Downtown Madison has a number of bars and restaurants all within walking distance.  A good source for finding current nightlife, restaurant, and special events is the Isthmus.  This publication can be accessed online ( or pick-up a free copy throughout the city.  In general, State Street is the heart of the nightlife scence in Madison.  Bars, restaurants, theaters, and shops are found up and down this pedestrian friendly street. The Capitol area (The Square and surrounding streets) has upscale restaurants, bars, and lounges, usually frequented by older students and young professionals.  Wanting a more sports like atmosphere?  Try the numerous sports bars on West Johnson and Regent Streets.  Be sure to wear UW-Madison colors as the bars in this area are packed with Badger fans on game days.  

But, don't forget to check out the University of Wisconsin-Madison! The Memorial Union ( houses a Terrace where students and the community gather to have a beer, eat Babcock ice cream, and watch the sailboats the lake.  In the summer, the multicolored sunburst chairs in the outdoor area are occupied both day and night to listen to local and international music acts, watch films and other forms of enterinment.

The Madison Pub Crawl - runs every Tue, Thur, Fri, and Sat all summer long! They also offer pub crawls upon request during the rest of the year (see website). The Crawl starts every night at the Kollege Klub at 9 p.m.

Try as many places as possible!  You'll have a good time where ever you go!