New York Public Library
New York Public Library
4.5
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
New York Public Library’s monumental main branch is known for its stunning architecture and remarkable historical collections. Take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle at the Rose Main Reading Room, amid chandeliers and an ornate ceiling with murals. Enjoy the free guided tour of the building and view masterpieces like the first Gutenberg Bible, and bring the kids to see the original stuffed animals that inspired the Winnie the Pooh stories. The library is served by multiple subway lines and is adjacent to the gorgeous Bryant Park, where you can unwind after the visit. – Tripadvisor
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Midtown
This is the iconic New York that so many visitors imagine before they visit—spectacular skyscrapers like the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building, iconic public buildings like Grand Central Terminal and the New York Public Library, and the non-stop hustle and bustle of the city streets. Fifth Avenue is a shopper's heaven where you can find every kind of store imaginable, with fashion brands ranging from the affordable to the ultra-fancy. Visit the Rockefeller Center to experience towering Art Deco grandeur, and foodies will love the busy restaurants that stay open late in Koreatown. After dark, Midtown calms down a bit, but at any time of day or night it still feels 100% New York.
How to get there
  • 5th Ave • 2 min walk
  • 42nd St – Bryant Park • 4 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • jgbtravels
    Louisville, Kentucky4,509 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive building but Rose Reading Room is closed to visitors/tourists.
    It’s a magnificent building that attracts a large number of tourists and researchers to be honest. There is a free exhibit that is worth seeing including the original Winnie the Pooh and friends. Unfortunately the Rose Reading Room is no longer open to visitors/tourists but only researchers. At least you can take a picture of the mural on the ceiling just outside the Rose Reading Room. Unless you are a researcher then probably 30 minutes will suffice when visiting.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written July 18, 2023
  • DLA
    31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic to see this iconic place!
    It is so much more than a library, but also a museum containing ancient texts. Simply astounding to see 500 year old textbooks on display with ornate bindings. Saw the original Winnie the Pooh stuffed bear on display that inspired the author. Wonderful experience!
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 23, 2023
  • Cache
    Kansas369 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don't miss the Treasures Exhibit
    While the entire building is incredible, I absolutely loved my visit to the Treasures Exhibit. So many incredible pieces!!! There's something for everyone, no matter your interest. It's free to visit. I recommend going first thing in the morning. For the first half hour there were only about 10 people there with me.
    Visited August 2022
    Written July 27, 2023
  • citygirl00110024
    New York City, New York101 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent Free Tours of 42nd ST Library - Tickets released weekly on Sunday - online slots book up FAST!
    Free docent led tours are available M-S at 11am & 2pm at the Stephan A Schwarzman Building at 42nd street. Tickets are made available online Sunday for the following week and they book up very quickly! The tour is about an hour and I found it very interesting to learn about the history of the building. Docents are very knowledgeable about the history of the library building. There are also short 15 minute tours of the Rose Reading Room (also book tickets online). I had just read The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis about the caretaker's apartment inside the NYPL building (now a storage room) so it was neat to tour the building and think of the families that lived there to keep the coal burning in the furnace during the cold winter months.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written July 28, 2023
  • bbsydney96
    637 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    What a surprise - visit the Treasures collection
    Although you’ll recognise the exterior of the building from Ghostbusters, it’s what’s inside that is truly special. The Treasures collection is something else - think original Winnie The Pooh for example, among so many other true treasures. We didn’t expect this collection and we’re delighted with the broad nature of the items on display. Charles Dickens’ desk and chair, Virginia Wolof’s walking stick, Shakespeares first folio, oh the treasures! What a surprise and we are so glad that we visited.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written August 13, 2023
  • ChelseaXie
    San Francisco, California36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    good atmosphere
    nice building and inner decoration. big reading room free entrance for visitors to sit down reading and to feel the atmosphere. there's another reading room open for quiet and research only.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written August 22, 2023
  • Helen B
    Woonona, Australia167 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Should be on your “things to see in New York” visit
    Much better than I was expecting. Famous building for the numerous movie scenes it is featured in and yet it is much more. The architecture is beautiful and definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately we do a tour so missed visiting the main reading room.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written September 8, 2023
  • Caroline H
    Knutsford, United Kingdom23 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Guided tours are something special
    If you are lucky enough to bag a spot on this free tour you are so very blessed. Gloria, our docent was incredible, her mind, knowledge, passion and enthusiasm were incredible, I wanted to scoop her off for lunch and listen to her for hours and hours. This place is spectacular, what is holds, the history, the exhibitions, how you feel when you are in there - this tour gives you an insight that is very special; highlight of my NYC trip.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written September 17, 2023
  • TheCityBreakers
    182 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    New York City Library
    The library is an iconic building on the outside and has treasures to explore on the inside. The free display of valuable artefacts was beautifully presented and well worth a visit, but unlike other reviewers we found that we couldn’t visit other parts of the library such as the reading room. Great shop though.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written September 17, 2023
  • Artemary
    19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    For the love of libraries
    This beautiful landmark needs a visit. It's hallways are beautiful as is the main area. A wonderful gift store too. If you come straight to the library from E 41st, there are numerous wonderful bronze plates on the sidewalk with great quotes leading right up to the library worth reading.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written October 3, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles14,654 reviews
Excellent
9,598
Very good
4,162
Average
789
Poor
73
Terrible
32

Arbela L
Italy4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
While strolling around downtown, we happened upon the library by chance and made the decision to visit before heading out to supper. Happy we did! The exhibitions were just as remarkable as the stunning building. It's quite economical to visit and offers free entry, making it an interesting trip. It turned out to be one of my favorite spots in New York, and I'm so happy I found it!
