University of California, Berkeley


'Cal' is one of the country's top universities, California's oldest university (1866), and home to 40,000 diverse, politically conscious students. Next to California Memorial Stadium, the Koret Visitor Center has information and maps, and leads free campus walking tours (reservations required). Cal's landmark is the 1914 Campanile, with elevator rides ($4) to the top and carillon concerts. The Bancroft Library displays the small gold nugget that started the California gold rush in 1848.

Leading to the campus's south gate, Telegraph Avenue is as youthful and gritty as San Francisco's Haight St, packed with cafes, cheap eats, record stores and bookstores. Or you can enter from Center St and Oxford Lane, not far from Downtown Berkeley BART station.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Berkeley attractions

1. Sather Gate

0.06 MILES

The frenetic energy buzzing from the university’s Sather Gate on any given day is a mixture of youthful posthippies reminiscing about days before their…

2. Telegraph Avenue

0.16 MILES

Telegraph Ave has traditionally been the throbbing heart of studentville in Berkeley, the sidewalks crowded with undergrads, postdocs and youthful…

3. Campanile

0.19 MILES

Officially called Sather Tower, the Campanile was modeled on St Mark’s Basilica in Venice. The 307ft spire offers fine views of the Bay Area, and at the…

4. Bancroft Library


The Bancroft houses, among other gems, the papers of Mark Twain, a copy of Shakespeare’s folios and a diary from the Donner Party. Its small public…

5. UC Museum of Paleontology


Despite the title, this isn't a museum, but rather a research facility that's closed to the public. With that said, the location within the Valley Life…

7. People’s Park

0.28 MILES

This park, just east of Telegraph Ave, is a marker in local history as a political battleground between residents and the city and state government in the…

8. First Church of Christ, Scientist

0.32 MILES

Bernard Maybeck’s impressive 1910 church uses concrete and wood in its blend of arts-and-crafts, Asian and Gothic influences. Maybeck was a professor of…