Exam season is a time when you need some peace and quiet outside of home. While cafes are a great place to cram, not all of them are welcoming of students hogging seats for hours nursing a cup of ice latte. Especially so when Covid-19 restrictions mean that there are less seats overall available for patrons.
There’s no need to rant about being chased out of your usual Starbucks or Coffee Bean outlets. Here are some alternative places with free Wifi and charging ports – free and paid – that welcome students looking for a spot to study.
Despite being catered to entrepreneurs, they’re not all that expensive, especially when you consider that these spaces offer free beverages and snacks, and you’ll have a private desk where you can study all day in a quiet environment. Most of them offer free trials and day passes.
The Hive (CBD & Lavender)
With 2 locations, The Hive has hot desk day passes ($30/day) and $250 for 10 days (including 1 hour usage of meeting room) for access from 8am to 8pm. The Lavender branch has a barista-manned cafe.
Located at International Building, CoCREA8 has a hot desk day pass from $45 for access from 9am to 6pm.
Located in Harbourfront Tower 2, Coqoon offers day passes for hot desks ($40/day) as well as monthly membership ($380/month) for access from 9am to 9pm.
Work From Hotel (WFH) deals
Since Covid-19 restrictions hit hotels the hardest, many are now offering work-from-hotel packages. Some hotels are offering lobby spaces with dining packages, while others are offering their rooms for a day booking.
Park yourself at the lobby of Furama Riverfront for their WFH package, which costs $28 for 14 hours for 2 guests (split it with a friend and it’s $14 per person). It includes a $15 dining credit, redeemable across all their F&B outlets.
For a private room, lyf Funan offers the Singapore Workspace Package in their One of a Kind Studio (single occupancy only) at S$70++ a day from 9am to 7pm. There’s all the usual room inclusions – private bathroom, refreshments, local snacks, and a bed.
Hotel G (Middle Road)
Hotel G‘s Hustle and Grind Package costs S$90++ for day-use from 7am to 7pm. This package – for solo occupancy only – comes with a set lunch and two glasses of house pour wines from Ginett Restaurant & Wine Bar. This is in addition to complimentary coffee, tea, and juices throughout the day, with morning and afternoon snack boxes.
While there are plenty of cafes around, many have been implementing time limits or discouraging students who come to study due to Covid-19 restrictions which means less seats available for other patrons.
Genius Central (Amoy Street)
Located in Far East Square, Genius Central welcomes students who need Wifi, power outlets, and a comfortable place to sit. The restaurant serves affordable healthy meals, with long tables for group discussions and cosy alcoves for quiet isolation. Other perks include all-day 1-for-1 deals, $1 coffee before 11am, and 20% off all orders if you sign up for their free membership!
Plain Vanilla Bakery (Tiong Bahru)
With four outlets across Singapore, the flagship Plain Vanilla branch in Tiong Bahru is not only their largest, but it also has an indoor room suited for quiet working lunches and afternoons. Housed in a beautiful shophouse that’s ubiquitous in the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood, it offers affordably-priced coffees as well as freshly-baked cupcakes and ice cream from a cart.
City Sprouts (Redhill)
Tucked in the Redhill neighbhourhood is City Sprouts, a social enterprise that is Singapore’s first plot-share urban farm with a repurposed school canteen. Located on the grounds of the former Henderson Primary School, the spacious canteen is home to five tenants serving everything from coffee and rice bowls to burgers and meat dishes.
The Book Cafe (Mohd Sultan)
The Book Cafe is an institution, having been both a library and cafe along Mohd Sultan for over 20 years. The quiet store boasts comfy couch seats and shelves of books and magazines for your perusal – it’s also been a place where people tend to hang out for hours. The store’s menu consists of all-day breakfast and a decent drinks list.
Free spaces to study
There are plenty of free spaces to study at Community Centres and Libraries across Singapore, but the Covid-19 situation means that – at least for libraries – students are only able to spend 30 minutes at a time there.
MUG @ Blossom Youth Centre
MUG@ Blossom Youth Centre is a purpose-buit facility for students needing a study space. This youth community area in Bukit Timah provides free Wi-Fi, study tables, as well as complimentary snacks. You can use the facilities for free – just register under their Blossom Youth Development Programme, which aims to develop compassion and leadership in youth.
Our Tampines Hub
Our Tampines Hub has picnic-style study tables placed across all 6 floors (B1 to L5) around the central atrium. While it’s literally just tables in the hallway, you have access to all the shops and cafes in the mall and the surrounding area. The place is open 24/7 so you can come for a study or discussion session anytime.
With air travel severely curtailed, Changi Airpot is a lot quieter now. With numerous comfy seating areas, it’s also got free Wi-Fi and multiple food options. You may also be able to snag one of those seats surrounding Jewel’s Rain Vortex and have a cooling waterfall as your backdrop. The Changi Lounge is also available – it’s $12 for 2 hours (extension at $4/hour), including free drinks and snacks.
Smart Void Deck (Jurong East)
Despite being free and open 24/7, void decks are hardly used as study spaces. However, Block 224 Jurong East Street 21 has a ‘smart void deck’ with a unique lighting concept to tempt you. The light colour changes according to the furniture layout – move the chairs and tables around to resembles a study room, and it’ll trigger a bluish light scheme to help you concentrate.