Written July 10, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rachel & Andy
393 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
Visited: 11/07/2023

Popped in on a whim as we weren’t expecting to be nearby. An absolutely stunning building with lots of fascinating exhibits. When we visited, they had a literary exhibit on so we got to learn about Charles Dickens, George Orwell, and lucky for us they had a section on A.A.Milne with the original stuffed animals of Winnie-The-Pooh on display. The museum was huge and it was nice to have a quiet space to wander and enjoy the exhibits, and detailed architecture of the building itself.
Written June 30, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sandy B
249 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Solo
This stunning building is definitely worth a visit. Better still, take one of their free tours. You will learn so much about the history of the library and you will get to see some rooms that you wouldn’t as a regular visitor. Tickets for these tours go online Sunday for the following week and go quickly. Best of all they are FREE. The guide was amazing and had a wealth of knowledge. The library has a small museum with a fascinating collection of artifacts. And the library’s gift shop shouldn’t be missed.
Written June 23, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elizabeth H
Corpus Christi, TX315 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
Winnie the Pooh wasn’t there and the Rose room is closed except for small hours, but it is still so beautiful to enter for free and take a look around. There are restrooms and a gift shop. My favorite part are the lions out front. We sat with fellow artists (taking a class) while my daughter sketched and I enjoyed the weather, the birds, the scenery and people watching.
Written June 19, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarny
Bexleyheath, UK908 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
When I mentioned to my husband that we were to go to the New York Public Library he asked why but on a wander about agreed it was definitrly worth a visit - beautiful building to explore and some lovely free exhibitions.
Written June 15, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FLHarlock
Tavares, FL4,927 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Stopped in on a stay in NYC. My wife is a book and movie nerd and LOVES this library. She has never been here and cried when we arrived at her Mecca. I was skeptical but not so much once we went inside. This place is amazing! The architecture and history is unbelievable. We self toured the entire place for FREE and loved it all. If you’re in midtown this is definitely a must see. Highly recommended!
Written June 6, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christina C G
Little Rock, AR4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
We visited the NY Public Library for a break from the city noise and to soak in the art, architecture, and history of the building. Spent time in the famed Rose Reading Room and perused some sections of books. Sat at a desk and took in the gorgeous ceiling and wood features all around the room. Check out the interactive map in the Visitors’ Center to plan your route.
Written May 25, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Graham
Wishaw, UK231 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Interesting exhibits in the free Polanski Exhibition including Charles Dickens writing desk and chair, The Guttenburg Bible and i was particularly pleased to see Adam Smith's On the a wealth of Nations first edition. The architecture inside and out the library is beautiful. There are other exhibited such as art and an arctic photography exhibition.
Written May 18, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sarae235
Alexandria, Egypt12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We booked the free guided tour to learn more about the library’s history and it was amazing. The tour guide was very enthusiastic and we were embarked in a very entertaining ride through the library’s collections and halls. Make sure to book several days in advance as the tour is quickly sold out.
Written May 13, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeffry b
Essendon, Australia13,443 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
New York Public Library is one of America's greatest libraries; indeed, it's one of the world's most prominent libraries. The collection of books, movies and digital sources is remarkable. The Polonsky Exhibition contains the outstanding permanent exbibits held in the library. The New York Public Library is a unique Beaux Arts building in itself, as are the guardian lions at the entrance. By the way, borrowers no longer pay fines for overdue items.
Written May 8, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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New York Public Library - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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