A Travel Price Comparison for California Berkeley vs. Sacramento for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Backpackers

Should you visit Berkeley or Sacramento?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Berkeley or Sacramento, 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 progressive, diverse, and quirky city. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Sacramento

Sacramento is a undiscovered, laid back, and relaxed city. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Berkeley and Sacramento: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Berkeley or Sacramento?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Berkeley than Sacramento. While Sacramento is larger than Berkeley, Berkeley has more sights and attractions for tourists. Berkeley is more touristy than Sacramento and is popular for its progressive and liberal mindset as well as its farmer's markets and local boutiques. It is also home to University of California Botanical Garden. Sacramento is popular for its history and state capital.

How is Berkeley different from Sacramento?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Sacramento 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 Sacramento?

Berkeley
Sacramento

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Berkeley or Sacramento.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Berkeley can be an interesting and educational experience. 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.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Sacramento. As the state capital, you'll find a number of historical and informational museums around town. You should check out the State Capital, as well as the California State Railroad Museum, the Crocker Museum of Art, Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, and the California Automobile Museum.


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

Berkeley
Sacramento

Berkeley is a very popular place for its restaurants. Also, Sacramento is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Berkeley has a huge number of terrific restaurants. 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.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Sacramento area. Casual restaurants with laid back atmospheres are what's most common around town. You'll also find a variety of international cuisines that include Korean and Vietnamese.

Is Berkeley or Sacramento Better for Nightlife?

Berkeley
Sacramento

Berkeley is a very popular place for nightlife and partying. Also, Sacramento is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its evening party scene.

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.

Sacramento has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. There highest concentration of activities are found in Downtown Sacramento. You'll find bars, clubs and live music in the area. You can also head to midtown, which has performing arts and comedy shows.

Is the Shopping Better in Berkeley or Sacramento?

Berkeley
Sacramento

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

Berkeley is well-known for its shopping. 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.

Many visitors go to Sacramento to go shopping. You'll find down-to-earth vendors who have reasonable prices and a great selection. Some of the most interesting shopping is found at the Old Sacramento Waterfront or along Folsom Boulevard.


Is Berkeley or Sacramento Better for Families?

Berkeley
Sacramento

Berkeley and Sacramento are both good 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.

Sacramento is a family-friendly city. With the large number of families that live in the area, you'll a variety of kid-friendly activities. Options include smaller amusement parks like Funderland Amusement Park, museums like the Sacramento Children's Museum, and indoor trampoline parks. There's also Fairytale Town, which is an imagination filled playground.

Is Berkeley or Sacramento Better for Couples?

Berkeley
Sacramento

Berkeley is a nice place to visit for its romantic activities. However, Sacramento is lacking in good options for couples.

Berkeley makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.

Sacramento is not always the best place to visit for a couple. Picnics, nice restaurants, and shows make for enjoyable date activities while you're in town.

Is Berkeley or Sacramento Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Berkeley
Sacramento

Berkeley is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Sacramento is lacking in good options for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Berkeley. 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.

Sacramento is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Although most backpackers skip this town for more popular destinations, there are a couple of hostels in town.


Is Berkeley or Sacramento Better for Students?

Berkeley
Sacramento

Berkeley is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Sacramento is not popular with students.

Berkeley is a great city to visit as a student. 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.

Sacramento is not popular with students.

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

Berkeley
Sacramento

Berkeley is very popular for times when you don't have a car. However, Sacramento is lacking in good options 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.

Public transit is generally limited in Sacramento. There's both light rail and buses around town.

Is Berkeley or Sacramento a more walkable city?

Berkeley
Sacramento

Berkeley is very popular for its high level of walkability. However, Sacramento is lacking in good options for its ease of walking around.

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

Sacramento is generally not very walkable. You'll really want a car to get around town, but Midtown is one of the more walkable areas.


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

Should I spend more time in Sacramento or Berkeley?

How long in Berkeley or Sacramento?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Berkeley or Sacramento to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Berkeley than Sacramento because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Berkeley, and 1-2 days is enough time in Sacramento.

Families should spend more time in Berkeley than Sacramento. 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 Sacramento. 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 Sacramento 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 Sacramento? Ideal Length of Stay
    Berkeley 2-3 
    Sacramento 1-2

One day in Berkeley or Sacramento?

With museums and nightlife around the quirky city of Berkeley, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

The city of Sacramento offers food and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Berkeley or Sacramento?

With nightlife and food around the destination of Berkeley, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Sacramento 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 Sacramento, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Berkeley or Sacramento?

Berkeley, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Sacramento 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 Sacramento?

Berkeley is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Sacramento 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.


