Planning your visit
So, you're coming to Berkeley. Whether you're on a whirlwind tour of Bay Area universities and only have a day to spend or know that Berkeley is the school for you and want to spend a few days exploring, this list will help you plan your visit. The links at left will tell you how to get here by car or by public transportation, where to stay, where to eat (on campus and off), and which local cafés offer free wireless Internet.
But the list below, put together by our Campus Ambassadors, is all you need to guide you as you choose what to do while you're here.
The core curriculum
- Take a guided campus walking tour, of course. Yes, we do offer limited guided tours over the weekend.
- Visit the top of the Campanile for a 360-degree view of the campus and the Bay Area.
- Get a sandwich to go from one of the local cafes, and hang out on Sproul Plaza during the lunch hour: check out the tables of all the student clubs on campus, listen to free music, and watch the kaleidoscopic parade of students.
- Grab a coffee at the Free Speech Movement (FSM) Café inside the Moffit Undergraduate Library, checking out the world news kiosks on your way in and browsing the Free Speech Movement memorabilia on your way out. Try the espresso brownie while you are there, too. Mmmmm.
- Walk through Doe Library, the headquarters of our university library system. As you enter, stop by the Morrison Reading Library just inside the main entrance on the right.
- Don't miss the giant reading rooms up on the second floor.
- Tour the Berkeley Art Museum or the Hearst Museum of Anthropology.
- Sit in on a class during the fall semester. Here's how.
- Look at our events calendar and take in a play, concert, or special lecture.
- Go to a football game or other athletic event. Go Bears!
- Have a picnic on Memorial Glade a.k.a. the "Berkeley Beach."
- Visit the Naia Lounge, the on-campus gelato place, in Lower Sproul Plaza. At night Naia occasionally features open-mic comedy nights.
- Go see a movie at UC Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive, home to the largest collection of Japanese films outside of Japan and host to many film festivals.
- If you have a car, take a drive up Strawberry Canyon, stopping at UC Berkeley's Botanical Garden on your way up to the Lawrence Hall of Science and the incredible views along Grizzly Peak Blvd., which rides the ridgeline.
- Walk or drive to North Berkeley's famous Gourmet Ghetto for lunch or dinner. About a mile north of campus, it's home to Chez Panisse, the Cheeseboard Pizza Collective and Cheese Shop, Masse's Pastries, Bar Cesar, the French Hotel, the Epicurious Garden, Cha-Ya, and more.
- Berkeley is rich in hiking trails. Visit the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association website to get good tips on where to walk.