Madison, WI 

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Madison, Wisconsin Reviews

Madison, WI is known for its lively culture and beautiful scenery. From the University of Wisconsin campus to the stunning views along Lake Mendota, there is plenty to take in and enjoy in Madison. The city also offers a wide variety of activities ranging from outdoor recreation to arts, culture, and entertainment. Visitors will find plenty of shops, restaurants and galleries to explore throughout the city. With its vibrant nightlife, rich history, diverse neighborhoods and amazing outdoor activities, Madison has something for everyone.
Reviews of Madison are overwhelmingly positive with many citing it as one of the most livable cities in the United States. Residents enjoy the variety of things to do including visiting lively farmer's markets, cheering on Badgers sporting events or taking in some live music downtown. The area also has an impressive number of parks and trails where visitors can explore nature while still being close to all the amenities that make this city so attractive. With its strong sense of community plus top-notch education system and public transportation system, Madison is an ideal place to live or visit.

 based on 77 Reviews
Get to know Madison with the latest comments and reviews from people who live in or have visited Madison

Overall nice place to live - 5/19/2023
Have been living in Madison for almost 3 years. It’s very safe, ppl generally friendly and for a town of its size it has fair number of good restaurants and interesting shows and events to attend. Cost of living here I think is the lowest among all the places in US I have lived. I can’t believe why it gets such a low rating on this site. Only drawbacks are that it’s freezing in winter, and also it’s a small town so job opportunities are Read More

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Leaders head in the clouds & hands in your pockets - 11/8/2021
Lacks balance and zero accountability.  Read More

Terrible place to live! - 7/19/2021
Moved here five years ago and am ready to glorified college town! The rent is increasing astronomically, as are property taxes. The traffic is terrible and increasing because city leaders are not doing enough to accommodate the modest population growth. There are too many transplants from Milwaukee and Chicago bring crime into this once safe city. Due to Madison's extreme liberalism, the mayor cut $2 million to the local police department. Good luck being a conservative in Madison (or anywhere in Dane County, really). West Madison and Middleton are the epitome of limousine liberalism - you know, rich people who have "all are welcome" yard signs all while living in the least diverse neighborhoods and sending their kids to very segregated schools. The Madison area is nothing but a group think metro full of people who look down on rural people or anyone who isn't at least left of center. Ready to get out of Read More

Formerly fantastic, presently bleak - 9/7/2020
We chose Madison for a voluntary, lifestyle improvement move 5 years ago. Initially, we loved it. Clean, so much to do, everyone on bikes with endless paths throughout the city, lakes, and tons of cool community activities. Madison has big city resources with a smaller city feel. Unfortunately, the city has changed for the worst over the last two years. Crime has sky rocketed with visible drug issues, car theft, burglary, and shootings/gun fire (shots fired into bystander houses and moving vehicles) almost daily, often in broad daylight. Taxes are huge and increasingly for odd, pet project services. Traffic is insane and a new mid rise building seems to spring up daily. Over the top liberalism permeates everything with zero criminal accountability from judges, frivolous services for special interest groups, an incompetent and ineffective mayor. Downtown, formerly fun and inviting, is a no go zone due to violence, unchecked protesting and COVID or looting shuttered businesses. I Read More

Madison, WI is no longer livable - 7/26/2020
Grew up here in the 70s and have lived here most of my life. Lived elsewhere a few times, including a foreign country, and most recently returned in 2015. This month alone, July 2020, we have had 3 murders. Shots fired incidents every day. Our once vibrant downtown has been terrorized, destroyed and boarded up. It is no longer safe, thanks the revolving door of so-called "restorative justice." Pro-Marxist/Fascist groups are in control, receive sizable taxpayer dollars and have ruined the school system. Identity politics has left this place a shambles. If you want to move here and support this nonsense, be my guest. I'll be happy to let the door hit me in the ass on the way out, the sooner the Read More

Beautiful But Ugly - 5/10/2020
Grew up and lived in Madison for over 30 years before leaving it behind. In all honesty, it's a beautiful little capital city nestled between lakes and seeing respectable growth.

- Nature. Lot's of conservation efforts. Great parks and lakes inside the city. Just a short drive to even more natural beauty to the north and west.
- Farmers market. Top 5 in the U.S. imo. Access to farm CSA's is amazing too.
- Some amazing city neighborhoods. Near west side has Greenbush, Vilas and Regent neighborhoods, and the Atwood and Jenifer neighborhoods on the east side are all beautiful, walkable and safe.
- Economy is still small but growing fast.

- Expensive. Housing has shot through the roof. Taxes are really high. While the economy is growing, it's nowhere on par with costs of living. Only luxury condos/apts have been built in the last 20 years, mostly on the outskirts of town where its unwalkable. Nearly the entirety of Read More

Nice, but cold Easters, high taxes, very liberal - 4/1/2018
Madison offers quite a bit for a metro area of 600,000. It is like a small big city. But it suffers these faults: 5 months of winter-like weather (I have seen snow from Halloween to Mothers Day), high property taxes, very liberal focus in politics, love of bicycles to the exclusion of cars so the roads are pathetic in term of repair and are way under built, very high rents and house prices for a mid-western town, and a beautiful airport with less than a dozen non-stop flight cities and outrageous air fares wherever you go. Stay away from government and university employment as this state does not give pay raises that even keep up with 2 percent inflation. The best part of the city is that the lakes and warmist summers are BEAUTIFUL! Late winter to early Spring is the hardest time living here because you just want winter to leave.  Read More

Difficult Move From Blue State - 2/16/2018
Since they passed Act 10 in 2007 they have done away with collective bargaining and many protective measurers for workers have been eliminated, like reductions of vacation time from 5 weeks to 2 weeks at the hospital.

The elected officials are looking to institute open carry at the universities and do away with tenure. My sense is people who could get out left and the people left behind are bitter, busy, stuck or retired.

I moved here with my husband in 2015 for his job and as a middle aged educator looking for work I have experienced a negative reception. I can't tell you how many people asked me to volunteer my time, which is the norm here, they have no idea how insulting it is to be asked to work for free. They are obsessed with work and for the most menial jobs they will ask for 3 references, call every one of them and also have you interviewed by a panel of 3. Wages are low for most jobs and it doesn't make sense because the cost of living here is Read More

Very quickly becoming unaffordable. - 1/22/2018
I call it the most conservative liberal city in the US. After living here 35+ years I've seen the best and worst. There has been a boom in Dane County recently with much of it surrounding Madison. The UW is causing major changes with regard to housing. Luxury high rises are going up everywhere and students are moving there as opposed to the old run down victorians all over town. The drawback is rental agencies are raising their prices as well to make up the difference. The prices shown on the previous page are ALL OFF by at LEAST $200. Finding a studio to live in for $650 is next to impossible without being on a waitlist for several years. The city is throwing money to gentrify a lot of the older rundown areas of town in order to attract new people to move here. The East Washington corridor is in a state of constant high rise construction.

The Pros: The UW. State Street and Capitol Square. Buses. Access to farm fresh foods. No sales tax on unprepared foods. Numerous Read More

Pretty mid-sized metro area with pros and cons - 12/22/2017
This city would be on my short list if the winters weren't so long and Read More

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