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10 Biggest Libraries in the World that Need to Be On Your Bucket List

8 mins. read

When you turn the first page of your favourite novel, the fragrance of ageing paper and ink brings back a lot of memories, doesn’t it? Reading a story for the first time that engrosses you so deeply that you begin to live inside it is also an emotion that only true bibliophiles can understand. Imagine traveling to a new country and visiting the most breathtaking house of books! Even if you like exploring the best places to see and restaurants to try in a tourist destination, it is quite alright to keep your bookworm satiated with a trip to beautiful libraries and bookshops!

If you are someone who has always dreamt of visiting the biggest library in the world, then now is the time to plan a trip around this fantasy. What’s the catch? There is none! In fact, you will get to see the top 10 beautiful countries in the world and their libraries.

Read on to know more about the biggest libraries in the world that should be on your bucket list: -

1. Library of Congress, USA 

Topping the list as the largest library in the world is the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., USA. The fact that this library has a budget of over 600 million dollars per annum is the main reason behind its massive catalogue of 160 million items! There are 38 million books, 3.6 million recordings, 14 million photographs, 5.5 million maps, 8.1 million pieces of sheet music, and 70 million manuscripts set up in three buildings on Capitol Hill. Since its establishment in 1800, this national treasure has seen a lot of ups and downs with human and natural destruction. But there is just something about this library that makes it bigger and better. As one of the most famous libraries in the world, the Library of Congress should be on your bucket list for sure. You need to have a government ID with you to get a timed entry pass here, so make sure to carry one!

libraries around the world

2. British Library, UK 

Next up is the British Library in the United Kingdom located in the capital city of London. Although this library’s budget does match up to the best one in the world, it still holds a whopping 170 million items! The most exciting things to find here are handwritten lyrics of the Beatles band along with an original draft of chapters 10 and 11 from Jane Austen's Persuasion. If these things do not tempt you to rush to the British Library on your next trip to London, then we do not know what will.

3. National Library of China, China

Among the most beautiful libraries in the world is the one settled in the bustling city of Beijing in China. The National Library of China has so many scriptures dating back to the oldest cultures in the country that reading them in a single lifetime can be a challenge for the most well-read people! With more than 26 million books in its collection, this one’s a haven of Chinese literature. Make sure to choose among international holiday packages from India that offer customization of your itinerary, so that can easily plan a visit to this library.

4. New York Library, USA 

Another American library making it in the list of the most famous libraries in the world is the New York Library. The unique characteristic of this library is that it is spread over 92 locations in the country, making life easy to read any of the 52 million items. But the one in Manhattan, New York City is the main building which you must have spotted in popular movies like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Ghostbusters, Sex and the City, etc. Free events, exhibitions, and English-speaking classes are being organized regularly, so no dull moments are expected here. This library is a dream come true for any bibliophile who wants to cosy up with a book of their taste than do anything else on their next vacation to the States!

5. Library and Archives Canada 

As far as beautiful libraries are concerned, Canada is winning the game! The Library and Archives Canada is a modern-day development as it was established in 2004. But this does not mean that it cannot be the amid well-reputed libraries around the world! The 54 million items present here include collections from the National Archives of Canada and the National Library of Canada. When you visit Ottawa, take out some time to spend at this library. Who knows? You might find a rare treasure trove.

6. Russian State Library, Russia

The term “biggest library in the world” has created healthy competition among many countries. Books, manuscripts, music sheets, and so many pieces of literature spread across the globe are often compared based on their quantum. The Russian State Library in Moscow, colloquially known as Leninka, is also part of this bibliographic race with more than 43 million items in its collection. If you ask a local, they would proudly tell you that this is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

7. Royal Danish Library, Denmark 

The Royal Danish Library is the largest library in the Nordic countries, if not the world, with 30 million items. These include original copies of the first Atlas! The Royal Danish Library has two locations in Denmark, namely, Copenhagen and Aarhus. Officially known as Det Kgl. Bibliotek, it is a cultural center in Copenhagen with several exhibitions and university events being hosted regularly. Like the Russians, the Danish folks have nicknamed their library too! It is locally called the “Black Diamond” because of its black granite exteriors.

8. National Diet Library, Japan

In the world of anime, sushi, and cherry blossoms, the National Diet Library is the biggest paradise for bibliophiles who are obsessed with Japanese history and culture. With two main locations in Tokyo and Kyoto along with many other branches across the country, the National Diet Library in Japan has a total of 35.6 million items. What’s more? They have everything available on the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), so overseas lending is also possible!

biggest library in the world

9. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, France

France also has one of the most famous libraries in the world known as Bibliothèque Nationale de France with its main building situated in Paris. With architectural genius and cultural heritage being a given in French, it is undoubtedly among the most beautiful libraries in the world. Our recommendation is to spend some time at the Oval Reading Room and soak in its beauty with a French novel by your side!

10. German National Library, Germany

Deutsche Nationalbibliothek or the German National Library in Leipzig is home to 18.5 million books. The cultural, political, and scientific heritage of Germany is well documented in its collection. The Diary of Anne Frank is just of the many treasures that you can find in the German National Library. Since visiting Leipzig can be challenging for tourists, its branch in Frankfurt is open to visitors all year round.

A bookworm like you cannot just know so much about these libraries and not do anything about it, right? Start by visiting any of these libraries around the world and then complete your bucket list.

November 17, 2022


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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