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Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (New York Public Library Main Branch) Tours

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (New York Public Library Main Branch)
Two stone lions guard the front of the main branch of the New York Public Library, an imposing Beaux Arts structure. Opulent interiors that feature carved oak, ceiling murals, and crystal chandeliers create a sumptuous setting for the millions of books and manuscripts that reside here.

The Basics
The century-old building, known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, houses an enormous collection of volumes relating to humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. The library is a staple of sightseeing tours and architecture-themed walking tours of the midtown area; some movie-themed tours also stop at the library to see where key scenes from Ghostbusters and Breakfast at Tiffany’s were filmed. Inside, explore exhibition spaces where displays spotlight influential writers and NYC history. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The New York Public Library is a must for book lovers, who can walk right in off the street and explore.
  • Tours leave from the reception in Astor Hall, and are available on a first-come basis. 
  • The library is a functioning research library so remain quiet in reading rooms and silence your phone. 
  • The library is stroller- and wheelchair- accessible. Ramped access is available at the 42nd Street entrance. 
  • There’s free Wi-Fi, public restrooms, and a water fountain at the library. 

How to Get There
The main branch of the New York Public Library is on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Nearby subway stops include 42nd Street–Bryant Park/Fifth Avenue Station (7, B, D, F, and M trains), and Grand Central–42nd Street (4, 5, 6, 7, and S). 

When to Get There 
The library is busiest between June and September, and during the holiday season. Go on a midweek morning to experience it at its calmest. Free 1-hour guided tours take place at 11am and 2pm Monday-Saturday, and at 2pm on Sundays. 

The Rose Main Reading Room
Situated on the third floor, the Rose Main Reading Room is hailed as the highlight of the lavish library. Stretching for the length of approximately two city blocks, this elaborate space features overhead murals depicting the sky, carved oak tables, and hanging chandeliers. 
Address: 455 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA
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50 Tours and Activities to Experience Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (New York Public Library Main Branch)

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New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour

New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour

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Make the most of your time in the city that never sleeps on a guided tour of NYC’s top attractions. Travel by both boat (seasonal) and bus as you swing by the 9/11 Memorial, Central Park, Rockefeller Center and more. Then hop aboard a luxury boat for a sightseeing cruise past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, complete with stunning views of the world-famous skyline and Brooklyn Bridge.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$89.00
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Full-Day New York

Full-Day New York "Must See" Small-Group Tour plus One World Observatory Ticket

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Take in all the highlights of New York City on this comprehensive, one-of-a-kind tour. Explore the Big Apple like a New Yorker, as you walk, ride the subway and take the Staten Island ferry. Visit Times Square, the Broadway Theater District, Grand Central Terminal, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and much more. Entrance to the One World Observatory is also included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$109.00
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New York City Tour with Driver-Guide and Separate Guide Option

New York City Tour with Driver-Guide and Separate Guide Option

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Explore New York City at your own pace on a private tour that lets you customize your itinerary. Your personal guide helps you to craft your dream journey around NYC, making this trip a rewarding adventure for everyone from first-time visitors to NYC regulars. Plus, while many tours have one driver/guide, on this trip you can choose a separate guide and driver so you can ensure your guide’s full attention.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$849.00
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From
$849.00
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Private Highlights Tour of New York (Full Day)

Private Highlights Tour of New York (Full Day)

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With so many sights to see in New York City, make sure you get to see the ones that matter most to you. This private full-day tour of the city is tailored to your wants and needs. Your customized itinerary takes you to the places you request, and your private guide's commentary is based on your interests. See famous places such as Grand Central Station, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Fifth Avenue, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Wall Street, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$1,594.67
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From
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New York

New York "Must See" Small-Group Half-Day Tour

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Experience the best of the Big Apple during this half-day tour of Manhattan with a group limited to 15 guests. Rather than trying to do it all yourself, let an experienced guide lead you through the vibrant streets, colorful neighborhoods, and historic landmarks on foot, subway, and ferry. Get the full New York City experience and see iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, and Wall Street.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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Full Day in New York Tour - NYC in 1 Day

Full Day in New York Tour - NYC in 1 Day

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With so much to see, it's no wonder that many travelers spend days in New York City, and still miss many top attractions. On this private guided tour perfect for travelers that want to see it all, follow your personal guide to the world-famous places that make Manhattan a top tourist destination. From Rockefeller Center to Bryant Park, the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty, this tour truly packs in the sights, in just one day.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
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Midtown Manhattan History & Architecture Semi-Private Walking Tour: Max 8 People

