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Boston Public Library

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Address: 700 Boylston St., At Copley Sq., Boston, MA 02116
Phone Number:
+1 617-536-5400
09:00 - 21:00
Closed now
See all 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

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,725 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1585
  • 524
    Very good
  • 53
  • 9
  • 3
Beautiful Library

Super beautiful library! You must stop even if it's a quick stop. The entrance alone is worth it, but there's also a courtyard and reading rooms worthy of seeing. Usually a couple... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Cara C
Boston, Massachusetts
via mobile
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2,725 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,174: English reviews
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
472 reviews
220 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Super beautiful library! You must stop even if it's a quick stop. The entrance alone is worth it, but there's also a courtyard and reading rooms worthy of seeing. Usually a couple of exhibits open that are always good. They also host books sales periodically. Nice way to spend a day.

Thank Cara C
Level Contributor
114 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Open to public for usage, or just to walk through it. It's a beautiful library, and surprisingly large

Thank BmxFamily
Level Contributor
32 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Beautiful free museum plus it has so many books. Just to think about the number of people who have walked through the rooms is awesome.

Thank Colleen S
Level Contributor
91 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Very good, my sister is a book and library addicted so we always visit public library .. all over the world. This is nice, not enjoyable at all due to restriction for visitors, but still nice.

Thank Effe E
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
581 reviews
197 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Just a phenomenal building with amazing art -- and they offer excellent explanatory broadsides -- spend a few minutes and take in this beauty

Thank HonestMcHonest
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The library has exquisite architecture and is full of beauty inside between the statues, marble work, and panel murals. The courtyard is a lovely spot to sit all year round, assuming you're not afraid of the cold in the winter. Though it is a library, there are many tourists which can make finding a quiet study spot quite difficult. Regardless,... More 

Thank afoley84
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Make sure you visit the old section, the statues the art the books on the ex presidents all fantastic. Could have walked around there for hours.

Thank jasongraves
Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
40 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I grew up in my local library and love the sense anf feel and smell of old librarys. This is set you on fire if you feel the same. Beautiful historic architecture, quiet and sheer bliss.

Thank Tom H
Level Contributor
242 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Wanting to check out the recent BPL upgrade, we decided finally to take the tour of Mr. McKim's historical and architectural masterpiece. What a delight! Our guide was Mr. Moulton, whose decades-old acquaintance with the library lent a charming personal touch. The Chavannes & Sargent galleries are the peers of any fine arts museum, and the historic Bates reading room... More 

Thank Gyrfalcn
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It was very nice walking through this public library to see the beautiful rooms, artwork, etc. I really liked how the old building and the new building were melded together. You can also see the Boston Marathon's Finish Line right outside of the library. The library also has a cafe inside for food. You could spend hours just roaming around... More 

Thank David E

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Questions & Answers

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

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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.
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