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“BEST Kept Secret in Boston!”

Boston Public Library
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$35.00*
and up
Boston Freedom Trail to Copley Square Walking Tour
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$95.00*
and up
Bustling Back Bay Pedicab Tour
Ranked #6 of 403 things to do in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed May 2, 2014

An old library - BIG Deal........Well the Boston Public Library (BPL) is NOT just any old library! Established in 1848, the BPL was the first public library in the US. The current building, designed by architect Charles McKim as "the palace for the people" was erected in 1895, and in 1986 was designated an "Historic National Landmark".

Check out the old-fashioned reading library upstairs with the green lamps and its 23 million books, manuscripts, maps and manuscripts. Check out the murals on the walls of the 2nd and 3rd floors. See a very moving display of countless items forming a memorial for the Boston Marathon 2013 bombing. Absolutely classic! But wait, the BEST kept secret in Boston is downstairs, in the basement............

Walk downstairs and discover a beautiful Italianate courtyard right out of a picture book. A small restaurant is there serving food. A fountain in the middle sprays water. Tables around the exterior provide ample space for lunch, reading or napping. The plantings are lovely. Notice the calm, other-worldy feel, and then remind yourself you are standing in the middle of Copley Square, but in a solitude oasis. Absolute MAGIC!

We have brought all of our visitors to Boston here for over 30 years and each has been amazed!

A MUST place to visit in Boston - unknown to most locals. A pure gem!

1  Thank Stephen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 1, 2014

If you are in/near Boston in the near future, make a stop at the Dear Boston Exhibit (Memories from the aftermath of the Marathon Bombing) before it closes on May 11th. The exhibit brings together some of the many items that people brought to the makeshift memorial at Copley Square along with some very beautiful commentary about the reactions and different perspectives of the things that people left in support the city and its people after the bombings. It is a relatively small and simple exhibit but it is deeply moving and spiritual without being maudlin or preachy. There is a place to sign a guest book and write your own message as well.
The library itself makes for a great visit and this exhibit is well worth the trip there.

Thank janeharriet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2014

The library is a classic designed by McKim, Mead, and White, and a quiet explore will lead you into some amazing spaces of marble and murals, all for free.

Thank ANNAMARGARET B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2014

The Boston Public Library is a great place to get an art and architecture fix on a low budget. Past the statues representing Art and Science, the ornate entrance showcases marble mosaics, Saint Gaudens statues, and intricate bronze work. Up the staircase, there are plenty of spaces to explore and discover. Be sure to enjoy the quiet courtyard and fountain at the center of the building.

Thank Josh T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2014

Visit second floor for scenic view of boston square and old churche.
Visit hall inside..scroll in the inside fountain area and read some of the oldest books in the central lib.
Big Lions on stairway so watch out for roaring sound.

Thank Herman1stal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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