Skip to content Skip to navigation

Take a Tour

Building Orientation Tours

For members ONLY

Wednesdays and Saturdays at 12:00 p.m.

Designed for new members and current members who would like a refresher, these tours will introduce you to  the Athenæum's grand, historic building at 10 ½ Beacon Street and familiarize you with the various library and research services that are available to all members.

Tours begin at noon sharp. Please meet at the Circulation Desk on the first floor.

Reservations are not necessary.

Art and Architecture Tours

Open to the public

Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:00 p.m.

Saturdays at 2:00 p.m.

Mondays at 5:30 p.m.

These docent-led, hour-long tours focus on the architectural history of the Athenæum’s building and on the institution’s fine arts collection. The Athenæum’s current home—its fifth—opened in 1849 and has been expanded and renovated twice, once in 1913-1915 and again recently in 1999-2002.

The Athenæum’s collection of fine art is one of the most significant to have been formed in the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century, and many paintings and sculptures from it are on view throughout the building. Many of these will be discussed during the tour.

Reservations are required.
Please call 617-227-0270, ext. 301
Tours are limited in size and often sell out. We recommend booking a month in advance, especially for Sundays.

Tours for Non-English Speakers

The Athenæum is proud to offer its Art and Architecture Tours in Spanish and French.  View the listing of upcoming tours on the events calendar for dates and times.

Special Tours

The Athenæum happily schedules private tours for groups of 5 to 20 people with a minimum of two weeks' notice. Tours can be scheduled any time during our regular hours of operation, but are subject to the availability of docents. The cost is $5.00 per person. Group tours can be arranged in English, French, and Spanish.

To schedule a special tour, please contact Hannah Weisman at or 617-720-7617.

Family Tours

For members ONLY

Tours are limited in size and must be booked in advance. Click here for more details.