We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Fascinating architecture” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Boston Freedom Trail to Copley Square Walking Tour
Ranked #6 of 379 things to do in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: On the National Register of Historic Places, the library opened in 1852 as the first free, publicly-supported municipal library in America.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
43 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Fascinating architecture”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2013

Go to the McKim building, not the Johnson building. Step into Victorian Boston. Enjoy murals, glass, a gorgeous courtyard, even in winter. This is one of the great libraries in the world. Savor it.

Visited January 2013
Thank 5228Sigrid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,747 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
81 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Wonderful, beautiful library”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2013

Friend and I came here in May 2012 to browse prior to our return home. The marble stairway area was gorgeous, as was the large main reading area. Come to sightsee, but be mindful of the people actually studying and reading. I'd stay away from flash photography as it's kind of distracting, but probably alright in areas with very few people.

Visited May 2012
Thank bonnieskl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McKinney, Texas
Level Contributor
65 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“The Boston Public Library”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2013

I flew to DC and my son and I drove up to Boston to see what was left my childhood haunts of the 1940s and 50s’. This included going up in the Prudential building, stopping by Boston Latin the oldest school of its kind in our hemisphere, visiting the Boston Commons, and walking through the Boston Public Library.
The Boston Public Library is a serendipity experience because it not only caters to readers, but historians and art lovers. Paintings adorn many of the walls throughout the expansive building which has several of the floors. But what was a unique surprise was an exhibit of the old elevated trains that ran throughout the South Boston. They had been taken down 25 years ago to make way for the ever changing neighborhood landscape. The pictures showed neighborhoods as I remembered them which brought back memories of the Roxbury where I grew up. They even had displays of the Big Dig and other panel works depicting the history of Boston.
Boston is known as the educational hub of the country and the Boston Public Library is no exception. In keeping with the times it has computers available for learning experience, and rows and rows of displays that include up to date current information along with historical works. All in all it was a delightful experience and I would recommend to anyone visiting the area to take a side trip to the Boston Public Library and visit all its floors for there is a surprise waiting round every corner.

Visited December 2012
Thank Joestuffsda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
264 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Nice exhibits and architecture”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013

If you have a moment to visit, step into the north end of the library and proceed up the marble steps to some of the viewing rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor. I enjoy some of the ceiling frescos and architecture, and occasionally some nice exhibits on display. The south end of the library is connected and that area is very uninteresting architecturally, but busy with a lot of people reading books.

Visited January 2013
Thank TcarlGren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Tranquil Beauty”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2013

Nooo, i did not get to the library until my last day in Boston with only an hour to spare. Learn from my mistake and give yourself at least two hours to enjoy this beautiful building (architecture, art, books)

The pink marble Vestibule was breathtaking, the courtyard a tranquil haven, and the ladies room was very clean.

Visited January 2013
Thank Tena W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Boston Public Library also viewed


Been to Boston Public Library? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing