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City Lights Booksellers

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Address: 261 Columbus Ave, North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133-4586
Phone Number:
+1 415-362-8193
Website
Today
10:00 - 00:00
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 00:00
Description:

Famous bookstore founded and still owned by Beat Generation poet Lawrence...

Famous bookstore founded and still owned by Beat Generation poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

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Book In Advance
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US$70.00*
and up
The Summer of Love Magic Bus Experience
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US$25.00*
and up
North Beach Underground Tour with Beat Museum Admission

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 702 reviews
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Iconic for book lovers of a certain age

Good selection of books...atmospheric in that you can imagine that it has not changed much at all since its beginnings and full of history. I would not go out of my way to visit... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
CLT29
,
San Francisco, California
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702 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 595: English reviews
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
125 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Good selection of books...atmospheric in that you can imagine that it has not changed much at all since its beginnings and full of history. I would not go out of my way to visit this store unless the history of the place means something to you. It is in a crowded part of SF, full of restaurants and on the... More 

Helpful?
Thank CLT29
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

To grasp a bit of Bohemian, Beat and Hip San Francisco with a visit to the three floor City Lights Bookstore and publisher founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953 located on Columbus Avenue at Broadway. Get off the keyboard to see a wonderful place for readers. Buy some great new or used books. Be sure to step across the... More 

Helpful?
Thank msarawak
Livorno, Italy
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago

This bookseller is what several beats dream to own, to roam, to read. i tried the famous chair and I felt like a guy that arrrive in Sanfrancisco !

Helpful?
Thank Alessandro M
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
189 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Simply the best book store in the Bay Area. Great collection of beat era offerings and all sorts of interesting and obscure works.

Helpful?
Thank Yanni_Pannimayoo
South West England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

What an experience. Fantastic bookstore. Able to spend hours just browsing through the many wonderful array of books. A must visit

Helpful?
Thank Rosemarie P
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
70 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

As a book lover, I felt the need to stop here and pay homage to THE independent bookstore. Great selection of bestsellers and not NYT bestsellers list. Visit the basement - part of it is under the sidewalk out front with little glass inserts to let light in.

Helpful?
Thank Panadda S
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
50 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is the iconic bookstore where the beat poets gathered, and it's going strong with current offerings as well. Buy a book!

Helpful?
Thank MVMInteriors
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
1,356 reviews
805 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

It's an institution as well as a good book store. Been here for decades, but is famous for the Beats and Beatniks. Worth a stop.

Helpful?
Thank Thomas V
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
166 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We need to support all our wonderful independent Book Stores before the internet devours them all. It is essential to go and brouse your day away. You wont be sorry!!

Helpful?
Thank 4JMP
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

At the intersection of Chinatown and North Beach, you will find the historic City Lights Bookstore. This is where the likes of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg hung out in the 60's -- the small pedestrian street next to the store is named in Kerouac's honor. The store remains a bastion of the Left. There are little quiet rooms where... More 

Helpful?
Thank Harry W

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Staying in Chinatown

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Chinatown
As the oldest in North America, San Francisco's Chinatown is an exotic experience. A unique neighbourhood decorated with colourful shops, historic streetlights, hanging lanterns, and pagoda roofs awaits behind the stone-carved dragon gates. Feast on dim sum at the tea houses, or meet the locals who gather at historic Portsmouth Square to play chess or practice Tai Chi. Fish markets, produce stands, tourist shops, jewelry stores, fortune tellers, temples and restaurants come together to create a world unto itself in this historic neighbourhood.
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