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Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

Back Bay East, Boston
  • Celia F.
    "McKim Building courtyard and Bates Hall"(7 Tips)
    "The reading room upstairs is a must see."(6 Tips)
    Boston Public Library
    "architecture tours of the library"(5 Tips)
    Candid Cuisine
    "One of the most beautiful libraries in the US"(4 Tips)
159 Tips and reviews
  • books
  • architecture
  • mckim building
  • beautiful library
  • reading room
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  • Fluying ✅.
    Fluying ✅October 30
    This marvelous public is adapted to 21 century. People come here to read and study. Don’t miss visiting the Abbey room and Bates Hall.
  • Al Shaima A.
    Stunning architecture 😍
  • Chelcie R.
    Chelcie RowellOctober 20
    The murals! The muses, the quest of the holy grail, John Singer Sargent’s Triumph of Religion
  • Desirée G.
    Desirée GouldOctober 18
    Best public library ever? Make sure to head on over to the old building - it’s what libraries are all about.
  • Chloe C.
    Chloe CondonSeptember 22
    Nice space to work- solid wifi
  • Scott Kleinberg
    Incredibly gorgeous library. Wow! Take time to explore all of this place.
  • Ryan N.
    Ryan NixonJune 19
    Visit bates hall, beautiful
  • Elleen
    ElleenMay 24
    Been here 10+ times
    sit near the middle of the building or the old side if you need to use the wifi - near the windows of the renovated areas gets extremely slow
  • Bader A.
    Large selection of books, and large comfortable spaces. Great for reading & studying.
  • Rorriz_ D.
    Best library especially kids section👼🏼. sometimes they have afternoon Tea with delicious scones☕️
  • Dan F.
    Dan FareseMarch 11
    Take the feee tour. Donate. Soak in some history!
  • Cole K.
    Cole KennedyJanuary 1
    Everyone raves about the McKim building, but don't forget to spread the love to the Johnson building, especially with the renovation by William Rawn. Great for all architecture buffs.
  • Lee E.
    Lee EddyDecember 10, 2016
    Great place for a quick stop in cafe get warm and head out or studies
  • Cristina C.
    Cristina CasasNovember 5, 2016
    I love it.
  • Jan K.
    Jan KrawczynskiSeptember 16, 2016
    Magnificent historic building
  • A S.
    A SAugust 4, 2016
    What a beautiful library! Come and spend some quiet time lazing in the courtyard.
  • Kendra V.
    Kendra ValentineMay 25, 2016
    New kids room is awesome!
  • Ben B.
    Ben BaronMay 20, 2016
    Use the Copley MBTA station to reach the north side of the building.
  • Claudia
    ClaudiaMay 15, 2016
    Visitors can use the computers for free for 1 hour.
  • Ben B.
    Ben BaronMay 11, 2016
    Quietest public floor I've ever experienced. Perfect!
  • Lucie B.
    Lucie BergerovaMay 10, 2016
    Free wifi. 👍🏻
  • Nicholas
    NicholasApril 29, 2016
    Been here 10+ times
    Highly-trafficked, but with ample study space in various formats. Bates Hall is the gorgeous reading room, but the older rooms also charm.
  • Akira
    AkiraApril 29, 2016
    This place is beautiful, I love to go here to relax and read something from the library.
  • Trevor B.
    Trevor BApril 2, 2016
    Great tea in the Map Room Cafe!
  • Lizzie H.
    Lizzie HatfieldMarch 22, 2016
    Very pretty inside with lots of marble. The newer central library at the back contesting children's and teen books is nice to sit and work in and is a lot quieter than the main reading room.
  • Bora
    BoraFebruary 13, 2016
    Real historical library , just like museum . Even Though you don't like read you should see this place
  • Kaitlin T.
    Kaitlin TJanuary 15, 2016
    I finally made it. This is THE library of all libraries, it seems. I'm jealous of you, Bostonians. I'd never leave.
