New York Public Library
New York Public Library
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 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
  • Melissa N
    Chester, New York108 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cant say enough!
    My first time to the library and there was an exhibit that was out of this world! The staff is friendly and the gift shop has a great variety! Get your NYC Public Library card also if you are a NY resident! Fun and Freee!
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 13, 2023
  • Divmercy
    Naples, Florida56 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An interesting tour!
    We took a tour of this library that is free. Check out their website to find out details on how to get tickets. We learned so much history and details about the library and what it contains inside. I don’t want to ruin some of the details, so take the tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and funny. There is a great exhibit going on at this time that is also free to tour. The library also has a fantastic store and coffee shop.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 19, 2023
  • DawnW758
    Portsmouth, United Kingdom63 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful
    We had to return twice because it was not open on. St.Patrick’s day. The building and the interior were beautiful but we especially wanted to see the reading room and were told we had to do a tour which did not start for another 2 hours. As looking inside would only take 2 minutes we were not willing to wait. This was very disappointing and should be more visible on websites so that visitors can plan more accordingly to the times of access.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 24, 2023
  • mjvan67
    Indianapolis, Indiana8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don't miss the Treasures exhibit
    The library tour was very interesting & provided an opportunity to learn about the history of the building and see some areas most visitors miss. If time is somewhat limited, skip the tour and just explore the "Treasures" exhibit. You'll find the Gutenberg Bible on display as well as original manuscripts, letters, artworks and even the original Winnie the Pooh and his friends Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and Roo. An absolutely amazing collection of incredible "things".
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 28, 2023
  • Jolie J
    Gatineau, Canada289 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Register for main reading room first
    The building is absolutely beautiful and I love that it's free to visit. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because the rose main reading room (which is the one I most wanted to see) is only open to visitors during certain times (10h30am, 1h30pm, & 3pm Mon-Sat and 1h30pm & 3pm on Sundays). And you must register first. Had I known this information, I would have planned accordingly, but I didn't see this posted on their website.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 26, 2023
  • travelgal1994
    Franklin, Tennessee882 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful a must visit
    Never visit NYC without stopping in this Library. Its magnificent to see, the architecture, you have seen in on tv or in movies. Its well maintained, the people there are so kind and friendly. They all want you to be able to find things and enjoy your visit. I love that the Treasures are open to everyone. They are amazing, especially the Winnie Pooh and the Bible. Also, the gift shop was well done. ITs one of my favorites. Sadly, we could not go to see any reading rooms or into the Library itself as you think a library would look like. So will do a tour next time.
    Visited April 2023
    Written May 5, 2023
  • Angela E
    Orlando, Florida346 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stop HERE...its free and so rich in history
    We made a quick and unplanned stop here, while walking to a different attraction. I'm so glad we did, and my young adults loved it too. It borders Bryant Park which is a lovely reprieve of shady trees in the heat. The building itself has great architecture. Make sure to stop in the Treasures room...as you will be sure to find a treasure you are thrilled to learn more about. If I were to go back to NYC, I would like to take advantage of the free tour, as it will give you even more access to other parts of the building. Make sure to stop in the bookstore before you leave!
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 19, 2023
  • Kittygal 🇺🇦 🌻
    Los Angeles, California8,310 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful Tour
    A tour of the library had been on my to do list for some time, although I'd used the reading rooms to catch up on communications during prior visits. This trip, I was at the ready when tour slots were released and got one of the covered spots, which I squeezed in between trips out to the boroughs and an evening concert at Carnegie Hall. The tour takes patrons into some of the beautiful reading rooms, with glimpses of special collections included. The history of how the main branch came to be was told, including some humorous anecdotes. The artwork and craftsmanship of this storied old building are just beautiful, and are seen up close in detail. Tours last about one hour and, best of all, are free. After the tour concluded, I visited the Treasures exhibit.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written June 26, 2023
  • mdgarbaciak
    Scottsdale, Arizona25 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don't miss this free tou
    The NYC library is a true destination for everyone. The architecture, history and incredible ceilings and rooms filled with art will definitely make people return for more visits. I have gone on 3 of their free tours and would return again.
    Visited October 2022
    Written July 11, 2023
  • jgbtravels
    Louisville, Kentucky3,588 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
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 bubbles14,626 reviews
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Rajagopal S
Edison, NJ2,134 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Superb architecture.. love passing by this amazing place and a MUST see in NewYork . Have been in once or twice … good collections . Lots of traffic and no parking around . Even if u find it’s insanely expensive .. easy to use public transport and / or walking to this place . Pretty close to Bryant park .. like this place overall..
Written February 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.

