Visiting MIRI

Information for visitors to the MIRI Office located in downtown Berkeley, Califonia.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have specific questions about your visit!



San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
To get to Berkeley from SFO:
  • BART: Follow signs for BART at the airport’s International Terminal. Fare must be purchased from a kiosk. Get on an Antioch-bound train. Transfer to Richmond-bound train at either 19th Street/Oakland or MacArthur stations and disembark Richmond-bound train at Downtown Berkeley. Travel time is ordinarily about 1 hour.
  • Car: In light traffic, one could drive to Berkeley in about 20-30 minutes, but the Bay Bridge corridor is often congested. Anticipate at least 45 minutes at peak traffic times.
  • Taxi: A taxi or shuttle van will provide door-to-door service and cost $60–100.
Oakland International Airport (OAK)
To get to Berkeley from OAK:
  • BART: From the airport, take the AirBART directly to the Coliseum Station and then board a Richmond-bound train.
  • Car: In light traffic, one could drive to Berkeley in about 30-40 minutes, but the Bay Bridge corridor is often congested. Anticipate at least 1 hour at peak traffic times.
  • Taxi: A taxi or shuttle van will provide door-to-door service but are expensive compared to BART.
San Jose International Airport (SJC)
Despite being fairly close to Berkeley, Using SJC is not advisable. The transit route is indirect and driving is time consuming.


Amtrak has direct service to Berkeley Station. Other Amtrak routes provide service to Richmond Station, linked to Berkeley by BART.


Greyhound offers bus service from nearby Oakland Station. Megabus offers discount bus service from Oakland and San Francisco to Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Reno.


Get driving directions from your location. Note: parking can be difficult and expensive downtown. Be mindful of posted parking regulations. The nearest parking to MIRI, the recently re-opened Center Street Parking Garage has space for 720 cars and 350 bikes.

Public Transit

  • Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is the regional subway system. It provides service to the major areas of Berkeley, to San Francisco, and other parts of the Bay Area. Berkeley’s 3 stations are Ashby, Downtown Berkeley, and North Berkeley. The Downtown Berkeley stop is located at Shattuck Avenue and Center Street and is the closest stop to MIRI’s office.
  • AC Transit provides local bus service in Berkeley and throughout the East Bay. Route 51B provides frequent local service connecting most major business districts in town.



Getting around Berkeley by bicycle is quite popular. There is an extensive network of bicycle trails, on-street bicycle lanes, and designated bicycle boulevards. The MIRI office also has a secure bike rack to store and lock your bike if needed.


Berkeley is a pedestrian-friendly city. Walking is often the best way to get around downtown.




Google and are useful resources for finding local hotels. MIRI has identified the Nash Hotel and Downtown Berkeley Inn as reasonable budget options, and Hotel Shattuck Plaza as an upscale option.

Owner Rentals

AirBnB and VRBO are useful resources to find local short-term rentals.

MIRI-Friendly Hosts

Send us a message to see if any friends of MIRI have rooms available:



MIRI staff and volunteers have recommended the following breakfast options a short walk from the office:

Office Food

MIRI’s office is stocked with coffee, tea, drinks, chocolate, nuts, and various light snacks

Visa Information

If you are not U.S. citizens or U.S. legal permanent resident, you’ll most likely need some form of visa to enter the United States. Exactly which type you’ll need will depend on a lot of factors like your citizenship, how long you’ll be staying, the exact nature of your visit, and whether or not you be receiving any compensation or reimbursement for your visit at MIRI. Here are a few resources that are generally helpful to learn more about visa options: Please note that this list is not exhaustive and should not be construed as immigration advice!
  • Visa Waiver Program (VWP): This program allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa when they meet all requirements.
  • B1/B2 Visa: The B-1 business classification allows for “usual academic activities” such as workshops and collaborations and for travel reimbursement and incidental expenses (no salary or honorarium), whereas the B-2 is strictly a tourist classification and does not allow for payment of any kind, including travel and expenses.
  • Canadian Citizens: Although Canadians don’t require a visa stamp to enter the U.S., if you are to receive travel reimbursement and/or incidental expenses reimbursement, you must inform the immigration officer at entry and request that the B-1 or business classification be written on the entry stamp.
  • J-1 VISA: The Exchange Visitor non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. Participants are integral to the success of the program. Here you can learn more about obtaining the J-1 Visa and other relevant visas.
  • F-1 Visa: If you are on a F-1 visa at another institution, please contact your International Scholar Advisor at your home institution to confirm that you are allowed to visit MIRI and be reimbursed if offered.
  • H1-B Visa: If you are presently in the U.S. on an H-1B visa at another institution and will be attending MIRI for more than 30 days, please contact your H1-B Advisor to confirm your legal ability to visit and/or be reimbursed.

Links and Resources