Moving/Relocating To Madison: 11 Best-Kept Advice About Living In Madison, Wisconsin Unlocked

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Considering living in Madison, Wisconsin? Then you are on the right side of the internet.

We will unlock 11 best-kept advice to support your decision of moving to Madison, Wi, starting from the pros and cons of living in Madison, Wisconsin, down to the best food you can find in this city.

You will also learn more about the cost of living in Madison, Wi, and how safe neighbourhoods do not always have expensive house prices. As a student- and family-friendly city, Madison and its neighbourhoods provide amenities that are within walking distance.

Sounds good? Prepare your pen and paper to write down any helpful information you find in this article.

1. Find Out The Pros And Cons Of Living In Madison, Wisconsin

Before moving to Madison, knowing the pros and cons of the city will help you to get an idea of how you can settle in. Here are some pros and cons of living in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Perks Of Living In Madison

America’s Dairyland; Where All The Milky Products Are

Since World War 1, Wisconsin has been ranking first in dairy production in America. Today, Wisconsin is still the top producer of milk, cheese, and butter in the country.

Living in America’s Dairyland, you can expect to find restaurants that incorporate dairy products into their menu.

A City With 270 Parks At Your Fingertips

Madison offers 270 parks around the city with a total area of 6,000 acres. This means there is plenty of open space for children to play, making Madison a great place for families to live.

Some parks do not allow you to bring in alcoholic beverages. So, if you are making plans to chill and drink at the park, make sure to check if it is permitted or not.

Good Healthcare

According to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Wisconsin ranked fourth as the state with the best healthcare quality in the nation. This state earned this rank due to its acute and chronic care performance and patient safety.

As such, moving to Madison will give you better access to one of the best healthcare systems in the country.

Excellent Education

As a college city, Madison provides excellent universities and colleges. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the prestigious universities in the country. This university emphasises contribution to the public through research and service. It ranked fourth in Washington Monthly’s 2021 College Guide and Rankings, which takes into account research excellence, social mobility, and community and national service, among other factors.

The Downsides Of Living In Madison

The Cold Winters

Madison has a humid continental climate, which means temperatures in winters can reach below freezing point. On days with heavy snowfall, the temperature can drop to 0°F (−17.8 °C).

The best time in Madison is during summers. Although it is humid, summers in Madison is warm with temperature around 90°F (32.2°C).

Noisy College Town

Living in a college town like Madison has its downside, especially if you live around the University of Wisconsin that ranked number one party school in the country.

Noise complaints are regular in Madison. If you think noisy parties are not fun, you may want to consider living outside the campus areas.

High Taxes

The property tax in Dane County is relatively high. As the centre of the county, Madison is, of course, affected by this. On average, the residents pay $4,994 annually for property tax.

However, the sales and income taxes are relatively friendly. Madison imposes a 5% sales tax, and the income tax is calculated based on your earning. The lowest income tax is 4%, and the highest is 7.65%.

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2. Find The Best Neighbourhoods To Live In Madison

One of the crucial things to do before moving is to find the best neighbourhood for you. Madison has excellent areas suitable for young professionals, families, even retirees.

You can use the information of these three neighbourhoods as your reference when you’re searching for the best area to live in.

Hill Farms-University

Hill Farms-University is perfect for raising families due to its quiet atmosphere. This area is also walkable and friendly to bikers.

This neighbourhood has excellent public schools, public parks, restaurants, and other amenities. It also has regular community events that keep the residents busy all year round.

The housing prices in Hill Farms-University are relatively affordable, considering the median house price is $274,000, and monthly rent is $708.


Nakoma is located 15 minutes from Downtown Madison. This neighbourhood is one of the safest areas in Madison.

Nakoma also has houses for all kinds of household sizes. The median home price is $334,433, and the median monthly rent is $313, making this safe neighbourhood affordable for anyone.

Nakoma provides parks, golf fields, restaurants, and gardens. This area is perfect for singles, young professionals, families, and retirees.


If you want a neighbourhood full of youth spirit, then you should consider living in Vilas. Most of the residents in this neighbourhood are students and young professionals.

