Boston Public Library, Boston

4.8
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. Arrange your visit to Boston Public Library and discover more family-friendly attractions in Boston using our Boston road trip tool .
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Boston Public Library Reviews
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3,090 reviews
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4.7
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  • October 4, 2017
    The oldest American public library (1848) is certainly worth a visit... Its marble stairs enhanced frescoes of Puvis de Chavannes and John Singer Sargent will delight art lovers! For you over your pictorial emotions, you can relax in the peaceful courtyard cloister-like!
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  • October 4, 2017
    We came to Boston two years ago when the library was under renovation so I was keen to see to see it after completion. The interior is bright and modern, with a coffee shop that sells food and drink. ...  more »
  • October 4, 2017
    Stopped into the Public Library while walking Boston in the rain. It was beautiful. If the weather is nice, they have a wonderful courtyard that would be nice to sit and listen to the fountain.  more »
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  • June 1, 2017
    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.
  • June 5, 2017
    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.
  • June 17, 2017
    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.
  • April 27, 2017
    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.
  • May 30, 2017
    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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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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