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 .
Tours to Boston Public Library
Boston Classic: Duck Boat Sightseeing Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $47
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
City View Bike Tour - Bike the Boston Neighborhoods BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $58
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Boston Public Library Reviews
Not going to lie, only went to get an iconic photo in the hallway. Was there right at open and left before it filled up. Super pretty inside! more »
We stopped in just to look around and scope out the tea room for another visit ... the building is exquisite and we happened on a youth orchestra performance in the courtyard. more »
We went for the 2 PM tour on Sunday. The tour guide Tom was amazing and the hour went by just like that. We learned a lot about the library and understood the art and architecture better. He even took us outdoors and showed corner stone etc. I highly recommend taking a tour here to better appreciate the library. The library itself is massive. The old part of the building is more like an art museum than a library. Amazing murals and paintings. I loved the staircase area with its golden color marble and golden sunlight filtering through the glass windows. Looked heavenly. The courtyard is a good peaceful oasis from the busy city outside. We also wanted to get a library card but there was no one at the services desk. We waited half an hour and eventually left. Well, next time.
This is the first public library in the USA. And it’s the most architecturally impressive American public library that I have been to. Definitely worth a visit. Walking inside the building and into the courtyard reminds me of visiting a museum in Europe.
Places to stay near Boston Public Library
Plan your trip to Boston
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
View all >
View all >
View all >
Side trips from Boston
Hidden gems in Boston
Plans to Boston Public Library by other users
9 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in Paris, Boston & San Francisco BY A USER FROM INDIA October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 10 days in Washington DC, Boston & New York City BY A USER FROM JAPAN September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 5 days in Boston BY A USER FROM BRAZIL December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium