Vasconcelos Library (Biblioteca Vasconcelos)
Most visitors spend an hour browsing the stacks at this massive 409,000-square-foot (38,000-square-meter) "megalibrary" designed by Alberto Kalach. Unassuming from the outside with its gray facade and leafy exterior, the real appeal lies within—admire the suspended whale skeleton sculpture, climb the stacked levels to reach the top floor, and take in the views from the balconies. Although not a common feature on standard city tours, you can visit the Vasconcelos Library on private, customizable tours of Mexico City.
Things to Know Before You Go
Book and architecture lovers alike will find a lot to love about Vasconcelos Library, which looks like something from a sci-fi movie.
There are restrooms and gardens at the Biblioteca Vasconcelos, although parts of the exterior are not publicly accessible.
Expect to spend an hour or so at the library.
It’s free to enter but you may be asked for ID at the door.
Guided Spanish-language tours of the library are available daily, but only run with a minimum number of participants.
Biblioteca Vasconcelos is wheelchair and stroller accessible, although some of the narrower passageways and balconies may not be.
How to Get There
Situated in Mexico City’s Buenavista neighborhood, the Vasconcelos Library is easy to reach via public transportation. Take Metrobus Line 1 to the Buenavista station or ride the metro to Buenavista (Line 8) or Guerrero (Line 3 and 8). The latter is just a 5-minute walk from the library. Alternatively, arrive by private vehicle and park at the on-site parking lot—visitors can stay there for free for up to four hours.
When to Get There
The library is typically open daily from 8:30am to 7:30pm, although these hours may change on national holidays. Given the size of the library, it rarely gets busy at the Vasconcelos Library, so there’s no real bad time to visit. However, if you want to maximize your time in the neighborhood, come early and spend the day exploring.
Libraries in Mexico City
The Biblioteca Vasconcelos isn’t the only library which combines form and function in Mexico City. At the Central Library (Biblioteca Central) in Ciudad Universitaria, Juan O’Gorman mosaics liven up the exterior, while the Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada has both an ornate exterior and a colorful interior mural depicting revolutionary scenes.
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