Libraries around the world: Nerd-Trail Alert!

Bookworms love their libraries. They love how it smells of paper and print, and they love gazing at the book shelves – flipping through the pages of one book to another as if they found real paradise. Nerds on a trip are addicted to placing a famous library on their itinerary – so here is a list of some of the best libraries across the globe compiled by a few fellow equally passionate travel-nerds.

Trinity College Library, Dublin

libraries around the world - streettrotterAs a lover of books, Trinity College Library had always been on my bucket list. When I found myself in Dublin, I knew I had to pay the library a visit. Built in the early 1700s, Trinity College Library is Ireland’s largest library and home of the famous Book of Kells. Seeing the intricate detail of the Book of Kells in person was amazing. However, my favorite part of the library is the Long Room which is probably one of the most photographed libraries in the world. The Long Room is absolutely huge, housing hundreds of books and has that amazing library smell that any bibliophile would recognize. – By The Fly Away Life

The National Library in Prishtina, Kosovo

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The National Library in Prishtina, Kosovo is one of the most interesting buildings I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, many people don’t share the love, and it’s often on the shortlist for ugliest building in the world. Its weird bubble-dome roofs combine with a honeycomb pattern wire encasing the library, giving it some odd dungeon meets the future vibes. The interior, however, is the total opposite: light, airy, overwhelmingly normal. It’s quite a sight to see and visiting this library is definitely one of the top things to do in Kosovo. – By eternalarrival.com

The Boston Public Library

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Declared as the third-largest public library in the Unites States, The Boston Public Library is grand, breathtaking and movie-like. If the green library lamps won’t mesmerize you, then the library’s courtyard will. Adorned with history, paintings, murals and impeccable architecture – even if you are not a nerd, you will love to visit the library as a tourist in Boston. You can often find famous researchers and professors working on their projects in the library, which houses 23 million items encompassing all formats including books, DVDs, CDs, maps, music scores, microfilm, manuscripts, prints and other visual materials. The summer is particularly a vibrant time for the library as music concerts are a common theme in the evenings in the library’s courtyard.

And did you know you could get married in the Boston Public Library? Oh, yes! So if you and your better half are book-lovers – this could be your dream wedding venue. The grand halls of the library and the beautiful open courtyard is often rented for private parties including some of the most unique weddings. Get more creative and you can hire a photo booth for a nerdy wedding shoot with the intriguing green lamps in the background.

Liberia Acqua Alta, Venice

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Liberia Acqua Alta in Venice has to be one to one of the most original libraries in the world. It also operates as a bookstore so you can purchase anything in the library. It has a wonderful and quirky collection of books from around the world that are shelved in old gondolas. You can find books like old school 1960’s detective novels in Italian, retro postcards, and graphic novels. Towards the back of the shop hidden away in the rear is an entrance to the library for boats where visitors can sit with an old book and read an afternoon away. – By The World Pursuit 

The National Library of Belarus, in Minsk

libraries around the world - streettrotter

The National Library of Belarus is located in the capital city, Minsk. As you approach the space-like-building it certainly doesn’t scream library. The name of the building’s shape is rhombicuboctahedron  which sounds as awesome as the 22 story structure looks. The library was opened in 2006 when all of the materials, including the third most Russian books in the world, were transported into the present building. There is so much space inside (the views are good too) and as it’s easily accessed from the metro, the library is a fun place to hang out as a tourist for a couple hours. – By Tiki Touring Kiwi

Strahov Monastery Library, Prague 

libraries around the world - streettrotter

Prague is a lucky city in more than one way. Apart from its stunning beauty it has not only one but two spectacular baroque libraries that are famous around the world. I am sure you’ve seen either the Klementinum or the Strahov Monastery Library in movies or top ten articles around the web. I had the pleasure to visit both during my trip to Prague and found them inspiring and breathtaking. The library in the Strahov Monastery is a bit off the beaten path and I thought that there were less tourists there.

Located in the castle district – a walk in the fall season can give you some gorgeous views, but just wait to step inside. It houses more than 200,000 old prints and naturally they are of historic value. You are allowed to only observe from outside – the famous Philosophical and Theological Halls – two rooms decorated in Baroque style with elaborate ceilings. Many famous historic figures have walked in this buildings including Napoleon’s wife. The location is used in lots of movies and TV shows like The Musketeers for example. – By Eo Stories

Rosenberg Library, Texas

libraries around the world - streettrotter

The Rosenbery library is the oldest public library in the continuous operation in the state of Texas. It was established in 1900 by Henry Rosenberg, a native of Switzerland who came to Galveston in 1843 and made his fortune as a banker and merchant. The library’s collections include over one million books, manuscripts, letters, documents, objects of art, and historic memorabilia. It is also one of the major repositories of original documents and artifacts related to Texas History.

Galveston is an island city a few miles off the coast of Texas, about an hour south of Houston. During the 19th century, Galveston was known as the Wall Street and Ellis Island of the South. On September 8, 1900 the most destructive hurricane in recorded history hit Galveston, decimated most of the city, and killed thousands of people. What had once been an up and coming metropolis, was deserted by most and would eventually become a beach town with lots of history. The library is located close to The Strand, the historical downtown district, and the famous Broadway Beauties (amazing pre-storm houses that are magnificent feats of architecture). – By Around the World in Katy Days

National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vijećnica

libraries around the world - streettrotter

I know, I know – it looks like a fancy giant cake but honestly, this is the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sarajevo’s City Hall (Vijećnica)! This Austro-Hungarian crafted building stands out next to the many ‘function over frills’ soviet style buildings in Sarajevo. Unfortunately, this one does not hold many of BiH’s historic books anymore as it was bombed in 1992 during the Sarajevo Siege.

Another interesting fact about City Hall is that the Austro-Hungarian monarchy stumbled across a barrier pre-construction, there was a house in the way! After negotiations, the owner finally accepted a financial pay out as long as his original house was moved brick by brick across the road. You can now visit the ‘House of Spite’ too. Heading to Bosnia and Herzegovina? Check out these tips on what to do in Sarajevo. – By Two Scouts Abroad. 



StreetTrotter is a Travel, Culture & Lifestyle blog, inspiring people everyday with real stories to look good and travel even better. Founded in 2012 by Shraddha Gupta, Founder & COO, this space is all about experiencing new things in life, be it a daring mountain trek, a frugal backpacking trip, a runway look made local, or simply anything that scares you enough to live a little more deeper.

  1. Emily says:

    I visited the library at the Rijksmuseum this summer in Amsterdam and it blew my mind! It wasn’t as huge as many of these (as it wasn’t the museum’s main purpose) but it was still beautiful.

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