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

Budapest

Dancing Danube with Dame Darcey Bussell munich

1 sailing date October 2021
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Munich
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Budapest

Danube Christmas Markets from Budapest

2 sailing dates November 2022 to December 2022
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Munich
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Nuremberg

Danube Christmas Markets - Munich To Budapest

2 sailing dates December 2021 to December 2022
7 Nights From Munich, to Hungary , Budapest
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £2679pp
Passau

Gems of the Danube - Nuremberg to Budapest

35 sailing dates July 2021 to October 2022
7 Nights From Nuremberg, Germany to Hungary , Budapest
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £2289pp
Vienna

Danube Christmas Markets with Prague from Budapest

2 sailing dates November 2022 to December 2022
10 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Prague
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Dürnstein

Gems of the Danube - Budapest to Munich

36 sailing dates July 2021 to October 2022
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Munich
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £2049pp
Passau

Danube Christmas Markets with Prague To Budapest

2 sailing dates December 2021 to December 2022
10 Nights From Prague, to Hungary , Budapest
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Koln

Budapest to Amsterdam

1 sailing date July 2022
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Regensburg

Amsterdam to Budapest

1 sailing date May 2022
16 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Budapest

Amsterdam To Budapest

1 sailing date June 2022
14 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Passau

Budapest to Amsterdam

1 sailing date June 2022
16 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Passau

Across Europe - Budapest to Amsterdam

2 sailing dates August 2021 to July 2022
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Amadeus River Cruises logo CALL
Regensburg

Golf Cruise on the Danube

2 sailing dates August 2021 to September 2022
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Passau
Amadeus River Cruises logo CALL
Bratislava

Blue Danube Nuremberg to Budapest

1 sailing date May 2022
7 Nights From Nuremberg, Germany to Hungary , Budapest
Amadeus River Cruises logo CALL
Regensburg

Magic of Advent on the Rhine-Vienna-?Nuremberg

3 sailing dates November 2021 to December 2022
6 Nights From Vienna, Austria to Germany , Nuremberg
Amadeus River Cruises logo CALL
Tournon

Seven River Journeys

1 sailing date April 2023
60 Nights From Avignon, France to , Giurgiu
AmaWaterways logo CALL
Budapest

Vienna Roundtrip

1 sailing date December 2022
7 Nights From Vienna, Austria to Vienna
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £2829pp
Vienna

Oberammergau and a four country

1 sailing date August 2022
9 Nights From Oberammergau, to Hungary , Budapest
Saga River Cruises logo CALL
Regensburg

Christmas Wonderland - Paris to Budapest

1 sailing date December 2022
20 Nights From Paris, to Prague
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £6279pp
Vienna

Regensburg to Budapest

2 sailing dates May 2022 to July 2022
9 Nights From Oberammergau, to Hungary , Budapest
Saga River Cruises logo CALL

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 .