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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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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
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Famous bookstore founded and still owned by Beat Generation poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
  • Excellent72%
  • Very good21%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“book store” (69 reviews)
“beat generation” (52 reviews)
“book lovers” (38 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:00 - 00:00
LOCATION
261 Columbus Ave, North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133-4586
Chinatown
CONTACT
Website
+1 415-362-8193
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Reviews (769)
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1 - 10 of 656 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

In this day and age of Kindles and audiobooks, this store is a flashback to days gone by. For those who love holding and smelling a good book, this place is for you!

Thank Gale O
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Literary? Then you have to stop here, one of the last indie bookstores nationally. Crowded and fun, with knowledgeable staff. If you have walking issues, the upstairs is a little dicey, but the incredible selection of poetry volumes makes it all worthwhile. Even if you...More

Thank Birdsong859
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Great selection of books. Lots of lovely, personal recommendations. They know they have a great thing and many of the employees were a bit haughty. BUT, I had heard that going in. Be prepared to hear the f-bomb. Be prepared to step over folks who...More

Thank Laura G
Reviewed 11 October 2017

One of the most historic bookstores in American, City Lights was founded in 1953 and became the home of the Beat Generation. It also became famous after the owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti published Allan Ginsberg's poetry and the obscenity trial that resulted. This triangular shaped building...More

Thank KLE2013
Reviewed 10 October 2017

Eclectic mix of books in this iconic location. Easy to lose track of time browsing through the staff recommended titles. Great sense of history. Worth a visit

Thank Lisa H
Reviewed 7 October 2017

Go to the Beat museum and then cross over to visit this amazing bookshop for a huge collection of books on every subject. The shop itself is full of charm.

Thank Pamela S
Reviewed 5 October 2017 via mobile

Amazing bookstore with incredible publications. But could be a little friendlier, smile, say hello, thank you..interact with customers, not so morose at the counter would be nice when purchasing $100 worth of books. Have been to sooooo many cool bookstores around the world and they...More

Thank Lissandchris
Reviewed 3 October 2017

Great place to drop inand read / buy the beat classics. Reminded me of Shakespeare and co. In Paris. Great atmosphere.

Thank marciar284
Reviewed 3 October 2017

A fantastic book shop with books covering every subject and from fiction to fact. Very inviting environment where you are welcomed to sit and read. I particularly liked the staff recommendations that were placed on a variety of books. I spent several hours in this...More

Thank JenMJ
Reviewed 1 October 2017

Known as one of the best book stores in the world. City Lights is a must stop in San Francisco. It's history surrounds you as you enter and for book lovers, this store is a paradise on earth! Don't miss it.

Thank canadatraveljunkie39
Nearby
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,
...More
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Nearby Attractions
North Beach
251 reviews
.04 km away
The Beat Museum
99 reviews
.05 km away
The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi
26 reviews
.16 km away
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