Циферблат – Where time is money!

Tsiferblat

Циферблат – Where time is money!

In most parts of the world, it is normal to pay for a cup of coffee in a cafe and either drink it quickly in the shop or on the way to your destination. However, Russians have different expectations for their coffee shops. The time spent drinking coffee is considered almost more precious than the coffee itself! Welcome to the Russian ‘anti-cafe’, where you pay for how long you spend inside, as opposed to what you drink or eat!

Anti-cafés are a common occurrence in the major cities of Russia. In Moscow and St Petersburg in particular, there are often many hidden away in places you would not expect. The common chain, Циферблат (Tsiferblat, which translates as ‘clock face’), is open in St Petersburg, Moscow, Rostov, Nizhny Novgorod and even now in London and New York! The idea behind the ‘anti-cafe’ is to let people relax in their own time and own way. The standard charge is 2 rubles per minute, and this covers all of the cafes’ services. It is very affordable as long as you don’t fall asleep (although there is normally a bed to lie on somewhere inside!).

Anti-cafes have a very special atmosphere, with a range of comfy furniture on which people can relax, as well as interesting and unusual objects dotted about the place. The only rule is that alcohol is strictly forbidden! Whether you want to read a newspaper with a cup of tea, play one of the many board games that the cafe will offer you, have a coffee and study, or even try your hand at playing a musical instrument, an anti-cafe will welcome you with open arms! Think of it like this – Everything is free apart from time. It is a difficult offer to refuse!

Alexander Stirling, student of Liden & Denz St. Petersburg

Photos were taken from the official web-site of the cafe. 

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