Moving to Berkeley

Tips when looking for housing:

Learn about the neighborhoods

There are several neighborhoods close to the Cal campus (within five miles). The most common are: Berkeley, Berkeley Hills, Kensington, Albany, El Cerrito, Oakland, and Emeryville. Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill (located approximately 15 miles east of campus) and San Francisco (about 15 miles west of campus) are also nice options.

Northside/North Berkeley: North Berkeley is quieter than the south side of campus (see below) and boasts charming apartments, single-family homes, and co-operational housing. Many graduate students and postdocs live on the Northside, as it is conveniently located to campus and has a wide range of housing values. The Gourmet Ghetto, located on Shattuck Avenue, is full of great restaurants and located close-by. 

Berkeley Hills/Kensington: Located in the hills north/east of campus, this part of town boasts large, single-family homes along winding, tree-lined streets. Postdocs may easily find houses, rooms for rent, and in-law apartments, some with great views of the city. Tilden Park borders this neighborhood, featuring hiking, swimming, picnic areas, and golf course. Most will find that it is easy to commute by bus to campus.

Southside: A college student-oriented section of town south of the Cal campus. Full of cafes, restaurants, record stores, and street vendors on Telegraph Avenue.

Downtown Berkeley: Located adjacent to the west side of campus, downtown boasts restaurants, shops on or close to Shattuck Avenue, and most of the bars in Berkeley can be found here. The Downtown Berkeley BART station is also located here, making it convenient to travel to the city.

Albany: Single-family houses and rentals can be found north/west of Berkeley in the city of Albany. University Village, a large, University-owned family student housing complex, is also a popular option for families. Campus is only a bus-ride away.

El Cerrito: Located north of Albany, El Cerrito has many large shopping centers and is close to two BART stations.

Oakland: Dispel any misconceptions you may have about Oakland! There are several cute neighborhoods in Oakland, the most popular of which is Rockridge. Close to the Rockridge BART, this neighborhood boasts lots of cute restaurants close to apartments and single-family homes.

Emeryville: Close to the Bay Street shopping center, new apartment housing has been popping up in the past decade. Take a free shuttle to the MacArthur BART station to commute to campus.

Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill: Apartments and single-family houses abound in this safe suburb, which is just a BART ride away. This neighborhood is also home to the Broadway Plaza center, full of restaurants and shops.

San Francisco: Made up of lots of smaller neighborhoods, San Francisco is a great place to live if you enjoy city life. Several BART stations, located on Market Street, provide an easy commute to campus.


For more information, please visit one of these websites:
 Berkeley parents network
 Living at Cal
 SF Gate: Downtown Berkeley
 SF Gate: San Francisco
 Sabbatical homes