Stockholm Public Library is a library building in Stockholm, Sweden, designed by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund, and one of the city’s most notable structures. The library has a distinctive rotunda that houses the main reading room, and a square base that surrounds it. The library was opened in 1928 and was the first public library in Sweden to apply the principle of open shelves, where visitors could access books without asking library staff for assistance.
If you want to visit the Stockholm Public Library, you need to get a ticket from the entrance. The ticket is free and valid for one day. You can use the ticket to enter the main building and the international library, which is an annex behind the main building that contains books in more than 100 languages. The library is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 21:00, and on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 to 16:00.
There are many ways to get to the Stockholm Public Library. You can take the subway to Odenplan station, which is a few minutes’ walk from the library. You can also take buses 2, 40, 42, 43, 72 or 515 to Odenplan or Odengatan. If you prefer to cycle, there are bike racks outside the library. If you drive, there are parking spaces along Sveavägen and Odengatan.
The Stockholm Public Library offers guided tours of the building and its architecture. You can join a public tour on Wednesdays at 18:00 or Sundays at 14:00, or book a private tour for groups of up to 25 people. The tours last about an hour and cost 1500 SEK per group. You can also explore the library on your own with an audio guide that you can borrow for free at the information desk.
Some tips for visiting the Stockholm Public Library are:
- Bring your own headphones if you want to use the audio guide.
- Respect the silence in the reading rooms and turn off your phone or put it on silent mode.
- Do not eat or drink in the library, except for water in a closed bottle.
- Do not take photos with flash or use a tripod inside the library.
- Do not touch or move the books or furniture without permission.
Some of the things you can see at the Stockholm Public Library are:
- The rotunda, which has a diameter of 44 meters and a height of 24 meters, and contains about 40,000 books on its circular shelves.
- The parkland to the south of the library, which was also designed by Asplund and has a large pond and shops along Sveavägen.
- The international library, which has books in more than 100 languages and hosts cultural events and language cafés.
- The literary signs around Södermalm, which are part of a project that highlights places connected to famous Swedish writers such as Tomas Tranströmer and August Strindberg.