A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Berkeley vs. Portland for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Backpackers

Should you visit Berkeley or Portland?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Berkeley or Portland, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Berkeley

Berkeley is a quirky, progressive, and diverse city. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Portland

Portland is a laid-back, progressive, and quirky city. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include nightlife, live music, and hiking.

Berkeley and Portland: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Berkeley or Portland?

You'll generally find more things to do in Portland than Berkeley. Portland is bigger than Berkeley, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Portland is better known for its music, hiking, and small town charm, while Berkeley is more popular for its museums, food, nightlife, and shopping. Berkeley is well known for its progressive and liberal mindset as well as its farmer's markets and local boutiques. Portland is well known for its independent and vintage shops, thriving art scene, lush parks and gardens, progressive and quirky personality, and easy access to amazing natural beauty. Also, Portland is famous for Washington Park.

How is Berkeley different from Portland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Portland and Berkeley. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Berkeley or Portland?

Berkeley
Portland

Berkeley is a very popular place for its museums and history. However, Portland is lacking in good options for its museums and landmarks.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Berkeley. There are a wide range of museums around town, many of which are affiliated with the university. There are natural history museums, art museums, cultural museums, as well as historical and science museums.

Portland offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Visitors usually come for the city's outdoor recreation and eclectic personality more than the landmarks and museums. There are a few places to visit on a rainy day though including Pittock Mansion, the Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.


Is the Food Better in Berkeley or Portland? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Berkeley
Portland

Berkeley is a very popular place for its restaurants. However, Portland is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Berkeley. There's a huge diversity of restaurants that range from international to California flavors. There are also eateries that cater to the student population, as well as fine dining and everything in between. You'll also find many farmer's markets, vegan options, and restaurants that use locally sourced ingredients.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Portland. The town is more famous for it's craft beer than it's food, but there are still a number of local restaurants that offer unique Oregon dishes. You'll find no shortage of vegetarian and vegan options on most menus. There is also a big farm-to-table scene with many farmers markets around town as well.

Is Berkeley or Portland Better for Nightlife?

Berkeley
Portland

Berkeley is a very popular place for nightlife. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

Berkeley has a large number of nightlife venues. With its large student population, you'll find no shortage of nightlife activities around town. There are bars and pubs as well as live music venues and plenty of unique experiences.

Portland has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Famously, this town's nightlife is all about the craft beer and local breweries. Make sure you check out Bailey's Taproom, The Big Legrowlski, and The Commons Brewery.

Is Berkeley or Portland Better for Music?

Berkeley
Portland

Portland is a nice place to visit for its music scene. However, Berkeley is not a live music destination.

The music scene helps keep Portland active and fun. The town has a thriving live music and international folk dancing scene.

Berkeley is not a live music destination.


Is Berkeley or Portland Better for Hiking?

Berkeley
Portland

Portland is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Berkeley is not a hiking destination.

Portland is a popular spot for hiking. Just outside of town you'll find amazing hikes and stunning natural beauty. In town there are many urban hikes through parks and gardens, but in just a short drive you also have access to Mount Hood and many of the region's most beautiful hikes around the Columbia River Gorge.

Berkeley is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Berkeley or Portland?

Berkeley
Portland

Berkeley is a very popular place for shopping. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping opportunities.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Berkeley. Quirky and local is what shopping in Berkeley is all about. There are also plenty of thrift stores and farmer's markets. Head to Fourth Street or Telegraph Avenue for some of the most interesting shopping opportunities.

Portland offers some nice shopping areas. To fully experience shopping in town, head to the local vendors and thrift shops. There are many vintage clothing shops, book stores, and independent sellers around town. The city is also full of farmers markets. For some of the most interesting shopping, check out the Pearl District, Pioneer Place, Union Way, and Downtown neighborhoods.

Is Berkeley or Portland Better for Families?

Berkeley
Portland

Berkeley and Portland are both notable destinations for the whole family.

Berkeley is a family-friendly place to visit. There are many outdoor places to explore with kids like Tilden Park or UC Botanical Garden. There are also science museums, nature centers, and plenty of kid-friendly restaurants.

Portland is a family-friendly city. This is an outdoor city by nature, so families will appreciate the many parks and outdoor recreational activities around town. It's easy to fill a couple of days exploring and having fun with the kids. Kid-friendly activities include the zoo, the aerial tram, and several great museums.


Is Berkeley or Portland Better for Couples?

Berkeley
Portland

Berkeley and Portland are both notable to visit as a couple.

Berkeley is a good city for couples to visit. There's a wonderful mix of cultural activities and outdoor parks that you can explore. There's the Berkeley Rose Garden, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and many charming restaurants.

Portland is a nice destination for couples. The laid-back, alternative vibe is fun to explore as a couple. There are independent bookstores, nice parks, and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. Couples who enjoy an eclectic city, breweries, and nature, will find a lot to do in town.