  • Carl G.
    Carl GriffinJanuary 8, 2016
    Magnificent facade and exquisite interior art.
  • Alex A.
    Alex ApriscoDecember 29, 2015
    Incredible place . Past and future mixed by the book.
  • Joshua
    JoshuaNovember 7, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    The reading room upstairs is a must see. It's also a good place to read and work. The lions on either side of the staircase are also impressive. Don't miss the courtyard either.
  • Ting
    TingOctober 8, 2015
    Check the website for the daily tour timings on the Art and Architecture of this beautiful library. Well worth your time as the docent was excellent. If not, just go in anyway and enjoy the courtyard.
    Upvoted Nov 7
  • Djaniella D.
    Djaniella D.September 20, 2015
    Great for studying ... and taking naps! ;)
  • Ting
    TingJuly 30, 2015
    Don't miss a visit to this beautiful library with a lovely courtyard. So conducive to read! Tours available daily but timing differs. Best to check the website.
  • Arnie T.
    Arnie TaylorJuly 12, 2015
    This library is enormous!
  • Jen Q.
    Jen QJuly 11, 2015
    A work of art. Map room, courtyard, and various art galleries
  • Ethan M.
    Ethan MacDonaldJuly 5, 2015
    Reading books is fun. I love the old world architecture. It really brings out the scholar in me.
  • vsync
    vsyncJune 26, 2015
    Ignore the signs listing the hours as they're useless. The guards go through and throw everyone out whenever they feel like it regardless of posted hours.
  • Candid Cuisine
    Candid CuisineJune 25, 2015
    One of the most beautiful libraries in the US
  • Gary Alexander I.
    Outstanding building
  • sidra s.
    sidra sidMay 2, 2015
  • Daniel T.
    Daniel TewfikApril 21, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Check out the new Teen Center
  • CNN
    CNNApril 13, 2015
    Half-domes bookend either end of an impressive barrel-arched ceiling in Boston Public Library's Bates Hall. The 1895 library on Copley Square was designed by Charles Follen McKim. Read more
  • Parul B.
    Parul BatraMarch 22, 2015
    Stunning library and great place to study but wifi is slow
  • Dmtr
    DmtrFebruary 15, 2015
    Best place to read, work or study
  • Paige C.
    Paige CotéJanuary 30, 2015
    Great place to people watch and read on a cold day.
  • Munira
    MuniraSeptember 28, 2014
    Great place to study
  • Marcus F.
    Marcus FryerSeptember 27, 2014
    Nice place to sit and study. WiFi leaves a little to be desired. Get a library card to get on the Internet.
  • Raphael Armand
    Raphael ArmandAugust 31, 2014
    Oh man every library must be like this one!
  • Daryana
    DaryanaAugust 28, 2014
    Free wifi, nice fountain, a good place to relax after having a long working or walking day;)
  • Pat A.
    Pat AddamsAugust 21, 2014
    it's a good idea to place twenty dollar bill in one of the books you want to check out for better service
  • Kathy M.
    Kathy MAugust 8, 2014
    The courtyard and reading room are stunning.
  • Claire C.
    Claire CastlemanAugust 7, 2014
    Abbey Room
  • Lauren P.
    Lauren PowersJuly 29, 2014
    Stop by the Map Room.
  • JuAnne N.
    JuAnne NgMay 23, 2014
    Check out the maps center behind the courtyard
  • Curbed
    CurbedMarch 20, 2014
    The main branch, like the city's smaller branches, offers free WiFi, though not necessarily a place to plug in your laptop. Read more
  • American M.
    American MensaMarch 12, 2014
    No, really. You’ll find loads more activities than you would ever expect. What might not surprise you is the price: it’s all free (one of the reasons public libraries rock). Read more
  • Dan D.
    Dan DeLucaDecember 21, 2013
    Beautiful building and architecture
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryDecember 1, 2013
    Visit the exhibition "Made in Boston" in the library's Leventhal Map Center through March . Read more
  • Ethan F.
