A Travel Price Comparison for California Berkeley vs. Yosemite National Park for Backpackers, Food, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Berkeley or Yosemite National Park?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Berkeley or Yosemite National Park, 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. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is a breathtaking, popular, and world-famous national park. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include hiking.

Berkeley and Yosemite National Park: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
Pros
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to El Capitan
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Berkeley or Yosemite National Park?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Yosemite National Park. Although Berkeley and Yosemite National Park are popular destinations, Yosemite National Park has more sights and attractions for tourists. Yosemite National Park is very popular for its resorts, hiking, and impressive beauty, while Berkeley attracts visitors for its museums, food, nightlife, and shopping. Yosemite National Park is more touristy than Berkeley and is known for its stunning hikes, giant Sequoias, breathtaking vistas, and the granite cliffs of Half Dome. It is also well known for El Capitan. Berkeley is famous for its progressive and liberal mindset as well as its farmer's markets and local boutiques.

How is Berkeley different from Yosemite National Park?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Yosemite National Park 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 Yosemite National Park?

Berkeley
Yosemite National Park

Berkeley is a well-known place for its sights and museums. However, Yosemite National Park does not have museums and landmarks.

Berkeley offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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.

Yosemite National Park does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Berkeley or Yosemite National Park? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Berkeley
Yosemite National Park

Berkeley is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Yosemite National Park is not a good national park for its restaurants.

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.

Yosemite National Park offers some easy restaurants to choose from. There are a few varied restaurants in the park that offer casual food or packaged meals that you can take away. The food is generally expensive and not always the best, so you'll likely enjoy packing your own picnic food to enjoy within the park.

Is Berkeley or Yosemite National Park Better for Nightlife?

Berkeley
Yosemite National Park

Berkeley is a well-known place for its evening party scene. However, Yosemite National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Berkeley offers plenty to do in the evening. 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.

Yosemite National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Berkeley or Yosemite National Park Better for Resorts?

Berkeley
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is notable for its resorts. However, Berkeley is not a resort destination.

Yosemite National Park is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. There are several grand hotels and lodges within the park. Reservations are a must, especially if you're traveling during peak seasons.

Berkeley is not a resort destination.


Is Berkeley or Yosemite National Park Better for Hiking?

Berkeley
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is renowned for the nearby hiking options. However, Berkeley is not a hiking destination.

Known for its hiking, Yosemite National Park draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. This park has many famous hikes that take you by Half Dome, near Yosemite Falls, and through breathtaking landscapes. Popular hikes in the area include Mist Trail to Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall and Mirror Lake Trail.

Berkeley is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Berkeley or Yosemite National Park?

Berkeley
Yosemite National Park

Berkeley is a well-known place for its shopping areas. However, Yosemite National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

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.

Yosemite National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Berkeley or Yosemite National Park Better for Families?

Berkeley
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is notable for its family-friendly activities. Also, Berkeley is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Yosemite National Park is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. This park has many hikes, climbs, and activities that kids of all ages can enjoy. When the weather's warm the kids will enjoy getting wet in Merced River. They'll also be impressed by the giant sequoias and the beautiful waterfalls. In the evening the staff host ranger programs that are fun and educational for everyone. The park also has kid-friendly camping and lodges.

Berkeley is a family-friendly city. 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.


Is Berkeley or Yosemite National Park Better for Couples?

Berkeley
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is notable for couples. Also, Berkeley is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for romance.

Yosemite National Park is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples who enjoy nature, rock climbing, hiking, and being outside will enjoy a visit to this park. There is an endless supply of romantic views and fun-filled activities that are perfect for avid hikers or those looking for a more relaxing travel experience.

Berkeley is a nice destination for couples. 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.

Is Berkeley or Yosemite National Park Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Berkeley
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is renowned for backpackers. Also, Berkeley is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Yosemite National Park is a very popular national park to visit for backpackers. Campgrounds and back country trails make this area a backpacker's paradise.

Berkeley is very popular with the backpacker crowd. 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.

Is Berkeley or Yosemite National Park Better for Students?

