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City Lights Booksellers

261 Columbus Avenue, North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133 (Chinatown)
415 362 8193
Website
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Ranked #2 of 217 shopping in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Type: Specialty Shops, Historic Sites
Activities: Shopping
Description: Famous bookstore founded and still owned by Beat Generation poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
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90 reviews from our community

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Queretaro, Mexico
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014 NEW

For a poet or writer of any kind you can't miss the City LIghts Bookstore in North Beach. It's right by Kerouac Lane and beside Vesuvio Bar where the poets hung out. Well worth a visit.

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Minneapolis
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

We spent less than 24 hours in San Francisco, but made sure to stop at City Lights. We weren't disappointed, it's a blast to browse at such a classic independent bookstore.

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Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
27 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

If you're a thinker, a poet, a lefty, or a globetrekker, this place is a must-visit in San Francisco. The shelves seem to radiate intellectual passion. An inspiring place to wake up your mind. (and great t-shirts for sale!)

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Kentucky
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
15 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

While other teenage girls were swooning over Romeo & Juliet, I was reading Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg. Visiting this bookstore was like coming home. Moving through this bookstore was like moving through a place of worship. Quiet. Reverent. Awestruck. I came away with some terrific children's books. Let's just say they aren't the sort of children's books you find... More

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Silver Spring, Maryland
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014 via mobile

If you got the reference, you must visit this store. It is a Mecca for all things beat and progressive. Great poetry section, comfy chairs to read, out-there and interesting book titles. Go there, get something new, and read it. Enjoy the subversive scrawls on the walls and don't forget to take a picture of yourself outside of the store... More

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lanex
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
95 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014

Lawrence Ferlinghetti was a courageous advocate to protect free speech. We could not have missed visiting this historic site

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Naples, Italy
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
34 attraction reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

When you walk in could you expect a common bookstore? Of course no! The place is beautiful, full of story, cultures, and signs of it. You feel immersed in the words of Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Walt Whitman, even Shelley. The second floor hosts a comfortable reading room, full of sun when I visited and of portraits of the heros of... More

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
3 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Just happened to walk by and went in. Wide selection of progressive titles. Bought a copy of The Burglary there. Great to see a book store like this still exists!

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St. Petersburg, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

Soak up the atmosphere and plan to spend some time browsing for a staff recommended book and hey, park and read if you want.

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calcutta, india
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

the sheer variety and layout of books in this cosy little shop will blow your mind away. the collection of books on films and music are quite handsome.

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