Monika Kanokova

  • Community & Content Strategist
  • Wes Anderson fan
  • Freelancer by heart

Monika is a passionate and inspirational freelancer who is always willing to share her knowledge and motivation, online and off, encouraging people to fulfil their dreams and be their own boss.

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My 24 Hours in Vienna

If it happens to be a Saturday and you’re up early, you should go to the farmer’s market at the Naschmarkt. Buy some bread from the lovely man in the caravan, get flowers from the butcher and chat to the farmer who always brings his dog. He’ll most likely throw in a free apple or pear whenever you purchase something from him. If you like old stuff, especially old Viennese stuff, walk over to the Würstelstand in the middle of the flea market. There is an old lady with the most fascinating and adorable things – I’ve bought so many hats from her (even though I rarely wear them).

Head over to the 12th district afterwards and enjoy a big brunch at the Marctstandl, a vegan café owned by a yogi, who may just invite you to try some of his latest experiments, perhaps a ginger Schnaps or some apricot-turmeric jam. Then, hop on one of the city bikes (they are free of charge for the first 30 minutes), and cycle down to the Museumsquartier. Although the selection of museums and galleries here is huge, I’m a fan of modern and contemporary art, so I suggest checking out Mumok or the Architekturzentrum.

For a late lunch, it’s off to Café Le Bol for us (their salad ‘Monsieur Seguin’ is a classic).

Once you’ve pampered your taste buds, take a two minute walk to the Loos Bar for some afternoon cocktails. My favourite thing about this tiny bar is that, whatever the time of day in which you enter it, it’s always midnight on the inside.

In my opinion, you shouldn’t be allowed to come to Vienna without eating some cake or an Apfelstrudel: if you go for a stroll through the Wollzeile and keep going until you get to Café Prückel, you will be rewarded with one of the best takes on the Austrian staple dessert in the entire city.

From there, take a walk through the 1st district. Whenever you see someone leaving a building, pretend as if you’re visiting someone in that building and sneak inside in order to see the beautifully decorated hallways and stairwells. If you really want to relive my perfect day, convince your companion to make up stories about the people you meet and see, and tell each other the stories of the people who live in the buildings you pass by.

Once you’re tired of walking, hop onto the U3 and treat yourself to a dinner at Augustin, a favourite dinner spot of mine in the up-and-coming 15th district.

If, in spite of a full stomach, you should feel like dancing, head to one of Vienna’s famous clubs: Fluc or Grelle Forelle, if you like electronic music, or the Volksgarten, if you like it a little on the fancy side. Or, if you’ve really overeaten, you could just sit down and watch a movie at a local cinema, my favourite one being the Filmcasino. (Do be warned that their selection is confined mostly to foreign language art-house and independent films) If you fancy a nightcap, be sure to hit up Zweitbester, for a night which is second to none.

Locations



NaschmarktLinke Wienzeile 20 1060 Wien, Austria

A veritable institution of Viennese culinary art.
MarctstandlMeidlinger Markt, Wien, Austria

A great vegan store where you can have a delicious brunch and do some conscious grocery shopping.
Mumok & ArchitekturzentrumMuseumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien, Österreich

For lovers of modern art. Their exhibitions are highly unusual, as is the Architekturzentrum, where they show beautiful contemporary art from the 20th and 21st century.
Café Le BolNeuer Markt 14, Wien, Austria

French flair in Vienna – have yourself a fluffy croissant at Le Bol.
Loos BarKärntner Durchgang 7, 1010 Wien, Austria

This American bar is a traditional hot spot of the city. Have a drink and chat with the locals.
Café PrückelStubenring 24, Wien, Austria

Enjoy an Apfelstrudel – the mother of all Austrian sweets – at this cosy café.
Das AugustinMärzstraße 67, Wien, Austria

A lovely dinner spot, which I have visited and will continue to visit as often as my timetable allows.
FlucPraterstern 5, Wien, Austria

Fling yourself into the vibrant crowd and just dance, dance, dance.
Grelle ForelleSpittelauer Lände 12, Wien, Austria

Some of the finest underground electronic music in Vienna – this one’s for the connoisseurs.
VolksgartenVolksgarten, Wien, Austria

A bit posh for a club, but still fun!
FilmcasinoMargaretenstraße 78, Wien, Austria

My favourite movie theatre, which shows artsy and independent films exclusively in the original language (with subtitles, of course).
ZweitbesterHeumühlgasse 2, Wien, Austria

Despite what the name may suggest, this place is second to none for a good night’s drink.
‘Take things easy and take your time to see, smell and listen.’
  • Vienna is a fantastic city for art lovers and the Mumok is one of its finest institutions. © Martin Beck
  • Leaving Vienna without having tried the Apfelstrudel at Café Prückel could be considered a serious crime.
  • Dance away the worries of the day to some electro at Fluc! © Fluc
  • If you’re looking to have yourself a cocktail or two in the evening, drop by the excellent The Loos Bar.
  • It’s hard to recommend something particular off the Marcstandl’s menu – everything is so delicious. © Marctstandl
  • The Filmcasino is no mainstream movie theatre and, best of all, they show movies in their original language.
  • Driving through Vienna with the tram, the ‘Bim’ as they call it in Austria, is an essential thing to do.
  • There’s all kinds of intriguing contemporary art to be seen at the Mumok. © Hannah Black
  • By electro lovers, for electro lovers. © Fluc
  • The Architekturzentrum is right next to the Mumok – welcome to the world of contemporary art! © Architekturzentrum
  • Can’t go wrong with breakfast at Marctstandl! © Marctstandl

My thoughts about Vienna

What do you love about your destination?

