New York Public Library
New York Public Library
4.5
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
New York Public Library’s monumental main branch is known for its stunning architecture and remarkable historical collections. Take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle at the Rose Main Reading Room, amid chandeliers and an ornate ceiling with murals. Enjoy the free guided tour of the building and view masterpieces like the first Gutenberg Bible, and bring the kids to see the original stuffed animals that inspired the Winnie the Pooh stories. The library is served by multiple subway lines and is adjacent to the gorgeous Bryant Park, where you can unwind after the visit. – Tripadvisor
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Midtown
This is the iconic New York that so many visitors imagine before they visit—spectacular skyscrapers like the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building, iconic public buildings like Grand Central Terminal and the New York Public Library, and the non-stop hustle and bustle of the city streets. Fifth Avenue is a shopper's heaven where you can find every kind of store imaginable, with fashion brands ranging from the affordable to the ultra-fancy. Visit the Rockefeller Center to experience towering Art Deco grandeur, and foodies will love the busy restaurants that stay open late in Koreatown. After dark, Midtown calms down a bit, but at any time of day or night it still feels 100% New York.
How to get there
  • 5th Ave • 2 min walk
  • 42nd St – Bryant Park • 4 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Kittygal 🇺🇦 🌻
    Los Angeles, California8,711 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful Tour
    A tour of the library had been on my to do list for some time, although I'd used the reading rooms to catch up on communications during prior visits. This trip, I was at the ready when tour slots were released and got one of the covered spots, which I squeezed in between trips out to the boroughs and an evening concert at Carnegie Hall. The tour takes patrons into some of the beautiful reading rooms, with glimpses of special collections included. The history of how the main branch came to be was told, including some humorous anecdotes. The artwork and craftsmanship of this storied old building are just beautiful, and are seen up close in detail. Tours last about one hour and, best of all, are free. After the tour concluded, I visited the Treasures exhibit.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 26 June 2023
  • mdgarbaciak
    Scottsdale, Arizona25 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don't miss this free tou
    The NYC library is a true destination for everyone. The architecture, history and incredible ceilings and rooms filled with art will definitely make people return for more visits. I have gone on 3 of their free tours and would return again.
    Visited October 2022
    Written 11 July 2023
  • jgbtravels
    Louisville, Kentucky4,344 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive building but Rose Reading Room is closed to visitors/tourists.
    It’s a magnificent building that attracts a large number of tourists and researchers to be honest. There is a free exhibit that is worth seeing including the original Winnie the Pooh and friends. Unfortunately the Rose Reading Room is no longer open to visitors/tourists but only researchers. At least you can take a picture of the mural on the ceiling just outside the Rose Reading Room. Unless you are a researcher then probably 30 minutes will suffice when visiting.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 18 July 2023
  • DLA
    31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic to see this iconic place!
    It is so much more than a library, but also a museum containing ancient texts. Simply astounding to see 500 year old textbooks on display with ornate bindings. Saw the original Winnie the Pooh stuffed bear on display that inspired the author. Wonderful experience!
    Visited July 2023
    Written 23 July 2023
  • Cache
    Kansas374 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don't miss the Treasures Exhibit
    While the entire building is incredible, I absolutely loved my visit to the Treasures Exhibit. So many incredible pieces!!! There's something for everyone, no matter your interest. It's free to visit. I recommend going first thing in the morning. For the first half hour there were only about 10 people there with me.
    Visited August 2022
    Written 27 July 2023
  • citygirl00110024
    New York City, New York101 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent Free Tours of 42nd ST Library - Tickets released weekly on Sunday - online slots book up FAST!
    Free docent led tours are available M-S at 11am & 2pm at the Stephan A Schwarzman Building at 42nd street. Tickets are made available online Sunday for the following week and they book up very quickly! The tour is about an hour and I found it very interesting to learn about the history of the building. Docents are very knowledgeable about the history of the library building. There are also short 15 minute tours of the Rose Reading Room (also book tickets online). I had just read The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis about the caretaker's apartment inside the NYPL building (now a storage room) so it was neat to tour the building and think of the families that lived there to keep the coal burning in the furnace during the cold winter months.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 28 July 2023
  • bbsydney96
    639 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    What a surprise - visit the Treasures collection
    Although you’ll recognise the exterior of the building from Ghostbusters, it’s what’s inside that is truly special. The Treasures collection is something else - think original Winnie The Pooh for example, among so many other true treasures. We didn’t expect this collection and we’re delighted with the broad nature of the items on display. Charles Dickens’ desk and chair, Virginia Wolof’s walking stick, Shakespeares first folio, oh the treasures! What a surprise and we are so glad that we visited.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 August 2023
  • ChelseaXie
    San Francisco, California36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    good atmosphere
    nice building and inner decoration. big reading room free entrance for visitors to sit down reading and to feel the atmosphere. there's another reading room open for quiet and research only.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 22 August 2023
  • Helen B
    Woonona, Australia164 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Should be on your “things to see in New York” visit
    Much better than I was expecting. Famous building for the numerous movie scenes it is featured in and yet it is much more. The architecture is beautiful and definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately we do a tour so missed visiting the main reading room.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 September 2023
  • Caroline H
    Knutsford, United Kingdom19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Guided tours are something special
    If you are lucky enough to bag a spot on this free tour you are so very blessed. Gloria, our docent was incredible, her mind, knowledge, passion and enthusiasm were incredible, I wanted to scoop her off for lunch and listen to her for hours and hours. This place is spectacular, what is holds, the history, the exhibitions, how you feel when you are in there - this tour gives you an insight that is very special; highlight of my NYC trip.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 17 September 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

