bit faster, but expect to pay tolls on the way. Alternatively, you can take the Interstate 55 S, which can increase travel time by 2-3 minutes under normal traffic, with a distance of 35.6 mi.

Public Transportation

There are two modes of public transportation you can use to go from Chicago to Naperville and vice versa.


The BNSF line, operated by Metra, offers train commutes from/to the Chicago Union Station. It is, by far, the quickest public transport choice and normally goes through Aurora (green). If you catch the short service (4 stops), you’ll arrive in Chicago in 41 minutes. The longer route makes 23 stops through Chicago's suburbs and can take up to 1 hour 15 minutes. More sporadically, Amtrak's Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg trains provide significantly shorter commutes (a mere 30 minutes) but less frequently at lower frequencies.

A single fare on the BNSF costs $7.25, but if you buy a monthly travel pass you could save around $100 a month, provided you were commuting twice a day, 5 days a week. If you’re a senior, a student, or military, your fare will be around 50% cheaper. 


You can travel from Naperville to Chicago using the Greyhound or Burlington Trailway buses. There is the GLI 4566, which goes from the route 59 metra station in Naperville to the Chicago Bus Station in 40 minutes. It costs $19.00. There is also 1491, which is a Burlington Trailways service running between Burlington and Chicago. It stops at 105 E. on Fourth Avenue in Naperville and arrives in Chicago in approximately 1 hour. 


Biking between Naperville and Chicago is possible, but it's a 3h 20m one-way trip, so you'll probably need to make strategic stops along the way to endure the ride. There are two biking paths available:

  • The W.Branch DuPage River Trail, through Alder Lane and Gartner Rd.
  • The Illinois Prairie Path through Wiesbrook Rd. South.

It’s free, though your thighs and glutes might pay the ultimate price for this ambitious cycling trip. 


It's only useful to walk from/to Naperville for cardio and recreational strolling, but not for job commutes. A round walking trip could span over 20 hours.

Now that you know what to expect regarding travel times, let's explore Naperville itself a bit more.

What does Naperville offer to its locals and visitors?

Naperville, as we said before, is Chicago's oldest brother, and it shows! Although it is still part of Chicago's Metropolitan Area, it's technically considered a city in its own right, albeit more comparable to much quieter cities - such as New Orleans - in terms of urban profile and population density.

In contrast to Chicago's tall infrastructure, Naperville is characterized by buildings with much lower roofs and fewer stories above ground level, making it easier for sunrays to pass through.

It's also very renowned for its optimal living conditions. Money Magazine once deemed Naperville the third-best place to live in America, and it was not an unwarranted award by any stretch.

In general, for those who work in Chicago but crave a quieter and less convoluted residential place, Naperville checks all the boxes. Here are the best and worst parts of living in Naperville, if you are interested.

Let's delve a bit more into some of its most relevant data:


When compared to Chicago's enormous population (counting 2.7 million inhabitants), Naperville dwarfs this number significantly, barely reaching 147K inhabitants according to a 2019 census. It has a population density of 3.84 people per square mile, markedly lower than Chicago's 11.88.


Naperville residents can have access to:

  • A public library.
  • Museums, art galleries, concert venues, and nature centers.
  • A great number of elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as a wide array of colleges and universities.
  • Lots of parks, restaurants, and coffee shops.
  • Access to the DuPage Airport, just 14 mi away from Naperville's center.
  • The Edward Hospital.
  • A highly-accessible train service with lots of connections.
  • A great source of alternative job opportunities.
  • Among many others.

Festivities and Fun Activities

Being a dense suburban area, Naperville is not as packed with local festivities as could be the case with smaller towns or villages, Nevertheless, it regularly hosts large concerts, shows, and children's events (such as the year-end Bubble Bash)

Other Data

  • 76% of owners vs. 24% of renters.
  • Median household income reaches $125K

For more information on Naperville, visit our Naperville Community Spotlight.

Naperville and Chicago: Final thoughts

Naperville offers a nice residential option for those who still want to retain some semblance of urban life but coupled with a suburban vibe. Thanks to their proximity. It's also great for young adults who work in Chicago but want to spend the rest of their day apart from Chicago's non-stop jams and chaotic environment.

If you want information regarding housing opportunities in Naperville, don't hesitate to contact us anytime. We'll gladly provide you with all the relevant data on estimates and procedures: We guarantee competitive rates and a great variety of housing choices for you!

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Posted by Rafael Velasco on
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