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Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

Library · Back Bay East
700 Boylston St (at Dartmouth St), Boston, MA 02116, United States
Closed until 9:00 AM (Show more)
  • Mon
    • 9:00 AM–9:00 PM
  • Tue, Thu
    • 9:00 AM–9:00 PM
  • Wed
    • 9:00 AM–9:00 PM
  • Fri–Sat
    • 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Sun
    • 1:00 PM–5:00 PM
Outdoor Seating:

Explore the Boston Public Library. Learn about exhibitions, author talks, and other special programs. Reserve your books online; download eBooks, audiobooks, and music; and enjoy our stunning collection of images on Flickr. Free to all. And, while you are here, be sure to leave tips of your own.


Based on 475 votes

People like this place

  • What you need to know
    Celia F.
    "McKim Building courtyard and Bates Hall"(6 Tips)
    Boston Public Library
    "architecture tours of the library"(5 Tips)
    Tiffany P.
    "Gorgeous place and the Courtyard Restaurant is top knotch!"(4 Tips)
    Alina V.
    "Have afternoon tea in the Map Room Cafe from 2-4 pm!"(4 Tips)
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  • Popular

136 tips and reviews.

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  • all tips and reviews
  • books
  • architecture
  • mckim building
  • map room cafe
  • reading room
  • tours
  • courtyard
  • novels
  • quiet
  • afternoon tea
  • free Wifi
  • concerts
  • people watching
  • exhibits
  • coffee
  • fancy
  • arts
  • good for a quick meal
  • films
  • galleries
  • Bora

    Real historical library , just like museum . Even Though you don't like read you should see this place

    Bora · 1 hour ago
  • Kaitlin T.

    I finally made it. This is THE library of all libraries, it seems. I'm jealous of you, Bostonians. I'd never leave.

    Kaitlin T · January 15
  • Carl G.

    Magnificent facade and exquisite interior art.

    Carl Griffin · January 8
  • Alex A.

    Incredible place . Past and future mixed by the book.

    Alex Aprisco · December 29, 2015
  • Joshua

    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.

    Joshua · November 7, 2015
  • Ting

    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.

    Ting · October 8, 2015
  • Djaniella D.

    Great for studying ... and taking naps! ;)

    Djaniella D. · September 20, 2015
  • Ting

    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.

    Ting · July 30, 2015
  • Arnie T.

    This library is enormous!

    Arnie Taylor · July 12, 2015
  • Jenny Q.

    A work of art. Map room, courtyard, and various art galleries

    Jenny Q · July 11, 2015
  • Ethan M.

    Reading books is fun. I love the old world architecture. It really brings out the scholar in me.

    Ethan MacDonald · July 5, 2015
  • vsync

    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.

    vsync · June 26, 2015
  • Candid Cuisine

    One of the most beautiful libraries in the US

    Candid Cuisine · June 25, 2015
  • Gary Alexander I.

    Outstanding building

    Gary Alexander Illas · May 29, 2015
  • sidra s.

    sidra sid · May 2, 2015
  • Daniel T.

    Check out the new Teen Center

    Daniel Tewfik · April 21, 2015
  • CNN

    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

    CNN · April 13, 2015
  • Parul B.

    Stunning library and great place to study but wifi is slow

    Parul Batra · March 22, 2015
  • Dmtr

    Best place to read, work or study

    Dmtr · February 15, 2015
  • Paige C.

    Great place to people watch and read on a cold day.

    Paige Coté · January 30, 2015
  • Munira

    Great place to study

    Munira · September 28, 2014
  • Marcus F.

    Nice place to sit and study. WiFi leaves a little to be desired. Get a library card to get on the Internet.

    Marcus Fryer · September 27, 2014
  • Raphael Armand

    Oh man every library must be like this one!

    Raphael Armand · August 31, 2014
  • Daryana

    Free wifi, nice fountain, a good place to relax after having a long working or walking day;)

    Daryana · August 28, 2014
  • Pat A.

    it's a good idea to place twenty dollar bill in one of the books you want to check out for better service

    Pat Addams · August 21, 2014
  • Kathy M.

    The courtyard and reading room are stunning.

    Kathy M · August 8, 2014
  • Claire C.

    Abbey Room

    Claire Castleman · August 7, 2014
  • Lauren P.

    Stop by the Map Room.

    Lauren Powers · July 29, 2014
  • JuAnne N.

    Check out the maps center behind the courtyard

    JuAnne Ng · May 23, 2014
  • Curbed

    The main branch, like the city's smaller branches, offers free WiFi, though not necessarily a place to plug in your laptop. Read more

    Curbed · March 20, 2014
  • American M.

    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

    American Mensa · March 12, 2014
  • Dan D.

    Beautiful building and architecture

    Dan DeLuca · December 21, 2013
  • Boston Public Library

    Visit the exhibition "Made in Boston" in the library's Leventhal Map Center through March . Read more

    Boston Public Library · December 1, 2013
  • Ethan F.

    What is with all the people falling asleep here. I thought this was a library, not a hotel.

    Ethan Fleming · November 12, 2013
  • Magda C.

    One of the most beautiful places in Boston!

    Magda Cunha · September 21, 2013
  • Ashly S.

    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.

    Ashly Sanford · August 29, 2013
  • Alina V.

    Have afternoon tea in the Map Room Cafe from 2-4 pm!

    Alina Vargas · August 15, 2013
  • Bethany L.

    A great spot for a date, beautiful courtyard

    Bethany Longoria · July 7, 2013
  • Paul

    The tour is very cool on Saturday mornings.

    Paul · June 29, 2013
  • Leland C.

    Daily architecture tours. One hour long. Free!

    Leland Coontz · June 8, 2013
  • 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

    Boston Public Library · May 22, 2013
  • 👸Cindyrella

    Even the restrooms are pretty.

    👸Cindyrella · April 29, 2013
  • Laurie C.

    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.

    Laurie Caebe · April 16, 2013
  • Heidi N.

    Do NOT, whatever you do, take the old elevator to the mezzanine!!

    Heidi Nickal · April 2, 2013
  • Elina V.

    Perfect place to sit down indoors for free if you're a tourist who insists on walking everywhere!

    Elina Vanne · April 1, 2013
  • Jake S.

    Check out one of the rotating exhibits, they're very interesting and change often.

    Jake Smith · March 28, 2013
  • Tiffany P.

    Gorgeous place and the Courtyard Restaurant is top knotch!

    Tiffany Probasco · March 21, 2013
  • Joe D.

    Be careful about bringing books in from other libraries. They occasionally set off the "unchecked book" alarms.

    Joe Diaz · March 21, 2013
  • Traci H.

    The library has regular book sales. The books are in Great condition and very reasonable prices

    Traci Hamersen · February 8, 2013
  • 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


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