Singapore’s Study Spots: Places to Get Productive

With AP exams upon us and finals quickly approaching, studying has become frantically stressful for SAS students. When the silent room of the library doesn’t quite fulfill your last minute scholarly grinds, book a taxi, or grab your MRT card and visit one of the welcoming workplaces featured below.

1. The Refinery: 115 King George’s Avenue

Image taken from the restaurant’s Facebook page, which also features special events hosted at The Refinery, as well as contact information.

The Refinery is a stylish cafe, located at 115 King George’s Avenue. Quiet music plays in the background of a calm and simple environment, offering a wonderful ambience for productivity. A common issue with studying in cafes is the lack of table space, but you don’t need to worry about that here, as the center of this cafe houses a large wooden table where you can spread out your books and get to reviewing. Although the Refinery is situated further away from most people, it is near multiple MRT stations including Lavender, Farrer Park, and Bendemeer, all of which belong to different MRT lines. Reaching The Refinery isn’t too inconvenient, but its setting and food are worth the journey. Because it’s located in a less popular area, this cafe isn’t usually overcrowded like most of the Starbucks on Orchard road, which means you’re set for a whole day of focused study without receiving impatient looks from other customers who want your table. 

“The Refinery Waffle” is a popular item on the restaurant’s desert menu, which is available from breakfast to dinner.

The Refinery is open from noon to 11pm, so whether you’re craving a cappuccino or a salad while brushing up on geometry, the menu is guaranteed to cater to your needs.

2. Plain Vanilla: 1D Yong Siak Street

VANILLA (14 of 1).jpg
The Plain Vanilla Bakery outlet on Tiong Bahru, is memorable for its rustic aesthetic. Photo taken from the Plain Vanilla Facebook page.

The Plain Vanilla Bakery on 1D Yong Siak Street is the main outlet in Singapore, however, there is another Plain Vanilla cafe—a much smaller coffee shop on Cluny Court, next to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Yong Siak Street is a road that is part of Tiong Bahru, a very local and artistic Singaporean community. Just adjacent to the cafe is Books Actually, a bookstore well known for its vintage displays and eccentric collection of literature, featuring local magazines. In short, Plain Vanilla Bakery is apart of a very pleasantly unique neighborhood. The cafe itself includes an outdoor area, carpeted in turf with low work tables and cushions for seating. Personally, I’ve never thought of a picnic as an ideal study place, but the outside space of Plain Vanilla Bakery would be a great place to work “outdoors” without the irritation of mosquitoes and the constant Singapore thundershowers.

The outdoor area of this bakery offers a perfect space to focus with a study group. Image from the PVB Facebook page.

The real attraction of Plain Vanilla though, regarding productivity, is a room just off of the main bakery that serves strictly as a workspace for those in need of it. Inside you will find a quiet quarter filled with natural light and large desks that are excellent for finishing up a final project.

PVB is best known for its cupcakes. Grab a baked good and get to work! (Photo from The Smart Local, a Singaporean ran blog page.

Although Plain Vanilla’s goods are slightly pricier than what you can get at a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, its items are made on the premises and fresh from the oven. Treat yourself to something sweet while you grind away at that A+.

3. Library @ Orchard: Orchard 

Right in the middle of Orchard at Orchard Gateway, this public library is accessible and greatly convenient.


Photo from the National Library Board of Singapore. Library @ Orchard has a wide selection of reading material, and great spots to read or work.

The large bookshelf of the downstairs section of the library double-serves as three layers of great tablespace. This area is well lit and even includes power outlets if you need to recharge a computer or calculator. Even better is the upstairs portion of the library, as near the stairs there is a section entirely dedicated to quiet studying. Upstairs you will find personal cubicles and work desks.

4. Starbucks

Starbucks at the Fullerton Waterboat House in Singapore. Image credits:

Another typical study spot for all students is Starbucks. This coffee branch is the most reliable as there’s a promise of free wifi and good coffee, however finding a table can sometimes be difficult as it seems everyone wants to study at Starbucks. A great place is the outlet in the Fullerton Waterboat House. This Starbucks has scenic views and a peaceful ambiance, as well as large tables which are always necessary for good work.

A Starbucks cafe located in Tanglin Mall. Photo from

Another great Starbucks is the one in Tanglin Mall. Although the area is not as picturesque as the one at the Fullerton, this cafe has two floors of tables, so you are guaranteed a free space to get productive.

Now that you have exceptional options for studying, get to it!  While we can’t ensure that our venue recommendations guarantee the grade you want, The Eye sincerely wishes you hours of productive study and good luck on your exams.

Author: Anjali Swarstad

Anjali Swarstad is currently a junior and working, for her second year, on The Eye. In her free time, Anjali enjoys making films, graphic design, and sharing goofs n' gaffs with her friends. She's excited to produce more videos this year, and can be contacted at

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