    Ethan FlemingNovember 12, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    What is with all the people falling asleep here. I thought this was a library, not a hotel.
  • Magda C.
    Magda CunhaSeptember 21, 2013
    One of the most beautiful places in Boston!
  • Ashly S.
    Ashly SanfordAugust 29, 2013
    Check out the old section of the library. The second floor has some beautiful rooms and if you can find it there are usually good art shows tucked away here and there.
  • Alina V.
    Alina VargasAugust 15, 2013
    Have afternoon tea in the Map Room Cafe from 2-4 pm!
  • Bethany L.
    Bethany LongoriaJuly 7, 2013
    A great spot for a date, beautiful courtyard
  • Paul
    PaulJune 29, 2013
    The tour is very cool on Saturday mornings.
  • Leland C.
    Leland CoontzJune 8, 2013
    Daily architecture tours. One hour long. Free!
  • Boston Public Library
    Stop in for a free, 12:30pm concert in the BPL courtyard every Friday in June, July, and August 2013. Read more
  • 👸Cindyrella
    👸CindyrellaApril 29, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Even the restrooms are pretty.
  • Laurie C.
    Laurie CaebeApril 16, 2013
    I'm a student Journalist and if anyone would like to talk about today's tragedy you can call or text me at (920) 550-1779. Praying for you all.
  • Heidi N.
    Heidi NickalApril 2, 2013
    Do NOT, whatever you do, take the old elevator to the mezzanine!!
  • Elina V.
    Elina VanneApril 1, 2013
    Perfect place to sit down indoors for free if you're a tourist who insists on walking everywhere!
  • Jake S.
    Jake SmithMarch 28, 2013
    Check out one of the rotating exhibits, they're very interesting and change often.
  • Tiffany P.
    Tiffany ProbascoMarch 21, 2013
    Gorgeous place and the Courtyard Restaurant is top knotch!
  • Joe D.
    Joe DiazMarch 21, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    Be careful about bringing books in from other libraries. They occasionally set off the "unchecked book" alarms.
  • Traci H.
    Traci HamersenFebruary 8, 2013
    The library has regular book sales. The books are in Great condition and very reasonable prices
  • Boston University Panhellenic Council
    "The Boston Public Library is a great place to get away from the finals crowd when Mugar gets loud and crowded." - Arden, VP Chapter Development
  • Staci M.
    Staci MorrisonDecember 15, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    If you visit on a weekend when most schools are having finals, dont expect to find a seat to study/read anywhere in the McKim building.
  • Alida Rose
    Alida RoseNovember 22, 2012
    Kinda like Hogwarts.
  • Rachel T.
    Rachel TanenhausNovember 5, 2012
    Every time I visit this place I fall in love with it all over again.
  • St. Martin's Press
    St. Martin's PressOctober 4, 2012
    Meet New York Times bestselling author Archer Mayor on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 6:30 PM as he reads from his new mystery novel Paradise City, from the Joe Gunther series. Read more
    Downvoted Nov 7
  • Jamila W.
    Jamila WilsonSeptember 19, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Watch out for the mice!
  • JP
    JPAugust 29, 2012
    bring a camera, it's a great place to snap some pictures!
  • Tor/Forge
    Tor/ForgeAugust 23, 2012
    Meet Emmy Award-winning journalist Hank Phillippi Ryan on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 6:30 PM as she reads from her new mystery novel The Other Woman, also with Hallie Ephron and Archer Mayor. Read more
  • Shermans Travel
    Shermans TravelAugust 9, 2012
    Offers a fascinating (and free) architecture and art tour of its historic 1895 McKim Building (Sun. at 2 p.m., Mon. at 2:30 p.m., Tues. and Thurs. at 6 p.m., and Fri.–Sat. at 11 a.m.). Read more
  • Deepak R.
    Go to the courtyard. It's amazing!!!
  • Alex Z.
    Alex ZinnAugust 2, 2012
    Been here 50+ times
    Grab a seat anywhere and enjoy this oasis. Concerts during lunch hour on Fridays in the summer.
  • Jessie D.
    Jessie DAugust 2, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Bring your lunch to the Courtyard!
  • Tor/Forge
    Tor/ForgeAugust 1, 2012
    Meet William Martin on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 6:00 PM as he reads from his new historical novel The Lincoln Letter. Read more
  • Toph T.
    Toph TuckerJuly 5, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Bathroom hand dryers are about as strong as my exhalation, and paper towels are inconsistently stocked. Think twice before doing anything that might get your hands wet!
  • Celia F.
    Celia FabulousJune 27, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    The McKim Building courtyard and Bates Hall are two of my favorite spots in Boston. Beautiful, inspiring, and FREE. #gooduseoftaxdollars
    Upvoted Nov 7
  • Sarah C.
    Sarah ChuMay 31, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    Rent new released DVDs for free. Cancel netflix!
  • Foundation Center
    Foundation CenterMay 21, 2012
    Looking for grant and fundraising information? Access Foundation Center resources, including Foundation Directory Online Professional, for FREE at this location!
  • Nikkole M.
    Nikkole MathisApril 23, 2012
    Always loved coming here, especially to the old section of the library.
  • Malin F.
    Malin Fox-KodaApril 21, 2012
    Try getting married here. Its amazing.
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryApril 14, 2012
    Stop in to see the new printmaking exhibition "reThink INK" open through July 31, 2012. The exhibition is so large, it's installed in three spots around the building. Read more
  • City of Boston
    City of BostonApril 10, 2012
    The Boston Public Library was the first to have a children's room. Grab your kids and come check it out.
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryMarch 31, 2012
    Stop in to see the free exhibition "Forgotten Chapters of Boston's Literary History" through July 30. Read more
  • jin s.
    jin stedgeMarch 29, 2012
    it's a nice, peaceful quiet- not the stuffy or i-just-heard-a-mouse silence you find at most university libraries.
  • Sean L.
    Sean LaurenceMarch 29, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Check their event calendar for free films, interesting talks, etc:
  • BU FYI Student Blog
    BU FYI Student BlogMarch 7, 2012
    The courtyard at the BPL is a great place to get work done!
  • Sasha S.
    Sasha StaffordFebruary 18, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Check out the new Norman Leventhal Map Center
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryFebruary 13, 2012
    Stop in and see the stunning Sargent Murals on the third floor of the McKim Building, the one that faces Dartmouth Street.
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryFebruary 10, 2012
    Did you know? All Boston Public Library locations are free, wireless hotspots.
  • Michael C.
    Michael ColfordFebruary 9, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    The Courtyard Restaurant does a delicious lunch.
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryFebruary 1, 2012
    Author, author! Check out the list of authors coming to the BPL for free author talks. Read more
  • Christopher W.
    Christopher WJanuary 26, 2012
    The original side is absolutely breathe taking! Ceiling murals, huge lion statues, and life size statues of some of the most famous people in american history!
  • The Next Great Generation (Boston)
    If studying is your objective, grab a seat in the McKim Building and join the other students furiously typing papers on their laptops or reading woolly mammoth-sized test prep books. Read more
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryJanuary 17, 2012
    There are two free exhibitions in the BPL's Leventhal Map Center open thru March 12 -- "Treasures" and "Unconventional Maps." Stop in any time the library is open.
  • laura h.
    laura horakJanuary 2, 2012
    free "Art and Architecture Tour" of the building Sundays at 2 p.m., Mondays at 2:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 11 a.m.
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryDecember 27, 2011
    Talented authors are coming to Boston Public Library locations in the new year. Visit for details. Read more
  • Anthony V.
