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Tips for Travel to Madison During Football Season

This article is part of the Hipmunk #CityLove Project

Madison loves football. Madison, Wisconin is a thriving University town with a culture which revolves around college football.

Every Saturday from August through December, the streets throughout the city are transofrmed into a sea of red and white, and packed full of devout fans and football fanatics sporting the University of Wisconsin Badgers colors. The State Capitol literally shakes, and the energy surrounding the stadium floods out to the city at large.

Art galleries stay open late, live music concerts break out on the lakes, poetry readings and a lively resturant scene; Madison truly comes alive during football season, and it’s a great time to visit the city.  Though travelers should remember that this is peak season and factor this into their plans.

The following are tips for travel to Madison during football season.

Game day is an all day affair

With some of the most stunning nature and amazing scenic hikes the United States has to offer, Madison has a lot more to offer travelers than purely football, though if in town for the game, you won’t have time for tourist attractions as game day is an all day affair.

Pre games and pre-game parties start throughout the city around 7am, and after the game the whole of Camp Randall moves on to Madison’s hopping bar scene.

Book your hotel in advance

As you can imagine, hotels within Madison sell out fast as game day approaches, and the rates double and triple in price for those who leave their booking to the last minute.

Book your accommodation in advance.

It’s deifnitely possible to find a cheap hotel deal in Madison within walking distance of the stadium, however you will need to book well in advance if you want to reserve the best rates.

Find cheaper accommodation through Airbnb 

For those who don’t mind room share, Airbnb is a fantastic way to save on accommodation in Madison.

Come game day, there is a diverse range of room shares throughout the city, all in prime locations, and most located within easy walking distance of the stadium. Airbnb listings are closer to the University Campus than city hotels, and these are generally cheaper than the best hotel rates.

Get season football tickets

Those who plan to travel back and forth from Madison frequently should consider buying season football tickets.

Wisconsin Football season tickets are sold online at, and student season tickets are available for all home games at $168, plus a $20 processing fee.

Just like hotels, game day tickets sell out fairly easily, so it’s never a bad idea to have a season pass.

How to travel to Madison

Those located close to Chicago usually choose to drive to Madison, an easy 2½-hours trip via Interstate 90. Consider though that traffic surrounding the stadium on game day is a gridlock, and you will pay extra for parking at most hotels.

Cheap flights service Madison’s Dane County Regional Airport from most major US airports with connections. The airport is then only 15 minutes from downtown, so very close meaning it will likely be more convenient to fly than to drive.

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Meg Jerrard is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

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