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Where to Study in Manchester if You're Bored of the Library

By Matthew Lewis

Updated October 8, 2019 Updated October 8, 2019

For many of us, studying and revising outside the university setting offers a number of hurdles. Finding that perfect location, one where you can dismiss all the distractions of life, and summon the motivation to work is hard to find. That’s why a location that is easy on the eye and easy on the wallet is important for the students of today. And so, we’ve compiled this list of the best study spots in the city of Manchester and the surrounding areas. A list that enables you to leave the mundane setting of a university library and enjoy the vibrancy of the city.

Nexus Art Cafe

Located in the heart of the city, Nexus Art Cafe on Dale Street offers students the perfect study environment. What better place to loosen the shackles of the uninspired than a room filled with art. This non-profit cafe and arts venue offers a welcoming space, with an ethos of inclusion, respect and hospitality. Nexus Art Cafe offers students that traditional cafe setting, with a welcoming twist.

Chapter One Books     

When many book shops began to close in the UK, Chapter One opened its doors wide. The longevity of this independent coffee shop and bookstore is testament to its success. Chapter One Books offer the peace and tranquillity of a book shop, combined with great tasting barista-style coffee. Located on Manchester's Lever Street, this uniquely styled environment guarantees students the perfect location to study, revise, and get an all-important caffeine kick.

North Tea Power

This charmingly quaint cafe has recently become a hot favorite for both students and internet bloggers alike and it’s easy to see why. With its refined tea service and delicious baked goods, North Tea Power has all the revision and study fuel you’ll ever need. Its spacious interior is furnished with numerous two-personed tables, ideal for solo studying. The communal benches are also a bonus, making North Tea Power the place to go when studying with a group.


Ziferblat, a phrase meaning ‘clockface’ is a concept that has seen great success on the continent, and now the city of Manchester has its very own. This cafe, come social space, offers a wide range of coffees, teas, biscuits and cakes, alongside a whole range of other foods, all for free! As long as you pay for the time you spend here, costing 8 pence per minute. This ‘buy your time’ space on Edge Street is a perfect location for anyone looking to get a bit of studying done, while not wanting to break the bank.

Pollen Bakery

Pollen Bakery is one of the newest groundbreaking bakeries specializing in sourdough and viennoiserie baking. Located in Manchester’s Cotton Field Wharf, this bakery offers long bench seating and canalside views. A perfect environment for any hardworking study session. When the sun starts to shine, Pollen Bakery offers a luxurious outside seating area, ideal for revising during that springtime exam season. With a balance of good coffee and food with relaxing surroundings, Pollen Bakery is the place to be.

Creation Cafe

A little outside the city, Creation Cafe in Salford offers a little corner of comfort for students wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of Manchester's city centre. Alongside a great studying environment, the cafe also regularly organises activities and events. Creation Cafe creates an atmosphere of community and friendliness. This, combined with fresh home-cooked food makes Creation Cafe a study area we couldn’t leave off our list.               


Located in Manchester's Deansgate area, Grindsmith coffee house is known famously city-wide as a hot spot for entrepreneurs and creative minds. This professional feel is surely a great environment to get your study hat on. The presence of stimulating clientele combined with great coffee makes Grindsmith’s the perfect environment for producing a hard work ethic.

Whitworth Art Gallery Cafe

The cafe located inside the Whitworth Art gallery on Oxford Road is a pleasant and unique space, ideal for a spot of revision and work. Even the cafe itself is a work of art, made completely out of glass, all while offering views out over Whitworth Park. With free wifi and delicious food at your fingertips, you may never want to leave. But if the hard work gets too much, you can always do a bit of artistic procrastination and take some time out in the gallery which is free to enter.

Christie’s Bistro

If you feel like staying on university grounds but the sight of the library is (obviously) getting too much, head to Christie’s Bistro. The bistro itself is situated in the Whitworth building on The University of Manchester campus. Originally used as the Christie Science Library, the library was then converted into a Bistro. The bistro is steeped in the university's history and character, with portraits of previous Vice-Chancellors gracing the walls and endless rows of original books and documents. This, alongside delicious food and large comfy armchairs, makes Christie’s Bistro a very appealing place to study.

This article was originally published in October 2019 .

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