Is Berkeley or Portland Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Berkeley
Portland

Both Berkeley and Portland are high quality destinations for backpackers.

Berkeley is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. With its eclectic and alternative vibe, backpackers will find their place in this city. There's also a huge student population and a couple of hostels in the area.

Portland is very popular with the backpacker crowd. The town has drawn young explorers for years, and backpackers who like to step away from the mainstream will feel right at home here.

Is Berkeley or Portland Better for Students?

Berkeley
Portland

Berkeley is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for students.

Students come from all over to stay in Berkeley. University of California, Berkeley is a well reviewed university that attracts a progressive and motivated student population. The city is an expensive, but very rewarding place to study with many activities and opportunities for students.

Portland is popular with students. It's a young and relaxed city that attracts independent thinkers. There are many bookstores and breweries around town. The cost of living can be a bit high though.


Is Berkeley or Portland Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Berkeley
Portland

Berkeley is very popular for times when you don't have a car. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

Berkeley has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the city. It's located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has access to buses and several BART stations.

You'll find some public transit in Portland, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. The town has a bus and light rail system as well the Aerial tram.

Is Berkeley or Portland a more walkable city?

Berkeley
Portland

Berkeley is very popular for its walkability. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Berkeley. Most of Berkeley is very walkable, particularly the parts around the university.

Portland is a very walkable city. It is quite walkable, particularly in the tourist areas such as Downtown, Pearl, and Old Town Chinatown.

For even more information, also check out Is Berkeley Worth Visiting? and Is Portland Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Portland or Berkeley?

How long in Berkeley or Portland?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Berkeley and Portland. In our opinion, Berkeley has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Berkeley than Portland. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Berkeley than Portland. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Berkeley, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Berkeley than Portland. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Berkeley that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Berkeley than Portland if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Berkeley.


  • How many days in Berkeley or Portland? Ideal Length of Stay
    Berkeley 2-3 
    Portland 2-3

One day in Berkeley or Portland?

The city of Berkeley offers food and shopping. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

The city of Portland offers nightlife and live music. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


A weekend in Berkeley or Portland?

Berkeley is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Berkeley, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Portland is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Portland, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Berkeley or Portland?

Berkeley is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Portland is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Berkeley or Portland?

Berkeley is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Portland is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Walking Tours in United States of America, The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, and The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Portland or Berkeley?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Berkeley is $190, while the average daily cost in Portland is $180. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Berkeley and Portland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Berkeley $131
    Portland $97
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Berkeley $262
    Portland $194
Compare Hotels in Berkeley and Portland

Looking for a hotel in Berkeley or Portland? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Berkeley


Hotels in Portland


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Berkeley Hotel Prices and Portland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Berkeley $30
    Portland $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Berkeley

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Berkeley:

  • Private Transfer: Oakland International Airport to Hotel: $200
  • Private Departure Transfer to Oakland Airport OAK: $97
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Oakland Airport OAK: $81
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland: $93
  • Oakland hotel or address to Oakland Airport (OAK) - Departure Private Transfer: $44
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to San Francisco hotel/address - Private Arrival Transfer: $64
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $88

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portland

Also for Portland, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Waterfall Express -PDX: Waterfall Trolley Tickets + Transfer: $60
  • Lake Oswego to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $72
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Beaverton hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $76
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $76
  • Tigard hotel or address to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $76
  • Private Transfer from Portland Airport (PDX) to Astoria Port: $88
  • Private Transfer from Portland City Hotels to Astoria Cruise Port: $88
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $143
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Beaverton hotel - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $152
  • Portland Airport to The Summit at Snoqualmie Arrival Transfer: $187

Is it cheaper to fly into Berkeley or Portland?

Prices for flights to both Portland and Berkeley change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Berkeley $36
    Portland $43
Typical Food Prices in Berkeley

Some typical examples of dining costs in Berkeley are as follows:


  • Chocolates at Sweet Dreams
    $4.46

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Berkeley

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Berkeley.

  • North 3-Hour Food Tour: $116
  • Best of North Berkeley Food Tour: $130
  • Black Food Tour - Downtown Oakland: $130

Typical Food Prices in Portland

For Portland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Afternoon Drinks (for 2)
    $9.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portland

For Portland, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Portland Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Walking Pizza Tour: $75
  • Secret Food Tour with Local Guide: $81
  • Brunch on Mississippi Food Tour: $95
  • Downtown Portland Food Tour : $99
  • Downtown Food Tour: $102
  • Mississippi Avenue Walking Food Tour: $105
  • The Vibrant Kerns Hood Food Tour: $105
  • The Bustling Buckman Hood Food Tour: $105
  • Portland Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $109
  • Mississippi Avenue Walking Food Tour: $110
  • All-Inclusive Downtown Portland Food Tour: $118

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Berkeley $30
    Portland $24

Tours and Activities in Berkeley

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Berkeley are as follows:

