Find your cruise

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

Melk

Christmas Wonderland

2 sailing dates December 2020 to December 2021
14 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £4599pp
Bratislava

Magnificient Europe - Amsterdam to Budapest

1 sailing date May 2021
14 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest
AmaWaterways logo FROM £5539pp
Bratislava

From The Black Sea To The North Sea

3 sailing dates October 2020 to September 2021
25 Nights From Bucharest, Romania to , Amsterdam
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Boppard

Enchanted Europe - Westbound

5 sailing dates September 2020 to October 2021
15 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to Switzerland , Basel
Avalon Waterways logo FROM £4969pp
Bernkastel

Jewels Of Central Europe - Budapest to Remich

6 sailing dates September 2020 to September 2021
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Remich, Luxembourg
Avalon Waterways logo FROM £4029pp
Bamberg

Christmastime from Vienna to Basel

4 sailing dates December 2020 to December 2021
15 Nights From Vienna, Austria, Austria to Switzerland , Basel
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Villefranche

Vilshofen to Budapest

6 sailing dates August 2020 to December 2020
7 Nights From Villefranche (for Monaco & Nice), France, France to Hungary , Budapest
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Nuremberg

Christmastime from Vienna to Frankfurt

4 sailing dates December 2020 to December 2021
11 Nights From Vienna, Austria, Austria to , Frankfurt
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Boppard

Cruise the Heart of Europe - Cologne to Budapest

5 sailing dates May 2021 to October 2021
14 Nights From Cologne, Germany to Hungary , Budapest
Riviera Travel logo FROM £2559pp
Budapest

Golf Cruise on the Danube

2 sailing dates October 2020 to August 2021
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Passau, Germany
Amadeus River Cruises logo FROM £1859pp
Passau

Blue Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg

1 sailing date August 2021
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to Germany , Nuremberg
Amadeus River Cruises logo FROM £1899pp
Melk

Across Europe - Budapest to Amsterdam

1 sailing date August 2021
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Amadeus River Cruises logo FROM £3059pp
Bratislava

Budapest To Vienna

1 sailing date September 2021
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to Austria , Vienna, Austria
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £2969pp
Vienna

Budapest To Vienna

1 sailing date July 2020
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary, Hungary to Austria , Vienna
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Bratislava

Vienna Roundtrip

3 sailing dates April 2022 to December 2022
7 Nights From Vienna, Austria, Austria to Vienna, Austria
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £3199pp
Vilshofen

Vilshofen To Budapest

1 sailing date April 2022
7 Nights From Vilshofen, Germany to Hungary , Budapest
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Salzburg

Discovering Salzburg And The Beautiful Blue Danube

2 sailing dates October 2020 to July 2021
7 Nights From Strasbourg, to Strasbourg
CroisiEurope logo CALL
Melk

Trans-european Cruise, Contrast Of Cultures

1 sailing date April 2021
12 Nights From Strasbourg, to Hungary , Budapest
CroisiEurope logo CALL
Nuremberg

Trans-European Cruise, Contrast Of Cultures

1 sailing date May 2021
13 Nights From Strasbourg, to Strasbourg
CroisiEurope logo CALL
Melk

Budapest To Vienna

1 sailing date October 2021
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to Austria , Vienna, Austria
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £4269pp

General Enquiry

Title
First Name
Last Name
Phone Number
Email Address
Adult
Children
Infant
Cruise Destination
Departure Month
Duration
Cruise Line
Cabin Type
Call back time
Special
requirements
Airport
preference

By providing your email address and clicking the Submit button, you consent to us sending you cruise holiday deals by email. For further details, please see our Privacy Policy here .