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

Beautiful Danube: Budapest to Vienna

1 sailing date September 2021
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary, Hungary to Austria , Vienna
Saga River Cruises logo CALL
Budapest

European Gems - Prague to Paris

1 sailing date March 2021
21 Nights From Prague, to Paris
APT Cruising logo CALL
Bamberg

Alpine Discovery & European Gems River Cruise

8 sailing dates June 2021 to September 2022
22 Nights From Lucerne, Switzerland to , Amsterdam
APT Cruising logo CALL
Vienna

Zurich to Paris

8 sailing dates June 2021 to September 2022
25 Nights From Zurich, to Paris
APT Cruising logo CALL
Andernach

Northern Lights & Lapland with Magnificent Europe

2 sailing dates November 2021 to February 2022
21 Nights From Helsinki, to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
APT Cruising logo CALL
Miltenberg

Edinburgh to Budapest

7 sailing dates May 2021 to September 2021
23 Nights From Edinburgh, to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
APT Cruising logo CALL
Passau

Grand Voyage of Europe from Bucharest & Transylvan

4 sailing dates June 2021 to June 2022
25 Nights From Bucharest, Romania to , Amsterdam
APT Cruising logo FROM £6589pp
Amsterdam

European Gems - Prague to Amsterdam

42 sailing dates April 2021 to November 2022
18 Nights From Prague, to Amsterdam
APT Cruising logo CALL
Melk

Italian Treasures & European Gems Rome - Paris

11 sailing dates May 2021 to September 2022
27 Nights From Civitavecchia, to Paris
APT Cruising logo CALL
Nuremberg

Festive Christmas Markets - Amsterdam to Budapest

2 sailing dates November 2022
21 Nights From Amsterdam, to Berlin
APT Cruising logo CALL
Amsterdam

Grand Voyage of Europe Amsterdam to Bucharest

5 sailing dates June 2021 to May 2022
21 Nights From Amsterdam, to Romania , Bucharest
APT Cruising logo FROM £6439pp
Rudesheim

Eastern Europe & European Gems Prague - Paris

14 sailing dates April 2021 to September 2021
26 Nights From Prague, to Paris
APT Cruising logo CALL
Bamberg

Magnificent Europe with Prague

28 sailing dates June 2021 to November 2022
17 Nights From Amsterdam, to Prague
APT Cruising logo FROM £5899pp
Melk

From Bucharest & Transylvania & Paris

3 sailing dates October 2021 to June 2022
28 Nights From Bucharest, Romania to , Paris
APT Cruising logo CALL
Ghent

Magnificent Europe with Paris

20 sailing dates June 2021 to November 2022
17 Nights From Paris, to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
APT Cruising logo CALL
Passau

Grand Voyage of Europe Bucharest to Amsterdam

4 sailing dates June 2021 to June 2022
21 Nights From Bucharest, Romania to , Amsterdam
APT Cruising logo FROM £5859pp
Melk

Festive Christmas Markets from Berlin

2 sailing dates December 2021 to December 2022
21 Nights From Berlin, to Amsterdam
APT Cruising logo CALL
Vienna

Magnificent Europe - Prague to Paris

21 sailing dates June 2021 to December 2022
20 Nights From Prague, to Paris
APT Cruising logo CALL
Bamberg

Magnificent Europe with Prague

31 sailing dates June 2021 to December 2022
17 Nights From Prague, to Amsterdam
APT Cruising logo FROM £4789pp
Amsterdam

European Gems - Amsterdam to Prague

37 sailing dates March 2021 to December 2022
17 Nights From Amsterdam, to Prague
APT Cruising 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 .