Should You Visit Berkeley?

Is Berkeley worth visiting?

Yes, you'll find numerous reasons to visit Berkeley, and it's a city that everyone should see. We had an amazing time here. We first visited Berkeley in many times when we lived in the SF Bay area. During our time here, we fell in love with its local venues and laid back vibe.

Whether you're a traveling as a family, a couple, or a backpacker, this city has a lot to offer. Any local will tell you what makes it special is the spectacular museums and terrific food.

Berkeley is located in the San Francisco Bay area in California. It's home to the University of California, Berkeley, and it has a strategic position right on the bay. The city has long been at the front of the progressive movement and it embraces its quirky and alternative personalities.

Berkeley, California Berkeley, California

4 Reasons to Visit Berkeley

1. Museums

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.

2. Food

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.

3. Nightlife

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.

4. 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.




Is Berkeley worth visiting in the Summer?

Summer is the high season for travel in Berkeley, so expect more visitors and higher prices. This destination is quite popular with tourists, and in the high season it's even busier than usual as this is when most people like to visit. Expect crowds to be large, and prices to be a bit higher than normal. However, there's plenty to do here this time of year, too.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during summer with average temperatures around 17°C (63°F).

You'll also find it quite easy to get around on foot, because this is a very walkable city, especially in the nice weather. You'll find plenty to do during summer, as you'll be able to spend time at the museums and dance the night away.


Summer Weather in Berkeley
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
July 17°C (63°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
August 18°C (64°F) 1 mm (0.1 in)
September 19°C (66°F) 7 mm (0.3 in)

Is Berkeley worth visiting in the Autumn?

This is the shoulder season for travel in Berkeley. This destination is quite touristy, so in the shoulder season you can still find plenty of crowds, but better prices.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during autumn with average temperatures around 17°C (63°F).

Autumn is a great time of year to explore the numerous museums and landmarks around town. They are fun for the whole family as well great for couples. During this season it's fun to experience the beautiful scenery and the museums and landmarks.


Autumn Weather in Berkeley
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
October 17°C (63°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
November 14°C (57°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
December 11°C (51°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)

Is Berkeley worth visiting in the Winter?

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during winter with average temperatures around 10°C (50°F).

The low season for travel in Berkeley is during the winter. This destination is quite touristy, but in the low season you'll see fewer crowds and much better prices.

You'll like that you can take public transit easily in the winter, too. You can get around quickly while avoiding bad weather if needed. This is a great time of year to wander through the museums, sample the delicious cuisine, and take advantage of the local nightlife.


Winter Weather in Berkeley
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
January 10°C (50°F) 96 mm (3.8 in)
February 12°C (54°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
March 13°C (56°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)

Is Berkeley worth visiting in the Spring?

Spring is the shoulder season for travel in Berkeley. This destination is quite touristy, so in the shoulder season you can still find plenty of crowds, but better prices.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during spring with average temperatures around 14°C (58°F).

You'll find plenty to do during spring, as you'll be able to find the best deals at the shops, browse through museums, and admire the wonderful scenery. Also, you can experience the nightlife.


Spring Weather in Berkeley
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
April 14°C (58°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
May 15°C (60°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
June 17°C (62°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)

Things to Consider Before Visiting Berkeley

Not As Family-Friendly
While there are some family activities, it's not as child-friendly as other destinations.

Not As Romantic
For couples, this destination does not have a great vibe for romance compared to other places.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Berkeley might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Berkeley here or see if Berkeley is expensive here.

Related

What is Berkeley most famous for?

Berkeley is most famous for its progressive and liberal mindset as well as its farmer's markets and local boutiques. It is often described as quirky, progressive, and diverse.


What is the most famous sight in Berkeley?

The most popular sight in Berkeley is University of California Botanical Garden. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Berkeley on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for University of California Botanical Garden and other attractions here.

How touristy is Berkeley? Is it a popular city to visit?

Berkeley is a popular city for tourists and travelers. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)


    • Redwoods of Marin and Mt. Tamalpais Walking Tour with Local Guide: $59
    • Oakland's Temescal Tastes Tour: $120
    • Oakland Athletics Baseball Game Ticket at RingCentral Coliseum: $11
    • Classic Sausalito Wooden Boat Tour: $135
    • Ruth Bancroft Garden General Admission Ticket: $12
    • 2 Hours Private Walking Tour in Berkeley: $20
    • Self-Guided Oakland Tour in an Urban Excursion: $20
    • Comedy Oakland at The Washington Inn Show Tickets: $20

    How long should I spend in Berkeley?

    The ideal length of time for a trip to Berkeley is two to three days. Since Berkeley has activities such as museums, dining, nightlife, and shopping, many visit for up to three days.

    If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Berkeley? and Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Berkeley?.