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Boston Public Library

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Address: 700 Boylston St, At Copley Sq., Boston, MA 02116-2813
Phone Number: 617-536-5400
Website
Today
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun 1:00 pm - 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:

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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$25*
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Boston Freedom Trail to Copley Square Walking Tour
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$25*
and up
Copley Square to Downtown Boston Freedom Trail Walking Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,402 reviews
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  • 1400
    Excellent
  • 459
    Very good
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    Average
  • 8
    Poor
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    Terrible
Beautiful

Fantastic decor for a library. Well worth a visit if only to check out the entrance and stairway. Not bad for free.

4 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
WyrmRyder
,
Washington, United Kingdom
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2,402 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,918: English reviews
Washington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Fantastic decor for a library. Well worth a visit if only to check out the entrance and stairway. Not bad for free.

Helpful?
Thank WyrmRyder
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Check the website for their free art and architecture tours. Did this for dad's birthday and we all had a great experience! Knowledgeable tour guides, brings you from the majestic older part of the museum (with all its historic statues and artwork) to the shiny new half of the building (with its interesting architecture and open layout) and tells a... More 

Helpful?
Thank Serena H
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Public library is centrally located in Boston Back Bay, right next to a few tourist landmarks and shopping center. The lobby, staircase, 2nd floor reading room, are all so beautiful that I heard many people choose to get married there. Highly recommend.

Helpful?
Thank sofiefoto
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
32 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This Library is the Biggest and Best in Boston however the only problem is if you are going for a new book they are not going to have it in stock. the building itself is beautiful and there are plenty of sections you can use in the place to read in a quiet area.

Helpful?
Thank Lori D
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This library is both a repository of great books, but also a museum with fine art everywhere within its walls. The courtyard park in the middle of the buildings is a place to enjoy a book or just sit and enjoy a quiet time in all kinds of weather.

Helpful?
Thank BostonFoodie_11
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I grew up going to the BPL as much as possible, especially as a college student nearby. I loved the old part, and considered the new part cold, however, now that they have changed the fron of the library to all glass, it is just wonderful!

Helpful?
Thank LadyshipII
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Paintings are amazing ! I wish it was my library ! Visit can be quick but I enjoy the architecture and the 2 fresques !

Helpful?
Thank Lilly_grise
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Seeing Boston like a tourist, we popped into the Library. I am a fan of architecture and the old section was not a disappointment. Beautiful paintings and statues throughout, a beautiful courtyard and even a lovely dining spot.

Helpful?
Thank EllenH27250
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

When you walk in , you are assaulted by lovely statues, staircases protected by lions, a courtyard fountain with a naked nymph, and finally as you move upstairs a beautiful quiet setting where people use books....yes I know, but they were real books! A must visit place because of its location, grandeur and polish!!

Helpful?
1 Thank wadih
Michigan
Level Contributor
40 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The oldest free public municipal library in the world does not disappoint. There is a wealth of history embodied in the Boston Public Library that shines through when visiting. We started a art and architecture tour which was free to the public. We opted to break away from the group because our infant got an energy boost. The tour guide... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Sushi8421

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Boston Public Library and other visitors
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St. Pete Beach, Florida
11 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

Staying in Back Bay

Neighborhood 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.