Are you after free WiFi in Sydney CBD? Look no further. Here are 7 great places to settle in, get connected and catch up on some work (or Netflix). The catch? You just need to shell out for a cup of coffee.

Since making the career move from Sydney CBD lawyer to home-based freelance copywriter, I haven’t missed much about my former working life. Except one BIG thing: the city.

Sydney’s beauty often brightened long work days. I lunched in the botanical gardens on sunny days, hit Pitt Street Mall when a little retail therapy was needed and headed for a vantage point by the harbour when I wanted to clear my mind.

When I started freelancing, I decided I wasn’t going to miss out on this perk. Well, not completely. Every few weeks, I head in for a meeting with a CBD-based client or a coffee catch-up with friends and connections. And while I’m there, I hang around for a few extra hours to get some work done.

Here’s my checklist for finding a great place to work in Sydney CBD:

  1. Free WiFi
  2. An enthusastic “yes” from staff to my WiFi queries (a grumpy “yes” tells me I’m going to wear out my welcome once the table is cleared)
  3. Reasonably priced food incentives
  4. Good overall work vibe (somewhere not too big, not too small, not too busy, not too quiet)

Here are 7 places in the Sydney CBD that tick all of the boxes:

1. Settlement on Quay, Circular Quay

33 Alfred Street, Sydney | www.settlementonquay.com.au

Tucked away under the AMP building at Circular Quay, this busy cafe suits those who don’t mind working to the soundtrack of noisy chatter.

Surrounded by business meetings, let the productive vibes soak in.

Just don’t get too distracted by the people watching opportunities (the cafe opens into the office space foyer) and the glimpses of nearby Sydney Harbour.

WiFi: good quality (ask staff for password)

Tea cup at Settlement On Quay
Tea cup at Settlement On Quay

If you want to turn the romantic notion of working from a cafe into reality, head straight to this little French creperie in The Rocks.

Tap away on your keyboard to the melodic French accents drifting from the service counter. Order French crepes with lemon and sugar. Pretend you’re working on your novel instead of something more mundane.

It’s a little bit of a walk from the CBD. But, hey, you’re walking through The Rocks — enjoy it.

WiFi: great quality (ask staff for password)

 

3. The Tea Salon, Pitt Street Mall

Level 4, Westfield Sydney

UPDATE: Unfortunately The Tea Salon has closed down 🙁 

Step behind the white picket fence surrounding this lovely little spot in the concrete jungle that is Westfield Sydney and find yourself transported.

The tea, as the name of the place suggests, is excellent and goes nicely with the ribbon sandwiches on offer.

It doesn’t have a businessy feel and I don’t want to start cranking out the work here, but the whimsical feel makes it a great place to think and plan. Bring a notebook.

WiFi: so-so (provided by Westfield, sign in required via welcome page)

Tea cup at Settlement On Quay

4. Georges, Piccadilly Centre

Shop 27, 210 Pitt Street | georgespiccadilly.com.au

Tea cup at Settlement On Quay

A great option if you’re in the Pitt Street mall area and need a quieter place to work. This is my secret central-CBD office where there’s always a table big enough for me and my laptop.

The most tempting thing about this place, apart from the respite from Pitt Street craziness, is the all day breakfast option. The rest of the menu is great, too, but sometimes nothing hits the spot like poached eggs and toast.

WiFi: good quality (ask staff for password)

 

5. The Four Seasons Hotel, George Street

199 George Street | www.fourseasons.com/sydney

One thing I learned very quickly when I started working from cafes is that some chairs are designed to maximise table turnover. Ouch. Not at The Four Seasons, though.

Sinking into the comfy bench seats is heavenly and the service is just like you’d expect at a 5 star hotel — exceptional.

The only potential problem is the elevator-style music and the reminder that you’re not on holiday like most of the people around you.

WiFi: good quality (password provided with a smile)

Tea cup at Settlement On Quay

6. Du Liban, Erskine Street

54 Erskine Street | www.duliban.com.au

Tea cup at Settlement On Quay

Du Liban is on the outskirts of the central part of the CBD. But the trek is worth the effort and gives you justification for that extra piece of baklava once you’re there.

I discovered Du Liban when it first opened in Marrickville. Now in 3 locations, including this CBD position, it’s definitely a must visit whether you’re working or not.

Did I mention the baklava? Yes, there are plenty of other less naughty things to snack on while you’re working, but the baklava just seems to help me work better.

WiFi: good quality (ask staff for password)

 

7. Tap Espresso & Salad Bar, Martin Place

52 Martin Pl, Sydney | www.facebook.com/tapcafe

The place I go to if I want to pretend I have a “real” job — well, just for a moment. To find this place, you enter an office tower foyer with throngs of workers before making a detour past the lifts.

Once you find it and step inside, though, the feel is less conservative CBD office and more hipster inner west.

I’m not sure what I like best about this place: the choose-your-own style salads, the coffee or the cherry ripe slice.

WiFi: hard to find among surrounding networks (and you’ll need the password, too)

 

Tea cup at Settlement On Quay

So that’s it — my favourite places to find free WiFi in Sydney CBD (with great coffee… and perhaps a cherry ripe slice or baklava on the side). Do you have another place to add to the list? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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