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

Prague

Danube Christmas Markets

1 sailing date November 2021
10 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Prague
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £2789pp
Nuremberg

Rhine, Main & Danube

4 sailing dates April 2021 to September 2021
22 Nights From Amsterdam, to Romania , Bucharest
Emerald Waterways logo FROM £5719pp
Passau

Nuremberg To Vienna

1 sailing date May 2021
7 Nights From Nuremberg, Germany to Austria , Vienna
Uniworld River Cruises logo CALL
Melk

Treasures of the Danube from Nuremberg

4 sailing dates May 2021 to September 2022
15 Nights From Nuremberg, Germany to Romania , Bucharest
Emerald Waterways logo FROM £4649pp
Prague

Christmas Markets on the Danube & Prague

1 sailing date December 2021
10 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Prague
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Passau

Oktoberfest with Danube Explorer Munich - Budapest

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

Oberammergau Passion Play with Danube Delights

1 sailing date July 2022
10 Nights From Munich, to Hungary , Budapest
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Melk

Oberammergau Passion Play with Danube Delights

2 sailing dates May 2022 to September 2022
9 Nights From Munich, to Hungary , Budapest
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Koblenz

Grand Europe - Budapest To Amsterdam

1 sailing date May 2021
16 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Bratislava

Vienna To Budapest

2 sailing dates September 2021 to October 2021
7 Nights From Vienna, Austria to Hungary , Budapest
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £3579pp
Nuremberg

Munich to Amsterdam

1 sailing date
20 Nights From , to
APT Cruising logo CALL
Vienna

Danube Explorer with Prague from Budapest

1 sailing date July 2021
10 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Prague
Emerald Waterways logo FROM £2659pp
Budapest

Jewels of Europe - Budapest to Paris

8 sailing dates May 2021 to October 2021
17 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to France , Paris
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £5659pp
Bamberg

Paris to Prague

9 sailing dates April 2021 to October 2021
20 Nights From Paris, France to , Prague
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £6469pp
Passau

Jewels of Europe with Prague & Paris

7 sailing dates May 2021 to October 2021
20 Nights From Prague, to France , Paris
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £6279pp
Amsterdam

Christmas Wonderland

1 sailing date December 2021
14 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £5379pp
Passau

Magnificient Europe - Amsterdam to Budapest

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

Enchanted Europe - Westbound

4 sailing dates May 2021 to October 2021
15 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to Switzerland , Basel
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Bamberg

Jewels Of Central Europe - Budapest to Remich

4 sailing dates June 2021 to September 2021
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Remich, Luxembourg
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Nuremberg

Christmastime from Vienna to Basel

3 sailing dates November 2021 to December 2021
15 Nights From Vienna, Austria to Switzerland , Basel
Avalon Waterways 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 .