How to enjoy the magic of Berkeley on a tight budget

Kelsi Krandel/Staff
Kelsi Krandel/Staff

It’s a widely known fact that college students are broke. Tuition is at an all-time high, and Berkeley doesn’t make our housing situation any easier; it’s incredibly expensive to live in this city. However, being the youthful college students we are, we want to enjoy our time here and get the most bang for our buck. Here are five ways to enjoy our college town on a tight budget.

Utilize public transportation.

AC Transit bus transportation is automatically included in the fees we pay to attend UC Berkeley. Since you’re already paying for the buses, utilize them! You can take the 51B to visit Oakland, or you can take the F bus to visit the famous San Francisco. Hopping on these buses will be much cheaper than taking Uber or BART; you’ll save so much money.

Attend one of the many free events that UC Berkeley hosts for students.

From free arts and crafts events to free ice cream give-outs, UC Berkeley hosts many free communitywide events throughout the year. The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (also free for UC Berkeley students) hosts various events as well. Take your friends with you, since BAMPFA is near to campus. You won’t even have to travel far or spend money on transportation! Stay updated on campus and local events through social media or the UC Berkeley events calendar.

Visit bookstores and music stores in Berkeley.

Berkeley is one of the older cities in California, so there’s so much history in some of the local stores. There are many amazing bookstores in the city, particularly, and each bookstore in Berkeley has its own vibe and story. You can spend hours in any one of them reading a good book and enjoying your time. Music stores in the area are also great. Famous music stores like Amoeba Music and Rasputin Music are located on Telegraph Avenue.

Go explore and window-shop.

There are so many unique and historic boutiques in Berkeley, especially in Elmwood. Plus, you can visit these stores on the buses mentioned above! Spend time in these stores for the experience; shopping is a plus but is not always necessary. From cute sock shops to candy stores, walk through the streets of Elmwood and enjoy its cheery atmosphere.

Enjoy people-watching.

Something’s always happening in Berkeley. Because it’s mainly a college town, you’ll see tons of students throughout the entire year. You’ll also be able to witness the existing diversity on campus. Sit at an outdoor café with the perfect drink and watch the people buzz by, carrying on with their busy lives. This can be more interesting than you think; you can absorb the city in a whole new way.

College students don’t have much money to spend on leisurely activities, but we still deserve the fun and enjoyment this city has to offer. Berkeley is a city that is rich with culture and history, and these five points will make finding activities in the city on a budget much easier.

Contact Christina Kim at [email protected].