We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“This is where to hang out if you're homeless”

Multnomah County Central Library
Ranked #31 of 444 things to do in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
237 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 245 helpful votes
“This is where to hang out if you're homeless”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I'd read recommendations to visit this library, but I found (a) there wasn't much design of interest, and (b) every table and seating area was immediately taken by homeless people who were all waiting outside for it to open. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it meant it wasn't a relaxing place for a tourist to hang out, particularly as the smell in most of the rooms was quite strong and several men made inappropriate comments to me when I tried to work - I moved rooms twice but the problem continued, so I moved to a coffeeshop. I wouldn't recommend it for a tourist visit or if you're looking to get any work done, though it's great that it's clearly a valuable community resource. Free wifi too, which is great.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank ms_scotsgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

262 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    183
    60
    14
    2
    3
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Lovely library”
Reviewed 14 June 2014

This is a beautiful library with artwork, a nice Friends gift shop, beautiful stairways and ceiling. Looks like a lot of books and computers available. I like the Beverly Cleary Childrens section.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank travelplanut1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
88 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Beautiful building and excellent collection”
Reviewed 14 June 2014

I love old libraries and even more so when they hew to the principles of making knowledge available to everyone.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank TravelRaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
126 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Portland's centerpiece in its love of books”
Reviewed 12 June 2014

This beautiful historic library serves as the centerpiece to the Multnomah County Library system (ranking 2nd among U.S. libraries for circulation, an impressive feat given Portland’s modest population). I believe the building and the books, media, etc contained within the library do an excellent job as the center of this system. The library is split over three levels, well divided by subject, with ample tables and computers for research and reading. I have found the collection impressive and easy to navigate and the library employees have all always been helpful. In a city that adores the written word as much as Portland, it is only fitting that the library fit that love and passion.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mike191919
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springfield, Missouri
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“What an amazing Library!!”
Reviewed 4 June 2014

I love books and old buildings and this place combines both!! It's a multi storied huge place filled with everything your heart could desire when it comes to literature and knowledge!! And just a cool place to walk around in too!! It's located in the heart of downtown Portland, so while you are waking around looking at everything else, help yourself and swing in and have a look around!! ENJOY!! :-)

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Tamara P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Multnomah County Central Library also viewed

 

Been to Multnomah County Central Library? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing