We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

Boston Public Library

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Neighbourhoods
Neighbourhoods
Get directions
Address: 700 Boylston St, At Copley Sq., Boston, MA 02116-2813
Phone Number: +1 617-536-5400
Website
Today
09:00 - 21:00
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 13:00 - 17:00
Mon - Thu 09:00 - 21:00
Fri - Sat 09:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No
Description:

On the National Register of Historic Places, the library opened in 1852 as...

On the National Register of Historic Places, the library opened in 1852 as the first free, publicly-supported municipal library in America.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
US$35.00*
and up
Boston Freedom Trail to Copley Square Walking Tour
More Info
US$35.00*
and up
Copley Square to Downtown Boston Freedom Trail Walking Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,641 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1535
    Excellent
  • 507
    Very good
  • 53
    Average
  • 9
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
Lovely old building - wonderful architecture

Located on Copley Square in the middle of Boston, the Boston Public Library is a lovely old building and well worth a visit. When we visited (Nov' 2016) a special 'season of... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
TAPAGO
,
Brisbane, Australia
Add Photo Write a Review

2,641 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 2,107: English reviews
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Located on Copley Square in the middle of Boston, the Boston Public Library is a lovely old building and well worth a visit. When we visited (Nov' 2016) a special 'season of Shakespeare' was a featured event. Such events will obviously vary according to the date/s upon which you visit.

Helpful?
Thank TAPAGO
Marseille, France
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

you can enter freely the boston public library and just take a look inside, it is very beautiful, go see the stairs and the main rooms

Helpful?
Thank elisabethbx13
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
1,660 reviews
256 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 895 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The renovation of the street level entrance is a great modern enhancement to the otherwise stunning classic architecture. Love the modern look, all the glass... bringing in a lot of light and making that area more inviting. The cafe is a nice addition. I enjoyed sitting on one of the chairs they have set up in the windows on the... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank WINEandTRAVEL
Wallingford PA
Level Contributor
34 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Such a beautiful building for bibliophiles and art lovers alike! The original building has beautiful statues, marble columns and murals. Joined to the new building by a beautiful courtyard and covered colonnade. New space has a Newscafe which is adjacent to the broadcasting studio for the Boston's Public Radio Station. Lovely space to wander and relax.

Helpful?
1 Thank GeorgisWallingfordPA
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Level Contributor
116 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Stunning library which puts most public libraries to shame. I enjoyed visiting this library. The staff was very polite, the building is well kept and there are exhibits! I did not want to leave!

Helpful?
2 Thank Ava W
Toronto
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a must see if you love libraries or if you are a movie buff because this building has been featured in many films....but for those of us who still admire hard copy and quiet places to read and study, this is somewhere that should be on your visit list.

Helpful?
1 Thank debrah711
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Level Contributor
120 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Definitely worth a stop. Gorgeous interior -- marble, statues, paintings, wall murals and nooks/crannies everywhere. Historic. Just walking through it with people studying made me want to go out and get another college degree! Do not bring in any drinks.

Helpful?
1 Thank KMB4766
Porto Alegre
Level Contributor
89 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Some people might not be interested in visiting a Library. Well if you are in Boston, you have to go to this one. The building is huge, and has an old part, and a new one. The old part is a magnificent building, decorated like a temple of knowledge. Hard to describe the emotion that all the thematic art had... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank cbonorino
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We checked out the newly reopened wing of the library and were delighted with what they have done. It is open, filled with daylight, and inviting. The cafe is a nice addition but the food selection is much better in the old section. So we got our food there and brought it over to the new area. We did see... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Irwin P
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Lovely building which has been kept intact. The frescoes and other art work are amazing along with the beautiful woodwork in the reading room.

Helpful?
1 Thank Cnw2013

Travellers who viewed Boston Public Library also viewed

 

Been to Boston Public Library? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Boston Public Library and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
St. Pete Beach, Florida
over a year ago

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Boston Public Library staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

Staying in Back Bay

Neighbourhood Profile
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 weather, restaurant patio seating is packed with Bostonians and tourists alike soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the food. Commonwealth Ave offers a beautiful stroll down residential tree-lined streets. Keep walking towards the Charles River and enjoy a beautiful view by the water. In warmer months, people run and bike on paths running along the esplanade, and sail and kayak on the Charles River. Boylston street, also full of shops, bars, and restaurants, is the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Head towards Copley Square and check out the Boston Public Library, which is particularly beautiful from the Dartmouth street entrance.
Explore this neighbourhood