Midtown Manhattan History & Architecture Semi-Private Walking Tour: Max 8 People

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New York City is home to some of the most important architectural and historical sites in the country, and can be an overwhelming destination to tour on your own. With this Midtown tour, take in the top landmarks with a guide in just hours. Enjoy the personal attention of a small group while exploring sites like Madison Square Park, the Flatiron, MetLife, and Empire State Buildings, and New York Public Library.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$73.14
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From
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Times Square and Grand Central Indoor Food Tour

Times Square and Grand Central Indoor Food Tour

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Experience the best of bustling Midtown on this NYC walking tour featuring the sights, sounds, and standout cuisine of New York City. As you stroll the Big Apple's busy thoroughfares, spot landmarks like the Chrysler Building, see the lights of Times Square, and visit Grand Central Terminal. After you work up an appetite it's time to taste—and there's enough food to replace a meal—so come hungry.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
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One Day NYC Highlights Walking Tour with optional Empire State Building Tickets

One Day NYC Highlights Walking Tour with optional Empire State Building Tickets

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If you're only in New York for a short time, tick off multiple Big Apple highlights in a matter of hours on a small-group walking tour. Venture to Wall Street, visit the 9/11 Memorial, and ascend the world-famous Empire State Building. Continue to Chinatown and Little Italy, hop the subway to Greenwich Village (own expense), journey up to Grand Central Terminal, see the Chrysler Building, and Times Square.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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Midtown Manhattan History & Architecture Walking Tour - Private Tour

Midtown Manhattan History & Architecture Walking Tour - Private Tour

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Get the inside story on the architecture that defines Manhattan’s skyline with a private walking tour of Midtown—the bustling heart of New York City. From the Empire State Building and other iconic skyscrapers to functional landmarks like Grand Central Station and the New York Public Library, see many of the city’s most impressive historic buildings while learning about their history and the preservation efforts that keep them gleaming for future generations.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$73.14
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New York Midtown Tourist Scavenger Hunt

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There are countless sightseeing tours of Midtown Manhattan, but only this scavenger hunt tour lets you explore the Big Apple through a series of engaging puzzles and challenges. On this smartphone-powered adventure, take in landmarks like Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral, a dozen locations from famous films, and iconic corners of the city like Times Square while working through New York City-themed clues.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
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$36.16
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OPEN:Skip the Line Statue of Liberty,The Edge,Ground Zero&911 Memorial

OPEN:Skip the Line Statue of Liberty,The Edge,Ground Zero&911 Memorial

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Have only a limited amount of time to explore New York? This VIP, skip-the-line tour makes it easy to visit several of the city’s top landmarks in the space of just half a day. Meet in the morning at the Empire State Building, and start your day on a (literal) high note. You’ll also visit the Ground Zero Museum Workshop, will tour the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and can upgrade to visit the 9/11 Memorial or the One World Observatory.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$186.16
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From
$186.16
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THE TOUR New York City Powered by THE RIDE

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Want to experience a side of Manhattan that not even locals see? This tour of New York City is a visual treat. Board the multimillion-dollar coach, loaded with stadium-style seats, all of which are side facing and allow for optimum views of the City that Never Sleeps. With multimedia to complement the views, the coach brings attractions such as Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Times Square to life. Learn about the history and culture of each place, as the immersive technology takes you inside each attraction like never before.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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$35.00
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Private Highlights Tour of New York (Half Day)

Private Highlights Tour of New York (Half Day)

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Become a New York VIP for the day during this half-day sightseeing tour, including a private guide and a chauffeur-driven vehicle. Explore the Big Apple by car and on foot as you visit attractions such as the Broadway Theater District, the stores of 5th Avenue, Central Park, the West Village, Wall Street, and much more.
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  • 4 hours
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New York Christmas Holiday Small-Group Walking Tour

New York Christmas Holiday Small-Group Walking Tour

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There are few places that feel more festive than New York during Christmastime. Soak up its holiday spirit on this New York sightseeing tour, including stops at the Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Snap photos in front of the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, admire the festive window displays of Fifth Avenue stores, and browse stalls in the magical Bryant Park holiday market.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$27.74
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Private New York City Christmas Walking Tour

