City of Madison

Madison has been named one of America's top cities to live in—and it's no surprise. With our university located in Wisconsin's capital city of more than 243,000 people, our students have a wealth of choices on campus and in the community. Observe government at work firsthand, shop to your heart's content, marvel at cultural offerings, enjoy stunning natural areas, and more. And when family members and friends come to visit, there's plenty to see and do.

Arts, Athletics, and More

Madison embraces the arts with performances, art galleries, music venues, a renowned film festival, and a center for theater and music of all kinds. Spectator sports range from Big Ten competitions to minor league baseball. The city's downtown square hosts one of the nation's most popular farmer's markets from spring through fall, in addition to other seasonal festivals.

The Great Outdoors

In our city, bikes number more than cars, which explains the more than 200 miles of biking and hiking trails. Madison offers more than 260 parks and 6,000 acres of parkland. In the summer, sailboats dot the lakes and picnics abound. And Madison residents don't let cold weather stop them—residents skate, ski, snowboard, sled, and more in the winter.


Yes, we have four seasons in Madison. You can enjoy cool springs with flowers blooming, hot and sunny summers, colorful and crisp fall days, and sparkling snow during winter. July is the warmest month, with an average temperature of 82 degrees. January is the coldest, when the average temperature is 25 degrees. Dress accordingly and enjoy the seasons!

State Street

This student favorite is a renowned mile-long pedestrian mall that links campus with the State Capitol. Here you'll find more than 35 restaurants, featuring authentic flavors from Peru, Italy, Japan, Nepal, and Thailand. Students also spend a lot of time studying at six coffee shops. Grab your favorite book at one of five bookstores. On the weekend, spend time in three museums; the Orpheum Theater; the Overture Center; or shop more than 60 specialty shops and boutiques.