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Boston Public Library Tours

Boston Public Library
Founded in 1848, the Boston Public Library contains over 23 million items, making it the second largest public library in the U.S., after the Library of Congress. Of those millions, about 1.7 million are rare books and works, including medieval manuscripts and incunabula (a book or pamphlet printed prior to 1501 in Europe). Among the rare books are also the personal library of John Adams, early editions of works by William Shakespeare, drawings from Thomas Rowlandson and musical archives from the Handel and Haydn Society. 

The McKim Building, with its vast research collection, and the Johnson Building, where you can find the circulating collection, are two of the most important parts of the library. The McKim Building is even a National Historic Landmark. And while the library system technically includes a whopping 24 branches, the original Copley Square location offers plenty to see, including Bates Hall, the Chavannes Gallery, the Abbey Room and the Sargent Gallery.

Practical Info

The library is located at 700 Boylston Street in Copley Square. The main Johnson and McKim buildings are open Monday through Thursday from 9am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 9am to 5pm and on Sunday from 1 to 5pm.
Address: 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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19 Tours and Activities to Experience Boston Public Library

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Boston Classic: Duck Boat Sightseeing TourDay Cruises

Boston Classic: Duck Boat Sightseeing Tour

star-4.5
Hop into a duck boat—renovated World War II amphibious vehicle—for a comprehensive tour of Boston. Pass Boston Common, Quincy Market, and the Celtics' home turf at TD Garden. Then splashdown into the Charles River for a view of the city by boat. Learn all about Boston's history and landmarks as you go.
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  • 1 hour 20 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$53.34 
From  
$53.34 
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  • 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Boston Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour with 18 StopsHistorical & Heritage Tours

Boston Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour with 18 Stops

star-4
Explore the best that Boston has to offer on this hop-on hop-off tour of the city. See Boston’s top attractions—like the USS ‘Constitution’ and the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, to name a few—on the loop. Enjoy discounted admission to attractions like the Old State House, Dreamland Wax Museum, and the Old North Church with the purchase of your tour.
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$47.25 
From  
$47.25 
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  • 2 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Boston Private City TourHalf-day Tours

Boston Private City Tour

star-5
See all Boston's most important sights in a four hour, private, guided city tour, in a comfortable luxury vehicle. If you value, time, privacy, comfort and would like to have a good overview of the city of Boston at your own convenience and pace, we are the right choice for you. We will drive by or stop and wait at the sights you are most interested in. Our tour is totally customizable and our priority is to please you, not keep a schedule.
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$400.00 
per group
From  
$400.00 
per group
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  • 4 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

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Boston Shore Excursion: Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley TourPorts of Call Tours

Boston Shore Excursion: Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour

star-4
Disembark your ship and take a short walk from Cruiseport Boston to explore the best the city has to offer—a hop-on hop-off tour of Beantown. Visit Boston’s top attractions on a loop around town. Get to know the city, on your own, with live onboard commentary from a professional tour conductor.
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$47.25 
From  
$47.25 
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  • 2 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Copley Square to Downtown Boston Freedom Trail Walking TourArchitecture Tours

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Copley Square to Downtown Boston Freedom Trail Walking Tour

star-4.5
Explore elegant neighborhoods, historic streets, and American landmarks on a Boston walking tour from the Back Bay to Beacon Hill and downtown portions of the Freedom Trail. Learn about Boston’s history and culture as you stroll brownstone-lined avenues and walk the shady paths of the Boston Public Garden. Step into Boston’s Revolutionary history in the churches, cemeteries, and battlegrounds of the American struggle for independence.
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$35.00 
From  
$35.00 
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

New York To Boston in One DayDay Trips

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New York To Boston in One Day

star-5
See more of the East Coast on a day trip to Boston from New York. Leave the logistics to your guide who takes care of your transportation and itinerary. Start the day at Copley Square and see Fenway Park. Then, continue on through the day stopping to see Boston's top sights such as the Boston Public Library and Quincy Market as you explore the city by climate-controlled vehicle.
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  • 15 hours
From  
$99.00 
From  
$99.00 
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  • 15 hours

