Perhaps no place in the world is quieter than your own room, but as we all know how unrealistic it is to focus on study or work in our own rooms, a quiet and cozy place outside would be a savior especially when the deadline is approaching. Luckily, Beijing doesn’t lack in such places.
Metal Hands Café
Lying in a quiet hutong in a peaceful residential area, you could easily miss the coffee shop if you don’t pay close attention. But once you see the iconic Chinese painting of the poet Li Bai paying tribute to the full moon, you know you are at the right place. The small café has a cozy air, and the guests unanimously speak under their breaths in accordance with the atmosphere. The skylight that comes down through the glass roof is so lovely that a simple look-up may make you feel refreshed in the middle of wearing work. More importantly, Metal Hands has great coffee.
If you are looking for a quiet place to study with loads of books available to refer to, then there’s no better place in Beijing than the National Library of China. The huge interior space assures plenty of seats for readers. The only deficiency is that the readers are not allowed to bring inside their own books, but you are allowed to bring in printed copies of a book. Despite that the library has a large number seats, it is highly suggested to arrive early as people usually stay there for a whole day.
It can be troublesome to go to the National Library of China if you need to bring books of your own, and this is when the Capital Library of China is a better place to study at. It provides all the basics for study; spacious study room, bright lighting, WiFi (as long as you have the library’s card), and responsible staff who prevent people from speaking too loudly. There is also a restaurant plaza right outside of the library – you deserve a good meal after the hard work.
Thanks to Chinese author Shi Tiesheng’s 2002 masterpiece I and Ditan, the Ditan Park has become a landmark in the Chinese literature. What’s more, with the park being the venue for Beijing’s most famous book fair that is held four times a year, it seems that every grass in the park is practically dyed with ink. The Ditan Park is brimming with so much literary atmosphere that you can hardly do anything else other than read or study there.
It’s not really a museum of pills that can treat headache and fever, but a café that has more or less the same function. The café is run by a WeChat blogger who is known for her touching stories between people. She opened the café under the inspiration of Wong Kar Wai’s film My Blueberry Nights. The guests are welcome to share their stories with her, leave their worries behind like having taken aspirin, while the café’s owner collects their stories like a museum. This is a place where you may find peace.
Fantizi is first of all a bookshop and then a café – said the owner, a Taiwanese lady in Beijing. Fantizi is Chinese for “Traditional Chinese Characters”, which seems quite unique for a café’s name in the mainland where everyone uses Simplified Chinese Characters. The owner perseveres in promoting traditional Chinese culture with the Traditional Chinese Characters: she sells Taiwan books in her café, and has a special rule that whoever finishes a Traditional Chinese Character calligraphy paper may receive a ten percent discount. Going to the Fantizi Café is like going to a school, no wonder it would be a perfect place for study.
The Garage Café is probably the least quiet place in the list of places to study, but it is definitely a wonderful place for co-work. The café is known in town as a base for people who dream of doing start-up businesses. Every day (and night) there goes an unexhausted parade of people eagerly introducing their genius plans to the people who have funds. The 24-hour café has an atmosphere that stimulates people to work, work and work.