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City Lights Booksellers

Closed Now: 10:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Open today: 10:00 AM - 12:00 AM
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What Makes It Special
Famous bookstore founded and still owned by Beat Generation poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Closed Now
Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Traveler Overview
  • Excellent72%
  • Very good21%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“book store”(82 reviews)
“beat generation”(60 reviews)
“book lovers”(47 reviews)
261 Columbus Ave, North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133-4586
+1 415-362-8193
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All reviews book store beat generation book lovers jack kerouac love books independent bookstore beat poets great bookstore great selection of books staff recommendations book selection non fiction literary history historic landmark ferlinghetti literature browse
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1 - 10 of 788 reviews
Reviewed yesterday

If you love books, this is a must. You may want to make sure that no event is in place, otherwise browsing the shelves can become challenging. Overall, I really liked it.

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank sic2
Reviewed 4 days ago

Not only a great landmark, a center of history, but a fabulous independent bookstore (yes, one of the few left thanks to Amazon), but well worth the trip and the extra buck or two to make sure that we still have these options open. Talk...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank zoiepa28
Reviewed 1 week ago

My son and I were in North Beach and then walked down Columbus Ave to City Lights. Such a cool bookstore, I could have easily stayed for hours. Wonderful staff selections! Highly recommend.

Date of experience: February 2019
1  Thank misopiso88
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The history here is important to modern poetry. It is also a wonderful and friendly bookstore that I have frequented for years. Very knowledgeable staff and a treasure to our community worth supporting! It has something for everyone and I love bringing new people here....More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank hallorannik
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I love books, so it's not a surprise this bookstore attracted my attention. It's a very lovely, old fashion bookstore with lots of character and many, many, many books. There is definitely something for everyone, and if you are a lover of cover books and...More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank danolear
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

If you are interested in the North Beach, the Beat Poets, or poetry today, this is one of two great places in SF. The other is Bird and Beckett bookstore in Glen Park.

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Sydney C
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Even if you are not a book worm this store is a place to check out. From the look of the place inside, to the smell of bound paper will have you captivated. Take some time and grab a place to sit and open your...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank dr_foucault
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Great selection of books. Both hard cover and soft back. Both old and new. In an old downtown neighborhood

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank richard g
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I have been buying books at City Lights for over 40 years and I never tire of browsing through their selection. Even Ferlinghetti was there a few times I visited....WONDERFUL!!!

Date of experience: January 2019
1  Thank revuncledoc
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

They have it all. Poetry, Novels, non fiction, lit criticism travel and photography, they have it all.

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Ted D
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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,
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Questions & Answers
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May 9, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from victorag2016 | Reviewed this property |
I don’t think so, but just call to confirm.