Best Ways to Get to Wrigley Field | Chicago Cubs (2024)

Greetings baseball fans and ballpark roadtrippers! Below is your complete guide for how to get to Wrigley Field for your next Chicago Cubs game!

Wrigley Field isn’t built for people driving there. If you do, I suggest reading my separate post for Wrigley Field parking. But this guide is about public transportation, and other easier and cheaper ways to get to the home of the Cubs.

There’s a lot here, so I’m breaking it down:

From Inside Chicago: CTA Rail
Also From Inside Chicago: CTA Bus
Is Riding The CTA Safe?
From The Suburbs, Part 1: Pace Bus (+ The Wrigley Field Express, Maybe)
From The Suburbs, Part 2: Metra Rail
From Indiana: NICTD South Shore Line
From Other Cities, Part 1: Amtrak
From Other Cities, Part 2: Megabus/Greyhound
For Cubs Fan Rockers: The Reggies Rock Bus
For Exercise: Bicycling To Wrigley
For Serious Cyclists: Divvy Bikeshare
You Probably Shouldn’t…Taxicab/Rideshare

Need more help for your next Chicago Cubs game? I got ya! Check out my tips for scoring great deals on Cubs tickets, this detailed guide to finding a great seat, and this list of food options!

Okay, ready? Let’s roll, after this message from my friends at Gametime:

Gametime has your cheap Cubs tickets…with a lowest price guarantee, panoramic seat view photos, and great last minute deals…even after the game starts!

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Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #1) CTA Rail.

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Yes, the Cubs logo here helps. but remember the name of the station.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) isn’t just the original name of one of classic rock’s greatest bands. It is the complex transit system that carries millions of folks throughout metropolitan Chicago.

CTA rail is a combination of subways and elevated trains with numerous long tentacles. Most of them can play a part in getting you to Wrigley Field.

Here is the breakdown on key rail lines you can use on game days:

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If you can find Wrigley Field in this picture, you’ll be fine.

Red Line: The CTA Red Line is the most common train used to get to Wrigley Field; the Addison Street stop is within view of the ballpark. The Red Line isn’t modern and screeches in spots, but it is ruthlessly efficient most times, and trains run 24/7. You should never have to wait more than 12 minutes for a train, and they’re more frequent during rush hour.

The Red Line is convenient for people living or staying downtown; these days people aren’t always comfortable using the parking lots at Howard or Berwyn stations. If you can find an inexpensive spot downtown near a stop (try SpotHero) though, it can be very efficient.

All other CTA lines transfer to the Red, so from just about anywhere in Chicago you can get to Wrigley with two or fewer rides. You can transfer from other lines at State/Lake, Jackson or Roosevelt (I’m told State/Lake is best to use). The transfer is free, but you will still need to run your transit card or pass through a turnstile.

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Here come Cubs fans. Platform is about to get very crowded.

Cubs fans are packed on the Red Line starting about an hour before game time. It makes it easy to find the ballpark, but not always fun to ride the train. One nice thing is that the Sheridan and Belmont stations (north and south of Addison, respectively) aren’t a long walk at all. You can exit the train early and walk past some cool Wrigleyville establishments on the way, like Byron’s Hot Dogs.

Similarly, after the game you can get on a southbound train at Sheridan and have a better chance at landing a seat before the Wrigley crowd shoehorns its way in. Or you can head to one of the many Wrigleyville joints, and wait for the train-riding crowd to thin out (although the Cubby Bear will be crowded too). If you plan to brave the crowd, it’s a good idea to have your return trip ticket beforehand.

If you do want to jump on after the game, exit out of right field, which is closer to the station than the home plate entrance.

The Red Line runs under State Street, in case you’re downtown looking for a station.

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Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time, but you probably don’t want to walk it from here.

Blue Line: The Blue Line runs from O’Hare airport to the downtown Loop area (so named because most downtown trains loop around it). If you’re coming from O’Hare or somewhere nearby, exit at the Addison station (not to be confused with the Red or Brown Line’s Addison stations–all are different stations) and then hop on the #152 Addison bus to Wrigley Field.

