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City Lights Booksellers

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Address: 261 Columbus Avenue, North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone Number: 415 362 8193
Website
Today
10:00 am - 12:00 am
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 12:00 am
Activities: Shopping
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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North Beach Underground Tour with Beat Museum Admission
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 314 reviews
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  • 211
    Excellent
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    Very good
  • 21
    Average
  • 4
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  • 0
    Terrible
Beatnik Beebop!

What an eclectic book store. Open late for all those who want to burn off that mid afternoon caffeine buzz. Get a taste of the early North beach counter culture as you check out... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 27, 2015
Jesse M
,
Santa Rosa, California

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314 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Guanajuato, Mexico
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2015 NEW

I love books, but do not understand why people rated this place as something so interesting. I think it represents an important way of thinking, but I did not see anything out of the ordinary

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Santa Rosa, California
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2015 NEW

What an eclectic book store. Open late for all those who want to burn off that mid afternoon caffeine buzz. Get a taste of the early North beach counter culture as you check out the beatnik authors on display.

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Tallahassee, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2015 NEW

City Lights is what a bookstore is supposed to be. Friendly, knowledgeable staff, who seem to love what they do and want you to love it, too. Great variety of books and other resource materials. Lots of things you won't find in most other bookstores. A lot of history and a great location. Visit City Lights.

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Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2015 NEW

Lots of old pictures, new books and atmosphere. Pictures and posters too. The staff recommendations on books are both fun and helpful

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Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
37 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2015 NEW

I was at Powell Books in Seatlle and thought this place would be similar. It was not. I saw only two staff and no acknoweldgement it was hard to even look at books there and very stuffy and uncomfortable place to want to hang. I was only glad I went there when I went to the Beat Museum and learned... More 

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Tucson, AZ
Level Contributor
448 reviews
150 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2015 NEW

This book store has been here for many years and gained fame during the hippy generation. I always enjoy a visit here not only for the history of the place but also to browse the nice selection of books.

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Walnut Creek
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2015 NEW

The literary tradition of the Beatniks is alive and well at this North Beach landmark. Prepare to spend some time browsing the shelves and drinking in the intellectual vibe! The selection of titles is phenomenal, with many books not likely to be found at the chain stores, and an exemplary selection of literary journals. When you're done (or before you... More 

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genova
Level Contributor
43 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2015 NEW

Historic bookstore in san francisco. Booksbooksbooks everywhere, but also pictures, poetry and so on. You can spend there hours and hours.

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campdad
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2015

This bookstore never fails to delight our entire family with new and interesting books. We would spend the entire day there if there weren't so many other things to do in SF.

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Palo Alto, California
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2015

This is the beatnik's bookstore and maintains the vibe of SFs rebellious creativity of the 60s and 70s. Always great selection. Local artist/legend Rex Ray (who recently passed away) was an employee for a long time. Miss him.

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Additional Information about City Lights Booksellers

Address: 261 Columbus Avenue, North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone Number: 415 362 8193
Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Francisco>  > Chinatown
Open Hours:
Sunday 10:00 am - 12:00 am
Monday 10:00 am - 12:00 am
Tuesday 10:00 am - 12:00 am
Wednesday 10:00 am - 12:00 am
Thursday 10:00 am - 12:00 am
Friday 10:00 am - 12:00 am
Saturday 10:00 am - 12:00 am

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Staying in Chinatown

Neighborhood Profile
Chinatown
As the oldest in North America, San Francisco's Chinatown is an exotic experience. A unique neighborhood decorated with colorful 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 neighborhood.
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