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Boston Public Library
Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library Tours and Activities

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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.

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700 Boylston Street, Boston , Massachusetts
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Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 15 Stops

Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 15 Stops

star-4.5
2057
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 Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum with the purchase of your tour. If you upgrade to the Gold or Platinum Pass, you will be given your (seasonal) Harbor Cruise ticket when you check in for the Trolley Tour. These seasonal cruises depart periodically throughout the day close to Stop 1.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$49.35
From
$49.35

Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River

Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River

star-4.5
6701
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
  • Free Cancellation
From
$53.35
From
$53.35

Boston City view Bicycle Tour

Boston City view Bicycle Tour

star-5
354
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 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
From
$68.00
From
$68.00

Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
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Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay

star-4.5
244
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
  • Free Cancellation
From
$35.00
From
$35.00

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

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

star-4
70
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
  • Free Cancellation
From
$49.35
From
$49.35

Guided Walking Tour of Copley Square to Downtown Boston Freedom Trail
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Guided Walking Tour of Copley Square to Downtown Boston Freedom Trail

star-4.5
31
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
  • Free Cancellation
From
$35.00
From
$35.00

Boston Private City Tour

Boston Private City Tour

star-5
27
Discover the best of Boston and see the sights that interest you most on this half-day tour. Board your private vehicle along with your group and explore key landmarks in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle. See Harvard University, Fenway Park, the Boston Public Library, Beacon Hill, and much more while listening to commentary from your driver about Boston’s history.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$449.90
per group
From
$449.90
per group

Boston's Emerald Necklace Guided Bicycle Tour
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Boston's Emerald Necklace Guided Bicycle Tour

star-5
9
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
From
$89.00
From
$89.00

Boston Scavenger Hunt: Back Bay & Beyond

Boston Scavenger Hunt: Back Bay & Beyond

star-4
1
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

Boston Scavenger Hunt: Boston Parks & Works of Art

Boston Scavenger Hunt: Boston Parks & Works of Art

star-5
1
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

Private City Tour of Boston, Lexington, and Concord
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Private City Tour of Boston, Lexington, and Concord

star-4
1
See all Boston's most important sights in a six hours, 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, Lexington and Concord 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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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$674.85
per group
From
$674.85
per group

Boston City Center Private Exploration Game

Boston City Center Private Exploration Game

Learn about Boston’s rich history and its standing in the U.S history of being “first in the nation” to build and enact many things. You’ll see the architecturally beautiful Public Library, historic State House, lush Boston Common, and many more iconic firsts. See the first and architecturally beautiful Boston Public Library and learn about the first state constitution in the United States, discover where Alexander Graham Bell first used the telephone. Try a new type of experience, the perfect mix between a tour, an outdoor escape game, and a treasure hunt. Each clue will lead you from one place to another by providing you with exact directions. As you answer the questions, solve the challenge, or guess the answer, the secret story of each place is unlocked. The city game will take you about 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete, but there’s no time limit which will allow you to go at your own pace. Just download the app, go to the starting point, and begin the adventure.
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  • 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$8.25
Price varies by group size
From
$8.25
Price varies by group size

All-Inclusive Private Highlights Tour of Boston and Tastings at Boston Market

All-Inclusive Private Highlights Tour of Boston and Tastings at Boston Market

For such an iconic and historical city, Boston is relatively small and easily walkable – chock full of incredible stories to tell, with a unique blend of colonial, French, and Georgian architecture. Follow the Freedom Trail through some of Boston’s iconic historical sites and ornate buildings. Your guide will lead you through revolutionary stories told through a less traditional lens than other tours, which will feature both women and African-Americans as heroes in the history of Boston. During this tour, the immigrant experience will also be told through historical and modern-day means. As with any good Boston tour, a look into the innovative food and beer scene is a highlight. A snack and drink are provided as part of this historic tour of Boston.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$215.00
Price varies by group size
From
$215.00
Price varies by group size

Boston Back Bay Tourist Scavenger Hunt

Boston Back Bay Tourist Scavenger Hunt

It takes 2-3 hours to complete, do it whenever you wish - you select your own date and start time, no scheduling or reservation needed. 20+ challenges, games and enigmas to solve as you walk through this historic neighborhood.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
From
$37.18
per group
From
$37.18
per group

Boston Fall Foliage Guided Bicycle Tour
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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
From
$89.00
From
$89.00

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
Should I book Boston Public Library tickets in advance?
A:
We recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot since Boston Public Library can get crowded. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
How much does it cost to visit Boston Public Library 2021?
A:
Currently, an entrance ticket to Boston Public Library costs USD 8.25. Guided Boston Public Library tours start around USD 8.25 per person.
Q:
What''s the best way to experience Boston Public Library ?