Are you behind on your reading? Got an urgent piece of work due, but can’t get into your groove? This surely has nothing to do with your lack of will-power, nor the vast quantities of Quilmes you drank last night. No, it’s simply that you’ve never found the right study location which entirely suits your needs. Here, your problems are solved as we count down the top five study spots in the city.
1. Biblioteca Nacional, Aguero 2502
Although an obvious place to start, the National Library of Buenos Aires is not an easy place to navigate! This library is a giant spaceship of a building that looks as if it might transport you and your books to another dimension. Weave your way through the daunting entrance hall to the reception where the staff will suspiciously check your passport, before directing you to one of the many open-plan, spacious sections, which are ideal for people-watching. (Oh, and studying too, of course).
What to bring: A packed lunch – the Bib Nac’s gardens stretch right down towards Av. Libertador. Grab a sandwich and head here at lunchtime to recharge your batteries.
2. Starbucks, Bouchard 685
The well-versed studier might be rolling their eyes at this second suggestion. Most Starbucks in Buenos Aires are full of loud Argentine teenagers and scattered with empty frappuccino cups and used napkins, so we understand if you’re skeptical of this recommendation. This Starbucks, in the foyer of an old bank down at Puerto Madero, is different – spacious and too far downtown to be close to any high schools, it’s classy, quiet and equipped with plenty of tables and big chairs.
What to bring: To blend in, buy yourself a swanky leather briefcase for your minimal study gear and swish it around with all the other professionals taking some caffeinated time off from their high-powered office job in Puerto Madero. Who knows, maybe someone will ask for your business card.
3. Biblioteca Miguel Cané, Carlos Calvo 4319
Argentine great Jorge Luis Borges supposedly translated his first book from English to Spanish at the age of 9. If you’re seeking similar inspiration, head to his old haunt down in the quiet neighborhood of Boedo. Feel the scintillating zing of precocious prodigal genius course through you as you cross the threshold of the Miguel Cané library. Quiet, quaint and totally unassuming (in spite of the Borges claim to fame) this little place is a haven for anyone trying to be productive.
What to bring: Your copy of El Aleph – for inspiration, or, if nothing else, it might at least win you a sympathetic nod of approval from the friendly staff.
4. Centro Cultural Cooperación, Av. Corrientes 1543
Camouflaged as just another jazz-hands theater complex on the buzzy Avenida Corrientes, you might have walked past this cultural center hundreds of times without realizing it. The center comprises 6 floors of fervent political angst, complete with a socialist bookshop, left-wing cafe and even a suggestively named “Library Utopia” on the top floor.
What to bring: A copy of The Communist Manifesto and a Che-style beret. Right on, brother!
5. University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Faculty of Philosophy, Puan 480
You think you’ve experienced it all until you study (or attempt to study) in the underground library at the Philo Fac of the UBA. It is clear that the philosophy students of Puan are convinced that noise, preferably all-the-more raucous, breeds inspiration, and that nothing revs up the pace of your studying than a bit of white-knuckle tension: here you never know when a protest might take place. Décor is practical – chairs are light-weight and minimalistic and can be piled up to form a barricade at a moment’s notice.
What to bring: Essential items include mate and a very loud, crumbly bag of biscuits. If you can’t beat them, join them!
Now you’ve found the perfect location to suit you, you can no longer use the (lack of) feng shuey as an excuse. Get studying!