Five Most Beautiful Libraries to Visit around the World

Five of the World’s Most Beautiful Libraries Open to Public

Published: 02 Sep, 2019By

Were you one of those kids who loved their library period in school? Well I wasn’t, the primary reason was of course, no one was allowed to talk. But now when I think of it, I didn’t like going to the library because it was plain boring! White walls, rot iron bookshelves, wooden table and chairs, that’s all. And this picture of a library stayed with me until I started to research for this blog. To my surprise there are libraries around the world that will leave a library-hater like me in awe! From being adorned with exquisite murals to housing a collection of millions of books, libraries aren’t really a boring place after all. Here’s five world’s best libraries that you must know about.

Central Library of Vancouver, Canada

Central Library of Vancouver, Canada

One of the biggest libraries in Canada, Central Library of Vancouver is known for its beautiful architecture which is influenced by Roman Colosseum. The exterior of the library is as appealing as the interior. And in each of its 9 stories, you will find something intriguing to catch your eyes. This famous library in the world has a rich collection of more than 9.5 million items that includes e-books, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, and books. For tourists, the library complex also has cafes, shops and offices. Besides books, another key highlight of the complex is the terrace with a rooftop garden which is open for public.

Visiting Timings:

  • Everyday: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

National Library of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

National Library of Brazil, Rio-de-Janeiro, Brazil

Ranking seventh on the list of the largest libraries in the world, the National Library of Brazil is a stunningly constructed building that boasts an exquisite eclectic style. The architecture is a perfect mix of both neoclassical and art nouveau and includes various ornaments by renowned artists like Bernardelli, Henrique and Rodolfo, Eliseu Visconti, and more. The history of this beautiful library in Brazil dates back to 1st November 1755. At present, it is considered to be one of the most important libraries as it takes tourists back in time through its rich assortment of displayed photographs. In total, the library has more than 21,000 photographs that date back to the 19th century. Don’t be surprised if you get to know that the collection of these photographs are listed as UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme.

Visiting Timings:

  • Monday to Friday: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

UNAM Central Library, Mexico City, Mexico

UNAM Central Library, Mexico-City, Mexico

Lying within the campus of Ciudad Universitaria, UNAM Central Library is inarguably one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. Established in the year 1952, the stunning architecture of the library was designed by Juan Martínez de Velasco and Gustavo Saavedra. At present, UNAM Central Library holds a rich collection of more than 1,00,000 volumes which include books, journals, magazines, newspapers, brochures, thesis, and multimedia CDs. Besides the rich exhibition, the library is also famous for its external murals which were designed by Juan O’Gorman. The entire ten storey building is covered in mosaics that depict the history of the country. Surprisingly, the murals are not painted.

Visiting Timings:

  • Everyday: 8:30 AM to 9:30 PM

Library of Birmingham, Birmingham, U.K.

Library of Birmingham, Birmingham, U.K.

Said to be Britain’s biggest library, the Library of Birmingham is also the largest cultural space in Europe. It has some important collections, including the Bournville Village Trust Archive, the parker collection of children’s books, Boulton and Watt archives, the Railway and Canal Historical Society library, the Wingate Bett transport ticket collection, and the photographic archives of the Warwickshire photographic survey. The dazzling glass, silver and gold exterior which includes interlocking metal rings make a stunning sight to behold. The architecture of the library building was designed by Mecanoo – Dutch architects to commemorate the English city’s Jewelery Quarter.

Visiting Timings:

  • Monday to Tuesday: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday to Saturday: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Stuttgart City Library, Germany

Stuttgart City Library

A plain grey box building with an exquisite interior and an all-white concept, Stuttgart City Library is one of the most interesting places to visit around the world for book lovers. This place is more like an art gallery. And the key highlight of this place is the reading area which seems like an upside-down pyramid. Though this library is pretty much like any other library from outside but what makes it a must-visit attraction is its interior.

Visiting Timings:

  • Monday to Saturday: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

I am sure you are equally excited as me because honestly, I never thought libraries can be a place to visit. So, I am going to include these libraries in my travel itinerary whenever travelling to these countries and I hope you do too. Do let us know in the comment box if you liked this blog or if there is any other library that we should add to this list, we’d be happy to include them.

Tags: World Beyond the Ordinary

About the author

Nidhi Singh

From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a travel writer whose love for mountains can be seen in her write ups. Talk about solo travelling, indulging in adventure activities, binging on good food, planning budget trips or the Aurora Borealis and you will get all her attention. It is the wanderlust that keeps her going and if at all she could get one wish granted she would love to live a life less ordinary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.


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