The Viennese people embrace the good life. It’s completely normal to meet people for a drink and talk to them for hours. Time doesn’t really matter as much as it does in other capital cities. I especially love to watch seniors flirt when they read their newspapers in one of the traditional cafés, at Trzesniewki or at one of the Aida Patisseries.

Which music fits best to your destination?

When it rains I’d most likely put on ‘Singing in the Rain’ and ask you to sing for me. If you’re lucky and it’s sunny, you might want to listen to Wun Two’s albums.

What‘s a "must do" in your destination?

Take things easy and take your time to see, smell and listen.

Take a vacation into My life

What’s your background?

I studied interior architecture. Then I started blogging about my observations. I was fascinated by the social web and its impact on our everyday lives. An agency picked up on my hobby and I got headhunted even before I handed in my final project. It was a huge relief to walk out of university knowing I have a full-time job.
Once I finished my master’s, I started working in various communications jobs. In a way, what I’m doing today still feels just like what I studied – I design spaces. The only difference is I’m not building brick and mortar spaces, I’m building virtual ones.

What is the best moment of the day?

I’ve been freelancing for a couple of years and I love being able to decide how and where I’ll spend my days, and especially with whom. I pay a lot of attention to how I eat my breakfasts. I take time to read and write. I go to bed when I’m tired and I wake up when I feel like it. Having all that freedom and worshipping it as much as I do has made each day very special. I cannot say there is one moment that’s better than another. I really enjoy the days as a whole, whether I spend them working or taking time off.

What inspires you?

I started writing and self-publishing books for and about freelancers. I have allowed myself to ask the questions I’m curious about, find the people who I’d like to hear the answers from and simply approach them. I spend hours and hours editing their words. Spending so much time with other people’s words is like therapy. I find inspiration in how they approach various situations and how they think about their own trials and errors. We don’t listen to people too closely very often, but if we did, we’d find absolutely everyone inspiring, in one way or another.

How would a good friend describe you?

A friend once told me: ‘when things are good with you they are even better. But when things are bad with you they are much much worse.’ I replied that when things are good, I embrace every second. When things are bad, I make life even worse for myself in order to take action and change what’s bothering me as quickly as possible.

Your lifestyle in 5 words?

One of my friends once said I’m casually productive. I’d say I am a free-spirited connoisseur with a travel bug.

Which books, newspapers or magazines do you read?

I love books and magazines that tell real stories; I love the magazine BrandEins. I’ve really enjoyed reading ‘The Journeyman’, ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’, ‘The Moneyless Man’ and my absolute favourite are James Herriot’s stories about his life as a veterinarian.

Which films blow your mind?

Wes Anderson’s movies. I always have to watch his movies a couple of times to get the full story – I’m too distracted by the beauty of his film sets. I remember walking out of Grand Budapest Hotel and my friend asked me what the movie was about. I couldn’t tell her. She was astonished and said: ‘So the movie wasn’t good?’ I of course had to disagree because I loved it. I had to go and see it again just to pay attention to the dialogue, because there was so much else going on.

Person you’d like to sit next to in an airplane?

Right now Derek Sivers. I spent four hours listening to his interviews with Tim Ferriss. I think we’d really get along. Or maybe also Florian Doc. Kapps, the founder of Supersense. I think we’d get out of the plane with a pretty clear plan of how we’d take over the world. You might want to tell an airline!

What are your favourite destinations around the globe?

That’s a really hard question. I either love a place and could move there immediately or I feel like I don’t belong there at all. I could see myself living (in alphabetical order) in Amsterdam, Berlin, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, New York, Reykjavik, Utrecht and of course Vienna.

Your life philosophy?

I guess I live by two aphorisms:
The first is Dan Harmon’s ‘Find your voice, shout it from the rooftops and keep doing it until the people who are looking for you find you’, which is how I use the internet.
The second, Winston Churchill’s ‘Success is going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm,’ is how I approach life.

Suitcase, Backpack or Weekender?

I have a really great, super light backpack in which I can fit everything I need to get by for three weeks or longer. I usually never check in my luggage, preferring to arrive in cities and immediately look as though I belong there.

What else should we know about you?

All my bikes and plants have a name. Also, if you see me in a café, do come and say ‘Hi!’

Travelling is…

‘Learning to understand that what you consider normal is probably not too normal elsewhere.’

Life is…

what you make it!

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