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City Lights Booksellers

Address: 261 Columbus Avenue, North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133 (Chinatown)
Phone Number: 415 362 8193
Website
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93%
Ranked #2 of 247 Shopping in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Specialty shops, Historic sites, Shopping & Fashion, Sights & Landmarks
Activities: Shopping
Owner description: Famous bookstore founded and still owned by Beat Generation poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Attraction details
Type: Specialty shops, Historic sites, Shopping & Fashion, Sights & Landmarks
Activities: Shopping
Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 12:00 am
Owner description: Famous bookstore founded and still owned by Beat Generation poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

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153 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
boulder, co
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
21 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015 NEW

After an espresso at the Trident stop here to experience the atmosphere that once surrounded the "beats." Think of Ferlinghetti, Kerouac and the others that made gay San Fransisco a place of refuge for an open life style and initiated an intellectual ground zero for tolerance and understanding.

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Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
21 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

Not only does this location have a wonderful history to back it's notarity, it is cozy, comfortable, and well stocked - a book lovers dream with great staff and a wonderful selection.

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW via mobile

This is true a bookstore. I can spend hours combing the bookshelves, sitting down to peruse through an unusual variety of books until I find the right one.

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Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
10 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015 NEW

I loved the atmosphere of the bookstore, very welcoming. The selection of books (especially poetry) was eclectic and wonderful. I just wish I had had more time to spend there.

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Chengdu, China
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
36 attraction reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015 NEW

A great selection of books, informal place where you can read. Worth a visit in the great area of North Beach.

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San Francisco, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2015

A historic book store from the beatnik era. This bookstore carries rare books which are hard to find and it's also in a great location in North Beach. Grab a drink next door at Vesuvio, one of the oldest bars in San Francisco.

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Spokane
Top Contributor
157 reviews 157 reviews
32 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2015

How can you be in San Francisco, read the Beats, and not be at City Lights? Nice walk Market-Kearny-Columbus from Powell cable car station was about 15 min. Bring a backpack to carry your books; much more comfortable walking if you do.

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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

No visit to San Francisco would be complete without a pilgrimage to the shrine of the Beat generation. Great stock and wonderful corners where the young can still be found discussing their latest reads. Wonderful

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Kingston, Canada
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
8 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

I could have spent the whole trip here! One whole floor of poetry books. A must if you are an avid reader and book lover.

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

It's still there! That is miracle itself. You can get to touch the history by yourself. And it's still an ordinary bookstore. So ordinary that it's hard to find a place more suitable to be called 'bookstore'.

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?