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Open today: 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
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Certificate of Excellence
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  • Excellent72%
  • Very good24%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“reading room”(187 reviews)
“copley square”(197 reviews)
On the National Register of Historic Places, the library opened in 1852 as the first free, publicly-supported municipal library in America.
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Hours Today: 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
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Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
700 Boylston St, At Copley Sq., Boston, MA 02116-2813
Back Bay
+1 617-859-2216
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Reviews (3,410)
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All reviewsreading roomcopley squarebeautiful buildingmap roombates hallarchitecture tourthe john singer sargent muralsholy grailworth a visitinner courtyardgreat architecturetrinity churchfree tourbplartlibrarieslions
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1 - 10 of 2,716 reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago

Our last day in Boston turned rainy and we didn't have time for other activities. We stopped in to get out of a downpour and were pleasantly surprised. We ended up spending 90 minutes looking around and sitting in the beautiful courtyard (which is covered).

1  Thank David M
Reviewed 2 days ago

I really enjoyed visiting the Boston Public Library. It is filled with beautiful paintings and murals. It was a bit hard to navigate the space and more signage is probably necessary for out of town visitors. The cafe downstairs is a really great place to...More

Thank teahanX
Reviewed 3 days ago

Great mixture of art, architecture, and books! On a nice day, you can take your laptop or book to the courtyard and relax :)

Thank starsandskies47
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

This was on my bucket list! I love books and libraries. If you do too, this is a must-see! There are 19 MILLION volumes kept inside this library. I spent time just looking on in awe!

Thank Jill C
Reviewed 3 days ago

This is well worth a visit, from the central court to the fantastic resource areas. There is also a cafe for a snack if you feel the need.

Thank magscot
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

The building itself is very nice and we enjoyed seeing it. However, there are homeless that basically set up camp on all sides of it. The smell of urine is prevalent and some of the homeless are aggressive. There were a number of drunk ones...More

Thank PapyCM
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Struck by a beautiful staircase and murals from the moment i entered. Check out Bates Hall on the second floor with the domed ceiling and cool banker’s lamps. Beautiful courtyard separates the old part of the library from the modern atrium.

Thank rushh2017
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Stumbled in here by chance and it was an exceptional building. I wouldn't go out of my way to go to it as it is an operational library so there were many people using it for silent reading therefore I didn't go into all of...More

Thank Niamh D
Reviewed 5 days ago

The outside of the building is rather unassuming but the interior is beautiful. Grand staircase, tons of marble,some absolutely amazing artwork. If you are in the neighborhood it is definitely worth your time to take a look.

Thank INtraveler2013
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Building is great but it’s completely full of homeless people leaving outside and some of them seem violent

Thank EmiliaM26
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Back Bay
Wander around this quintessential neighborhood in the
heart of Boston for high-end shops, restaurants, and
the feeling of city bustle. Its most identifiable
skyscrapers, the Prudential Center and John Hancock
Tower, are highlights of the city skyline. Visit
Newbury street to explore unique and trendy boutiques
– as well as every other kind of store imaginable –
all housed in beautiful brownstone buildings. In nice
Questions & Answers
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Sendy L
June 24, 2018|
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Response from Taotenui | Reviewed this property |
Vicki M
March 30, 2018|
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Response from Rob H | Reviewed this property |
I agree with the general consensus. It's so easy to make your own way round, see it all and use the info available to enrich your visit. I'm sure the tours add, but the flexibility of going wherever and whenever you want... More
Jodie S
October 6, 2017|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from Troonie1 | Reviewed this property |
Would give it one hour plus. The courtyard is fantastic and you can sit and enjoy, the maps section could easily take another 30 minutes and there are apparently a number of displays. Plus a coffee shop, so the end point... More