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

Should you visit Berkeley or Santa Fe?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Berkeley or Santa Fe, 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 diverse, quirky, and progressive city. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a artsy, cultural, and historic historic town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include food, hiking, and shopping.

Berkeley and Santa Fe: 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 public transit
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Berkeley or Santa Fe?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Santa Fe than Berkeley. While Berkeley is larger than Santa Fe, Santa Fe has more sights and attractions for tourists. Santa Fe is very popular for its skiing, music, historical sights, hiking, and quaint atmosphere, while Berkeley attracts visitors for its museums and nightlife. Berkeley is more touristy than Santa Fe and is popular for its progressive and liberal mindset as well as its farmer's markets and local boutiques. Santa Fe is famous for its strong arts scene, its Pueblo-style architecture, and its unique local cuisine. It is also well known for The Museum of New Mexico Complex.

How is Berkeley different from Santa Fe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Berkeley or Santa Fe Better for Skiing?

Berkeley
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a nice place to visit for snow skiing. However, Berkeley is not a skiing destination.

Head to Santa Fe for some great skiing and other winter activities. There are a few good ski resorts not far from Santa Fe. Popular options include Taos Ski Valley, Ski Santa Fe, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, and Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort.

Berkeley is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Berkeley or Santa Fe?

Berkeley
Santa Fe

Berkeley is a great city for its historical sights. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its sights and museums.

Many visitors head to Berkeley specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. 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.

Santa Fe is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Head to the Museum of New Mexico Complex, which has four museums that give a great overview of the history of the area. Also make sure you visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

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

Berkeley
Santa Fe

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at excellent restaurants in both Berkeley and Santa Fe.

Dining out in Berkeley is an experience not to be missed. 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.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Santa Fe. There are many local restaurants that use regional ingredients and offer great flavors. There are also cafes and bistros where you can enjoy breakfast or brunch. Local dishes include sopaipillas made with Native American fry bread, slow-cooked beans, and anything made with red and green chili peppers.

Is Berkeley or Santa Fe Better for Nightlife?

Berkeley
Santa Fe

Berkeley is a great city for its evening party scene. However, Santa Fe is not known for nightlife.

The nightlife in Berkeley has something for everybody. 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.

Most people don't head to Santa Fe specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. While most of the town quiets down at night, the city has a few areas that stay active late into the night. Live music is popular and diverse. It often includes different genres such as the blues, country, salsa or bluegrass.


Is Berkeley or Santa Fe Better for Music?

Berkeley
Santa Fe

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

The music scene helps keep Santa Fe active and fun. The town has an eclectic music scene that includes a mix of the blues, country, Latin American music, and bluegrass.

Berkeley is not a live music destination.

Is Berkeley or Santa Fe Better for its Old Town?

Berkeley
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is notable for its historic old town charm. However, Berkeley does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors go to Santa Fe to see the historical old town. As the 2nd oldest city in the United States, the old town historic district is filled with charm. The Pueblo-style buildings are brightly colored and there are churches throughout.

Berkeley does not have a historic old town.

Is Berkeley or Santa Fe Better for Hiking?

Berkeley
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a nice place to visit for the nearby hiking options. However, Berkeley is not a hiking destination.

Santa Fe has hiking trails worth exploring. Because it's located right by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, there are many beautiful hikes right outside of town. Popular trails include the Picacho Peak Trail and the Nambe Lake Trail. Bandelier National also has many places to hike.

Berkeley is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Berkeley or Santa Fe?

Berkeley
Santa Fe

Both Berkeley and Santa Fe are excellent shopping destinations.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in 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.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Santa Fe. There are many unique shops and art galleries that feature local artists and craftsmen.

Is Berkeley or Santa Fe Better for Families?

Berkeley
Santa Fe

Berkeley and Santa Fe are both nice 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.

Santa Fe is a family-friendly city. There are a few kids' museums in Santa Fe including the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Meow Wolf Art Complex. Kids also enjoy the botanical gardens at Museum Hill and Bandelier National Monument just outside of the city.

Is Berkeley or Santa Fe Better for Couples?

Berkeley
Santa Fe

Berkeley and Santa Fe are both nice 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.

Santa Fe is a nice destination for couples. There are many romantic inns around town, each with a lot of character. The town also has a lot of atmosphere that makes for a romantic getaway.


Is Berkeley or Santa Fe Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Berkeley
Santa Fe

Berkeley is a great city for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Santa Fe is not known for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and 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.