The CTA calls the #152 bus the Wrigley Express, not to be confused with the Pace Wrigley Express, which I’ll discuss shortly.

If you’re visiting Chicago and staying near O’Hare, the Blue Line has several park-and-rides towards that end of the line. They’re generally inexpensive and safe. Cumberland Station has a large garage and nearly always has spaces available. Or your hotel may be able to shuttle you to the airport/Blue Line. Do NOT park at the O’Hare Station though, unless you like paying more to park than you did for your car.

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Get some exercise and a Wrigleyville dog, and ride a less crowded bus!

If you want an alternative to the crowded #152 bus, you can exit the Blue Line at Irving Park station, and use the #80 Irving Park Road (IL Route 19) bus. Then hop off at Sheridan Avenue for a four block walk south to Wrigley (past Wrigleysville Dogs!).

Sheridan turns into Sheffield Avenue south of Byron St. Chicago has special lanes on Irving Park Road westbound for post-game traffic, so this should also be an easier way out. I’ve done this and preferred it to the #152.

If the #152 bus isn’t available to go back (it should be), you can use the Red Line to Lake Street and transfer for free to the Blue Line. Long ride, this, but both the Red and Blue lines run all night.

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Yes, this is yet another Addison Street station. The CTA likes to keep it simple.

Brown Line: The Brown Line runs from the Kimball Avenue station to the Loop. The Southport and Belmont stations are both about a 10-15 minute walk to Wrigley, but the Brown Line is far less congested than the Red. This means you will probably have a seat for most of the way–a nice thing to know if you’re coming from downtown.

I like the Brown Line. It gets close enough to Wrigley for me, especially since Belmont Station is steps from Ann Sather’s amazing cinnamon buns. The Brown ride is smoother, but it does not run as frequently as the Red Line. North of the Irving Park station, you may be able to find cheap or even free street parking.

Remember the Addison stop on the Brown Line is not the Wrigley station, but it’s only about a mile walk along Addison to the ballpark should you find yourself there. You can also use the #152 bus to or from if need be, but it will be crowded at that point.

The only drawback of the Brown Line, other than a longer walk, is that it doesn’t run all night, although it should go late enough for you.

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It’s not that the train is any “swifter”. It just makes fewer stops.

Yellow Line: The Yellow Line (a.k.a. the “Skokie Swift”) runs from Skokie nonstop to the Howard Station, where you can transfer to the Red or Purple Lines. This isn’t a bad option if coming from the north on I-94 (referred to as the Edens Expressway). You can park at Dempster-Skokie station, where there is inexpensive and ample parking, and use the Yellow Line to the Red or Purple Line with just one stop.

The CTA runs extra Yellow service for evening games, so you have until about midnight to get to the Howard Station, later if it’s a big game. If you miss the last Yellow Line train, you can take a Purple Line to Davis Street and use the #97 bus to get to Skokie.

I’ll talk more about safety on the CTA, but I will say here that the Howard Station is not spoken highly of by many people. Stay tuned.

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Belmont Station is just a few blocks from Wrigley, and even closer to Ann Sather’s!

Purple Line: The Purple Line is a rush hour express line that generally follows the route of the Red Line from the Howard station to the Loop. Southbound trains stop at Sheridan station for weeknight games, which is about three blocks from Wrigley. If the Purple doesn’t stop at Sheridan, you can get off at Belmont and walk it as described. (You can also transfer to the Red at Belmont, but it will be crowded.)

The Purple Line is a better alternative to the Red Line if it’s available and convenient for you. It is less likely to be crowded and it doesn’t make any other stops between Howard and Sheridan, while the Red Line stops at close to ten stations and moves fairly slowly in the area. As stated, the Purple Line has extra service for weeknight games.

Another nice thing about the Purple Line is that it extends to Evanston, which according to a Chicago resident friend of mine is a fairly nice place to stay if you’re visiting, and there is cheap or even free parking near the station. The Linden station also has a cheap lot with 300 spaces.