Boston City View Bicycle Tour: See Fenway Park, North End, Back Bay, and MoreBike & Mountain Bike Tours

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Boston City View Bicycle Tour: See Fenway Park, North End, Back Bay, and More

star-5
Discover Boston’s top attractions on this comprehensive guided bike tour around the city. See the unique character and charm of each community up close, like the beautiful brownstones in Back Bay and the South End. Visit Boston’s historic North End, also known as Little Italy, and pedal past Copley Square and Fenway Park. Cross the Freedom Trail, passing significant locations to United States history.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$57.75 
From  
$57.75 
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Boston Chocolate ToursFood Tours

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Boston Chocolate Tours

star-5
Focus on the chocolate-related history of Boston during this half-day tour. Your guide will lead the way on this walking tour from the North End to Beacon Hill, stopping at six different locations to savor chocolate tastings. Learn about the history of chocolate and other culinary features of Boston through focused commentary. You'll also get admission to the Patriots Corner historic site and Old North Church to visit at your leisure.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
From  
$71.02 
From  
$71.02 
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes

Downtown Freedom Trail Walking Tour PLUS Beacon Hill to Copley Square, Back Bay Architecture Tours

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Downtown Freedom Trail Walking Tour PLUS Beacon Hill to Copley Square, Back Bay

star-4.5
Travel back in time through the early years of American history during this guided walking tour of Boston’s famous Freedom Trail and its most iconic landmarks. Relive the events of the American Revolution as you pass Faneuil Hall, see the Old and New State Houses, and visit the setting of the infamous Boston Massacre. Then head downtown past Boston Common and the modern John Hancock Tower, finishing in Copley Square. A professional guide joins your trip to help add context.
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$35.00 
From  
$35.00 
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Boston's Back Bay Guided Photography Walking TourLuxury Tours

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Boston's Back Bay Guided Photography Walking Tour

star-5
Learn how to photograph Boston’s architectural gems with this photowalk through Back Bay. Your leader, a professional photographer, will provide historical background and artistic guidance as you photograph the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, the John Hancock Tower, and the elegant brownstones of Commonwealth Avenue. Receive a booklet with accessible photography tips as part of your tour.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$42.67 
From  
$42.67 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Boston Combo: Duck Boat Sightseeing Tour & Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley TourAudio Guided Tours

Boston Combo: Duck Boat Sightseeing Tour & Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour

BOSTON DUCK TOUR Board your "DUCK", an authentic, renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicle. You'll cruise by all the places that make Boston the birthplace of freedom and a city of firsts, from the golden-domed State House to Bunker Hill and the Fleet Center, Boston Common and Copley Square to the Big Dig, Government Center to fashionable Newbury Street, Quincy Market to the Prudential Tower, and more. Then, i's time for "Splashdown" as your ConDUCKtor splashes your DUCK right into the Charles River for a breathtaking view of the Boston and Cambridge skylines, the kind of view you just won't get anywhere else. HOP-ON HOP-OFF TROLLEY Route stops include: • New England Aquarium and Faneuil Hall Marketplace • Historic North End and Little Italy • USS Constitution and Charlestown Navy Yard • Old State House Museum • Cheers "The Original" • Cambridge, MIT, and Harvard Square • Charles Street and Antique Row • Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$101.75 
From  
$101.75 
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  • 3 to 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Bustling Back Bay Pedicab TourHistorical & Heritage Tours

Bustling Back Bay Pedicab Tour

star-5
Experience Boston’s trendy and historic Back Bay on a private pedicab tour with your group of up to three adults or two adults and two children. Marvel at the neighborhood’s beautiful Victorians as you explore with a flexible itinerary tailored to your interests. Skip the walking and let a local pedal you past destinations like Fenway Park, Copley Square, the restaurant from Cheers, and the Newbury Street shopping district.
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  • 1 hour
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$101.34 
per group
From  
$101.34 
per group
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  • 1 hour
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Let’s Roam’s Boston Scavenger Hunt: Boston Parks & Works of ArtSelf-guided Tours & Rentals

