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“French national library”

French National Library (Bibliotheque Nationale de France)
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Ranked #192 of 1,182 things to do in Paris
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Owner description: This modern glass and chrome masterpiece standing on the banks of the Seine River is also one of the largest research libraries in the world.
Reviewed September 9, 2012

This library has an impressive collection of resources from a range of different disciplines, including art, design, science, philosophy, social sciences and humanities, and foreign languages.

You need to pay to access the collection, but the annual subscription fees are not expensive if you plan to use the collection regularly.I paid 20 euros for an annual student subscription - however, I wasn't expecting to pay anything so was surprised when I arrived!

There is also free Internet usage at selected terminals, although this is usually limited to one and a half hours per session.

For me, the collections are impressive but I did not find this a conducive place to work as I didn't have my own laptop at the time. You can't use a USB stick in any of the computers and most of the libraries had dim lighting, which did not maximise the use of the large windows facing the interior garden.

There are multiple vending machines for refreshments throughout the library - surprisingly serving some of the best coffee for 1 euro I've had in Paris! There is also a small cafe selling cheap salad formulas (salad, drink, dessert) between around 3 and 7 euros.

3  Thank thekathystar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 4, 2012

The architecture is unique in the world and I find it quite a masterpiece of the modern art. I did not have enough time to check the interior also but it was a great experience to see it from the outside. There are four buildings in “open book” shape with a wonderful garden in the middle. The view is splendid and you feel so … small. No wonder is one of the largest and most modern libraries in the world hosting more than 30 million items.

1  Thank johnnee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2012

The Bercy area is the south west of Paris an old industrial area that is extensively redeveloped. So no historical attractions here. The 4 buildings are meant to represent the 4 corners of a book, the new library of France. The upper area is very stark, almost brutal, but go down to the entry level . Get past the strict security and you can admire the interior. I was amazed by the larg numbers of students seemingly hard at work. Unfortunately security prevents sight seeing from the top of the towers. To appreciate the site cross the river over the amazing new bridge and whilst there enjoy Bercy park.

1  Thank Adrian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2012

I visited this attraction on last day of my recent visit to Paris. It took me some time to get there with bike but it was worth it! It's totally different when you see it on picture (it didn't catch my eye while i studied it on faculty) and when you are really there. Wooden steps and floor is so endless and warm and you just want to sit there for a while. You feel so minor. 4 identical buildings are designed like bookshelves. What amazed me is a forest deep in the center like it's a piece of some tropical place. I just thought "what a great place to work". While you are there take a look at the Footbridge built in same style of wood. It's a piece of work for itself!

1  Thank direktor_firme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2012

The national library is extremely big. I suggest to know exactly what you want before going there, so you can be more assertive.

It's divided in many small sessions and it's better to ask before going to any place.

Outside the library there is a very good area, with some nice restaurants and a cinema. The Bercy Park is almost in front and it's another place that you can go nearby.

Thank marciofleury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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