John S
289 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Solo
They offer free tours and they are totally worth the 2 or so hours. You will be able to see many rooms not open to the public and get a sense of the history behind the building and library system.
Written February 2, 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.

Lorna W
Houghton-le-Spring, UK95 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
We visited here to see the winnie the pooh exhibition, was great to see. Added bonus was the Christmas tree was up and was absolutely stunning. Worth a visit around Christmas just to see the tree
Written January 17, 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.

CarolynNYC
New York City, NY117 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
As a long time New Yorker, I sometimes forget the treasures we have—I hadn’t been here in years, although I’m often at Bryant Park next to the library. So this fall I went a couple of times and it was SO WORTH IT! You’re visiting? Got places to go? Ok, pose just go in the lobby, marvel at the fancy gilded age architecture, curving staircases, high ceilings, (the seasonal decorations are lovely, too). Then go right in to the permanent treasures exhibit. Gutenberg bible? Check. Declaration of Independence? Check. But so much more—chunks of NY theatre history, Harry Houdini, raggedy little Winnie the Pooh (yes, the real one). Tiny books, richly illustrated Medieval bibles…just such riches. They funnel you out into the new library shop, which also has a crowded little lunch bar. The shop has lots of thoughtfully chosen New York/Booklover gifts, definitely worth checking out. That’s it, use the bathrooms and leave! Or wander through the upper halls, marvel at the main reading rooms, take a free tour, whatever (I’ve also gone for research in the genealogy room—you don;t need a library card to access it—as well as requested an obscure book from the arts collection—-lovely, quiet room w nobody in it, book arrives 40 minutes later—the book wasn’t that great but I read other books they had there and appreciated the quiet).
Written January 3, 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.

ExperiencedTravelers
Los Angeles, CA611 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
I went there to get a library card and stayed to look around. The “Treasure Room” is very special, with all sorts of items that are remarkable. Plus, the building is spectacular.

Certainly worth a detour to explore.
Written December 22, 2023
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.

Ralph Wilhelm
Carmel, IN782 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
The Primary, Main New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd street (backs up on the east side of Bryant Park) is extraordinary and special. It would take all day to view the various collections and rooms and exhibits that are there. Of course, a few rooms are blocked off for use only by scholars and those doing research but the collection of rare books and manuscripts is truly special. Further a significant wall exhibit with thirty to fifty photographs of the history of the Equal Rights Amendment is really quite something to walk through, read, and learn. Also the Gutenberg Bible from the mid-1400s with its hand-inked initials is quite mind-blowing (most likely the oldest book in their collection.) And be sure to take the free audio tour and digital guide...truly special. This is one extraordinary place to spend time in NYC.
Written November 27, 2023
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.

Louis F
Altus, OK1,020 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
Awesome library with plenty of cool things to see. They have the original Winnie the Pooh and friends on display. The architecture is also really cool. The Rose reading room is the coolest thing but make sure to check the website for hours and tours as you can’t go inside outside of a few specific times.
Written November 10, 2023
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.

jennymacfuq
Franklin, TN217 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
We visited here because I had seen it in movies and wanted to see the staircase, architecture and beautiful ceiling mural. We stumbled upon the Treasures room and were surprised by all of the original artifacts and pieces of history we saw including the first Gutenberg Bible.
Written November 8, 2023
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.

Manuela A
Lisbon, Portugal31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
A must for books’ lovers. Its environment is must inviting, you want to stay and enjoy! It gives an historical prospective of books in the permanent exposition. The staff is most welcoming and nice!
Written November 6, 2023
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.

JonnyFatboy
Dorchester, UK78 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
This is a beautiful building. Wonderful frescoes and wood panelling. Certainly see the Renaissance inspiration. Actually free to enter which was surprising. Be respectful of those inside the library, as this is a real working library not a museum with students studying inside. Didn’t see any ghosts.
Written October 25, 2023
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 (with Photos)

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