Hostels and Cheap Places to stay in Berkeley, USA

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Get to know Berkeley (no more "I wish I knew this before")

This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Berkeley. To help you make friends with Berkeley before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!

Berkeley is an extremely politically liberal city that is home to the first established University of California, more affectionately known as "Cal". Berkeley is very friendly, diverse area that is rich in character. An organic and hippie lifestyle is definitely promoted and practiced by most of the people that live there. You may want to stay at a hostel in Berkeley to use it as a base for exploring San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area.

Driving through Berkeley can be a headache due to the one-way streets and vast number of pedestrians. Parking is also usually sparse and expensive, so walking is truly the best way to explore. Biking may be difficult due to the hills and traffic. A BART station is also within walking distance, which makes traveling to San Francisco and other parts of the bay quite accessible from your Berkeley hostel (except late at night).

Telegraph Street is the main street in town that has quality second hand shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Homeless and buskers will likely be seen but are harmless. Street vendors are usually out selling handmade crafts and jewelry, which can make original gifts. Berkeley has a great variety of international cuisine, including Thai, Indian, Greek, and Ethiopian. Whole Foods upscale grocery is also near-by but is of course a little pricey.

When you want to venture out from your Berkeley hostel, there are many things to do in town, including spending a day at the Lawerence Hall of Science, taking a yoga class, attending a football game, or even just relaxing in the Rose Garden. There are many local music acts performing most nights of the week and a lively bar scene that's not to miss.

Your Packing List for Berkeley

Your Packing List for Berkeley

Pack smart, not hard

Hostel? Check! Now let's have at your hostel packing list for Berkeley and USA.

You may wonder what to pack when staying in hostels? There is a few absolute basics you always have to pick. Other items are more optional and depend more on your location. Here is the must-packing items when staying in hostels:

These are the basics, yet there is more. We wrote a big, detailed guide on what to pack, tech gear and things you won't need.

Get your full Packing List here

Other Nearby Cities

Oakland (7 Km / 5 mi.)
San Francisco (17 Km / 10 mi.)
Sausalito (19 Km / 12 mi.)
Daly City (25 Km / 15 mi.)
Burlingame (33 Km / 21 mi.)
Montara (42 Km / 26 mi.)
Pleasanton (42 Km / 26 mi.)

Travel Tips for Berkeley - from the Community

Hey fam! Here are a few more tips from the community, from them to you, and you to them. This space is dedicated for travellers to share their best tips on backpacking Berkeley. Have a closer look - the Hostelz community share real hidden gems, insider knowledge and overall impressions of Berkeley. Everyone is welcome to add something useful, funny, unexpected and the "absolutely necessary to know before you go" - share, share and then share a little more!

Berkeley comments only. Don't discuss the hostels here, post a review on the hostel's page instead.

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