    Anthony VDecember 18, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    The exquisite original McKim, Mead and White building received a modernist, referential extension by Phillip Johnson, architect of the famed Glass House and chippendale Sony Center in NYC.
  • Bright Horizons
    Bright HorizonsDecember 1, 2011
    Check out our Books of Excellence for ideas on books for infants, toddlers, preschool & school age children!
  • Eileen C.
    Eileen ChamNovember 26, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    don't sit on the floors... :D
  • Yera H.
    Yera HaNovember 14, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Head to the Courtyard on temperate days, or the mezzanine level of the McKim building
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryNovember 14, 2011
    Free, hour-long art & architecture tours of the library are offered 7 days a week. Read more
  • Anna V.
    Anna ValutkevichNovember 8, 2011
    3rd floor isn't quiet thanks to the echoing lobby. Awesome, guys.
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryOctober 31, 2011
    Stop in at the new Norman B. Leventhal Map Center on the first floor. Two exhibitions are open: "Unconventional Maps" and "Treasures."
  • Joseph S.
    Joseph StuckOctober 22, 2011
    Check out the Walk to the Sea virtual presentation in the map center!
  • Dennis M.
    Dennis MitchellOctober 20, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    The reference section is in old half on the second floor
  • Greg B.
    Greg BodenairOctober 18, 2011
    Been here 50+ times
    Be sure to finish up your food and drink before you enter the library or make sure you make it obvious to the security guard you're headed for the Courtyard...serious people them folk are.
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryOctober 11, 2011
    Bates Hall is 218 long, 42 feet wide, and 50 feet high, to the crown of its barrel vaulted ceiling.
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryOctober 11, 2011
    This magnificent reading room is named for the Boston Public Library’s first great benefactor -- Joshua Bates (1788-1864).
  • NYC E.
    NYC EcloguesSeptember 25, 2011
    An amazing location, in the heart of Boston that is incredibly free.Stroll down this marble infused building and enjoy the scent of aged pages. There is nothing like the feel of worn paper.
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibrarySeptember 22, 2011
    Kindle eBook users can now request and download titles from the Boston Public Library's OverDrive collection. Free to all. Read more
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryAugust 16, 2011
    Bates Hall is named for the Library’s first great benefactor - Joshua Bates (1788-1864). It is 218 long, 42 feet wide, and 50 feet high, to the crown of its barrel vaulted ceiling.
    Upvoted Nov 7
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryAugust 11, 2011
    The BPL's Central Library in Copley Square is host to a Hubway station. You can borrow a book and a bike here in Copley Square.
  • Credo Reference
    Credo ReferenceAugust 9, 2011
    Look at all the great art and architecture (like on BPL's Art and Architecture Tour), but also look for cool books! Favorite finds include Outwitting Bears, a guide on outwitting bears.
  • Alwyn V.
    Alwyn VelasquezAugust 8, 2011
    A sanctuary in the heart of the city. Love this place! Read more
  • FutureM
    FutureMAugust 8, 2011
    Containing more than 8.9 million books and related items, the Boston Public Library is the second largest library in the United States.
  • Boston Public Library
    Boston Public LibraryAugust 1, 2011
    Try out the library's new catalog. Read reviews, reserve books and DVDs, and have them sent to the BPL location of your choice. Read more
  • Boston Public Library
    There are two places to eat inside the library -- try the Map Room Cafe for a quick bite or the Courtyard Restaurant for a lovely lunch or afternoon tea. Read more
  • Boston Public Library
    There are now four self check-out stations in the library -- three at the Boylston Street entrance and one at the Dartmouth Street entrance. Use self check-out for everything except DVDs and videotape
    Upvoted Nov 7
  • Boston Public Library
    Founded in 1848, by an act of the Great and General Court of Massachusetts, the Boston Public Library (BPL) was the first large free municipal library in the United States. Read more
  • Boston Public Library
    Check the Boylston Street side of the BPL for new food trucks starting in mid-July.
