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Madison is considered one of the hippest and coolest towns in the midwest. This small town has lot more to offer then great nightlife and sports events. It is also a cultural center with amazing art, restaurants and events. For people more inclined for the outdoors there is great hiking, water sports and hunting nearby. Madison is one of those towns that anyone can find something.
Summer is wonderful. Winter is cold and snowy. Fall is nice as it is beginning to get chilly. Spring brings everyone outside as they can finally take off their winter jackets.
Madison's airport is very close to town so very easy to get to. It is more expensive to fly to and from there than Milwaukee or Chicago, so also consider bus trips to those cities as possible parts of your travel plans.
Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.
For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.
Madison is a very bike friendly city (except for the weather). Bike lanes and dedicated bike paths offer routes all over the city.
See also International Telephone Calls
The US Postal Service is very good and well priced mail system. UPS stores can be found dotted throughout the city and will accept packages to be shipped by other carriers as well. Though you may pay a premium there, there is usually little or no line in these stores. This is a good alternative since, depending on time of day and the season, post offices can become fairly crowded. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS and DHL.
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Ask rasheeed a question about Madison (Wisconsin)
I lived there for 5 years.
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