Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library: Hours, Address, Boston Public Library Reviews: 4.5/5

Boston Public Library
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Libraries
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9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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About
On the National Register of Historic Places, the library opened in 1852 as the first free, publicly-supported municipal library in America.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Tours & experiences
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: 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.
How to get there
  • Copley • 1 min walk
  • Back Bay • 5 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
4,034 reviews
Excellent
2,951
Very good
975
Average
94
Poor
13
Terrible
4

GoalieMarty
Ottawa, Canada190 contributions
The building housing the Boston Public Library (BPL) is simply gorgeous. We took the free guided tour which was extremely interesting and informative. Our guide was a very classy lady who made us appreciate the architecture and the history of the building and the library. Our tour started at 11 AM, lasted about 75 minutes and I highly recommend it. If we wouldn't have been on that tour, we wouldn't have been able to appreciate BPL in its full splendour. In my opinion, this is a must see/do activity when in Boston.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hrobinson1114
Nashville, TN2,542 contributions
Solo
Not as awe-inspiring as the New York Public Library, but still worth your attention. Some beautiful photo ops, but surprisingly, compared to NYPL, it’s harder to get good photos without crowds obscuring your shots.

Free. Pretty. Stop to see the murals and architecture. I spent probably half an hour here. But on another note, I felt guilty entering the main reading room because I felt like I was intruding on all the people actually there to study (there were a lot of us milling around). This is not a huge space, so extra people snapping photos, no matter how quietly, are likely noticeable.
Written February 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jola O
Las Vegas, NV513 contributions
Libraries are my happy place. This library specifically was magical. Couldn't sign up for a tour on the day I visited, but there are booklets at the entrance to do your own self-guided tour of the McKim Building built in 1895 and the modern addition completed in 2016.The courtyard with a fountain in the center is magical. So many people sitting at the tables and reading. The Map Room Tea Lounge is gorgeous. The modern addition is so wonderful. I loved every minute of my time spent in this magnificent historical site. If you like books and architecture, you will love the BPL.
Written July 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rhonda J
McDonough, GA27 contributions
We were amazed at the beauty of the Boston Public Library. Photos cannot do it justice -- you have to just stand in the Great Room in the silence (it's a real library, after all) and experience it first-hand. The artwork throughout the library is stunning, and the courtyard is a tranquil place to rest and maybe even read a good book. Don't miss out on visiting this iconic masterpiece!
Written July 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NevillDocs
Bramhall, UK97 contributions
Not at all what you might expect from a public library. The entrance hall and adjacent galleries are the most amazing display of murals including the story of Sir Galahad and the quest for the grail
There is a tea tea room of very good reputation but closed when we visited.
If you go to the back of the building you do find a mcc more normal library
Written July 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

B1714D
Belgrade, Serbia14,055 contributions
Boston public Library stands just opposite the majestic Trinity Church. It's neoclassic exterior hides terrific beauty inside with amazing sculptures and murals throughout the hallways.
The big learning room is also spectacular. Best of all, it's totally free to visit, so do go inside.
Written May 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Elizabeth H
Burlington, NC12 contributions
If you love art, especially art commissioned for the public, this is a distinctly American building, based on European traditions...full of beautiful murals. It is easy to imagine using this as an inspiring place to study, read or reflect. You can spend a fairly small amount of time and get a big payoff!
Written October 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sarah F
17 contributions
Couples
This is an amazing library! We initially were in the area to view nearby churches (Old South Church and Trinity), but I saw this beautiful building and was called inside. It had a beautiful courtyard that took my breath away. As someone who loves books, this place made my spirit happy, and seeing how well maintained and used this library is made me feel called to leave a small donation. Libraries are such wonderful places for our communities, and this one added the wonder of beautiful architecture as well!
Written July 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sundaram R
Chennai District, India58 contributions
It was a fantastic experience to visit a
modern library in great style 2 days back.it is in the heart of the city ,with Copley square at stone's throw.it is strongly suggested to take advantage of free guided tours lasting approx 1 hour,to admire the artitectural glory of this building.
The books available here cover A to Z.you can go through the various language books of the world.WiFi is available.one can browse and read books old and new of one's choice.

After spending a considerable time one can enjoy a fabulous coffee in Newsfeed coffee

For information of book lovers - it is learnt that a regular member can lend for short time a good number of books for reading.
Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MidwestKathM
Detroit, MI541 contributions
This 1895 building designed by Charles McKim is a masterpiece inside and out! From the minute you walk in the front door, you will be amazed! Be sure to look up and down and all around!! Some of America's finest artists have work in this building, most notably Augustus St. Gaudens (sculptural details), Daniel Chester French (bronze doors), and John Singer Sargent (murals in the 3rd floor gallery). French painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes did the awesome murals at the top of the main staircase. The Abbey Room features murals depicting Sir Galahad's Quest of the Holy Grail. The Reading Room is awesome with its arched ceiling; check out the sculptures displayed along the bookcases. Sit outdoors in the courtyard to relax. No admission; public restrooms. We also stopped in the 1972 Philip Johnson addition (home of the circulating collection) to see its modern (Brutalist) take on the library and its 2016 renovations. We were intrigued by the huge wall mural made of actual books!
Written July 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library is open:
  • Sun - Sun 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Mon - Thu 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
  • Fri - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Boston Public Library tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 15 Boston Public Library tours on Tripadvisor



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