  • Boston Public Library
    If you live in the state of Massachusetts, you can have a Boston Public Library card. Why not stop in today to sign up? Read more
  • Boston Public Library
    Free art & architecture tours are offered at the Central Library in Copley Square four times each week. They last about an hour. Read more
  • The Feast
    The FeastJune 8, 2011
    Gorgeous courtyard. Not only do they have free events (including movie screenings) this is also an amazing spot to get hitched. Read more
  • Jiahao C.
    Jiahao ChenMay 27, 2011
    The third floor is the least visited but the most interesting. The rotating exhibits in the rare books collection are worth the visit.
  • Tenley W.
    Tenley WilsonMay 26, 2011
    The courtyard is a hidden oasis in the middle of the city.
  • Jos L.
    Jos LurnApril 13, 2011
    Becomes a bookworm.. :)
  • AllenGerritsen
    AllenGerritsenFebruary 9, 2011
    Take a picture of a book in the library and tweet it to us (@allengerritsen) to win a prize!
  • Jodi S.
    Jodi SperberJanuary 18, 2011
    Been here 25+ times
    Try the Israeli couscous in the Map Room cafe or the Courtyard restaurant. Delicious!
  • CityRover M.
    CityRover MediaJanuary 5, 2011
    The Boston Public Library (1854) was the first free public library established in the country. Read more
  • Fiat V.
    Fiat VDecember 7, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    Take time and walk the halls of BPL. You'll observe the patrons sitting/reading/internetting inside the Bates Hall. Gander through the current exhibit in the lobby and enjoy the fine architecture.
  • DawnLH
    DawnLHOctober 10, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    10/09...the library is closed unsure why but there is a guard inside. tomorrow is Colombus day and there are signs that they will not be open then?
  • William M.
    William McAdooSeptember 16, 2010
    Stop by the courtyard for lunch and step inside an oasis for a for a break from the hectic city
  • Guy C.
    Guy CourtinAugust 2, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    Spend time in the reading room
  • Kenneth M.
    Kenneth MutiJune 18, 2010
    Amazing string player in the courtyard so peaceful. Beautiful day to do work.
  • Bruce C.
    Bruce CJune 10, 2010
    6/2010 - Check out the cool vintage travel posters exhibit.
  • Erin P.
    Erin PettigrewMay 17, 2010
    Get married in the Courtyard.
  • Anna L.
    Anna LamMay 13, 2010
    Go to the fountain open area in the library and check out the marble sculptures and the art galleries in the library.
    HISTORYApril 23, 2010
    The library was founded in 1848 by an act of the Massachusetts legislature and first opened in 1854 in a former schoolhouse located on Mason Street. It moved here to its current building in 1895.
    Upvoted Oct 30
  • Amelia S.
    Amelia SuttonMarch 22, 2010
    because I just can't bring myself to buy a book when there are 1000s of free ones across the street from work.
  • Frank T.
    Frank ThompsonMarch 10, 2010
    Have coffee at the Map Room cafe and sit in the courtyard on one of these nice Spring days. You can even work there since they have pervasive wireless. Kinda like going to Florence, Italy. Read more
  • Beth G.
    Beth GallawayJanuary 14, 2010
    Take a free tour - the building's architecture is beautiful Read more
  • Claude K.
    Claude KeswaniJanuary 10, 2010
    Check out the old section. It's some of the best architecture in the city.
  • Steve F.
    Steve FreudenthalerOctober 9, 2009
    Skim through the presidential library to find out WTF o'l George W was doing pre 9/11
  • Renata A.
    Renata AlmeidaOctober 17
    Linda arquitetura .... merece um olhar calmo, demorado e atento aos detalhes
  • Rafael S.
    Es la primera vez que uso Foursquare pero creo que los seguire usanso mucho <body> <a href="">Mariachis Madrid America</a> </body> Read more
  • YE JI L.
    YE JI LeeMarch 22, 2015
    도서관이 짱 멋짐!!
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