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Boston Public Library, Boston

4.8
#6 of 318 in Sightseeing in Massachusetts
Landmark Library
A book haven with more than 8.9 million books, Boston Public Library is the second-largest library in the United States after the Library of Congress. The library has 1.7 million rare manuscript holdings, including a handful of Shakespeare's quartos and a copy of the First Folio. Consider spending some time with a book in the McKim Building, soaking up the silence under a domed ceiling. Boston Public Library is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our custom trip planner, Boston Edition.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
3,001 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • I didn't spend much time here, but I was really glad that I went in. The entrance is impressive as is the art. Sit a while in some of the rooms and soak up the art and marble. It's in Copley Square in...  more »
  • If you pass on the square opposite the library, feel free to come and see her. The main hall of the old Library is located on the floor. A new library was opened just next door. Is not a must-see... but the building is well maintained and is located in the center of a place with other monuments (churches...)
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  • Went in to have a look at the interior/art based on a friend's recommendation, and it didn't disappoint. Definitely worth a visit, I spent a good 45mins just walking around and taking photos. Be sure ...  more »
Google
  • On the bright side, the old architecture is beautiful, and the new additions are also beautiful (especially the new children's section). Unfortunately, everything else leaves a lot to be desired. The book selection is atrocious for a library of this size. Many books, particularly best-sellers (even fiction), cannot be checked out. The building layout is a maze, and I saw someone shooting up in the bathroom once. Finally, the security guards also yell at everyone to get out of the library 20 minutes before closing time. I wouldn't recommend going here unless you want to admire the architecture and interior design of the library.
  • We walked over to the library on a brief stay on Boston. We spent probably and hour there. It's a beautiful building and I'd recommend seeing it. We coincidentally were there while they were having a book sale (which I think they do every 2 months), so we bought 3 books for $7.
  • Believe me, here is the BEST library of the area. Big, beautiful, and spacious place with nice employees! I really love working over there. There's free wiFi, free restrooms, access to computers and you can even print or scan documents. If you need to be focused will working, just go over there.
  • I was pleasantly surprised when walking through this library. It has been recently updated and is modern/interactive. The displays are beautiful and there are thousands upon thousands of books to read. This is a great place for the city.
  • Really enjoyed the free arts & architecture tour with Elizabeth! Only an hour long, but definitely covers all the highlights of the BPL and got plenty of fun facts I otherwise never would have thought to look up. Check the website to see times, since they're different each day.

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Where to stay in Boston

To stay close to where most of Boston's tourist action is, book a room at one of the many hotels located downtown, near the center of the city and state governments, businesses, and shopping. For a more affordable option, consider a budget-friendly boutique hotel or small bed and breakfast in one of the city's diverse residential neighborhoods. If you plan to stay longer and need a real home away from home, explore Boston's short-term rental options, which include private villas, waterfront lofts, and luxury apartments scattered across the city's historical districts.
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