  • 2 Hours Private Walking Tour in Berkeley: $20
  • Classic Sausalito Wooden Boat Tour: $135
  • Comedy Oakland at The Washington Inn Show Tickets: $20
  • Historic Houseboat Tour: $65
  • Oakland Athletics Baseball Game Ticket at RingCentral Coliseum: $11
  • Oakland's Temescal Tastes Tour: $120
  • Redwoods of Marin and Mt. Tamalpais Walking Tour with Local Guide: $59
  • Ruth Bancroft Garden General Admission Ticket: $12
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Berkeley by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Self-Guided Oakland Tour in an Urban Excursion: $20
  • Small-Group Wine-Tasting Tour of Napa-via San Francisco Ferry: $155
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Antioch by Zombie Scavengers: $20

Tours and Activities in Portland

For Portland, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Self Guided Solo "Weird and Wonderful Portland" Walking Tour in Old Town : $6.50
  • Smartphone Old Port Portland, ME Audio Walking Tour APP/GPS: $6.75
  • Golden Adventure Outdoor Escape Game in Portland Downtown: $8.25
  • Portland, Maine: Walking Tour Audio Guide: $8.99
  • Downtown Portland In-App Audio Tour (ENG): $9.00
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Smartphone Audio Guide: $10
  • Uncover the Past: Minnehaha Falls In-App Audio Tour: $11
  • Waterfront Scavenger Hunt Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Downtown Scavenger Hunt & Self-Guided Walking Tour: $13
  • Portland (Downtown) Scavenger Hunt & Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Portland (Along the Waterfront) Scavenger Hunt & Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Portland Exploration: Self-Guided Driving & Walking Tour: $14

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Berkeley $13
    Portland $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Berkeley

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Berkeley:

  • Guided Wine Tasting at Berkeley Wineries with Local Sommelière : $175
  • Guided Wine Tasting with Local Sommelière: $175

Sample the Local Flavors in Portland

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Portland:

  • Weird Portland Pub Tour: $35
  • Oregon Priority Wine Tasting Pass: $40
  • Portland Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $40
  • Haunted Underground Shanghai Tunnel Tour with Brewery Tastings: $40
  • Haunted Pub Tour: $45
  • Weird Bar Crawl with Fanatical Local: $59
  • Guided Bike Tour with Brewery Visits: $65
  • Portland, Maine: Old Port Brewery & Pub Walking Tour: $89
  • Portland, Maine: Local Brewery & Spirits Bus Tour: $99
  • Afternoon Tour in Columbia Gorge Waterfall with Free Wine Tasting: $111
  • Waterfalls, Mt Hood, and Wine Tour (Tasting Fees Included): $135
  • Willamette Valley Insiders Wine Tasting Experience: $195


When comparing the travel costs between Berkeley and Portland, we can see that Berkeley is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Berkeley Expensive? and Is Portland Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Berkeley or Portland?

Portland has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Berkeley. When comparing the sizes of Berkeley and Portland, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Berkeley or Portland?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Berkeley or Portland in the Summer?

Both Portland and Berkeley during the summer are popular places to visit. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Berkeley this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Portland for the hiking, the small town charm, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Berkeley is cooler than Portland. Typically, the summer temperatures in Berkeley in July average around 63°F (17°C), and Portland averages at about 68°F (20°C).

Berkeley usually gets less rain in July than Portland. Berkeley gets 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Berkeley 63°F (17°C) 
    Portland 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Berkeley or Portland in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Berkeley and Portland. Many travelers come to Berkeley for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, many visitors come to Portland in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Berkeley is generally a little warmer than Portland. Daily temperatures in Berkeley average around 63°F (17°C), and Portland fluctuates around 55°F (13°C).

In October, Berkeley usually receives less rain than Portland. Berkeley gets 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Berkeley 63°F (17°C) 
    Portland 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Berkeley or Portland in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Berkeley as well as Portland. Many visitors come to Berkeley in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, most visitors come to Portland for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Portland can be very cold during winter. Berkeley is much warmer than Portland in the winter. The daily temperature in Berkeley averages around 50°F (10°C) in January, and Portland fluctuates around 40°F (4°C).

It's quite rainy in Portland. Berkeley usually gets less rain in January than Portland. Berkeley gets 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Berkeley 50°F (10°C) 
    Portland 40°F (4°C)

Should I visit Berkeley or Portland in the Spring?

Both Portland and Berkeley are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Berkeley for the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Portland because of the small town charm and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Berkeley is a little warmer than Portland. Typically, the spring temperatures in Berkeley in April average around 58°F (14°C), and Portland averages at about 51°F (11°C).

In April, Berkeley usually receives less rain than Portland. Berkeley gets 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Berkeley 58°F (14°C) 
    Portland 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Portland and Berkeley

Berkeley Portland
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Feb 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Mar 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
May 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Jun 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Jul 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Aug 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Sep 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Dec 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm)