While You're Here

How to make the most of your life in Madison

We're excited for you to come explore this beautiful city! If you  have any questions about Madison, please get connected with us for help!




Get to Madison

  • Whether you fly in from Chicago or Milwaukee, there are buses from the airport: Van Gelder Bus | Megabus

  • Purchase a single trip ticket, not a roundtrip ticket.

  • Once you've gotten to Madison, you can call a Taxi or use Uber or Lyft. See more about taxis below.

Inside of a Bus


  • Students can get a free bus pass.

  • You can buy 9 or 12 month bus passes.

  • Be at least 5 minutes early to your bus.

  • Track bus departures in the Transit Tracker.

  • Madison buses have bike racks to take your bike for free!

City Biking

Bikes & Walking

  • Madison is one of the most bike and walking friendly cities in America!

  • If you don't want to purchase your own bike, Madison has electric bicycles available at stations through Madison BCycle 

  • Bikes travel in the same direction as traffic and do not go on sidewalks. Bike lanes and bike paths are everywhere in the city.

  • Be safe and wear a helmet!

Motor Scooter Drivers

Cars & Mopeds

  • You will need a license to drive a car or a moped in Madison.

  • You will be required to have car insurance.

  • In America, cars and mopeds drive on the left side of the road.

  • Many students choose to get a scooter or moped because you won't need to go a long distance in Madison.

  • Scooters and Mopeds must be on streets.

Image by Victor Xok

Taxis, Uber, Lyft


The number of transportation options can be overwhelming. Let us help you find the right away around Madison.


Shopping & Groceries


International Grocery

There are several African, Asian, Halal, and Hispanic grocery stores.


Trader Joe's

Known for its unique selection and value, shop at Trader Joe's (parking can be hard here!)


St. Vinny's

Get clean clothes that are sold at a lower price at this "thrift store". 



Largest selection of food in one place in Madison. Woodman's offers delivery and pick-up.



Madison is known for being a food paradise with a large farmers' market, cheese curds, and more!



Get clothes, households items, and other cheap things at Goodwill.


Festival Foods

Festival Foods offers a unique experience with both grocery shopping and community events.



Madison shopping is unique with many local shops and specialty stores.


Free Stuff!

You can often find free things on the street, by dumpsters, or by using the free section of a site called Craigslist.

Finding your grocery store and other shops is one of the steps of making a place your home. Let us know how we can help you make that happen.


Medical information

Insurance is extremely vital. A severe accident or injury can set you back financially by hundreds of thousands of dollars easily.


If you are having a life or death emergency, please call 911 immediately

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University Health Services offers high-quality medical care to all UW–Madison students. Most fee-based services at UHS are covered at no cost for members of the UW–Madison Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

We are here to help, if you need assistance please first get the appropriate medical care and then let us know how we can care for you.


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