The CTA website lists all of the L stations that have a park-and-ride and their costs to park there. Most charge a small fee for 12 hours. The only station on the Red Line with a park-and-ride is Howard on the northern end of the line; I wouldn’t recommend using that at night.

Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #2) CTA Bus.

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This is something every thrifty baseball fan should know about.

Not only is Wrigley served by the venerable Red Line; there are numerous ways to get there by CTA bus. Few areas of Chicago are more than two bus rides away from Wrigley Field.

First, the Cubs actually offer free remote parking and free shuttle service to the game and back from 3900 N. Rockwell Street. Yes, you read that right. So if you are driving and looking to go cheap it’s a great option. A free ride attracts everyone though, so prepare for a crowded bus and get to the lot early. Buses start two hours before first pitch.

Other bus routes that run to Wrigley Field are the #8 Halstead, the #22 Clark, and the #152 Addison. The #22 runs all day and night, the #8 runs till shortly after midnight. The CTA added more and longer buses to the #152 route, and there is additional service for the #152 and #80 after big games. Good to know, because buses take a while to board.

The #22 follows a similar route to the Red Line and goes into downtown where you can pick up most other L train lines, so it makes a viable alternative to the Red Line if you prefer buses, but it gets crowded after the game as well. Expect it to be much slower than the Red Line.

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There’s extra lanes on Irving Park Road. Just saying.

If you’d like to avoid the crowds on buses and don’t mind walking a bit, you can try several other bus routes that drop riders off a few blocks away from Wrigley. The aforementioned #80 on Irving Park Road is one example. Some of these don’t run late in the evening though, so check the schedule for night games.

Remember that buses have to deal with city traffic (there are dedicated bus lanes on some streets), but at least you’re not the one fuming behind the wheel and you can enjoy seeing the city.

You can ride the CTA buses with a Ventra card or pass; do that instead of going through the hassle of exact change that buses require.

Is Riding The CTA Safe For Chicago Cubs Games?

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Yes, danger from high voltage tracks is a thing. But if you don’t step on a third rail you’ll probably be fine.

Whether or not you can safely ride the CTA to Wrigley for a Cubs game is a popular topic these days. Crime in Chicago did rise significantly since the pandemic, and the CTA and Red Line aren’t immune.

Overall, I will tell you that statistically, the chances of something really bad happening to you using the train are extremely small. The CTA has increased security both on trains and at stations, and they make the point here that the level of crime is actually very low, given the large number of people that ride the CTA each day.

However, I won’t tell you that it’s completely, totally 1,000% safe and nothing will ever ever happen. Some folks in forums have told stories about being mugged at the Howard Station. Others advise not to use the Red Line south of Sox-35th or even Jackson Station at night.

That said, there are plenty of natives who ride the CTA every day and believe the danger is overblown (and driven by politics, which can always be a factor). They will also point out to you that statistically, you take a bigger risk driving your car.

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You might not want to stand in front of a bus either, but that applies to any transit service.

So here is my advice. If you are staying in downtown Chicago or in that area, with all of the Cubs fans riding the train, you should be just fine using the Red Line. If you’re staying near O’Hare, and you use the Blue Line/#152 combo and park at one of the outer stations, that should be safe too. Just keep your wits about you. I shouldn’t need to say it, but don’t leave valuables in full view in your car.

Mostly, you might see or smell some unpleasant things, which I concede isn’t fun. Your biggest concern is mostly pickpockets on a crowded train, so tuck away your stuff. Also, don’t use a visibly empty car on the train.

If it concerns you enough to drive your car, book your spot with my friends at SpotHero. They’re fantastic, and can help you find a decent spot near the ballpark at a not-so-outrageous price.

For myself, I have never personally had a problem riding CTA trains or buses in my visits to Chicago. I’ve found it to be a very useful if not always pleasant transit system, especially for Cubs and Sox games. But I’m a big dude, and I haven’t used the CTA since the pandemic, so take that for what it’s worth.

NEVER drive to Wrigley Field without a plan…

Book your Cubs parking spot now with SpotHero!

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Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #3) Pace Bus.

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In case they ever return, they’re nicely decorated!

