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French National Library (Bibliotheque Nationale de France)
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Paris Seine River Cruise with 3-Course Dinner
Ranked #197 of 1,105 things to do in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This modern glass and chrome masterpiece standing on the banks of the Seine River is also one of the largest research libraries in the world.
Level Contributor
55 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Skating rink”
Reviewed 11 January 2013

This is a great place to work, once you are safely inside and they have some interesting exhibitions and, of course, a great collection of books and periodicals. It is not cheap to study there (60 euros for a year), but the service once inside is good. The problem is getting in, especially if it is wet or icy - the wooden decking on the esplanade is lethal - ask any reader and they will have fallen or known somebody who has fallen. Some researchers will not go there in the winter because they are likely to fall. The librarians know better, they go in via the car park. This is a mad design, totally impractical for the person who wants access to books and who is afraid of a fall. Wood/rain/ice just do not go together...

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Malcolm C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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174 reviews from our community

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Paris, France
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“French national library”
Reviewed 9 September 2012

This library has an impressive collection of resources from a range of different disciplines, including art, design, science, philosophy, social sciences and humanities, and foreign languages.

You need to pay to access the collection, but the annual subscription fees are not expensive if you plan to use the collection regularly.I paid 20 euros for an annual student subscription - however, I wasn't expecting to pay anything so was surprised when I arrived!

There is also free Internet usage at selected terminals, although this is usually limited to one and a half hours per session.

For me, the collections are impressive but I did not find this a conducive place to work as I didn't have my own laptop at the time. You can't use a USB stick in any of the computers and most of the libraries had dim lighting, which did not maximise the use of the large windows facing the interior garden.

There are multiple vending machines for refreshments throughout the library - surprisingly serving some of the best coffee for 1 euro I've had in Paris! There is also a small cafe selling cheap salad formulas (salad, drink, dessert) between around 3 and 7 euros.

Visited September 2012
3 Thank thekathystar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
79 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Impressive building and collections”
Reviewed 4 August 2012

The architecture is unique in the world and I find it quite a masterpiece of the modern art. I did not have enough time to check the interior also but it was a great experience to see it from the outside. There are four buildings in “open book” shape with a wonderful garden in the middle. The view is splendid and you feel so … small. No wonder is one of the largest and most modern libraries in the world hosting more than 30 million items.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank johnnee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“excellent example of modern architecture.”
Reviewed 24 June 2012

The Bercy area is the south west of Paris an old industrial area that is extensively redeveloped. So no historical attractions here. The 4 buildings are meant to represent the 4 corners of a book, the new library of France. The upper area is very stark, almost brutal, but go down to the entry level . Get past the strict security and you can admire the interior. I was amazed by the larg numbers of students seemingly hard at work. Unfortunately security prevents sight seeing from the top of the towers. To appreciate the site cross the river over the amazing new bridge and whilst there enjoy Bercy park.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank Adrian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zemun, Serbia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Astounding, vast space and simple architecture”
Reviewed 18 April 2012

I visited this attraction on last day of my recent visit to Paris. It took me some time to get there with bike but it was worth it! It's totally different when you see it on picture (it didn't catch my eye while i studied it on faculty) and when you are really there. Wooden steps and floor is so endless and warm and you just want to sit there for a while. You feel so minor. 4 identical buildings are designed like bookshelves. What amazed me is a forest deep in the center like it's a piece of some tropical place. I just thought "what a great place to work". While you are there take a look at the Footbridge built in same style of wood. It's a piece of work for itself!

Visited September 2011
1 Thank direktor_firme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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