Private New York City Christmas Walking Tour

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See Manhattan decked out for the holidays on a 2-hour private evening walking tour that takes you to locations including Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and along Fifth Avenue to see the elaborately decorated storefronts. Along the way, hear about the history of holiday events in New York City, including the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, from a private guide.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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NYC Package: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour, Statue of Liberty and Airport Transfers

NYC Package: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour, Statue of Liberty and Airport Transfers

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See it all at one low price with this Big Apple package that's perfect for first-time visitors. After arriving at any of New York City's three major airports, you'll hop aboard a comfortable shuttle bus and travel to your Midtown hotel. Enjoy two days of hassle-free sight-seeing aboard a classic double-decker hop-on hop-off tour, including Downtown, Uptown, Brooklyn and Bronx loops, plus the epic New York City Night Tour. This discounted package even includes a hop-on hop-off cruise on the New York Harbor, where travelers can see where the glittering skyline meets the open water, plus a guided tour of the Statue of Liberty and Staten Island, as well as the 9/11 Memorial. This incredible package even includes return airport transport to ensure you take off with ease after a memorable time in the city.
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
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$209.00
From
$209.00

Lower Manhattan & Midtown Manhattan Private Walking Tour

Lower Manhattan & Midtown Manhattan Private Walking Tour

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Skip the effort of exploring Lower and Midtown Manhattan on your own with this private walking tour. With a guide to lead the way and furnish you with historical tales, it’s an easier and more enlightening option than sightseeing alone. Hear stories of Alexander Hamilton, visit Wall Street, and the 9/11 Memorial Plaza; and then head uptown to see the Empire State, Grand Central, and lesser-known treasures many visitors miss.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$121.90
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From
$121.90
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Taking safety measures

Manhattan Architecture Photography Tour

Manhattan Architecture Photography Tour

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Take in Manhattan's architectural landmarks—and discover how to best record them on camera—on this photography tour. Visit Times Square, Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, and other attractions; and get direction on capturing perfect images and mastering light so you come away with crisp, well-composed shots you might never achieve independently. Ideal for avid photographers wanting to hone their art, or beginners seeking a great introduction.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$100.00
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$100.00
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OPENED: NYC Midtown Sightseeing Tour and Hudson Yards The Vessel

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Less glamorous than the Upper East Side and less boho than Greenwich Village, Midtown Manhattan is still a must-see that's packed with historical and new attractions. Rather than explore randomly by yourself, let a guide take you directly to the sights that matter. See long-time landmarks, the Empire State Building, and more; and admire new showpieces such as The Vessel's staircases and elevated High Line park.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$51.99
Price varies by group size
From
$51.99
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Art Deco and Architecture Midtown Landmarks Tour

Art Deco and Architecture Midtown Landmarks Tour

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Midtown Manhattan is home to many iconic New York landmarks, and during this small-group walking tour, you can look forward to discovering most of them in the span of just a few hours. Meet your guide in a convenient location, and set off on a stroll that makes many indoor stops, a great option any time of the year. See top attractions and learn the stories behind these great sights.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.00
From
$30.00
Taking safety measures

Private Tour of New York by Foot and Subway (Full Day)

Private Tour of New York by Foot and Subway (Full Day)

Discover New York City with a private guide on a full-day tour that explores the glitz and grit of Manhattan. Ride the subway and walk through distinctive neighborhoods including Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich Village, and the Lower East Side. See Times Square, Wall Street, Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue, the World Trade Center, Central Park, and more on this comprehensive city tour.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$741.34
per group
From
$741.34
per group

Private and Custom New York: Make NYC Yours

Private and Custom New York: Make NYC Yours

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Get to know New York City on a half- or full-day walking tour with a private guide. Customize your itinerary to your preferences and then travel with your guide through the Big Apple, stopping at the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge and more. With a private guide, you enjoy an intimate experience with only your group. Please note: hotel pickup and drop-off are included, but any additional public transportation is at your own expense.
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$480.00
per group
From
$480.00
per group
Taking safety measures

New York Walking Tour with Private Local Guide

New York Walking Tour with Private Local Guide

Explore the top attractions of New York City on a private walking tour with an informative guide. Get an intimate look at Times Square, the Broadway Theater district, Rockefeller Center, New York Public Library, Grand Central Terminal, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and Wall Street. Includes hotel pickup and private guide.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$197.00
per group
From
$197.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (New York Public Library Main Branch)?