Fodor's Expert Review Biblioteca Nacional
Near the foot of Cerro Santa Lucía is the block-long classical facade of the National Library. Moved to its present premises in 1925, this library, founded in 1813, has one of the oldest and most extensive collections in South America. The second-floor Sala José Toribio Medina (closed Saturday), which holds the most important collection of early Latin American print work, is well worth a look. The three levels of books, reached by curved-wood balconies, are lighted by massive chandeliers. The café on the ground floor is a quiet place to linger over a coffee. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the building.