Where is Madison, Wisconsin?

Madison is the capital of the state of Wisconsin. We are located about a two hour drive northwest of Chicago, Illinois.

About the City of Madison

Madison is a beautiful mid-sized city of 243,000 residents that is consistently selected as one of the best places to live in the U.S. Madison is the capital of the state of Wisconsin, and is home to one of the most educated populaces in the United States, with almost 50% of residents above the age of 25 hold an undergraduate degree.

The campus spreads out along Lake Mendota, and encompasses wooded hills as well as lively city streets. Along the scenic lakeshores are peaceful places to study and explore while experiencing the beauty of Madison.


The city of Madison and the UW-Madison campus community are strongly committed safety. Recently the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ranked Madison the fourth safest city in the United States.

Entertainment and Cultural Events

Madison is home to a number of great museums, arts & music venues and festivals, unique local shopping, award-winning restaurants, sporting events, and so much more. Larger metropolitan areas of Milwaukee, Chicago, and Minneapolis are easily accessible by bus. 

Outdoor Recreation

Madisonians are wild for outdoor recreational opportunities. Our city is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States, and many enthusiasts commute by bike all year around. From skiing and snowboarding in the winter to swimming, sailing, and hiking in the warmer months, Madison has what you are looking for to stay active outdoors.

The Hoofers Student Organization at UW-Madison can help you connect with other students with similar interests, or teach you a whole new skill.


Madison is located in a temperate climate zone and enjoys four distinct seasons. During the warmest months of June, July and August, high temperatures average 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius). Winters are cold with moderate snowfall. In the middle of winter, high temperatures average 25 degrees Fahrenheit (−4 Celsius) though temperatures can fall below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (−18 Celsius). Average annual snowfall is 44 inches (112 cm).

Enjoy everything. Madison is a wonderful city that I'll keep in my memories for a lifetime.
Once a Badger always a Badger!
- VISP participant