It’s rare that people enter a library nowadays for anything but some peace and quiet and perhaps some quality shots for the ‘gram. However, some of the world’s most beautiful libraries hold centuries-old secrets that you can unlock if you take the time to.
Whether you’re looking to dive into a rare collection of ancient books, need a quiet place to get some work done on the road, or are actually just looking for a unique setting for your next Instagram travel photoshoot, these libraries offer it all.
Travel the world with us as we take you on a journey to seven of the most beautiful libraries in the world. There are, of course, numerous more, but this list should at least get any book lover started on a literary-filled journey through some of the coolest wonders of the world.
Most Beautiful Libraries In The World
Rio’s got quite a lot to offer aesthetic-hungry travellers. From the shores of Copacabana to Christ the Redeemer, any Instagrammer will be happy in Rio. However, the Neo-Manueline interior of the Royal Portuguese Reading Room is truly a stunning sight to see. As home to the most valuable collection of Portuguese literature outside of Portugal, this reading room is overflowing with historic charm and delightfully rich colours that light up when the sun shines through the multi-coloured skylight.
The Library of Parliament in Ottawa is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, both inside and out. Upon arriving to this architecturally impressive building, you’ll likely feel awe-stricken by the beautiful three-tiered roof. Ramble on inside and you’ll feel even more inspired by the stunning decor. You’ll find the rows of books in beautiful wooden archways, creating a beautiful backdrop for any traveller to browse through and enjoy.
If you’re travelling to truly immerse yourself in the literary wonders of the world then you can’t pass up the chance to visit The Old Library at Trinity College. It’s home of the famous Book of Kells. It’s the ninth-century Gospel manuscript that many scholars consider as being one of Ireland’s national treasures. However, literary marvels aside, the barrel-shaped ceiling and carved, dark wooden features create an architecturally impressive atmosphere that’s just as awe-inspiring as it is unique.
The United States is brimming with beautiful libraries. However, if we could only choose one as the most beautiful book-filled spot, we’d give the award to the George Peabody Library at the famous Johns Hopkins University. The interior is Greek Revival-style in nature. And, it’s peppered with the perfect lighting in every corner, nook, and cranny. The latticed skylight gives way to beautiful afternoon light. It shines through the 61-foot atrium for students to enjoy.
Christian or not, it’s hard to deny the irresistible pull and beauty of the Theological Hall at the Strahov Monastery Library in Prague. It’s home to thousands of editions of The Bible. So, the sheer history hidden within its wall is enchanting enough to warrant a visit. The beautifully decorated ceilings really seal the deal for travellers looking to snap a few literary-inspired photo memories.
The famous Starfield Library is perhaps one of the most Instagrammed places in Seoul. And, the best part is that you’ll find it smack dab in the centre of the COEX Mall. 50,000 titles cascade down the library’s towering walls. And, you can scan them all as you ride up the escalator to the second floor. On top of being one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, you’ll find that it’s a great spot to do some work; if you’re a digital nomad in Seoul then this spot simply can’t be missed.
The Stuttgart City Library is an impressive display of minimalism at its very finest. What’s perhaps so striking about this library is that it’s so different from many other great libraries in the world. You won’t find gilded pillars and centuries-old frescos. But, you will find airy white spaces brought to life by the rows and rows of books they’re meant to hold. Travelling to find the world’s most beautiful libraries just for a photo? This is perhaps one of the best spots for you.