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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
Website
Today
09:00 - 21:00
Open now
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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.

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The old and the new

The new library is most impressive with a very pleasing open design. Most of the rooms in the old building are empty but the main reading room is still very much in use and worth... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Claremont77
,
Sydney, Australia
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2,853 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,282: English reviews
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
117 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW

The new library is most impressive with a very pleasing open design. Most of the rooms in the old building are empty but the main reading room is still very much in use and worth a visit. There is a lovely courtyard between the old and new building where you can sit and enjoy some sunshine.

Helpful?
Thank Claremont77
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

As a Bostonian, this place makes me proud. What a beautiful library. Not only is it a state of the art library, but it also has amazing charm and character. Be sure to visit the courtyard and the cafe. The main hall is a site to see. There's a reason why so many people get married here.

Helpful?
Thank djnadina
Boston Ma
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Be sure to go upstairs to see murals on walls and ceiling. Go to the archives to see Declaration of Independence, The cafe is great. good service and the courtyard is beautiful I worked in the glass stacks 60 years ago at age 14 and fell in love with the building. Most overlooked treasure in Boston

Helpful?
Thank hinly
Avon Lake, Ohio
Level Contributor
48 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Take a break & step inside for a respite from the hustle & bustle of the city and take in the calm beauty of this historic library. The high, vaulted ceilings, the marble staircases, the mahogany reading tables (complete with green-shaded lamps) and the muraled-walls throughout, speak to a time when books were a precious commodity, and housed accordingly. In... More 

Helpful?
Thank Mary F
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

People seem to think that all one needs to learn about a subject is to enter a few keystrokes, and voila, instant knowledge. For some things, that computer info is okay, but if you want in depth, you need to visit a library. And in New England, THE Public library is the BPL. Not only does it haveeverything about everything,... More 

Helpful?
Thank OdosMama
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The building alone is a treat to visit, a real treasure trove of artwork throughout. The marble staircase and the majestic lions will take your breath away. Be sure to look up and down to see remarkable tiles. The vast collections of books, dvds, cd's and more are remarkable and it's all for free!!! You will simply need to get... More 

Helpful?
Thank Patiocpl
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
63 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

There's a bit of everything here. A secluded courtyard with graceful fountain that is a respite from the busy Copley Square. A historic building with massive and aged reading rooms. Also a new addition that literally opens up to the public through a large glass frontage. Complete with local public radio studio and trendy spots to sit and use wifi.... More 

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Thank cant83
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Excellent in all respects.. the best research materials as the first public library in the United States.. the court yard and restaurant are a city oasis that is unrivaled for it's beauty and civility

Helpful?
Thank micharld1
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The library was recently rehabbed and it is now state of the art. Lots of places to plug in laptops and it doesn't feel crowded or intrusive. The coffee bar in the main lobby is pretty good.

Helpful?
Thank KingCharlesGirl
Cisco, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Dismiss any preconceived notion of a library keep you from going to BPL! While it is a great library, the attraction is the spectacular architecture and art. A 20 minute walk through will remind you more of a museum than a library. It is a must on your stay and an easy visit via the T by Copley square

Helpful?
Thank amydodson

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Questions & Answers

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St. Pete Beach, Florida
over a year ago

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  • 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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