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, Sacramento 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 Sacramento is $281. 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 Sacramento in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Berkeley $131
    Sacramento $111
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Berkeley $262
    Sacramento $222
Compare Hotels in Berkeley and Sacramento

Looking for a hotel in Berkeley or Sacramento? 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 Sacramento


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 Sacramento Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Berkeley $30
    Sacramento $51

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Berkeley

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Berkeley:

  • Private Transfer: Oakland International Airport to Hotel: $200
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland: $93
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to San Francisco hotel/address - Private Arrival Transfer: $63
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to San Francisco - Round-Trip Private Car Transfer: $126
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $87
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland hotel or address - Private Arrival Transfer: $43
  • Arrival Transfer from Oakland Airport OAK to San Francisco by SUV: $232

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sacramento

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

  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Arrival Private Transfer: $110
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $219
  • Round Trip Private Transfer in Sacramento Airport to Calistoga: $293

Is it cheaper to fly into Berkeley or Sacramento?

Prices for flights to both Sacramento 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
    Sacramento $53
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: $140

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sacramento

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

  • Historic Old Sacramento Walking Food Tour: $95
  • Midtown Sacramento Arts and Food Tour: $98
  • Downtown Sacramento Historical Food Tour: $98
  • Midtown Sacramento Walking Food Tour: $125
  • Midtown Walking Food Tour: $145
  • Italian Cooking and Dance Class Experience: $160

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Berkeley $30
    Sacramento $19

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: $16
  • 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
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Antioch by Zombie Scavengers: $20

Tours and Activities in Sacramento

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

  • Gold Rush & Ghosts SmartPhone App Walking Tour: $6.50
  • Gold Rush and Ghosts of Sacramento Smart Phone guided (App/GPS) Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Old A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Old A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Historic Folsom: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • A Highway 49 Drive: A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Placerville to Jackson: $12
  • Driving in Delta’s Wine Country: Private Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Delta's History and Wine: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $12
  • A Highway 49 Drive: A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Jackson to Angels Camp: $12
  • A Highway 49 Drive: A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Auburn to Placerville: $12
  • Sacramento Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Berkeley $13
    Sacramento $12

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 Sacramento

Also in Sacramento, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Sacramento Bar Hunt: Sacramento Sprint Bar Crawl: $12
  • Cider and Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch - near Sacramento: $125


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Berkeley and Sacramento, we can see that Sacramento is more expensive. And not only is Berkeley much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Berkeley would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Berkeley and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Sacramento would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Sacramento than you might in Berkeley.

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


Which is Bigger, Berkeley or Sacramento?

Sacramento has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Berkeley. When comparing the sizes of Berkeley and Sacramento, 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 Sacramento?

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 Sacramento in the Summer?

Both Sacramento and Berkeley during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Berkeley because of the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Sacramento this time of year.

In July, Berkeley is generally cooler than Sacramento. Daily temperatures in Berkeley average around 63°F (17°C), and Sacramento fluctuates around 76°F (24°C).

Berkeley usually gets more rain in July than Sacramento. Berkeley gets 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Berkeley 63°F (17°C) 
    Sacramento 76°F (24°C)

Should I visit Berkeley or Sacramento in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Berkeley and Sacramento. The shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Berkeley this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Sacramento for the shopping scene.

Berkeley is around the same temperature as Sacramento in the autumn. The daily temperature in Berkeley averages around 63°F (17°C) in October, and Sacramento fluctuates around 64°F (18°C).

In October, Berkeley usually receives more rain than Sacramento. Berkeley gets 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 1.1 inches (27 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Berkeley 63°F (17°C) 
    Sacramento 64°F (18°C)

Should I visit Berkeley or Sacramento in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Berkeley as well as Sacramento. Many travelers come to Berkeley for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, many visitors come to Sacramento in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Berkeley is a little warmer than Sacramento. Typically, the winter temperatures in Berkeley in January average around 50°F (10°C), and Sacramento averages at about 45°F (7°C).

Berkeley usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Sacramento. Berkeley gets 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 3.8 inches (97 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Berkeley 50°F (10°C) 
    Sacramento 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit Berkeley or Sacramento in the Spring?

Both Sacramento and Berkeley are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Berkeley in the spring for the natural beauty.

In April, Berkeley is generally around the same temperature as Sacramento. Daily temperatures in Berkeley average around 58°F (14°C), and Sacramento fluctuates around 58°F (15°C).

In April, Berkeley usually receives around the same amount of rain as Sacramento. Berkeley gets 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 1.3 inches (32 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Berkeley 58°F (14°C) 
    Sacramento 58°F (15°C)

Typical Weather for Sacramento and Berkeley

Berkeley Sacramento
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm)
Feb 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 51°F (10°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Apr 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm) 58°F (15°C) 1.3 inches (32 mm)
May 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm) 65°F (18°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Jun 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 76°F (24°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Aug 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm) 75°F (24°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Sep 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
Nov 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Dec 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 45°F (7°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)