The iconic New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman building, is an absolute must-see on your trip to New York City.

Opened to the public in 1911, this majestic Beaux Artes style building is a stunner. From the grand marble entry at Astor Hall with its vaulted ceilings and soaring archways to the hand-painted McGraw Rotunda and the numerous research and reading rooms, you could spend hours here exploring all that it has to offer.

You can use the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division along with the Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy to research your own family tree. The Children’s Center is especially sweet, so be sure to stop in if you’ve brought your kids to the city. They can see the original stuffed animals that inspired the beloved Winnie the Pooh stories!

The best part? It’s all FREE! Even the self-guided audio tour, which you can access directly from their website. Put on your headphones and stream the information directly from the website at a pace that is comfortable for you.

This branch of the New York Public Library is located on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street. It’s open daily, though hours vary, so be sure to check the website before you go.

TIP: Give yourself some extra time to either sit out front under the trees near the fountains or behind the building in the adjacent Bryant Park. Both provide a lovely venue for a little rest and people watching.

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Hire me to plan your NYC vacation.

If you are going to New York City for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, it can be especially helpful to talk with an NYC expert. I will help you navigate the logistics of timing, budget, and travel party dynamics while incorporating your unique needs and interests to create a fully customized experience. This will save you time, reduce your stress and maximize your time in New York City!

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