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The Beat Museum

Certificate of Excellence
North Beach / Telegraph Hill
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Address: 540 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133-4507
Phone Number:
+1 415-399-9626
10:00 - 19:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 - 19:00

The mission of The Beat Museum is to spread the values of The Beat...

The mission of The Beat Museum is to spread the values of The Beat Generation--tolerance, inclusiveness, and having the courage to live your own individual truth. Our first floor contains our book shop and gift shop, as well as the entrance to the Beat Museum. The second floor contains six rooms of exclusive Beat era memorabilia.

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Book In Advance
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North Beach Underground Tour with Beat Museum Admission
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San Francisco Treasures-Summer of Love Edition
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Go San Francisco Card

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 86 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 33
  • 29
    Very good
  • 4
  • 1
  • 1
Unique and intimate

This museum is one of the three must to see in San Francisco. Really small and intimate. You can feel the passion of the people who manage it and you can immerse yourself in the... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Dundalk, Ireland
via mobile
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86 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 68: English reviews
Dundalk, Ireland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

This museum is one of the three must to see in San Francisco. Really small and intimate. You can feel the passion of the people who manage it and you can immerse yourself in the beat atmosphere. It's surely something different and unique.

Thank ivanaBaki
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This museum is really lovely. The staff were welcoming and pleasant, they had a lot of humor interjected into their space (see the couches upstairs!), and there were a lot of poems, letters, and artifacts that are great for anyone who is interested in the Beat movement or literature from the 1950s and '60s. It has an interesting undertone of... More 

Thank anwhi005
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 January 2017

Not only is it a cool little museum, it's also a book and record store. I've been looking for some Charlie Parker records for years and they actually had a couple of LPs. Unlike most of SF, the admission prices are totally reasonable. Staff were way cool. Probably my favorite place on this visit.

Thank jacq142
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 January 2017 via mobile

I had a very long business trip in California with a half a day free time. Having read On The Road, The Dharma Bums, Naked Lunch several times this stuck out as a place to visit. Not disappointed! It's small but filled with historical gems from the Beat Generation. Big focus on Kerouac and Ginsberg but lots of other gems... More 

Thank Jerry M
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2016

Fairly small museum, but packed with documents, photos and, of course, books. The main focus is Kerouac and Ginsberg, but the whole movement is represented here in the fascinating collection. The Kerouac film is worth watching, and there's a great book store, both new and second-hand. one of the real treasures, though, is the guy who runs the place, who... More 

Thank Daunrussell
Indiana, USA
Level Contributor
163 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2016

This is a must see museum for Beat (poetry) fanatics to novices alike. Even if you are not a fan or do not even know anything about Beat (poetry), the history of the movement is well displayed and extremely interesting. For all the fans of this movement, you will be thrilled at the accumulation of memorabilia, video archives, and the... More 

Thank McCall E
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
139 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2016

A tribute to the Beat Generation and the walking tour is worth it! Two stories of memorabilia, photos, books, and tales of the Beatniks. The proprietor, Jerry Cimino led the tour and is chock full of facts and anecdotes. As we toured North Beach, Caffe Trieste beckoned us to sit with a cup of coffee and watch the remnants (relics?)... More 

Thank Kcarma
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
61 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2016

I can’t believe I waited 16 years to finally visit the Beat Museum being such a Kerouac appreciator. Till this day, his writing has left me with a sense of the beauty of the present moment in a way that nobody else has been able to beat. Maybe he talks to my “type”, the itinerant curious adventurers that, in their... More 

1 Thank Khash C
San Diego
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 31 August 2016

I stumbled upon this museum by sheer luck! I'm a fan of the movement and the writing. So, being able to see the artifacts, take photos, and watch some video was a treat. The gentlemen who collected my ticket was very knowledgable of the history and passionate about the movement. If I could add anything it would be to include... More 

Thank Basil S
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2016

The Beat Museum is charmfull place if you're a fan of Beatnicks, plus a great place to get yourself nice souvenirs :)

Thank patqa

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San Francisco, California
5 months ago

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Staying in North Beach / Telegraph Hill

Neighbourhood Profile
North Beach / Telegraph Hill
The aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans, the sounds of opera, and the sights of the romantic Italian ristorante come together to create the charming neighbourhood of North Beach, once the stomping grounds for the Beatnik Generation. Although parts of North Beach are known for nightlife that’s not always suitable for younger visitors, few neighbourhoods in the city exude as much European charm and style. Peruse a bookstore for the literature of Kerouac, Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg, grab some gelato and head to Washington Square for a perfect afternoon of people watching. Just east of North Beach, the hills and staircases of Telegraph Hill are a unique delight. At its peak, the art deco Coit Tower provides sweeping panoramic views of the bay and city. The beautifully landscaped Filbert Street Steps, a street too steep for a roadway, rewards those willing to hike uphill. Keep your ears open and you might even hear the squawk of the wild parrots who call this neighbourhood home.
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