Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  San Francisco  /  Historic Sites  /  City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, San Francisco

(650+ reviews on the web)
Historic Site
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 world travel planner, 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Fun Visit to a place I have heard so uch about. A large selection of more obscure publications like Zines and poetry books. Plus they have a huge selection on local authors. Interesting things on the ...  more »
  • We were really looking forward to visiting this bookstore and my husband did find many wonderful books to purchase. In my areas of interest (child development, parenting, children's books) there were ...  more »
  • You owe it to yourself to spend at least a few hours here. It's an Alaska gem. Have coffee next door and a bowl of soup. The $2 book room is overwhelmingly big and will draw you in for another 2 hours...  more »
Google
  • Famous for publishing Beat Poets, this book shop has everything you'd want in a small, traditional, comfy spot. The atmosphere is close and quiet, and although the lighting is good it manages to feel yellow and warm, not white and bright like a big chain. I think it's the layout of this shop that encourages you to linger and browse - you feel like you are in a warren that goes in twists and turns with something new around every corner.
  • Book lovers and people interested in the Beat Generation and SF's cultural scene should go there. The bookshop is massive and you will find lots of interesting books on almost any subject. Recommended.
  • Such a cool shop. Amazing range of books and they are smart to sell merchandising gear for their own brand. Staff seemed a little aloof but who knows, I don't come from there.
  • 3 floors of books! The space is tight, but City Lights is definitely an SF treasure. Browse around and see what's available, and feel free to grab a book and a chair and start reading!
  • Historic spot that also serves as fantastic bookstore. Great, well organized selection with staff ready to help you if you need them.