Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Academics

The Top 3 Best Off-Campus Study Spots In The Boston Area

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Boston chapter.

Looking for a new study spot? Well, look no further. There’s no denying that UMass Boston has a lot of wonderful places to study on campus, but sometimes going off-campus just provides a different work atmosphere that’s much-needed in order to be productive. No matter your studying or learning style, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best off-campus places for studying in the Boston area. These areas range from lively and sociable environments, like cafes, to quiet and academically-minded environments, like a library. 

  1. Caffè Nero 

With free wifi and an ambiance like no other, Caffé Nero really is the place to spread out and get your study on. The café itself is decorated with cozy picture frames, mirrors, sofas and comfortable chairs, all of which add to the café’s comfortable atmosphere. Since at its core, Caffé Nero is a café, it’s worth mentioning that the coffee and various foods are pretty good. There’s a huge variety of coffee variations you can get on your order, as well as wonderful chai and matcha for the non-coffee drinkers, and their food ranges from baked goods and pastries to sandwiches and quiches. From a price standpoint, Caffè Nero is a fair middle ground. An average latte will cost around $4 to $5 and a baked good would cost around $2 to $4. The Caffè Nero mobile app offers more information on the costs as well as features a mobile punch card that allows you to receive your 10th coffee completely free, no matter the inclusions you decide to add. If you download the mobile app, be sure to add in your school email address to become eligible for the 15 percent student discount! My favorite Caffè Nero location is only an 18 minute Red Line ride from campus, so it’s a pretty accessible option in terms of off-campus activities. All in all, if you’re looking for a cozy spot to do some homework with a friend, Caffè Nero is the place for you.

  1. Boston Public Library – Bates Hall 

Looking for an environment more conducive to heavy learning? Look no further than Bates Hall. Found within the Copley branch of the Boston Public Library, Bates Hall is a completely silent study hall filled to the brim with old books, dictionaries, and a feeling as though you’re in Hogwarts. There’s less of a communal feeling when compared to places like Caffè Nero, but if you’re really trying to write a paper before its impending deadline, Bates Hall is a perfect environment to do so. Everyone is working with such determination and with Bates Hall’s completely silent room policy, there are little to no distractions in the room itself. There’s also an outside food and drink restriction in place at Bates Hall, but bringing something like a hydro flask won’t get you in trouble. Although if you’re thinking about getting out and studying on the weekends, I would avoid Bates Hall due to the influx of tourists the library has during the weekends. In terms of transportation, Bates Hall is about a 30 minute train ride from campus by taking either the Red Line to Orange Line or Red Line to Green Line. Overall, Bates Hall is the perfect location for some serious studying. 

  1. Thinking Cup

Another cozy coffee shop option for an off-campus study trip is Thinking Cup. While Thinking Cup can be considered more of a brunch spot than anything else, it can also be considered a great place to get some work done with a group of friends. The cozy ambiance alongside the charming character of a café in the North End makes for a perfect combination of ultimate productivity. The coffee itself is amazing, ranging from $3 to $5, and there are so many options. In terms of food, Thinking Cup has a variety of options. There are your typical baked goods, ranging from $2 to $3, your breakfast sandwiches and lunch sandwiches, ranging from $6 to $9, and their customizable grilled cheeses, which go for about $6 to $7. One thing to consider about Thinking Cup is that they do not offer free public WiFi, but if there’s a hotspot available, you should be okay. My favorite Thinking Cup location is located on Hanover Street in the North End, but if you’re looking for an option closer to campus there’s one on Tremont Street. The Thinking Cup in the North End is about a 26 minute Red Line to Orange Line ride and the one on Tremont Street is about a 20 minute Red Line ride. I would say that Thinking Cup is the perfect social study spot for groups of friends or if you have light homework to complete. 

Boston has a plethora of different coffee shops and cozy areas to get some assignments done, but these three options I’ve listed are what I firmly believe to be the best off-campus study spots for any season Boston has to offer. It’s worth mentioning that Caffè Nero and Thinking Cup are franchises, so there are other locations around the Boston area that might suit your study needs better. But all in all, I would totally recommend giving these places a try the next time an assignment leaves you in a rut. A change of scenery makes for some of the best work! 

Layla Giordano

U Mass Boston '26

Layla Giordano is a second-year studying Psychology and Secondary Education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.