The Conference Hotel

Participants are encouraged to stay in the conference hotel, the Marriott Chicago Downtown Hotel, for its high quality, its excellent location, and its convenience to the conference. Click here to make your reservation directly with the conference hotel, at the conference rate. The conference rate is $179/night plus the Chicago 14.9% hotel tax for single or double occupancy (Available if you book by June 11. It is possible you can find a slightly lower rate for the conference hotel, through a hotel discount or travel website. If so, you are encouraged to take the lower rate.) The Marriott is located along the "Magnificent Mile" of Michigan avenue between Grand and Ohio. It is about 0.7 miles directly west of Chicago's Navy Pier. The Marriott offers excellent value in its price range, but if you prefer not to stay at the Marriott, you can make your own arrangments with any of the roughly forty hotels in the North Michigan Avenue area, most within a half mile of the Marriott (number 5 on the map), using, for example,,, or A recommendation for participants on a very limited budget is listed below.

Getting to the Conference Hotel

The Downtown Chicago Marriott is conveniently reached from either O'Hare International Airport or Chicago Midway Airport. Note: Apply for visas as soon as possible. Midway is a smaller airport somewhat closer to downtown than O'Hare, but has limited international flights. Here are two ways to get from either airport to the hotel, both considerably more economical than taking a taxi cab or renting a car:

A convenient way is to take the Continental Airport Express hotel shuttle. The one-way fare is $20 for one person or $16 each for two people or $12 each for three or more people. Round trip fares are available. Shuttles depart from either airport every 10-15 minutes for downtown service to Chicago hotels. Transit time is about 35 minutes, but can take longer during rush hours.

For the somewhat adventurous traveler, another way is to take the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) trains. The website has nice maps. The one way fare is $1.75. FROM O'HARE: One can take the Blue Line from O'Hare to Chicago, and then transfer to the CTA Red Line subway. Blue Line trains originate at O'Hare and leave roughly once every ten minutes through most of the day. The station can be reached from Terminals 1, 2 and 3 by pedestrian tunnels. Passengers arriving at the International Terminal should first ride the airport's elevated people-mover train (free) to Terminal 3. Take the Blue Line to the Washington Station (the seventeenth stop), about 45 minutes from the airport. From there go down the stairs in the center of the platform and transfer via a 200 meter tunnel to the Red Line subway (unfortunately you will need to walk up 30 stairs at the opposite end.) You can transfer while remaining in the "fare paid" zone. Take the Red Line north (Howard direction) two stops to the Grand Avenue Station. Exit the station, walk east two blocks (1/6 mile) along Grand Avenue, turn left onto Rush street and you will see the large Marriott entrance.
FROM MIDWAY Similarly, Orange Line trains to downtown originate at Midway Airport. Take the train to the State Street station (thirteenth stop). One can leave the train system and walk 0.6 miles to the hotel from there. Walk north on State Street or Wabash, soon crossing the river, continuing to Grand Avenue. Turn right on Grand Avenue. Continue on Grand Avenue to Rush street, turn left and you will see the hotel. (For a somewhat shorter walk to the Marriott, or to continue on to Arlington House, transfer from the Orange Line at State Street station to the Red Line subway, Lake Street station. Take the Red Line one stop north to Grand Avenue. See directions from O'Hare for the rest.)

Most economical housing

Participants on a very limited budget should consider staying at the Arlington House International Hostel & Hotel, located at 616 W. Arlington Place (Number 2 on this map ). Located in the Lincoln Park area, the Arlington House is a few blocks from some of Chicago's best restaurants, cafes, Blues bars, Jazz clubs, and many other attractions. To reach it from the airport via the train, follow the same directions as above, but take the Red Line six stops to the Fullerton Station. From the station walk about a kilometer east (AWAY from Sheffield Avenue) along Fullerton to Orchard. Turn left and walk north on Orchard. You will soon see the street Arlington Place on your right. The Arlington House is about a block from Orchard. A bed in a 6-bed dorm room is $24, a room with no bath is $55 for one or two persons, $70 for three persons, $85 for four persons, rooms with half private bath are $5 more, and rooms with full private bath are $15 more. These prices include tax. A credit card is required to make reservations, but International visitors without a credit card can make other arrangements (send email to the manager, Louis, at and mention ISIT2004). Payment upon arrival is required. Contrary to the website, a Rucksacker AAIH, IYHF or ISIC Card is not required for staying in a dorm room. Tel: +1 - 800 -HOSTEL-5, or from inside Chicago: 773-929-5380. Includes access to a full kitchen and laundry facilities. Linens are provided (even though the website mentions linen rental) but the towels are small, so you may want to bring your own towel. An attendant is always on duty at Arlington house. The Red Line (four stops) is the most convenient way to travel between the Arlington House and the Marriott. The number 22 bus running along Clark/Dearborn is almost as convenient.

Two other hostels are also reasonable. The Chicago International Hostel is seven miles north of the Marriott, but is still conveniently reached via the Red Line of the CTA (exit Loyola Station, 14 stops, or 29 minutes, north of Grand station). It is in a nice location near Loyola University, Northwestern University, and Devon Avenue . Hostelling International - Chicago costs a bit more and is located in The Loop, near Grant Park, about 1.2 miles south of the Marriott. The hostel is next to the CTA Red Line, offering convenient transit to the Marriott. This hostel costs slightly more than the other two hostels and is in a high activity area of Chicago.