Your guide to Chillin’ For Free

You see a board hanging up with the word “Free” and get drawn to it, don’t ya? Well, who doesn’t love free stuff, right? In today’s time when price hikes and surges are a daily thing, finding a place that gives you free stuff is such a bonus. Well, you can’t expect getting a coffee on the house everyday but the closest thing to receiving that kind of satisfaction is ‘free wifi’. Isn’t that the epitome of happiness when you notice that the hotel you’re staying in, the restaurant you’re eating in, the coffee shop you’re studying in, or even the mall you’re shopping in has Free Wi-Fi? If you’re new to Singapore, you’ll find it interesting or rather bizarre that kids are studying in McDonalds and Starbucks. The first thought I had when I saw this, I said to myself, ‘since when did a coffee and burger joint become a study spot? Isn’t it where people should be hanging out, chilling and enjoying eating and drinking?’ But apparently this is only partially true! In Singapore, you’re going to find every coffee shop filled with students studying hard, making scarily neat notes and working so dedicatedly amidst the chaos. All you gotta do is order your favorite frappe, put those headphones on and work for as long as you want with free access to Wi-Fi and washrooms. This article is all about free spots to study, work and may be even chill. Don’t mind the travel to these places though. Read on to find out more.

Image Courtsy : Starbucks Singapore

1 Starbucks

One of the most famous coffee shops worldwide, Starbucks is home to many students all across Singapore. With a number of stores across the island, every store has its own vibe and comfort. During my second year, I used to study in the one in Holland Village along with my friends. It so happens that you just get attached to the place and now, every time I pass by, I remember those good old days (though we were struggling while prepping for the exams). Once you’re there, the chilly environment and the brewing coffee smell makes you want to order something. After you order they let you stay for however long you want, that too with Free Wi-Fi (can’t stop stressing over this fact). The staff is pretty friendly in almost every outlet and Starbucks is definitely Student Friendly (who cares about being budget/pet friendly anymore, right?).

Image Courtsey – Marina Bay

2 McDonalds

I’m quite literally hesitating while mentioning this. I mean isn’t it supposed to be all about comfort food (reference to fries), value meals and ice creams? This is pretty much McDonalds in my head. But the students here seem to say different. You can spot a lot of hard-working school and college goers. Free Wi-Fi and good aircon isn’t a bad deal after all. Umm also top it up with good food at low prices.

Image courtsey : KTP Hospital

3 Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

Hold on! Don’t be shocked seeing the word ‘hospital’. Even I was surprised when I discovered this place. Well, who wouldn’t be, right? Hospitals are the last place anyone would want to be and going all the way for some kind of concentration seems to be hard to digest. But the greenery, open spaces and fresh air seems to be attracting a lot of people to crash there and have a peaceful study session. Located in Yishun, the place also has a NTUC Food fare where you can grab something to eat while escaping the heat outside.

Image Courtsey : Wikipedia

4 Changi Airport

I know what you’re exactly thinking! You’re like, why is this list getting weirder? First a coffee shop, then a fast food chain, next a hospital and now the airport? This is as fascinating to me as it is to you. Singaporeans are probably the only people who go to the airport to study. Don’t get them wrong, it’s not them studying before flying out, it’s them heading down to the airport JUST to study. If you think about it, it’s not a bad option. Unlimited Wi-Fi, water, washroom facilities, aircon, open spaces, multiple food options, shops to take a stroll in during breaks and even those comfy sitting areas. All. You need to carry is your study material, rest everything is sorted!

Photo Courtesy : Hypequiva

5 JCube

Yes, you’re thinking right! We’re moving into a mall now. If you’re the kind of person who wants some kind of noise in the background and doesn’t get distracted with it, you should definitely check out the study area in JCube. It’s equipped with vending machines for you to grab a snack in the midst of a stressful session. Conveniently located in Jurong East, the mall is surrounded by various other malls where you can go for a walk too and refresh yourself if needed.

Image courtsey : Lasalle

6 Lowercase

Located in LaSalle College, Lowercase, a café during the day and bar in the night, lets you sit, chill and work for as long as you want. Along with space to study and free Wi-Fi, the food offered is so tasty that you will feel at home. After working hard all day long, if you want to chill and hangout with your friends with some music, this is the perfect place again too. Every evening there are bands performing, so order some food, get a good spot and enjoy the music in this home like environment. 

Image Courtsey : Blossom World Society

7 MUG@ Blossom Youth Centre  

This one deserves a special mention. Located in Bukit Timah, it is conveniently and pleasantly nested in a youth community center. It does have free Wi-Fi, a few study tables and sofas. But what stands out in MUG is their other services provided. To start with, complimentary snacks! Yes, you heard it right. They provide little bites for you to munch between the study sessions and recharge. While you also decide to take a break, head down to their recreation corners. It’s nicely equipped with a piano and guitar, board games, few game consoles and even books for you to hold on to.

Do you also have presentations coming up? No rooms available at your uni? Struggling to find a place to practice with your groupmates? All this to ensure good grades in your class. Well, be relieved because MUG is here with another big news. You can book for a group discussion room which is equipped with a white-board and a TV. Don’t you think this is the perfect setting for a trial presentation?

Orchard Liberary– Image Courtsey Word Revel
8 Public Liberaries

You might be glad that I have finally mentioned a traditional study place. I wouldn’t have missed out on this one for sure, but I was saving the best for the last. I say this because, Singapore has a lot of libraries but few of them stand out. I’m going to name a few that you can definitely head down to. These libraries have ample space so you can be assured to find your perfect peaceful, silent spot.

  • The recently opened library @Harbourfront (Vivocity) has reclining chairs with views of Sentosa. It even hosts a few places equipped with headphones and computers preloaded with Ted talks and lots more.
  • If you want nothing more than a quiet study place, the library @Esplanade is your place to be. Not only is it less crowded, but it’s also located in the downtown area, with some pretty views.
  • Looking for something more centrally located? Don’t want to travel a lot but want to find your perfect spot? Head down to the one @Bugis. It’s not only conveniently located but also comes with a lot of free space.
  • Looking for appealing libraries? I would totally go for the library @Orchard. You might say the most important criteria would be comfort and silence, but hey! A little aesthetic appeal wouldn’t hurt right. 😉

You might be thinking this is amazing. So many options to choose from for an alternative place to study. Well yes, you can’t sit at home all day or even work in your own school campus every day. It gets boring and it’s always good to do something out of your routine. But do note, these aren’t the only places. There are few other places where you can pay and work. These ones have individual desks or private rooms for you to work. You’ll find quite a few in Singapore but the focus of this article is to make you aware of the places you can go for free. It’s not just all about studying, most of these places (well, everything except the libraries) can be your hangout spots too. Not to mention, there are a lot of good cafes in Singapore. From fancy to affordable and budget friendly ones, from isolated to being centrally located, there are lots of places for you to visit. Even if you think you have been to a lot of cafes, you’ll still be surprised to find out more. Now that the secret is out, stay tuned to us to find out more about cafes in our next article.

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