As someone who is easily distracted, I often find it really difficult to focus on my homework at my homestay or in the program center, which can both get really loud and don’t always have dependable Wi-Fi. When I have a lot to do, I am much more productive sitting in a café. However, the culture around working in coffee shops is different here than the United States—it seems like Spaniards like to go for coffee or tea to spend time with other people as opposed to focusing on their laptops in other locations. I have noticed that most of the other people who go to cafes to do homework are also American girls studying abroad. Free, unlimited, functioning Wi-Fi is not guaranteed and many coffee shops limit people on laptops to specific areas of the store or specific days of the week.
Here are some of my favorite places:
Café de la Luz
Metro Stop: Santo Domingo or Chueca (Gran Vía if it wasn’t currently closed)
Café de la Luz is a very cozy place to spend an afternoon writing an essay. They have good food and drinks and if you order a cocktail they give you free popcorn, chips, or gummy candy. It can sometimes be crowded and ironically is often very dark. They have good Wi-Fi, but it limits customers to two hours a day.
Metro Stop: Canal
Monkee Koffee has a really extensive coffee menu, with more classically American drinks, like iced lattes, and lots of food options as well. The space and the staff are really nice. There is free Wi-Fi, but it only worked for the first fifteen minutes I was there.
Metro Stop: Noviciado
I am in HanSo Café for the first time writing this post! I really like it—I had a really delicious sandwich and frozen chai latte and the free, unlimited Wi-Fi works really well. They have a really extensive menu of toasts and bagels and lots of coffee and tea options. It is spacious and cute, and they don’t seem to mind that I’ve been here for a really long time doing work and not ordering anything else.
Metro Stop: Noviciado or Tribunal
In addition to having pretty dependable Wi-Fi and good coffee, Toma Café is a quick walk away from the Program Center.
Metro Stop: Ópera
I really like Federal Café’s food, drinks, and general vibe, but being able to use my laptop there has been a bit complicated. They have a table where people working on laptops must sit, but no one is allowed to be on a laptop in the café on the weekend or during holidays. They have Wi-Fi, but you have to post on Facebook about them if you want to be able to use it, which I am not willing to do. Although it can be frustrating, I still really like going there to do readings or any work which doesn’t require internet.