Berkeley & the Bay Area for Simons Institute Visitors

Welcome to Berkeley! On this page, you will find a variety of resources to help you to settle in and enjoy your time in the Bay Area. Please also check our calendar regularly for social events and outings organized by the Simons Institute. Contact our Events Team, simonsevents [at], with any questions.


Campus Map
Grocery Stores & Supermarkets
Berkeley Restaurant Recommendations
Directions and Parking

Resources for International Visitors
J Scholar Information Meetings (J-1 visa holders are required to attend one of these meetings)
Berkeley International Office
International Office Arrival Guide

Simons Institute Bicycle Loan Program
Long-term visitors are eligible to borrow a bicycle for the duration of their stay, through the Simons Institute's bicycle loan program.

Car Rental and Sharing
Zipcar has numerous locations around the UC Berkeley campus and the Bay Area. Cars are rented hourly and the fee include gas, tolls and insurance. Rates start at $5.50/hr and $55/day. UC Berkeley affiliates receive a special discount of $15/year for the first year of membership. Information on signing up for a discounted membership can be found here.

Gig Car Share is a one-way car share service that gives UC Berkeley students and staff the flexibility to pick up and drop off in different locations in Berkeley and Oakland. Information on signing up for Gig can be found on the CarShare page of the UC Berkeley Parking and Transportation department website.

If you are planning to claim a reimbursement for a rental car expense, please contact one of our staff members before making your reservation. The University of California has special agreements with Enterprise, Hertz, and National.


We recommend taking a look at the UC Berkeley Parking and Transportation website for a thorough list of transportation options. The following links may also be useful:

Airport Transportation from San Francisco International Airport
Airport Transportation from Oakland International Airport  
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
Local bus lines (AC Transit)
Bay Area public transit information
Rechargeable Bay Area public transit card (Clipper Card)
Ford Bicycle Rentals (GoBike)

Campus Resources

Campus Gym Membership
UC Berkeley Visitor Center
UC Berkeley International Office
Campus Events
Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Association at UC Berkeley 
Cal 1 Card
Cal Intercollegiate Athletics

City of Berkeley Resources
Visit Berkeley
City of Berkeley Visitor Guide
City of Berkeley Parks
East Bay Regional Parks

City of San Francisco Resources
City of San Francisco Visitor Guide

Dining, Nightlife, Events

Berkeleyside – Berkeley and Oakland events and restaurant recommendations
SF Fun Cheap – Events website for the Bay Area
East Bay Express – local events and restaurant recommendations
SFGate – Bay Area events, news, and restaurant recommendations 
– Weekly Bay Area events


Theater, Dance, Music in Berkeley
Department of Theater and Dance, UC Berkeley
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
San Francisco Museums

Science Museums

The Lawrence Hall of Science – Public science museum and research center for K-12 education at Berkeley
The Exploratorium – A hands-on museum of science, art, and human perception in San Francisco
California Academy of Sciences – Natural history museum


UC Berkeley Botanical Garden
Berkeley Path Wanderer Association
Berkeley Rose Garden
Berkeley Marina
Bay Area Hiker
Tilden Regional Park (Berkeley Hills - hiking and biking trails)

Trip Suggestions

Angel Island
Lake Tahoe
Muir Woods
Santa Cruz
Stinson Beach
Yosemite National Park

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a matter of service. Although care is taken to provide correct information, there may be unintended errors, changes or deletions without notification. Users of this list communicate, contract and do business with individuals, companies or firms at their own risk. The Regents, officers, agents and employees of the University of California shall not be liable for any errors or omissions in the compilation or printing of this list.