It has restaurants, shops, cafes, and a vibrant nightlife scene. Vilas is also located near city attractions such as museums and a zoo. The best thing is, you can get around the neighbourhood by walking or biking.

In addition, the median home price in this neighbourhood is relatively affordable, $289,450. On the other hand, the median monthly rent is $1,466, which is relatively high compared to some other neighbourhoods in Madison.

3. The Cost Of Living In Madison, Wi

The overall cost of living in Madison, Wi, is 7% higher than the national average. According to Payscale, the highest cost is housing costs that are 9% higher than the national average.

Suppose you need the information to help you plan your monthly expenses. In that case, you can refer to this data about Madison’s average prices of daily needs. You can calculate the approximate monthly budget to live in Madison.

Once you arrive in Madison and make friends with the locals, you can ask for advice about more affordable groceries options in the city.

4. Take A Peek Of The Job Market

The major sectors in Madison are agriculture, manufacturing, services, and government. In agriculture, almost one-sixth of Wisconsin farms are located within the Greater Madison market region.

The other sectors that provide a promising future in Madison are healthcare, technology, and education. Madison can be the best place to live in if you want to start a career or business related to these sectors.

On top of that, the future job growth in Madison is expected to reach 37.9%. This percentage is higher than the national future job growth, 33.5%.

5. Education For The Little Ones

Madison, Wi, has top-rated schools from primary to high school grades. Below are some of the top public schools in Madison for your reference.

  • West High (grade 9 to 12)
  • Shorewood Hills Elementary (KG-5)
  • Memorial High (grade 9 to 12)
  • Shabazz-City High (grade 9 to 12)

Remember to contact the school or education advisor several months before moving. You may need to collect the required documents for your children’s transfer process.

6. The Best Way To Get You Around The City

Overall, Madison is a bike-friendly city. Especially in the area around universities, you can get around easily only by biking or walking. There is even a bike-sharing service in this city.

Other options for transportation in Madison are taxis, Uber, Lyft, Madtown Hopper, and buses. In short, you do not have to worry about your mobility even if you do not own a car.

Image Credit: Unsplash

7. Visit The Family-Friendly City Attractions

There are places you can visit in Madison, either with your friends or family. The city attractions that we recommend are kid-friendly, so you have plenty of recreational options for the whole family.

Some of the must-visit city attractions are:

  • Madison Children’s Museum;
  • Wisconsin State capitol;
  • Dane County Farmers’ Market; and
  • Babcock Hall Dairy Store.

8. Madison Is A Paradise For The Outdoor Explorers

If your kind of recreation is being outside in nature, Madison has plenty of outdoor activities for you. Below are only some of them. You should explore more once you arrive and settle in Madison.

Henry Vilas Zoo

The Henry Vilas Zoo features 650 animals from all over the world, including endangered and vulnerable animals.

Visitors can see the animals, and Henry Vilas Zoo also provides educational activities for children. Visiting this zoo will be a great way to get your children to learn about animals and nature.

In the winter, you can enjoy the light festival at this zoo. There will be almost one million lights in the shape of various animals in the zoo area. You can take pictures under glowing lights that feel magical in the night.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Olbrich Botanical Gardens consists of several gardens, including Herb Garden, Wildflower Garden, Sunken Garden, Rose Garden, Perennial Garden, and many more.

You may want to come to this area early because it will take you hours to explore 16 acres of outdoor gardens.

To enjoy the tropical flora, you should visit the Bolz Conservatory area. This indoor garden offers a lush green tropical garden all year long, even in winter.

Memorial Union

Memorial Union is a favourite destination in the University of Wisconsin-Madison area. It has the view of Lake Mendota and plenty of spaces for people to socialise, relax, and even study.

Besides the beautiful view, you will also find various amenities for the visitors. There are restaurants, coffee shops, dining areas, and even wi-fi! There is also a lactation room to accommodate the moms and their babies.

9. Participate In The Events And Festivals

You will have festivals and events to enjoy each year. It is best to participate in these events and festivals with your new friends. This way, you can bond and create fun memories together.