Santa Fe is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There's a hostel in town as well as several campgrounds.

Is Berkeley or Santa Fe Better for Students?

Berkeley
Santa Fe

Berkeley is a great city for its student-friendly activities. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for students.

Berkeley is very popular with students. 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.

Santa Fe is a good city to visit for students. There are a few colleges and universities in town and students will appreciate the reasonable cost of living and outdoor activities nearby.

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

Berkeley
Santa Fe

Berkeley is an unbeatable place for times when you don't have a car. However, Santa Fe is not known for its public transit.

Visitors in Berkeley can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. 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 Santa Fe. There is a bus system - the Santa Fe Trails Bus Service.


Is Berkeley or Santa Fe a more walkable city?

Berkeley
Santa Fe

Berkeley is an unbeatable place for its ease of walking around. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its walkability.

Berkeley is a very easy city to get around on foot. Most of Berkeley is very walkable, particularly the parts around the university.

Santa Fe is very walkable. The historic district is walkable and it's easy to visit most of the tourist sights in this area on foot.

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

Should I spend more time in Santa Fe or Berkeley?

How long in Berkeley or Santa Fe?

In either Berkeley or Santa Fe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Santa Fe than Berkeley because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Berkeley, and 2-5 days is enough time in Santa Fe.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Berkeley than Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe? Ideal Length of Stay
    Berkeley 2-3 
    Santa Fe 2-5

One day in Berkeley or Santa Fe?

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 historic town of Santa Fe offers museums and skiing. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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 Santa Fe?

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.

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


Five days in Berkeley or Santa Fe?

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.

Santa Fe is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Santa Fe, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Berkeley or Santa Fe?

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.

Santa Fe is a great place to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This historic town offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe is $159. 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 Santa Fe in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Berkeley $131
    Santa Fe $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Berkeley $262
    Santa Fe $162
Compare Hotels in Berkeley and Santa Fe

Looking for a hotel in Berkeley or Santa Fe? 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 Santa Fe


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 Santa Fe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Berkeley $30
    Santa Fe $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Berkeley

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Berkeley:

  • Arrival Transfer from Oakland Airport OAK to San Francisco by SUV: $232
  • Private Transfer: Oakland International Airport to Hotel: $200
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to San Francisco - Round-Trip Private Car Transfer: $127
  • Private Departure Transfer to Oakland Airport OAK: $97
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland: $93
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $87
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to San Francisco hotel/address - Private Arrival Transfer: $63
  • Oakland hotel or address to Oakland Airport (OAK) - Departure Private Transfer: $44

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Fe

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Santa Fe Airport (SAF): $62
  • Private Departure Transfer to Santa Fe Airport SAF: $125
  • New Mexico: Private Transfer from Santa Fe Regional Airport: $196

Is it cheaper to fly into Berkeley or Santa Fe?

Prices for flights to both Santa Fe 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
    Santa Fe $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: $140

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Fe

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

  • Wander NM Food Tour - Tuesday Farmers' Market: $149
  • New Mexican Flavors Food Tour of the Santa Fe Plaza: $184
  • Santa Fe Farmers Market & Railyard Food Tour: $184
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Railyard Arts District: $189
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Downtown Plaza 'Sip & Savor': $209
  • Downtown Plaza "Sip and Savor" Half-day Food Tour: $209
  • Savor Wine Pairing Dinner: $228

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Berkeley $30
    Santa Fe $17

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

Tours and Activities in Santa Fe

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Santa Fe.

  • Historic Downtown Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $6.75
  • The Town Too High To Die: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in New Mexico: $6.99
  • Santa Fe Historic Downtown Smart Phone Audio App Self Guided GPS Walking Tour : $7.80
  • Santa Fe's Historic Gems: A Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Santa Fe by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Santa Fe by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Santa Fe NM: $15
  • Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour of Historic Santa Fe: $15
  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Santa Fe Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Willa Cather's Walking Tour in Santa Fe: $40

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Berkeley $13
    Santa Fe $9.68

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 Santa Fe

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

  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery Tour and Tasting: $18
  • Architectural Walking Tour & Wine Tasting: $135


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Berkeley and Santa Fe, we can see that Berkeley is more expensive. And not only is Santa Fe much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Santa Fe would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Santa Fe 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 Berkeley would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Berkeley than you might in Santa Fe.

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


Which is Bigger, Berkeley or Santa Fe?

Berkeley has a larger population, and is about 45% larger than the population of Santa Fe. When comparing the sizes of Berkeley and Santa Fe, 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.