Libraries in Paris

THE 10 BEST Paris Libraries

Libraries in Paris

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What travelers are saying

  • CK2000
    New York City, NY277 contributions
    As we wandered through Le Marais, we passed by the National Archives. Entry is free and provided a little respite from the sunny day and a bathroom. Inside was an exhibit on various mediums to make records, from papyrus to paper to digital form.
    Written August 31, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Ugo C
    Reykjavik, Iceland746 contributions
    Sadly, this was under renovation when we visited, but the building is beautiful nonetheless. This is one of Paris' hallmarks that must be seen in person
    Written July 7, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Thomas V
    Oakland, CA14,578 contributions
    Controversial when built, and not always a great success, but still a remarkable commitment to books and learning to build a huge library in modern times. There is a neighborhood that is growing up around it, so getting better. Try to not come here on a rainy day as the platform where you enter can be very slippery. Also come to the good expos that are held here.
    Written June 30, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • 245olegv
    Madrid, Spain2,723 contributions
    The first English bookstore was opened in 1951. This place has air of love for books. The books are the heroes and the major attraction, and we, humans, are coming here to pay tribute and recognize that our life without books will be miserable. If you are one of us go to this sacred place to pay your tribute!
    Written January 17, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Shane B
    1 contribution
    Simply the most beautiful library you’ll see. Stay a little, stay long, but worth the visit. Wonderfully restored and a great place to stop and read.
    Written January 23, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • JnVSydney
    Greater Sydney, Australia17,141 contributions
    Once the Hotel de Sens. The building dates from the end of the 15th century was was intended to be the home of wealthy archbishops - starting with Salazar the archbishop of Sens. It took so long to build he never actually lived there and many noblemen used the property over the centuries.
    At one stage it was held by the Royal family until it was confiscated during the French Revolution (there’s even a canonball still lodged in the facade - we love these little details).
    After that it was neglected and was even used by the Saint James Marmelade Factory of all things. Eventually it was purchased by the City of Paris in 1911 and the last of it’s ad hoc tenants left in 1928. It has had some very famous guests over the centuries including, most famously, Nostradamus. He was invited to Paris by Queen Catherine of the Medicis in 1555 and lodged at the Townhouse of Sens as it was known. The living was fine at the townhouse, so fine he was struck down with an attack of gout and confined to bed, surrounded by people keen to hear his predictions.
    The Forney library moved here in 1929 when it outgrew it’s old premises. In its current incarnation of library focussing on decorative arts, it was hosting a fascinating exhibition about feeding Paris - including great photos of our neck of the woods, Les Halles. There was also a lot of memorabilia from restaurants and bistros and great vintage advertising items.
    Written February 24, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Edward G
    Cairo, NY54 contributions
    Great library, only open in afternoon after 2:00 pm for public. Used in Harry Potter movies. We where there because of a book. Greatest libraries of the world. my wife is a librarian
    Written September 19, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • JSSAmber
    Cambridge, UK516 contributions
    This place has a history stretching back to the Lost Generation, but their newly updated space gives you the best of a modern library. It costs about 10 Euros for a day pass or 100 for a year membership, and the catalog is outstanding: my father went in and said that they had every single one of his favorite sf/f writers. There's also an incredible archive of fashion magazines, so if you're in Paris doing research on fashion history, this is your place. They also do extensive programming for young people and have two librarians (with library degrees) for young people on staff. Great place!
    Written May 26, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • MayhemMayhew
    Nottingham33 contributions
    You can access this magical library via the side entrance (guarded by security staff and a barrier) by the Institute of the Academy Francaise, on the side of the Seine. The librarian kindly let us in (it's free of charge and admits visitors), and we were immediately amazed - picture Belle's library in the Beast's castle from Disney's Beauty & the Beast, and you can get a better idea of what awaits! Chandeliers, books, lots of wooden features,... They have a fascinating range of books, some very, very old and unique, and you can spend a good 20-30mins just walking around and taking in the atmosphere amongst the library users. Out of respect for the latter, one would recommend staying silent/very quiet, albeit the creaky floorboards prevented us from being unnoticed.
    Written July 2, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Andrew L
    Belfast, UK46 contributions
    Had read about the centre online and yesterday my daughter (8) and I decided to give it a visit. Situated near the Sorbonne and the Pantheon, it’s in a quiet street and well off any tourist trail. Being a Sunday afternoon we were the only visitors and the tea room and reading rooms were shut (will know that for next time as I could have done with some coffee). Enjoyed the virtual reality art and speaking with the staff. What a lovely place to visit.
    Written January 28, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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