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City Lights Booksellers

261 Columbus Ave, North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133-4586
+1 415-362-8193
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Famous bookstore founded and still owned by Beat Generation poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
  • Excellent73%
  • Very good20%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“book lovers” (48 reviews)
“jack kerouac” (31 reviews)
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Hours Today: 10:00 - 00:00
261 Columbus Ave, North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133-4586
+1 415-362-8193
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Reviews (727)
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1 - 10 of 617 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My kids and I stopped here on our California vacation to touch a little of its history and because we love bookstores and were not disappointed. The bookstore includes pictures that speak of its place in history and an upstairs dedicated to poetry including the...More

Thank PaddleWarrior
Reviewed 1 week ago

Wow! This was a highlight of our trip - visiting this landmark made up of tiny rooms and twisted hallways and stairways filled with very carefully chosen books. The collection was/is phenomenal and just being in this place of history was fantastic for us. Our...More

Thank Lizzievc
Reviewed 1 week ago

if you enjoy books, you'd be silly not to stop by. with so many book stores closing all over the county its' great to see one with so much history still around

Thank Edward C
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This place has been on my list for ages and i finally visited. Its a really cool shop. So masny reading ideas. I purchased three books, a sticker and a t-shirt. Ferlinghetti fid good.

Thank Carolyn P
Reviewed 1 week ago

A real genuine social justice, "we don't have the latest self-help book" literary emporium. The heart of North Beach's hip side. Get an espresso at the Trieste Cafe and read what the 'fifties were about, why the Rebel Without a Cause rebelled, and understand why...More

Thank Dianne T
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It's a bookstore steeped in history. Make sure you walk down Jack Karouac Alley to the side. It's neat all the time and there will sometimes be impromptu installation art. The upstairs poetry room is worth a visit.

Thank Rachel M
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Visit the shop, buy a book and sit a while to enjoy this historical spot. You can have lunch nearby as North Beach has many restaurants and cafes. There are no bathrooms at this site.

Thank Plumeria_Lover
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

City Lights has been an institution for decades, but is not your typical bookstore. It is THE place to go to find the best in counterculture, LGBTQ and avant garde writings. They might have a smattering of contemporary best sellers, but if you're looking for...More

Thank TucsonCurt
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I always want to leave here with a bucket of books! If you like bookstores with local character, you'll love it here!

Thank J S
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

If you were born in the second half of the last century and don't know about City Lights Booksellers, you need to look it up on Wikipedia to be able to fake it. The ghosts of Allen Ginsburg and fellow beats very much inhabit the...More

Thank DetailsAreEverything
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,
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