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San Antonio Central Library

Neighborhood: Downtown
As featured in San Antonio for free
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Address: 600 Soledad Street, San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone Number: 210-207-2500
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Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mon - Thu 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No
Description:

You may not want to read a book, but a visit to the library is worth just...

You may not want to read a book, but a visit to the library is worth just to see the Chihuly blown glass sculpture in San Antonio's downtown library. Just walk in the main door and look up. It reminds me of the confetti flying out of a cascarón (a eggshell stuffed with confetti and cracked over someone's head during Fiesta).

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 22 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 15
    Excellent
  • 3
    Very good
  • 2
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Big Red Enchilada Library

The best part about this place is the bright red color. Its known by locals as the enchilada library or big red enchilada library. I mean it's just the library. But everything's... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed December 30, 2015
survivor5804
,
Houston, Texas
via mobile
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22 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
414 reviews
197 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2015 via mobile

The best part about this place is the bright red color. Its known by locals as the enchilada library or big red enchilada library. I mean it's just the library. But everything's bigger in Texas and apparently brighter.

Helpful?
Thank survivor5804
San Ignacio, Belize
Level Contributor
69 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2015

The first San Antonio public library was brought here by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (pronounced car-NAY-gie according to a spokeswoman for the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Many people disagree, but that's their problem. When Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta's design beat out the competition in 1991, it was a historic event. I love his statement, "I want to break the concept... More 

Helpful?
Thank Chucumite
Mobile, Alabama
Level Contributor
673 reviews
390 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 270 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2015

I went on a Sunday afternoon to see their advertised exhibition Arts Of Noh. The street people were roaming all around the outside of the building and the inside was being used more like a homeless shelter. As an adult, I do not have an issue with this but there is absolutely no way I would ever bring a child... More 

Helpful?
Thank pnkgirl
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
168 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2015

Take your kids to the library. This is a great place to make your own adventures. Wi-Fi and computers too.

Helpful?
Thank Davin D
Sherwood Park, Canada
Level Contributor
90 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2015

Even if you hate reading, it would be worth a visit to the San Antonio Central Library. The building's design is interesting; the courtyard and Chihuly sculpture are impressive. There was a huge book sale on the lowest level when we visited, and the prices were excellent.

Helpful?
Thank Bill S
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
134 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2015

San Antonio's Central Library is worth a visit even if you're from out of town. This unusual building, designed by an architect from Mexico, was painted a color dubbed "enchilada red" after the city held a contest to let residents choose the name. Inside, there is a massive Dale Chihuly hanging glass sculpture. It's just fun to stroll around. And... More 

Helpful?
Thank Divascribe2
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015 via mobile

I loved coming here as a kid and I absolutely love brining my daughter. They have so many fun activities! Plus the atmosphere is amazing I can sit at appreciate it all day long!

Helpful?
Thank Nicole R
Sioux Center, Iowa
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2014

Visiting a city library is like being a kid in a candy shop. There's so much to see, observe and enjoy. The children's area was absolutely darling and there are so many different reading areas spread throughout the building where you can relax and read. The Dale Chihuly glass sculpture is amazing and something you won't want to miss on... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank loves_snowflakes
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

The architecture is dramatic, but the architect apparently wanted visitors to the library to be totally confused in entrances, exits, flow throughout the library, and knowing where meeting rooms and other offices could be found. I've been going to this museum for years and it took quite a while to work out what's what in there.

Helpful?
Thank Gypsy C
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

It's fun to see all big city libraries and this one is modern and unique. Beautiful art,go to the top and work your way down otherwise you will miss all the historical flags from TX. The downside to the library are the homeless people hanging out,everywhere. If you park in the lot,don't forget to get your ticket stamped.

Helpful?
Thank gayledwi

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?