As this sentence was written, Pace Bus has suspended their excellent Wrigley Field Express service, apparently because they need to find people to drive the buses post-pandemic. That could, and hopefully will, change, so I’m leaving this bit in the post. You can check with Pace before your trip.

Anyway, Pace is the bus service extending to the Chicago suburbs. Their Wrigley Express buses are (sorry, were) even neatly decorated to leave no doubt of their purpose.

The Wrigley Express runs (sorry, ran) from two locations, the Northwest Transportation Center (Route 282) in Schaumburg and Yorktown Center (Route 779) in Lombard. You can park there for free and ride the Express bus very cheaply each way. The Pace Express bus runs for all games June through August and for evening and weekend games for the rest of the season, but they don’t usually provide service for playoff games.

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If they bring it back, it’s great, trust me.

Pace provides schedules on their site; generally buses leave two hours before the game. Be sure to grab the right Express bus on the way back. Buses going to Yorktown leave from Clark Street north of Waveland, while buses heading to Schaumburg will leave from Clark south of Waveland. So Schaumburg = South, if you use alliteration as a memory tool.

The pickup area will be the same spot where you are dropped off. There are usually six buses, but they leave 30 minutes after the game, so don’t dawdle on the way out.

Aside from the Wrigley Express, other Pace buses connect with a CTA bus route or train station. You can get a multi-ride Ventra pass good for both Pace and CTA if you’re staying in the area, but passes are not fully valid for the Wrigley Express; you need to come up with a couple extra bucks.

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It’s also good just for getting to Chicago, just saying.

Pace lists locations of park-and-rides on their website. Most locations are free to park; the ones that do charge are cheap. You need exact change (dollar bills will work) to ride a Pace Bus.

I haven’t used the Wrigley Express, but I did use the White Sox version and I loved it. It’s crazy cheap, a pleasant ride, and you can meet fellow fans on the bus. It’s a great time.

About Ventra: it’s a loaded value app or card that you can use to ride CTA, Metra or Pace vehicles. To use it, you hold your phone to a reader at the station or bus. You can get a 1-day, 3-day or 7-day pass loaded onto it. You’re allowed to share a pass with loaded value but not a day pass.

Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #4) Metra Rail.

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Chicago is a city of skyscrapers and train tracks.

Like the Pace buses, Metra rail trains are geared towards suburban Chicago commuters, but they are perfectly viable for getting to Wrigley Field, especially since the Cubs play a lot of weekday games. Metra has 12 lines that head into downtown Chicago from all directions, all of them ending somewhere in the Loop near a Red Line station.

On their website, the Cubs also explain how to use Metra trains from every different locale. Some of them involve bus rides, so be sure to check the schedule of those too. And check your app for maps, because sometimes you can find an easier route, if you don’t mind walking a couple of blocks.

For example, coming from the south, the Cubs suggest using the Rock Island Line and then getting on the Brown Line at LaSalle and then transferring to the Red Line at Fullerton. In fact you can walk a block north on State Street and get on the Red Line at the Jackson Station, saving a transfer.

From Union Station, you can also use the #151 Sheridan Avenue bus, which takes you straight to Lake Shore and Addison, a short walk to Wrigley. It takes a while, but it’s good for tourists who want to actually see Chicago. This bus runs “owl” service at night, so it’s good for getting back too.

Or you can take a short walk south to the Clinton Station of the Blue Line, or east to the Quincy/Wells Station and the Brown or Purple Lines. The latter is a nicer walk and more convenient, but both ways require a transfer to the Red Line.

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Stay in the comfort of indoors as your train whizzes by!

Metra runs frequently during rush hours, but otherwise they are quite infrequent, arriving on about an hourly basis, and they don’t usually schedule extra service for Cubs games. If you use Metra, check the schedule of the line beforehand so you aren’t sitting in the station too long and get there on time.

You can use Metra for a night game, but the last trains leave Chicago a little after midnight, so don‘t party too late. Remember to figure in the time getting to the Metra station from the Red Line; usually 20-25 minutes.

Metra fares are broken down by zones; each zone you pass through will add to your fare. Chicago offers a trip planner that will show you the cost.

Metra is well regarded; it is fast and efficient and you are even permitted to drink alcohol on the train. The transfers can make for a long ride, though.

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You probably won’t park at Wrigley this cheap. Just saying.

Finally, here’s a few “tightwad tips” for saving money on Chicago transit:

$CTA, Pace and Metra all offer discounts for disabled riders, students and children. Low income seniors and active military personnel can ride CTA for free. If you or someone joining you falls under these categories (and you owe a game at Wrigley to military folk that you know), have a look on their websites for reduced fare information. Or you can look for specials at the RTA website, which covers all three entities.

$Groupon has occasional deals on passes; the last time I looked a 3-day pass that normally costs $20 was going for $9; great for visiting Chicago. You have to catch it at the right time though.

$ – Metra offers other types of discounts as well. Kids can ride free on Metra on weekends, and you can get a weekend pass for unlimited rides. It’s a lot of bang for your buck if you’re some distance away. You can also get group discounts on Metra, which may turn out to be easier than finding someone willing to drive a bus through Wrigleyville.

Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #5) South Shore Line.

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It’s a big hit with the college kids.

The NICTD (Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District) South Shore Line runs Indiana commuters as far east as South Bend to downtown Chicago, in case Notre Dame students decide to go see a Cubs game.

The South Shore Line ends at Millennium Station in Chicago, which is a short walk on Randolph Street to the Lake Station on the Red Line. It’s also close to the Washington/Wabash and State/Lake stations on the Brown Line.

Fares on NICTD are in relation to distance, similar to Metra, and are reasonable. Parking is available at some stations, but it fills up quickly.

I found this about extra service for playoff games, so clearly people use the service for Cubs games. But check and make sure you’ll be able to get back to your starting point.

South Shore Line trains run till a little past midnight, so you should be okay using it if you don’t hang out too late, but they are infrequent in the evening and you could be waiting a while for one. Remember South Bend is in a different time zone too.

Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #6) Amtrak.

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Thanks, can you tell me where Ann Sather’s is?

If you’re coming into Chicago on Amtrak, the train will drop you off at Union Station; from there you can follow the steps listed in the Metra section or take a #151 Sheridan bus to the ballpark.

Coming from Milwaukee, or other Wisconsin points between the two cities, Amtrak runs a daily commuter train called the Hiawatha, which can get you from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station downtown to Union Station in about 90 minutes. It’s not the cheapest ride, but it’s very comfortable, features at-seat cart service, and saves you mucho traffic trouble. Great for visiting Milwaukee Brewers fans.

The Hiawatha unfortunately doesn’t run late enough in the evening to make it viable for night games, but it’s a cool and fast way to get to a day game if you have the means.

Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #7) Megabus/Greyhound.

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Sure, he’s missing legs. But he has a trustworthy face.

Megabus is a very low cost bus service that runs from numerous cities in the U.S. and Canada, so if you’re coming from a nearby metropolis like Milwaukee or Detroit, it’s worth checking out the Megabus site for the schedules. Tickets can be as cheap as $1 if your timing is right.

The buses are nicely maintained and have free Wi-Fi among other life pleasures. Megabus drops riders off in Chicago at Union Station, where it’s a short train ride or two to a hotel or just to Wrigley.

The Greyhound station is at 630 West Harrison Street; this is about a mile from the closest Red Line station at LaSalle Street. The Clinton Blue Line Station is closer, but with the #152 bus that’s a lot of transfers. Megabus seems to be going downhill in service lately, but Greyhound isn’t very convenient for going to Wrigley.

Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #8) Reggies Rock Bus.

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You really should be seen getting off of this bus. (image courtesy of Reggies Live)

If you want to include live music or a meal with your Cubs outing, check out Reggies Rock Club. They offer packages for Cubs (and White Sox) games that include a bleacher ticket, a pre-game buffet, and a ride to the game on the wicked cool looking Rock Bus. All at a very reasonable price.