Let’s Roam’s Boston Scavenger Hunt: Boston Parks & Works of Art

star-5
Let’s Roam is the #1 app-led scavenger hunt company. Walk to all the best landmarks and hidden gems, answering trivia questions and solving challenges. Work with your team or compete against them, as you learn new facts and create memorable experiences. Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunts are great as an everyday activity, or for bachelorette parties, birthday parties, corporate team building events and more! Each player chooses an interactive role, with challenges varying by person.
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  • 2 hours
From  
$12.31 
From  
$12.31 
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  • 2 hours

Let’s Roam’s Boston Scavenger Hunt: Back Bay & BeyondSelf-guided Tours & Rentals

Let’s Roam’s Boston Scavenger Hunt: Back Bay & Beyond

Let’s Roam is the #1 app-led scavenger hunt company. Walk to all the best landmarks and hidden gems, answering trivia questions and solving challenges. Work with your team or compete against them, as you learn new facts and create memorable experiences. Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunts are great as an everyday activity, or for bachelorette parties, birthday parties, corporate team building events and more! Each player chooses an interactive role, with challenges varying by person.
...  More
  • 2 hours
From  
$12.31 
From  
$12.31 
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  • 2 hours

Private Tour: Secret Chocolate Tours BostonPrivate Sightseeing Tours

Private Tour: Secret Chocolate Tours Boston

Boston is a city known for its significant role in shaping American history and its contribution during the American Revolution. Alongside this historical significance, Boston has long been known as one of the leaders in the chocolate movement. In fact, the first chocolate shop in the colonies opened in 1740 in the North End of Boston with a "drinking chocolate". And we didn't stop there! Boston takes pride in the creation of several iconic desserts that we'll sample during our chocolate-filled journey through the city! As a private tour, everything works around you! Our start times are much more easy going, dates can open up. It's a much more intimate and cozy experience. No need to shout over other tourists, you will have every question answered, and leave feeling like a native yourself!
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
From  
$89.70 
From  
$89.70 
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes

Trip to Boston from New York 1 day $ 95 DollarsDay Trips

Trip to Boston from New York 1 day $ 95 Dollars

star-4
Explore the best of the East Coast, from New York City to Boston, on this guided tour. Explore one of the nation's oldest cities and check out its many top attractions and landmarks, like Beacon Hill, the Freedom Trail, Harvard University, Fenway Park, Faneuil Hall, and much more. Along the way, learn about Beantown's history, architecture, and traditions from a Spanish-speaking guide.
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  • 14 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$101.34 
From  
$101.34 
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  • 14 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Boston's Emerald Necklace Guided Bicycle TourBike & Mountain Bike Tours

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Boston's Emerald Necklace Guided Bicycle Tour

star-4.5
Discover Boston’s fall beauty on this guided, 4-hour, small-group bike tour around the North End of the city. Explore the historic Emerald Necklace, a 1,100-acre chain of parks linked by parkways and waterways in Boston and Brookline. Visit the shaded boulevard on Commonwealth Avenue, the shores of Jamaica Pond, and the popular, winding paths of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Also, see the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston’s newest public park; the famous Charles River Esplanade; the Boston Common and Public Garden and much more.
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$78.00 
From  
$78.00 
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  • 4 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Boston Fall Foliage Guided Bicycle TourBike & Mountain Bike Tours

Boston Fall Foliage Guided Bicycle Tour

The Boston Fall Foliage bike tour is an amazing way to see Boston’s most famous spaces with their Autumn leaves - you may forget you are in the heart of the city! Discover Frederick Law Olmsted’s famous system of parks on this bicycle tour of the historic Emerald Necklace. From the boulevard on Commonwealth Avenue to the popular shores of Jamaica Pond to the winding paths of the Arnold Arboretum, this route is a fabulous way to experience Boston's park system. The route is a favorite among locals! The parks are gorgeous any time of the year, but the foliage peaks in color between mid October and early November. This tour is up to 4 hours long and covers at least 15 miles, with several hills. Riders must be comfortable spending that much time on a bike and covering that distance. This ride covers many hidden gems in Boston.
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  • 4 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$78.00 
From  
$78.00 
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  • 4 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

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What's the best way to experience Boston Public Library ?

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