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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

Vienna

Grand European Tour - Budapest to Amsterdam

2 sailing dates November 2019 to April 2020
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Viking Cruises logo FROM £2845pp
Melk

Grand European Tour - Amsterdam to Budapest

23 sailing dates October 2019 to November 2020
14 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest
Viking Cruises logo FROM £2795pp
Bratislava

Danube Dreams - Prague to Budapest

2 sailing dates August 2019 to September 2019
9 Nights From Prague, to Hungary , Budapest
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Melk

Magnificient Europe - Amsterdam to Budapest

5 sailing dates August 2019 to May 2020
14 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest

LIMITED TIME ONLY! FREE flights on 2019 sailings plus HUGE savings!

AmaWaterways logo FROM £5099pp
Vienna

Vienna to Munich

1 sailing date September 2019
7 Nights From Vienna, Austria to , Munich
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Rudesheim

Grand European Cruise - Eastbound

1 sailing date August 2019
23 Nights From Amsterdam , to Romania , Bucharest
Tauck logo FROM £12499pp
Bratislava

Blue Danube Discovery - Budapest to Nuremberg

9 sailing dates August 2019 to November 2020
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to Germany , Nuremberg

Call our expert river concierge for a quote including flights and overseas transfers

AmaWaterways logo FROM £1449pp
Amsterdam

15 Day Magnificent Europe - Budapest to Amsterdam

1 sailing date May 2020
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
APT Cruising logo FROM £4199pp
Nuremberg

Magnificient Europe - Budapest to Amsterdam

3 sailing dates August 2019 to May 2020
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam

LIMITED TIME ONLY! FREE flights on 2019 sailings plus HUGE savings!

AmaWaterways logo FROM £5099pp
Bratislava

Amsterdam to Budapest by Riverboat - Southbound

5 sailing dates September 2019 to April 2020
14 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest
Tauck logo FROM £5529pp
Budapest

Legendary Danube - Nuremberg to Budapest

7 sailing dates September 2019 to November 2020
7 Nights From Nuremberg, Germany to Hungary , Budapest

LIMITED TIME ONLY! FREE flights on 2019 sailings plus HUGE savings!

AmaWaterways logo FROM £1729pp
Passau

The Legendary Danube - Prague to Budapest

1 sailing date November 2019
9 Nights From Prague, to Hungary , Budapest

Exclusive to River Voyages! Save an EXTRA £400 per couple in addition to our huge savings

Avalon Waterways logo FROM £2419pp
Miltenberg

Amsterdam to Budapest

1 sailing date April 2020
18 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest
CroisiEurope logo CALL
Budapest

Jewels of Central Europe - Remich to Budapest

6 sailing dates September 2019 to October 2020
14 Nights From Remich, Luxembourg, to Hungary , Budapest
Avalon Waterways logo FROM £5079pp
Budapest

Delightful Danube - Nuremberg to Budapest

13 sailing dates April 2020 to October 2020
8 Nights From Munich, to Hungary , Budapest
APT Cruising logo FROM £1539pp
Miltenberg

Imperial Europe - Vienna to Amsterdam

1 sailing date November 2020
14 Nights From Vienna, Austria to , Amsterdam
APT Cruising logo FROM £3139pp
Passau

The Blue Danube Discovery - Budapest to Nuremberg

1 sailing date August 2020
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary, Hungary to Germany , Nuremberg
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Vienna

The Blue Danube Discovery - Budapest to Nuremberg

55 sailing dates August 2019 to November 2020
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to Germany , Nuremberg
Avalon Waterways logo FROM £2749pp
Budapest

Regensburg to Budapest

4 sailing dates August 2020 to September 2020
7 Nights From Regensburg, to Hungary , Budapest
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Passau

Danube Discovery - Budapest to Nuremberg

3 sailing dates October 2019
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to Germany , Nuremberg
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £2329pp

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