City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, San Francisco

4.6
City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, a funky bookstore founded by beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, serves as a literary meeting place in San Francisco. Stop in and have a look around this independent bookstore/publishing house established in 1953 and famous for the obscenity trial it faced after releasing Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" in 1956. Located between North Beach and Chinatown, this bookstore became a historic landmark in 2001. You can also shop the unique book collection here, which focuses on world literature, arts, and politics. With our online itinerary creator, San Francisco attractions like City Lights Booksellers & Publishers can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
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City Lights Booksellers & Publishers Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
768 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • 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 incred...  more »
  • 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 ...  more »
  • Located in the heart of Columbus Av. (we are in Little Italy) this ancient library founded at the beginning of the years ' 50 was a piece of history of the era. Also on the same sidewalk next to story library you will also find the old Cafe Vesuvio (very nice on the inside) and between the small alley dedicated to Kerouac and the Beat era was one of the most important testimonies. TO SEE!!!
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  • Amazing selection of books. I have never seen such a great selection in one place, specifically for educational books. Staff is wonderful and they do staff book picks, so you can learn a little more about the book from someone there. They do cool events and signings. It's in a cute area that is close to good food.
  • I ended up here because I was trying to find a good angle of the Trans American Building but I'm glad that I stumbled into this store. I've never been into a more warm and welcoming place to buy books. It wasn't a spectacular large space but it felt cozy because everything was so tight nit and interwoven. Book shelves weren't over six feet so the space felt open and lively. Not to mention that they had about every single category of literature which made turning the isles fun because I would run into more categories of books. Overall a very nice experience.
  • A very soulful place. Great books, great history, and a great place to pick a book, sit and read. I did just that for 5 hours. It's so easy to lose one's sense of time in there. I will visit again.
  • You can feel the history at this store... Good selection of fiction and non fiction... I loved the 2nd floor poetry room... Some of the employees could be a little LESS pretentious, however. I asked 2 people about a book I was considering. They answered, "the book is amazing" .. when I asked a follow up question, they admitted that neither one had read the book... This is NOT what I expect from City Lights.
  • Very cute and small but it enough for exploring all your options for books. Check out the store when you can. You might find something interesting...

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