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Boston Public Library

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Address: 700 Boylston St, At Copley Sq., Boston, MA 02116-2813
Phone Number:
+1 617-536-5400
09:00 - 21:00
Open 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 2,681 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1561
  • 516
    Very good
  • 53
  • 9
  • 3
A library like in the movies

Magnificent stairway, large reading room with green lamps, the smell of books: A dream for every library enthusiastic.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Anja H
Karlsruhe, Germany
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2,681 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,142: English reviews
Karlsruhe, Germany
Level Contributor
179 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Magnificent stairway, large reading room with green lamps, the smell of books: A dream for every library enthusiastic.

Thank Anja H
Sanford, Florida
Level Contributor
61 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Worth a visit! What an amazing place. I was glad to see that there were so many people enjoying real books! Beautiful ambiance and art...as well as a great quick tour out of the cold...free too.

Thank L L
Newbury, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This tour is definitely worth an hour of your visit. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is an amazing building! It's fun to visit as a tourist even though I live on the North Shore I felt like I was on a mini vacation. There are great places for lunch in the library and just around the corner.

Thank msp123123
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

J and i embarked on a walking tour of Boston. We ended our day at the Library. We spent about an hour walking around and exploring. It was one of the highlights of our trip.

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
270 reviews
126 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Enter the main entrance and go up on the stairs to the second and third floors. The marble statues/staircase and murals on the wall are worth the few minutes it takes to walk up and take a look. There is also a pretty enclosed outdoor patio area with a fountain. I was there in Jan, I imagine the patio is... More 

Thank tinaNtravel
Level Contributor
110 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This was a quick stop out of the cold. It was free to enter and the architecture and paintings are really lovely. I enjoyed this relatively quick stop. Worth a stop in if you are in the area.

Thank Peggy H
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Both modern and traditional library worth visiting and spending time. Technologically and content-wise quite rich. Location is favorable.

Thank Işık D
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
88 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The Boston Public Library is definitely worth a visit. It’s a library, museum, archive and a social gathering place, it's full of history with some wonderful architecture.

Thank bobbyarcher
Rockport, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
92 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The renovation of the Johnson Building makes the BPL much more inviting. The Map Library is a special place. The exhibitions (currently on Shakespeare) are first rate. Boston is blessed with a world-class library. Use it!

Thank RockportBirder
Lutz, Florida
Level Contributor
137 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

New Years Eve browsing had us stumbling into a real gem containing Shakespeare's literature in art form, a map room for all occasions, and a children's library to meet the needs of all age groups. The resources are phenomenal . I do hope , and have heard from family members , that there is less traffic than I observed at... More 

Thank Kathryn B

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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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