Mon – Sun 9.00 – 17.00
Book a Tour
The Nassau Library and Museum once served as a jail and now houses a library and museum. This charming structure showcases colonial-era architecture and offers visitors the unique opportunity to explore the history of the Bahamas while perusing a library collection and museum exhibits within its confines.
The Nassau Library is more than just a collection of books. Formerly a jail, the pink octagonal building is one of the oldest structures in Nassau. With its unique appearance, interesting history, and central location, any travelers looking for things to do in Downtown Nassau will want to check it out.
Nassau Old Town is in the Downtown portion of the island, making it easy to visit no matter where you are on New Providence.
Many visitors enter Nassau by cruise ship. If you fall into that category of traveler, a quick five-minute walk will have you at the library. You can also take a taxi, but while comfortable, traffic might make walking the faster option.
That said, if you are staying at a hotel on the island, a taxi will probably be the most straightforward way to reach the Nassau Library. You can also take a bus if you’re feeling adventurous.
Library hours are from 10 am to 5:45 pm, Monday through Thursday. On Friday, it’s open from 10 am to 4:45 pm, and on Saturday, from 10 am to 3:45 pm.
The Nassau Library and Museum is at the intersection of Parliament Street and Shirley Street. A block over from Bay Street, the main Nassau thoroughfare, the library is adjacent to Parliament Square and close to other Nassau Old Town highlights.
Once you arrive, you’ll see that the building has four floors. Travelers interested in checking out a book can find children’s books on the lowest level along with paperback novels and adult fiction. There are also a couple of public computers available for use.
The floor above houses non-fiction books, reference books, and a collection of historical artifacts. Above that is where visitors can access the balcony, which is next to the attic, the latter of which is where the library stores the artifacts it doesn’t have on display.
In addition to the Nassau Library, you’ll find several exciting attractions in the nearby area. Participating in a walking tour of these sites and others is one of the best things to do in Downtown Nassau.
Whether you’re there for the history or the books, the Nassau Library is a fun spot to visit while in the country’s capital. It’s easy to appreciate the work the local government has put into the site – what was once a dark and gloomy prison has become a bright and airy reading center.
Make sure to access the octagonal balcony, as it features a fantastic view of Nassau.
The Bahamas Historical Society is a nearby Nassau Old Town attraction with a huge collection of historical goodies. From artifacts dating back to pre-Colombian times to pieces of the country’s colonial past, it’s easy to spend a good chunk of time soaking up all that the center has to offer.
Right around the corner from the Nassau Library is another highlight, an old building called the Magna Carta Court. Constructed in the 1780s, it’s another historic structure. It’s also one of the only buildings you’ll see in the Nassau area featuring exposed stone, making it architecturally significant.
Another pink Nassau building is Ansbacher House, a historic and iconic mansion known for its colonial-era architecture and cultural significance. Found on East Bay Street, the colorful home made a cameo in the 2014 film The Other Woman.
Since many visitors to the Bahamas stick to the beaches, a lot of history and culture in Nassau often gets missed. With its unique colors and fascinating past, the Nassau Library and Museum is one attraction you’ll want to make time to visit.
Nassau Old Town is the place to go to see some of the top historic sites in the Bahamas. If you’re looking to learn more about the attractions you can see there, make sure to check out our other travel guides and interactive Map of Nassau Old Town.
View our Full Interactive Map of Nassau
Monday – Thursday: 10am — 5:45pm
Friday: 10am — 4:45pm
Saturday: 10am — 3:45pm
Phone: (242) 322-4907