Iowa City

Iowa City is a city of just over 60,000 people in I-380 Corridor region of Eastern Iowa. It is primarily known as the home of the University of Iowa.


Iowa City was the first capital of the state of Iowa, before the capital was moved westward to Des Moines. Considered a college town, many jobs are associated with the university and its teaching hospital. Other large employers include educational service companies ACT and Pearson. It is widely recognized as one of the most educated cities in the United States.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Iowa City has a population of about 68,000 (2010). The university has an enrollment of approximately 30,000 students. As such, the university has a strong effect on the culture of Iowa City and affects the community in a variety of ways, including the hospital and various university teams and programs.

Also influential in the community is the university's Writer's Workshop, which caused Iowa City to be named the third UNESCO City of Literature, so far the only such city in North America.

Coralville is an adjacent community located to the west of Iowa City, and its largest suburb, with a population of over 18,000.

Tourist information

Get in

By car

Iowa City can be reached by I-80 from Chicago to the east and Des Moines to the west. I-380, brings in traffic from the north near Waterloo. Especially in the fall and winter, expect traffic delays from university games as there are very few main roads or entrances/exits to I-80.

By plane

The nearest commercial airport, the Eastern Iowa Airport (IATA: CID), is in Cedar Rapids, about 20 miles to the north on I-380. A taxi to Iowa City may cost $40; a shuttle $25. Sometimes lower-cost flights are available into Moline (IATA: MLI) or Des Moines (IATA: DSM).

By bus

Get around

By bus

Walking is the easiest way to get around downtown Iowa City; the university is right in the middle of downtown. For greater distances, there is an extensive bus system called Iowa City Transit ($0.75/ride). The university's Cambus system covers most of the campus buildings and is free and open to the public.






Events and Festivals





Because of the university, downtown is very busy on weekend nights. With thousands of college-aged people (and older folks staying around for home games) drinking within a few blocks of each other, use caution when walking to or visiting establishments. There is a bar for all types. State law requires alcohol purchases to be made before 2AM. After 10PM non-exempt drinking establishments only allow persons 21 years of age and older, unless accompanied by a parent, guardian, spouse or domestic partner.

Student crowd (21+)

Student crowd (19+)

Relaxed crowd

Writers' haunts

Sports bars


Stay Healthy



Go next

Routes through Iowa City

Des Moines Grinnell ← Jct N  W  E  Davenport Chicago
Waterloo Cedar Rapids  N  S  END
Des Moines Amana Colonies  W  E  Davenport Joliet
Waterloo Cedar Rapids  N  S  Keokuk END
Anamosa  N  S  Kalona Fairfield

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, December 20, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.