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City Lights Booksellers

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 261 Columbus Ave, North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133-4586
Phone Number:
+1 415-362-8193
10:00 - 00:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 - 00:00

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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USD 70.00*
and up
The Summer of Love Magic Bus Experience
More Info
USD 25.00*
and up
North Beach Underground Tour with Beat Museum Admission

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 703 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 440
  • 118
    Very good
  • 31
  • 7
  • 0
Terrific bookstore with stored history

Should you find yourself near North Beach, by all means stop in and spend some time perusing the bookshelves of this storied bookstore - a haunt of the beat generation. Browsing... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Washington, DC
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703 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 596: English reviews
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
505 reviews
138 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Should you find yourself near North Beach, by all means stop in and spend some time perusing the bookshelves of this storied bookstore - a haunt of the beat generation. Browsing is encouraged. Three stories of bookstore fun. Nice souvenirs, as well. My CIty Lights baseball cap has elicited many a good conversation on the East Coast, post visit! Grab... More 

Thank Decoamie
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
125 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 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 

Thank CLT29
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week 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 

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 !

Thank Alessandro M
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
189 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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

Thank Yanni_Pannimayoo
South West England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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

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.

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!

Thank MVMInteriors
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
1,362 reviews
809 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 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.

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!!

Thank 4JMP

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