Berkeley
Yosemite National Park

Berkeley is a well-known place for students. However, Yosemite National Park is not popular with students.

Berkeley is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. 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.

Yosemite National Park is not popular with students.


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

Berkeley
Yosemite National Park

Berkeley is a world-class destination for its public transit. Also, Yosemite National Park is not as famous, but is still a good national park to visit for times when you don't have a car.

With a huge network, the transit system in Berkeley can get you around easily. It's located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has access to buses and several BART stations.

Yosemite National Park has some public transit options. There is a free bus service that travels around Yosemite Valley.

Is Berkeley or Yosemite National Park a more walkable city?

Berkeley
Yosemite National Park

Berkeley is a world-class destination for its ease of walking around. However, Yosemite National Park is not a good national park for its walkability.

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

Yosemite National Park is generally not a very walkable city. The park is large and a car is necessary to reach many places within the park.

For even more information, also check out Is Berkeley Worth Visiting? and Is Yosemite National Park Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Yosemite National Park or Berkeley?

How long in Berkeley or Yosemite National Park?

Both Berkeley and Yosemite National Park have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Yosemite National Park than in Berkeley. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Berkeley, and 3-7 days is enough time in Yosemite National Park.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Berkeley than Yosemite National Park 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 Yosemite National Park? Ideal Length of Stay
    Berkeley 2-3 
    Yosemite National Park 3-7

One day in Berkeley or Yosemite National Park?

The city of Berkeley offers museums and nightlife. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

The beautiful national park of Yosemite National Park offers . 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 Yosemite National Park?

The quirky destination of Berkeley offers nightlife and food. This city offers something for everyone. It is common to spend a weekend here. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Yosemite National Park is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Berkeley or Yosemite National Park?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Berkeley. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Yosemite National Park is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Yosemite National Park, 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 Yosemite National Park?

Berkeley is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the destination of Berkeley. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Yosemite National Park is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. It is common to spend one week here. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Yosemite National Park has to offer. This national park 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, Yosemite National Park 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 Yosemite National Park is $129. 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 Yosemite National Park in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Berkeley $131
    Yosemite National Park $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Berkeley $262
    Yosemite National Park $128
Compare Hotels in Berkeley and Yosemite National Park

Looking for a hotel in Berkeley or Yosemite National Park? 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 Yosemite National Park


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 Yosemite National Park Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Berkeley $30
    Yosemite National Park $41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Berkeley

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Berkeley:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Berkeley or Yosemite National Park?

Prices for flights to both Yosemite National Park 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
    Yosemite National Park $40
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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Berkeley $30
    Yosemite National Park $19

Tours and Activities in Berkeley

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

  • Ruth Bancroft Garden General Admission Ticket: $12
  • Comedy Oakland at The Washington Inn Show Tickets: $20
  • 2 Hours Private Walking Tour in Berkeley: $20
  • Self-Guided Oakland Tour in an Urban Excursion: $20
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Berkeley by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Antioch by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Oakland Athletics Baseball Game Ticket at RingCentral Coliseum: $26
  • Redwoods of Marin and Mt. Tamalpais Walking Tour with Local Guide: $59
  • Historic Houseboat Tour: $65
  • Classic Sausalito Wooden Boat Tour: $135

Tours and Activities in Yosemite National Park

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Yosemite National Park are as follows:

  • Yosemite Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Yosemite National Park Audio Driving Tour: $14
  • Yosemite: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour: $15
  • Yosemite Panorama Trail Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Yosemite: Audio Driving Tour: $15
  • Yosemite Valley Tour with Transport from Oakhurst: $130
  • Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup: $169
  • Big Trees Hike & Riverside Cookout Adventure: $180
  • Yosemite’s High Country Adaptive Tour: $180
  • Yosemite Valley & Glacier Point Adaptive Tour: $180
  • Yosemite Winter Highlights Small Group Tour: $190
  • Yosemite Highlights Small Group Tour: $200

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Berkeley $13
    Yosemite National Park $11

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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Berkeley and Yosemite National Park, we can see that Berkeley is more expensive. And not only is Yosemite National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Yosemite National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Yosemite National Park 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 Yosemite National Park.

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