How Far is Chicago From Detroit?

Sep 16, 2023

Chicago, Illinois, and Detroit, Michigan, are approximately 282.8 miles (455 kilometers) apart by road. The quickest and most popular route between the two cities is by car, which typically takes around 4 hours 19 minutes to drive along either I-94 W, 4 hours 41 minutes (304 Miles or 489 kilometers) via 96 W and I-94 W, and 4 hours 44 minutes (298 Miles or 479 Kilometers) via I-90 W. The distance can also be covered by bus or train (6 hours 15 minutes), but these modes of transportation take longer and may have more frequent stops. Flying is another option. With a flight time of about 48 minutes in the air and over 1 hour 18 minutes, you will cover 235 Miles or 378 kilometers.

Transportation Options Detroit to Chicago:

When traveling between Detroit and Chicago, you have three main options: driving, flying, or taking a bus or train.


Driving is the most popular option for long-distance travel between these two cities because it allows travelers to save money while enjoying the open road at their own pace. It takes approximately 4 hours and 19 minutes by car.


Flying can be a great choice if you're pressed for time but want to avoid multiple days on the road. However, flights are an added expense when budgeting for your trip. For example, from Detroit to Chicago, flights take just over an hour in total flight time.


Taking a bus or train can provide an economical way of traveling between cities while still allowing plenty of sightseeing without worrying about traffic conditions or finding parking spots at rest stops! Amtrak offers direct buses from Detroit to Chicago, starting at around USD 20, depending on departure date and time of day.

Which are The Best Attractions in Chicago and Detroit?

Here is a list of some of the attractions you can visit in Chicago and Detroit:

Chicago Attractions

  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Navy Pier
  • Millennium Park
  • Buckingham Fountain
  • Field Museum of Natural History
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • Willis Tower Skydeck
  • Adler Planetarium
  • Skydeck Chicago at the Willis Tower
  • John Hancock Observatory
  • Lincoln Park Zoo

Detroit Attractions

  • Motown Museum
  • Detroit Institute of Arts
  • Detroit Historical Museum
  • Belle Isle Park
  • Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
  • Detroit Science Center
  • Fox Theatre
  • Joe Louis Arena

 Detroit vs Chicago: Which is better?

When comparing Detroit and Chicago, there are several key differences to consider. First, each city has unique advantages and disadvantages, from climate to the cost of living.

In terms of climate, Chicago is slightly warmer than Detroit, with an average maximum temperature of 15.7°C compared to 14.9°C in Detroit. Additionally, the average temperature in Chicago is 11°C, while in Detroit, it is 10.4°C.

The cost of living in Chicago is higher than that of Detroit, with a person in Chicago needing about $220 for daily needs compared to a lower amount in Detroit.

Chicago is larger than Detroit and offers more activities and attractions for visitors. It also has better public transportation options, making getting around without a car easier. On the other hand, Detroit has more affordable housing options and lower taxes than Chicago does.

Sports fans may prefer one city over another depending on their teams' performance; as of January 1st, 2023, the Lions beat the Bears 41-10 at Ford Field in Detroit.

Whether you choose to visit or live in either city depends on your individual preferences and needs; both cities have unique benefits that make them attractive destinations for different people.

Q: How long does it take to drive from Chicago to Detroit?

A: Driving from Chicago to Detroit takes about 4 hours and 44 minutes.

Q: What is the shortest route between Chicago and Detroit?

A: The shortest route between Chicago and Detroit is 298 Miles (479km).

Q: Is it possible to fly from one city to the other?

A: Yes, flying from one city to the other is possible, but it will take much longer than driving. The journey time by air is around 6h 15m and covers a distance of around 298 miles.


Whether you're taking a road trip or flying, knowing how far apart two cities are can help you plan your trip accordingly. For example, the distance between Chicago and Detroit is 281 miles or 452 kilometers, and it takes about 4 hours and 17 minutes by car or 6h 18m by plane. Make sure you factor in any stops you might want during your trip so that you can experience all the attractions.