New York Public Library

Public Library

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is one of the world's most important public libraries, holding 55 million books and scholarly works.

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It is also one of the largest library systems in the world and has the most scholarly publications in its collections of any library in the world. However, it's the building and the library's interior spaces rather than the millions of volumes of books that attract tourists.

The New York Public Library refers to an entire organization with a network of many branches, but for tourist purposes it always means the Stephen A. Schwarzmann Main Building in Manhattan.

Library Hours and Tours

The exterior of the library, which dates back to 1895 and is built in a lavish Beaux-Arts architectural style, already attracts attention. The main entrance is guarded by the iconic statues of two reclining lions.

Inside the library, the main attraction is the huge public reading room, which can be visited by anyone, provided they keep a low profile. However, the smaller Rare Book Division room, where you can see some of the most valuable books in the collections, or the McGrew rotunda with its beautiful murals, are also definitely worth a visit.

The library's facilities are open to the public daily most days from 10am-6pm and admission is free. Don't miss out on the lavish spaces of one of the world's greatest libraries, which you'll know from some of the movie scenes.

In addition to an individual visit, you can also take part in a 1-hour guided tour of the library, which is also free of charge from 11:00-14:00. However, you must book the tour online in advance as it is limited to 15 participants.

Official library website:

How to get to the library?

The main building is located at 42 Bryant Park. St. and 5th Ave. Av.

Nearest subway station

  • 5 Av (about 20 meters) - purple line 7
  • 42 st / Bryant Park (approx. 150 meters) - orange lines B, D, F, M and blue line A

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