About the City of Madison

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

Traveling to and Around Madison

Flying in to Madison

There are two airports with easy access to Madison, Wisconsin.

MSN – Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, WI – A small airport located about 5 miles (8km) from UW-Madison. Taxi rides from the MSN airport to campus cost approximately $25 one way. There is a taxi waiting area outside of baggage claim.

ORD – Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, IL – While much further from UW-Madison, flights to this airport are often much less expensive. The Van Galder bus service offers daily buses between the airport and UW-Madison. Tickets can be purchased from the driver when you arrive, but please consult the bus schedule prior to booking your flight.

Getting to your Housing

Calling a taxi is the easiest way to traverse the city with luggage in tow. Madison is home to several official taxi services including Madison Taxi, and Union Cab. Additionally, you can use Uber or Lyft if you have those accounts set up.

If you request temporary housing through Madison Friends of International Students (MFIS), your housing volunteer may be able to pick you up.

Navigating Around Campus

While the campus is large, Madison is a very walkable, bikeable, and easy to navigate city and campus community.

Free City Bus Pass

The Associated Students of Madison (ASM) bus pass program provides free Madison Metro bus passes to all UW-Madison students paying segregated fees (including VISP). The free bus pass is good for unlimited rides on the local Madison Metro bus system anywhere in the city.


Madison is a bicycle-friendly city and the UW-Madison campus is no exception, so biking is a great way to get around. It is easy to park a bike on campus and you will find racks next to almost all buildings. Read about campus bike information from Transportation Services.

B-cycle is a short-term bike rental program. You will see several B-cycle stations throughout campus and the city. Join for a year for a nominal fee and ride free for trips under 30 minutes.

Red Bike Project is a long-term bike rental program. The Red Bike program offers reconditioned bikes (painted red, of course) that can be used on campus and around the community for free!


Walking is an ideal way to get around campus and experience all its beauty. There are many miles of sidewalks and pedestrian paths including the scenic Lakeshore Path.

At night, use the Lightway Walking Path. In case of emergency, there are over 60 emergency phones are located throughout campus. Most emergency phones have a blue light above them and are labeled “911-Emergency.” You can also utilize SAFEwalk when traveling in the campus area at night.