Photo of Madison

About Madison

Sitting prettily between two lakes, Madison enjoys a reputation as the friendliest and most walkable city in the USA. Wisconsin’s state capital also offers an excellent range of outdoorsy and cultural activities, whilst the thriving student population of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, gives the city a funky, youthful feel — reflected in its arts and live music events. Accommodation options are wide-ranging, with everything from simple, self-catering spots to gorgeous lakeside hotels. Even more appealing: the best places to stay in Madison are all within easy reach of both top cultural sights and the calming lake waters, meaning that you can experience it all!

You’ll inevitably be drawn towards the water. Madison boasts five lakes, and there are ample opportunities to sail, kayak, jet ski or enjoy a wild swim before unwinding on the beach. Skating on a frozen lake in the winter is also a real treat! Cycling and hiking trails criss-cross the city and the lake shores, and there are some superb waterfront eateries for soaking up the sunset over drinks or dinner. Nature lovers will also adore the 16-acre Olbrich Botanical Gardens and the enormous Madison Arboretum, which spans 1,260 acres.

For striking art and architecture, admire the Capitol building — modelled in part on the Doge's Palace in Venice — and pick a perch at the rooftop garden café above Frank Lloyd Wright's Monona Terrace. Both buildings can be toured. The Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chazen Museum of Art, the University’s Discovery Building and the State Historical Museum are all cultural highlights.

Finally, make the most of the city’s fun foodie scene with a walking food tour, a trip to the weekly farmers’ market in Capitol Square, or a delectable dinner at a trendy eatery. Whether you’re in town for the food, the culture or the lakes, the best places to stay in Madison promise a brilliant base from which to explore.

The Best Places to Stay in Madison

For Lake Views

  • The Edgewater enjoys enviable views from its perch on the shores of Lake Mendota. Expect stylish Art Deco interiors, sleek rooms and suites, and an indulgent on-site spa. Book a room with lake views if you can! Great for romantic couples or well-heeled business travellers.

For Families or Groups

  • Graduate Madison is a laid-back city hotel with a funky, playful vibe — perfect for families, couples, friends or students returning to university. Expect bold pops of colour in retro-inspired rooms and communal spaces, lake views from the rooftop restaurant, and complimentary bikes for seeing the city. Centrally-located and great value. Pets are welcome.
  • Hotel Indigo Madison Downtown promises a lively stay, with a trendy eatery and cocktail bar, mid-century decor and vintage touches. There's a well-equipped gym, impressive art installations, space for families or groups and a pet-friendly policy. A cool downtown pad for a sociable stay.


  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.


  • Fly to Madison Airport, and travel into the city centre by bus or taxi.
  • Wisconsin is a wonderful state to explore by road. Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Travel between June and September, for temperatures averaging between 21°C and 25°C. Winters are very cold, but cosy!



Monthly Weather in Madison

Best Hotels in Madison

  • Graduate Madison Madison 72 rooms from £88

    Families  -  It doesn't get much better than the Camp Wandawega Suite for families. Kids will love camp-out bunk beds with game consoles
    Value chic  -  Fantastic value in the heart of town. Enjoy plenty of trendy hang-out spaces with most attractions walking distance
    Learning  -  Located a block from the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin. Special student rates are available
    City Style  -  Will appeal to those who appreciate designer interiors done in a whimsical and adventurous style
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    On-trend luxe boutique hotel that ticks every box; fab city centre location, playful interiors, rooftop dining options and impressive lake views. Mid-century rooms are a riot of colour and sociable shared spaces create a fun informal vibe that will appeal to students, alumni, families & pets alike. See More

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  • The Edgewater, Madison Madison (Wisconsin) 202 rooms from £108

    Sights nearby  -  Check out the Capitol building and its bustling historic square.
    Restaurant  -  Three to choose from.
    Views  -  Lake Mendota.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    Standing tall on Lake Mendota, near to Capitol Square, this Art Deco boutique offers a luxurious stay for leisure and business guests. Modern interiors and ceiling-to-floor windows capture the light & Lakeside setting. Perfect hospitality includes the Wellness on the Water spa. See More

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  • Hotel Indigo Madison Downtown Madison 144 rooms from £144

    Local exploring  -  Located between two lakes, this part of town attracts a trendy crowd. Visit farmer's markets, theatres and live music venues
    City Style  -  Feels cool and on-trend but without sacrificing traditional hotel amenities and room comforts
    Sights nearby  -  Walk to 100 year-old Wisconsin State Capitol; built with 40 different types of stone, it boasts the only granite dome in the USA
    Restaurant  -  Colourful Palette Bar & Grill serves contemporary American fare, grill classics and craft cocktails in lively setting
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    Boutique-style hotel in trendy downtown Madison. Feel part of the neighbourhood at the popular restaurant & cocktail bar, chilling in the retro lobby lounge or admiring modern art. Rooms mesh luxurious high-tech touches with mid-century furnishings and vintage-inspired touches. Of-the-moment base. See More

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