Here are some of the annual events that should be on your activities list:

  • Blooming Butterflies at Olbrich Gardens
  • SpringFest Arts & Crafts Fair
  • St Patrick’s Day Parade
  • Wisconsin Book Festival
  • Wisconsin Film Festival

Besides these five, there are tons of other events that you can find in Madison. Try to ask for recommendations from your local friends about the best annual events to join.

Image Credit: Unsplash

10. Taste The Delicacy In Madison, Wi

Madison might be underrated, but this city is the gem for foodies. To guide your culinary journey, here is the food that Madison is known for. There is no way one taste is enough when it comes to this food.

  • Steak sandwich
  • The tomato pie
  • Mac and cheese pizza
  • Hot and spicy cheese bread

Sweet potato oatmeal pancakes (pictured above)

For the drink, get yourself a cup of Spotted Cow Beer that you can only buy in Wisconsin. This beer is a blend of Pilsner malt, white wheat, and caramel malt. It comes with a fruity flavour that tastes refreshing.

11. Things To Do Before Moving To Madison

Make Checklist For Pre-Moving And Post-Moving

We cannot stress enough how important it is to have checklists of things to do and collect before moving to a new city.

To help you make a checklist for your pre and post moving, here are some points that you should include:

  • documents;
  • things to pack;
  • items to donate or sell;
  • a house or apartment unit to live;
  • people to contact (real estate agent, employer, school, Sanelo);
  • budget (for the trip and first two months in Madison); and
  • things to buy once you arrive in Madison.

Remember to include “apply for a Madison driver’s license” in your post-moving checklist if you are driving.

Engage Sanelo To Ship Your Belongings To Madison, Wi

Do not stress yourself with heavy luggage. Engage Sanelo to ship your belongings safely. Our team will pick up, store, and deliver your belongings to Madison.

Contact us and consult your moving needs with us. We will walk you through the process and adjust our service to fit your needs.

Conclusion About Moving To Madison, Wi

The first thing to embrace when you are moving to Madison, Wi, is the weather. If you get used to the warm summer and freezing winter, then you’ll be fine in Madison.

Although Madison is a college town, parts of the city are kids and retirees-friendly. These neighbourhoods also come with reasonable housing prices and great amenities.

The economy in Madison is steadily growing. It means future opportunities in the job market and business are promising. Madison is an excellent place to start your career, especially if you are interested in manufacturing, agriculture, services, and government.

In addition to that, Madison offers high-rated public schools for all grades. Madison also has one of the prestigious universities in the states, the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This city provides many options for transportation such as buses, ride-sharing services, and a bike-sharing service. Besides that, Madison is a friendly city for bikers and pedestrians.

In Madison, you always have things to do. There are city attractions for both indoor and outdoor activities. You will also find some fun at the festivals or annual events. Madison has lots of festivals. You only need to find your “must-join” ones.

The culinary scene in Madison is also vibrant. Some dishes uniquely belong to Madison and do not forget to try Spotted Cow Beer. This city is also known as the best dairy products producer. You will find restaurants with dairy products all over this city.

To make your moving and settling process even better, make a list of things to do, people to contact, and documents before you are moving. You should also include a budget in your moving plan.

Lastly, do not try to carry everything in one go by yourself. Engage Sanelo to ship your belongings to Madison safely.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To Madison, Wi

Is Madison A Safe Place To Live?

According to the FBI crime rate data, Madison may not be the safest place in the states. However, there are safe neighbourhoods that you can find around the city. Make sure to check the safety rate when you do your research to find the best neighbourhood in Madison.

What Is A Good Salary In Madison, Wisconsin?

On average, people in Madison make $60,000 per year. This salary can afford you a decent lifestyle in Madison.

Will My Belongings Be In Good Hands During Shipment?

Yes! When you engage Sanelo, we’ll enrol you into our shipment protection so you’ll have peace of mind during your relocation. Learn more about our shipment protection here.

How Do I Engage Sanelo For My Relocation?

Visit our official website to start a quote with us. If you need more information, feel free to contact us and consult your needs during the moving process.

It is best to contact Sanelo two or three months before your moving date to ensure the shipping slot for you.

If you need more information about moving to the other family-friendly cities in the states, you can visit these articles:


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