City Lights Booksellers, 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 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.
Tours To City Lights Booksellers
Skip The Bus: San Francisco By Luxury Van Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $89
Duration: 4 hours
Early Access to Alcatraz and Cable Car Sightseeing Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $200
Duration: 7 hours
San Francisco Cable Car City Trolley Tour from Union Square BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $80
Duration: 180 to 210 minutes
City Lights Booksellers Reviews
There are so many attractions when visiting the city by the bay that some lesser knowns can be overlooked. As the husband of a librarian City Lights was not one I would dare miss. It is both an... more »
An historic must for any bibliophile, especially lovers of poetry. Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights is wonderful. more »
Always a delight. So many incredible books. I love coming in here and browsing. Inevitably, I snap up one or two titles. My favorite section is the American Indian section. There are always lots of titles dedicated not only to history, but to current affairs and politics of ongoing settler colonialism which challenge us to re-examine our legitimacy as occupants of this land. They also have many great titles on labor and on SF history and travel which I love. Upstairs is the poetry room dedicated to the beats, mostly men of course. Among them you may find a woman or two whose talent and depth exceeds all the men. I enjoy the poetry room because it is the quietest, most secluded part of the store. There is a table and chair which invites you to sit and read some verses or write a couple yourself. The room overlooks an alley and neighboring rooftop which one could use to simulate the idea that they were writing in their kitchen in a cramped North Beach apartment. Cheaper than renting your own!
Great bookshop! Green Apple has a healthy mix and selection of both used and new books. The tables out front are definitely worth a look! I spend quite a while rifling through them & emerged with too many gems for cheap.
Plan your trip to San Francisco
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
See all ›
Hidden gems in San Francisco
Side trips from San Francisco
Parks in San Francisco
See all ›
Plans to City Lights Booksellers by other users
15 days in San Francisco & San Diego BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: December, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM GREECE June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in San Francisco BY A USER FROM THAILAND January, relaxing, shopping, slow & easy, popular sights Preferences: January, relaxing, shopping Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Slow & easy 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM BRAZIL January, popular sights Preferences: January Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, popular sights Preferences: January Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 27 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, popular sights Preferences: March Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium