Best places to study in Palo Alto before finals week

    With finals and exams approaching, students are spending more time studying for exams. Being constantly barraged by distractions such as noise, bad lighting or even our own electronic devices creates a poor study environment where it is hard to focus. A good study environment without distractions helps increase focus and productivity when students need it the most. Here is a list of good study spots around Palo Alto.

    City of Palo Alto Libraries

    Photo credit Teddy Huang

    Photo: Teddy Huang

    Libraries have traditionally been places to get information, but libraries are also a great place to study due to the quiet environment and ample seating. Even if one of the many Palo Alto libraries is closed, three other libraries that are usually open. The libraries offer amenities such as free WiFi, computers, and the ability to book rooms so you can study with others in a more private setting.


    Mitchell Park Library

    Address: 3700 Middlefield Road

    Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 


    Rinconada Library

    Address: 1213 Newell Road

    Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


    College Terrace Library

    2300 Wellesley St.

    Hours: closed Monday, Thursday, and Sunday, open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m 

    Note: The College Terrace Library does not have the option to book rooms.


    Downtown Library

    Address: 270 Forest Ave. 

    Hours: closed Monday and Sunday, open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m 


    El Camino Starbucks

    Photo credit Teddy Huang

    Photo: Teddy Huang

    One of the most famous cafe chains, Seattle-based Starbucks is still one of the better places to go if you are looking for a place to have a snack and study. The inside features plenty of comfortable seating, and there is an additional outdoor seating area. However, it may get noisy at times, but there are still food and refreshments so you can keep studying with headphones.

    Address: 2000 El Camino Real.

    Wifi: Free Complimentary WiFi

    Hours:  Monday-Friday 4:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 5 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sunday 5 a.m.-10 p.m. 

    Starbucks has many other locations in Palo Alto, such as a location on Middlefield Road.

    Photo credit Teddy Huang

    Photo: Eddie Wang

    Address: 2775 Middlefield Road

    Wifi: Free Complimentary WiFi

    Hours: Monday-Friday 4:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 5 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sunday 5 a.m.-10 a.m.  


    Pop Tea Bar

    Photo credit Teddy Huang

    Photo: Teddy Huang

    If you are looking for more of a Taiwanese drink, Pop Tea Bar serves Boba along with other snacks such as Spring Rolls. Pop Tea Bar is located in the California Business District, near the El Camino Starbucks and features eight seats in the very back of the shop.

    Address: 456 Cambridge Ave.

    Wifi: No Wifi

    Hours: Monday- Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. 


    Philz Coffee

    Photo credit Teddy Huang

    Photo: Teddy Huang

    Based in San Francisco, Philz Coffee in downtown Palo Alto has a spacious indoor and outdoor space, and there are almost always open seats available. The lighting of the store is mellow and the noise level is relatively quiet, which is good for studying.

    Address: 101 Forest Ave.

    Wifi: Free Complimentary WiFi

    Hours: Monday-Saturday 6 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m.


    HanaHaus/Blue Bottle Coffee

    Photo credit Teddy Huang

    Photo: Teddy Huang

    HanaHaus is a collaborative work space, which is geared more toward being a place to collaborate with others. If you are looking for a snack, HanaHaus also has a partnership with Blue Bottle Coffee. Before being able to enter the work space, download the HanaHaus app online and agree to the terms of service. The price to stay in the workspace is $3 per hour.

    Address: 456 University Ave.

    Wifi: Free WiFi after entering work space

    Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

    Even with all the study places in Palo Alto, studying at home may still the be the best option for some. Considering the time used during transportation and the general inconvenience of studying in a different environment, studying in cafes may not be the answer if focusing is a problem. When studying at home, it is important to have a quiet and distraction-free environment by turning off your phone or computer and finding a quiet room or area.

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