Bibliothèque Nationale

Has anyone used the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris? If so, would you mind telling about your experience?

I’ve passed by but never had the courage to enter inside. There is a lot of great info on its website of course, and yet I’d love to learn anyone’s personal experience with using/visiting it.

I’ll be (with any luck) Sancerrois. The bibliothèque in Sancerre is, well, pretty small.

In fact, if you know of any great bibliothèques in France that are cool to visit, or have great librarians, and/or fascinating special collections… Would you please elucidate?


When we lived in Paris I was a member of the Paris libraries. If you join one you can use them all in Paris, and the BN was great. They have some good exhibitions there too that I’ve been to. Borrowing books was free, but there was an annual cost for other media. Probably similar now. IMG_1470

Where I am now our local library is 18 € a year for a family, and includes films, games for children etc etc. I volunteer there from time to time on the book cleaning service…every book coming back in is cleaned before going back on the shelves.

Photo is from an exhibition at the BN.

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