Reggies is on State Street close to the Red Line Chinatown Station; there is metered street parking nearby. Even including parking it’s a great deal, and Reggies is a happening live music joint. Great for rocker Cub fans. (And isn’t that all of us?)

Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #9) Bicycle.

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The best part is there’s burritos just steps away!

Bicycling can be a viable choice to get to the Friendly Confines, for several reasons. First and foremost is the Cubs’ free cyclist-friendly valet, located near the Red Line station. The bike check guys take your bike and give you a number as if it were a coat. No lock needed. It opens three hours before the game and they will keep an eye on your bike for an hour after the game.

You can leave your helmet with them too, even though the Cubs will let you store it under your seat. You’d look pretty silly or like an overly serious fan wearing a helmet at a ballgame anyway. Be sure to tip the gentlemen watching your bike.

There are other racks around the ballpark if the valet is full or if you don’t feel like tipping; Sheffield Avenue has a few. I expect with so many people in the area on game day, you probably wouldn’t have to worry about it if you secure it properly.

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You probably don’t want to bring your bicycle onto a train.

The city of Chicago offers bicycle maps here on their website. They look to me like they’re for serious cyclists, but maybe they’ll help you find an easy route to the Friendly Confines.

CTA and Pace buses are equipped with bicycle racks on the front end. CTA and Metra trains allow you to carry your bike onto the train during non-rush-hour periods, but if you’re using the Red Line to get to the game it will be difficult. On the Blue Line, cars that accommodate bikes have a green sticker on them. Most CTA stations have sheltered racks to lock your bike.

Best Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #10) Divvy Bikeshare.

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“Race you to Wrigley!”

Divvy Bikeshare is a bicycle-sharing service that maintains bikes and stations throughout Chicago. They have two locations in opposite corners at Wrigley; one at Clark and Waveland and another at the Addison Red Line station. For big games, Divvy may have a valet service at Sheffield and Waveland, and they’ll park the bike at another station for you.

Divvy members (or you can get a day pass) can pick up a bike at a station and bring it to another station. Stations are monitored so that they’re never too empty or too full, and you can check bicycle availability on their website/app. It’s another option for getting to the game that doesn’t involve crowded trains or parking fees. Technology rocks.

The best part is that both of the Wrigley stations include eBikes. If you’re a member you can cruise through town wherever you’re going back without expending too much energy after those Wrigley nachos. Divvy is literally everywhere in Chicago and even Evanston, so you should be able to get where you need to go.

Not So Great Way To Get To Wrigley Field, #11) Taxicab/Rideshare.

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Here’s a good spot to call for an Uber.

Finally, if you decide to take a taxi or rideshare after the game, walk a few blocks in the direction you intend to go before trying to hail one in the crowd. (Even the Cubs recommend this.) Look for one that is heading towards the ballpark and is less likely to be carrying passengers.

Both Lyft and Uber charge more for heavy usage times, and that would include a Cubs game. Uber once listed Wrigley as its #1 Illinois travel destination, so it’s a popular way to get there, but it won’t be cheap.

After the game you can find lots of cabs near the Sports Corner tavern, but there are a lot of pedestrians in that spot too, so if you do flag one down you could be waiting a while with the meter running. It’s a good idea to move a couple of blocks away from the ballpark before hailing a taxi or calling a rideshare. Or you could wait at Murphy’s for the crowd to thin out.

Rideshares are better options than your basic cab companies for Wrigley. You can book a ride with your smartphone, and their services have designated dropoff points. If you haven’t yet, hold off on installing the Lyft app; when you sign up they’ll give you discounts on your first few rides.

That said, unless you have the means, I’d use the train or another method to get to or from Wrigley.

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You’re here! Glad I could help. Want to know what to eat now?

There you go my friends, all of the cool and economical ways to get to the home of the Chicago Cubs without using a car. I hope this helps, feel free to drop me a line if you have a question.

First time Wrigley visitor? Lots more for you to know if you’re heading to Wrigley for a baseball game. Check out my detailed seating guide, this overview of the food at Wrigley, and this excellent primer for finding deals on Cubs tickets. Oh, and be sure to check out my Guaranteed Rate Field tips too!

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