French National Library (Bibliotheque Nationale de France) Tours
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Glass-sheathed, modern towers house a world-class book collection at the French National Library in Paris. More than 15 million volumes are here, including royal book collections that date back to the Middle Ages, and the library hosts rotating exhibitions that range from artistic masterpieces to historic manuscripts and artifacts.
Designed to evoke books standing near the Seine, the French National Library (Bibliothèque Nationale de France) has two main sections: a public library and a research library. Admission is charged at both, but exhibition tickets include access to the public reading rooms. Lunch and dinner cruises on the river Seine pass by the library, as do half-day bicycle tours that focus on food markets. It’s also possible to visit the library independently.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The French National Library is a must for those interested in architecture.
- The library has free Wi-Fi and computers for public use, as well as an on-site café and restaurant.
- Library tours are sometimes available in English.
- A coat check is available on-site, but bags must be carry-on size or smaller.
How to Get There
The French National Library is located on Quai François Mauriac in the 13th arrondissement, across the Seine from the Parc de Bercy. To get there by public transit, take Metro line 6 or 14 or the RER C to Bibliothèque François Mitterrand. If you’re exploring Paris on foot, the most dramatic approach to the French National Library is from the pedestrian bridge Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, which links the library to the Parc de Bercy.
When to Get There
Visit the French National Library’s public reading rooms Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 8pm (exhibits close at 7pm) and Sunday from 1pm to 7pm. Entrance fees to the public reading rooms are waived from 5pm to 8pm.
The Forest Inside the French National Library
The four towers—the standing “books”—that make up the French National Library are eye-catching, but there’s far more to the site than can be seen from a distance. Reading rooms look down on a forest garden of birches, oaks, and other trees, including full-size pine trees from Normandy. Since the forest was installed in 1994, it’s become a haven for birds in the city.
Address: Quai François Mauriac, Paris 75013, France
6 Tours and Activities to Experience French National Library (Bibliotheque Nationale de France)
Ensure a memorable night out in Paris with a gourmet dinner cruise along the Seine River. Float past the city’s famed monuments, such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Ile de la Cité aboard a luxury Bateaux Parisiens riverboat. Soak up the magic of Paris from an onboard dining room while enjoying a gourmet 3-course meal. Please note that Champagne and live music are also included on select 8:30pm departures.
Glide down the River Seine while enjoying a gourmet 3-course lunch aboard a Bateaux Parisiens river cruise. Soak up views of riverside attractions like the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame and Musée d'Orsay as you dine on seasonal selections from an à la carte menu, accompanied by wine. Enjoy live entertainment and a welcome glass of Champagne for a bubbly beginning to the experience.
Sit down to a 3-course Gallic dinner and pass Paris' top sites on this 4-hour evening cruise on the Seine River. From the panoramic windows of the dining room, look out at the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Ile de la Cité, Pont Alexandre III, and other glittering waterfront sights. Upgrade to include Champagne, cocktails, wine, or beer, and head to the top deck for open-air views of the City of Light.
Make unforgettable memories with your loved one in the City of Lights on this Valentine's Day Seine River cruise with 5-course dinner and live music. Hop aboard your Bateaux Parisiens sightseeing boat beneath the Eiffel Tower and cruise onto the Seine River. Gaze over the UNESCO–listed waterfront and admire top attractions including the Musée d’Orsay, the Grand Palais and Notre Dame Cathedral. Take a seat at your table as the city lights drift slowly by and enjoy a romantic 5-course dinner in the company of your special someone.
Spin through the French capital and sample the flavors the locals love on this 4-hour Paris bike tour with market food-tasting. Head through the bustling Marais district with a guide and soak up the stylish feel. Explore iconic squares including Place de Vosges and Place de la Bastille, and spin through the pretty Parc de Bercy on the banks of the Seine River. Stop off along the way at a local food market, and taste some of the fine cheeses and deli meats for which France is famous.
Paris created the world largest Street Art open-air museum. Join us for a fun bike ride along the river from Paris center to Paris most modern neighborhood, ZAC Paris 13 where the greatest architects let loose and created delirious buildings and where star graffiti artists from all over the world met to create giant murals. Tristan Eaton, Invader, Faile, Btoy, D * Face, Shepard Fairey, Cryptik, Hush, Conor Harrington, INTI and many others are waiting for you ... Banksy maybe ! Frescoes of 10, 20, 30 or even 40 m high with all styles colliding. We will enjoy a coffee break in the world largest start-up incubator, Station F where Big Mama group created its flagship vessel of 10 themed restaurants in an incredible atmosphere! Here young people from around the world are shaping the world of tomorrow! See you soon !
Taking safety measures
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the best way to experience French National Library (Bibliotheque Nationale de France)?
The best ways to experience French National Library (Bibliotheque Nationale de France) are:
- Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise
- Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Lunch & Sightseeing Cruise with Live Music
- Capitaine Fracasse Boat 3-Course Dinner Cruise
- Bateaux Parisiens Valentine's Day Gourmet Seine River Dinner Cruise & Live Music
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