Moscow for freelancers: The best libraries, co-working spaces, anti-cafes

TASS/Sergei Karpov
If you need to work in Moscow and you don’t have your own office, check out our list of trendy spots where students and freelancers can set up temporary shop for a minimal fee.

Moscow offers freelancers ample opportunities for working. Some old-school introverts may prefer to bring their laptops or use one of the computer stations in one of Moscow’s libraries. The entrance is free, the atmosphere is quiet and books surround you as you type away. Extroverts generally like co-working spaces and anti-cafes (also known as time cafes): there is a fee (usually about 500 rubles or $10) for a day, but you will be working side by side with your peers – other creative freelancers. Included in the fee in co-working spaces is office equipment, whereas in anti-cafes guests enjoy coffee, snacks and fun activities.
 

Libraries


At the Dostoevsky library. Photo credit: TASS/IDR-Format

Several old libraries have already been turned into media centers where students and freelancers come to work. The best options are the Dostoevsky, Turgenev and Svetlov libraries. You must bring your passport, but there is free internet throughout the library. You can set up at a table, but also on a couch, get coffee from the nearby cafe or purchase sweets at the vending machine. As it’s a library there are free lectures, film screenings, readings, concerts, exhibitions and other events. In the Turgenev library there are also French and German language clubs, a lecture series on foreign literature, as well as film screenings in Russian, French and German.

Dostoevsky Library 
Chistoprudny bulvar 23/8
Metro: Chistye Prudy, Turgenevskaya, Sretensky Bulvar
Monday-Friday 11:00–22:00, Saturday-Sunday 12:00–18:00

Svetlov Library
Bolshaya Sadovaya ul. 1
Metro: Mayakovskaya, Pushkinskaya, Barrikadnaya
Monday-Thursday 10:00-20:00, Saturday-Sunday 12:00-18:00; closed on Fridays

Turgenev Library 
Bobrov pereulok 1/2
Metro: Turgenevskaya, Chistye Prudy, Sretensky Bulvar
Monday-Friday 11:00-20:00, Saturday 12:00-19:00; closed Sundays


Turgenev library. Photo credit: Lori/Legion-Media

 

Co-working spots


At the 'Work station' (Rabochaya stantsia) co-working space. Photo credit: TASS/Sergei Karpov

The purpose of co-working spaces is not just to provide freelancers with a desk and chair, but to create a startup community where participants share experiences, ideas and socialize. The trendiest co-working spot in Moscow is “Rabochaya stantsia” (Work Station) in Gorky Park. The cheapest is Club Nagatino.

An inside tip: on the co-working website Start Hub and “Na kryshe” (On the Roof) you can register for a free trial day. In the co-working space VAO it is possible to receive free legal consultation and accounting assistance and there is also a special dedicated “quiet” zone, where no one can use their phone — a true luxury for those used to working in cafes. Below are the seven best co-working spots in Moscow.



Rabochaya stantsia (Work Station) co-working space in Moscow. Photo credit: Photoxpress

Rabochaya stantsia (Work Station)
Gorky Park at Leninsky Prospekt, 30A
Metro: Leninsky Prospekt
Price: 650 rubles (12$) per day, 4,000 rubles (75$) per week, from 13,000 rubles (245$) per month

Na kryshe (On the Roof)
Buturyrskaya ul. 46
Metro: Savelovskaya
Price: 7,000-13,000 rubles (132-245$) per month



'Good republic' (Horoshaya respublika) co-working and anti-cafe. Photo credit: TASS/Alexandra Mudrats

Good Republic (co-working and anti-cafe)
Myasnitskaya ul. 13/20
Price: two rubles per minute, 500 rubles (9$) per day

Les
Address: Rozhdestvensky bulvar 10/7
Metro: Trubnaya
Everyday from 9:00-22:00
Price: 400 rubles (7,5$) per day

Start Hub
Bolshaya Novodmitrovskaya ul. 36/12 
Metro: Dmitrovskaya
Price: 400 rubles (7,5$) per day, 1,800 rubles (34$) per week, 6,000 rubles (113$) per month

 

Anti-cafes


At the 'Green door' (Zelenaya dver) anti-cafe. Photo credit: TASS/Sergei Karpov

An anti-cafe is an establishment where you do not pay for things like coffee or tea, but to spend time there. People come here to play board games, watch movies, listen to lectures, work on presentations and other projects, make new friends or just use the Wi-Fi while drinking coffee or tea.

The primary difference of an anti-cafe from a co-working space is in that people go not only to work, but to relax. There is office equipment like in a standard co-working space, but also various games, projectors and other diversions. The work zone and play zone are generally separated.


TimeTerria anti-cafe. Photo credit: RIA Novosti/Vladimir Astapkovich

In the afternoon the majority of anti-cafes have film screenings, lectures, seminars or meetings. The first anti-café in Moscow was “Tsiferblat” (Clockface). The Wooden Door café is popular for those looking to communicate in foreign languages. The majority of anti-cafes forbid the consumption of alcohol, but in Happy People you can bring light drinks such as beer or wine (up to 15 percent alcohol). The majority of establishments provide coffee, tea and cookies, and in TimeTerria you can order fruit shakes and creative desserts. Additionally, in most anti-cafes you can bring your own food as well. Below are the five best anti-cafes in Moscow. Be sure to book a table as these are popular spots.

Tsiferblat (Clockface)
Ul. Pokrovka 12, from the courtyard, second floor
Metro: Chistye Prudy, Kitai-Gorod
Sunday-Thursday 12:00–00:00, Friday-Saturday 11:00-7:00
Price: three rubles per minute for the first hour, two rubles per minute afterwards (540 rubles (10$) maximum)

Wooden Door
Milyutinski pereulok 6
Metro: Lubyanka
Monday-Friday 12:00-00:00, Saturday-Sunday 12:00-6:00
Price: two rubles per minute for the first two hours, one ruble per minute afterwards

Zelenaya dver (Green Door)
Milyutinski pereulok 19/4, building 1
Metro: Chistye Prudy
Sunday-Thursday 11:00-01:00, Friday-Saturday 24 hours
Price: two rubles per minute for the first two hours, one ruble per minute afterwards. Night tariff (23:00 – 6:00) 400 rubles (7,5$)

Happy People
Pokrovsky bulvar, 8 building 2
Metro: Kitai-gorod, Chkalovskaya, Kurskaya
Everyday from 12:00-00:00
Price: Monday-Thursday two rubles per minute, Friday-Sunday 2.5 rubles per minute



TimeTerria anti-cafe. Photo credit: RIA Novosti/Vladimir Astapkovich

TimeTerria
Shchemilovsky pereulok 4
Metro: Novoslobodskaya
Sunday-Thursday 11:00 - 00:00, Friday-Saturday 11:00 - 06:00
Price: Monday-Thursday 180 rubles (3$) for the first hour, two rubles per minute afterwards;  Friday-Sunday 270 rubles (5$) for the first half hour, two rubles per minute afterwards

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