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Melk River Cruises

About Melk

A small and picturesque town, Melk lies on the banks of the Danube in the state of Lower Austria, in the western end of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Wachau Valley about 50 miles west of Vienna. It is a mainstay on many a Danube river cruise and despite its small size, Melk offers visitors a great mix of architectural styles and historical attractions thanks to its rich and varied past. The town itself can be crossed in 20 minutes or less, but visitors have a great selection of cafes, restaurants and age-old points of interest. The main attraction is Melk Abbey, a gigantic Benedictine monastery built on a bluff overlooking the river.

Exploring Melk

Melk Abbey, known locally as Stift Melk is an enormous Baroque masterpiece, built on the site of a castle once owned by the Babenberger family. Striped in white and gold on its exterior and with an incredibly ornate interior, this Benedictine monastery is one of Europe’s finest examples of baroque architecture. It’s still a place of work and study for the order’s monks, who not only live by the teachings of St Benedict but also administer to the town’s faithful and play a role in organising the town’s cultural events. The halls of the abbey are lined with paintings of Austrian rulers, golden statues and pillars of red marble and lead to a library of over 80,000 books. These sagely tomes are wondrous enough but the library also boasts heavenly works by Austrian baroque artist Paul Troger on its ceiling, which date back to the 1700s, as well as an ornate balcony and a wealth of beautiful shelves. Considering its commanding location, the views from the abbey grounds are understandably impressive and the gardens, with their baroque pavilion, are another popular attraction in good weather.

Elsewhere in Melk’s historic town centre, visitors can find the Forsthaus, which holds the town’s archives, the Rathausplatz, where the Kolomanbrunnen fountain stands before the ornate wood and copper doors of the Rathaus (town hall) and the Haus am Stein, or House at the Rock, the oldest building in Melk. This hidden cottage dates back to the 1400s and stands on a rocky outcrop with an ancient, protected vine on its facade. The Old Post Office is another building of note worth visiting. Dating back to 1792 and decorated with a baroque relief, it’s now a convention centre. If you look closely enough on your trip around the town, you’ll be able to see some of the former city walls and the Schiffsmeisterhaus, which is notable because it bears a high water mark from where the Danube reached an incredible 19 feet above the usual level in 1501.

Melk tips

If after exploring the abbey’s vast and hallowed halls and the town itself, you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a good choice of venues in which to sample the local cuisine. Favourites include light, crispy dumplings served on a bed of cabbage, and the town’s trademark dessert, Koloman cake.

Melk Itineraries

Budapest

The Blue Danube River Cruise for Solo Travellers

3 sailing dates November 2021 to March 2022
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary, Hungary to Budapest, Hungary
Riviera Travel logo CALL
Passau

Pearls Of The Danube (Northebound)

1 sailing date May 2022
14 Nights From Giurgiu, Romania, to Germany , Vilshofen
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Bratislava

Celebration of Classical Music -Budapest to Vienna

5 sailing dates March 2023 to November 2023
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary, Hungary to Austria , Vienna, Austria
AmaWaterways logo FROM £2629pp
Linz

Celebration of Classical Music -Vienna to Budapest

5 sailing dates April 2023 to November 2023
7 Nights From Vienna, Austria, Austria to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
AmaWaterways logo FROM £2779pp
Passau

Christmas Markets of Europe-Amsterdam to Budapest

1 sailing date December 2022
14 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £3899pp
Dürnstein

Christmas Markets of Europe -Budapest to Amsterdam

1 sailing date November 2021
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £3269pp
Bratislava

Prague & Danube Explorer - Prague to Budapest

9 sailing dates April 2022 to October 2022
10 Nights From Prague, to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £2159pp
Bratislava

Delights of the Danube - Budapest to Nuremberg

1 sailing date October 2021
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to Germany , Nuremberg
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £1819pp
Vienna

Vilshofen To Vienna

1 sailing date December 2023
10 Nights From Vilshofen, Germany to Austria , Vienna, Austria
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £16769pp
Vienna

Vilshofen To Budapest

17 sailing dates March 2023 to December 2023
7 Nights From Vilshofen, Germany to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £6699pp
Vienna

Vienna Roundtrip

2 sailing dates December 2023
10 Nights From Vienna, Austria, Austria to Vienna, Austria
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £4019pp
Vilshofen

Vilshofen To Vienna

2 sailing dates April 2023 to May 2023
5 Nights From Vilshofen, Germany to Austria , Vienna, Austria
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £8179pp
Vienna

Vienna To Budapest

18 sailing dates March 2023 to November 2023
7 Nights From Vienna, Austria, Austria to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £2429pp
Linz

Vienna To Vilshofen

2 sailing dates April 2023 to May 2023
5 Nights From Vienna, Austria, Austria to Germany , Vilshofen
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £8179pp
Belgrade

Vilshofen To Giurgiu

1 sailing date May 2023
14 Nights From Vilshofen, Germany to , Giurgiu, Romania
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £36499pp
Melk

Vienna Roundtrip

1 sailing date December 2023
11 Nights From Vienna, Austria, Austria to Vienna, Austria
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £4799pp
Krems

Budapest To Vienna

18 sailing dates April 2023 to November 2023
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary, Hungary to Austria , Vienna, Austria
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £2649pp
Dürnstein

Giurgiu To Vilshofen

1 sailing date May 2023
14 Nights From Giurgiu, Romania, to Germany , Vilshofen
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £36159pp
Bratislava

Budapest to Vilshofen

17 sailing dates April 2023 to December 2023
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary, Hungary to Germany , Vilshofen
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £6699pp
Passau

Munich to Budapest

1 sailing date September 2021
9 Nights From Munich, to Hungary , Budapest
Emerald Cruises logo CALL

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