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Christina C G
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
We visited the NY Public Library for a break from the city noise and to soak in the art, architecture, and history of the building. Spent time in the famed Rose Reading Room and perused some sections of books. Sat at a desk and took in the gorgeous ceiling and wood features all around the room. Check out the interactive map in the Visitors’ Center to plan your route.
Written 25 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Graham
Wishaw, UK231 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Interesting exhibits in the free Polanski Exhibition including Charles Dickens writing desk and chair, The Guttenburg Bible and i was particularly pleased to see Adam Smith's On the a wealth of Nations first edition. The architecture inside and out the library is beautiful. There are other exhibited such as art and an arctic photography exhibition.
Written 18 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sarae235
Alexandria, Egypt12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We booked the free guided tour to learn more about the library’s history and it was amazing. The tour guide was very enthusiastic and we were embarked in a very entertaining ride through the library’s collections and halls. Make sure to book several days in advance as the tour is quickly sold out.
Written 13 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeffry b
Essendon, Australia13,357 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
New York Public Library is one of America's greatest libraries; indeed, it's one of the world's most prominent libraries. The collection of books, movies and digital sources is remarkable. The Polonsky Exhibition contains the outstanding permanent exbibits held in the library. The New York Public Library is a unique Beaux Arts building in itself, as are the guardian lions at the entrance. By the way, borrowers no longer pay fines for overdue items.
Written 8 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

busconi
Wenatchee, WA5,370 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Another fun thing to do when it is raining outside...a trip to the New York City Public Library!!!! And it is free!!! This is a gorgeous building that opened in 1911 and was the largest marble building ever built in the United States. The lion statues at the entrance are unofficially name Patience and Fortitude. Not sure why, but in the massive collection are locks of hair from the heads of Charlotte Brontë, Walt Whitman, Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Wild Bill Hickok, among others. Also here are the original Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore, but we couldn’t find them. Ghostbusters was filmed here as well as Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It is truly beautiful inside. The Rose Reading Room is gorgeous. Really fun to walk about and marvel.
Written 5 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ryan
38 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
We stumbled upon the library as an accident while walking downtown and decided to go in before we went to dinner. Glad we did! The architecture was breathtaking and the exhibits on display were equally impressive. It’s fascinating to tour and has free admission, which is great on the wallet. This ended up being one of my favorite parts of New York and I’m incredibly glad to have found it!
Written 2 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kaan Kuskonmaz
Istanbul, Türkiye284 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
I'm a die-hard fan of "The Day After Tomorrow," which was shot here. I really appreciate that I've visited this stunning library at least once.
Written 1 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tinaNtravel
San Jose, CA1,978 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
This is a beautiful, must see, library. We took the one-hour tour and if that interests you, be sure to sign up as soon as reservations open as they sell out very fast. You can sign up starting the Saturday night after midnight (which is actually Sunday morning) of the week you plan to be there. The nice thing about the tour is all the fun facts. Be sure not to miss the Treasure Room where you can see the stuffed toys that inspired Winnie the Pooh, the desk Charles Dickens used along with many other interesting treasures.
Written 22 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Greg Harris
Bronx, NY1,922 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
The New York Public Library Main Branch aka, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is a beautifully designed Beaux Arts style building and one of the most prominent and iconic landmarks of New York City.

Located in Midtown Manhattan, New York and designed by the renowned architectural firm, Carrère & Hastings, the library opened to the public on May 23rd 1911. The New York Public Library Main Branch is one of the four research libraries of New York’s City’s Library system and contains an estimated 2.5 million volumes in its awesome collection.

Due to its rich and storied heritage, its impressive architectural features, its vast collection of books, manuscripts, tablets, and papers, and its appearance in numerous shows and films such as “Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961), “Ghostbusters” (1984), “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1999), & Spider-Man (2002), the New York Public Library Main Branch has been listed on the U.S. National Register Of Historic Places, and was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

In January of 2019, I brought my wife and myself for a visit to the library and we very much enjoyed our exploration of this remarkable institution. We were in awe of the building’s grand marble facade and its 2 stunning lion statues, nicknamed “Patience” & “Fortitude” both of which are located near the library’s main entrance. Other points of interest that we enjoyed seeing were “The Rose Main Reading Room” the “Astor Hall” the Wallace Periodical Room & the “McGraw Rotunda.” Each of these areas are immaculately designed, and are unquestionably worth visiting and viewing!!!

When traveling to New York, both my wife and I highly recommend for everyone to stop by and explore the New York Public Library Main Branch!!! You’ll have fun and will certainly bedazzled by this breathtaking landmark!!!
Written 21 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gabriella K
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Only library I’ve ever been to where I struggled to find any books?! Rose Room was guarded by two female ‘guards’ who seemed to only stop women from going inside and ask them what they were doing but ignore the male tourists and left them to go into the room unaccompanied. They said the only way I could go into the room was on a tour which was the worlds most boring experience - waste of time & left a sour taste in our mouths as they were the rudest people we experienced on our trip.
Written 8 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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