Stift Melk Abbey Vienna, Austria
Visiting the Melk Abby from Vienna, Austria
May - September 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (last admission at 4:00 pm)
You can tour the Abbey at your own pace without joining a group. I suggest the guided tour. Our guide was terrific.
Getting from Vienna to Melk
- The best and most convenient way to get to the Abbey is to ride Vienna’s train to Melk from the Vienna Westbahnhof
- Go to the Vienna Westbahnhof early in the morning- buy your ticket at the ticket office. http://www.oebb.at/
- Once you arrive at the Melk train station to the Abbey is easily walked in about 15 minutes
::: Google Review Link: Melk Abbey
::: Winkpedia Link: Melk Abbey
::: Google Map Link: Stift Melk
Bike to Dürnstein and Krems
As an added travel option, after your Abby Tour, you can bike from Melk (Abby) to Dürnstein and Krems, then ride the boat back up the Danube River to Melk, then ride the train back to Vienna from Melk train station.
- Melk’s bike trip to Krems is about 21 miles and takes less than 2 hours riding a bike in either direction. Ride down the left side of the river (looking down).
- The train station in Krems is in the town center while the boat station is about 1.5 miles away.
- You can reach the town center from the boat dock by bus transfer or a little tourist train. The boat dock in the area of Krems is known today as Stein.
Skip the Bikes - Take the Boat to Krems
If you're not up for the bike ride, then take a boat ride up and down the Danube River. It takes perhaps 15 minutes to walk from the train station in Melk to the Abbey. Maybe 15 minutes from Abbey to boats. The cruise boats are found by a short walk along the river, just north of the Abbey.
- Trains from Krems back to Vienna run about 1 per hour until about 9 PM, so you can vary your schedule as you wish.
- On a nice day - try to get a seat on the open-top deck. Refreshments are found onboard also.
About Melk, Austria
Melk is a small riverside town (pop. ~5,000) on south bank of the Danube River in the Wachau Valley of Lower Austria. Melk marks the western terminus of the Wachau (53 miles west of Vienna) and lies upstream (25 miles west) from Krems.
How to Get into Melk
- Trains leave frequently from Vienna's Westbahnhof to Melk, with two brief stops en route (about 1 hr. trip time).
- By car, use the A1 Westautobahn motorway and take the exit Melk. Melk-Wien: 53 miles.
Getting around Melk
Melk is a small riverside town (pop. ~5,000) on the Danube River’s south bank in the Wachau Valley of Lower Austria. Melk marks the Wachau’s western terminus (53 miles west of Vienna) and lies upstream (25 miles west) from Krems.
Walking the small historic town center (of mainly 16th-17th century buildings) is easy; it takes about 10 minutes to traverse it. The famous and substantial 18th century Benedictine Abbey on top of a bluff forms a northern Baroque backdrop for the older town center and is accessed on its eastern side.
Melk Benedictine Abbey (Benediktinerstift Melk) is a must-see in Melk. The Abbey is built on a bluff overlooking the Danube River to the northwest and the south’s town center. Admission: € 7.50 without guided tour; € 9.30 with a guided tour.
Mid-March to November: visits possible daily with or without a guided tour. November to mid-March: visits possible only with a guided tour mainly in German.
Buy your tickets at the information center of the Abbey at the east grand entry. Most of the present abbey (a reconstruction started in 1702) was by the architect Jakob Prandtauer. The Kaisergang (Imperial Corridor and Abbey Museum), 650 ft long, is decorated with Austrian rulers’ portraits. The Marmorsaal (Marble Hall) contains pilasters coated in red marble; a richly painted symbolic picture on the ceiling is the work of Paul Troger. The Library, rising two floors, again with a Troger ceiling, contains some 80,000 volumes.
Abbey Church (Stiftskirche), with its 200-ft dome and symmetrical twin towers, dominates the abbey complex and emphasizes its sacred purpose. Damaged by fire in 1947, the church is now almost completely restored, even to the gold-bullion gilding of statues and altars.
- Town Hall (Rathaus), in the center of town, was built in 1575.
- Haus am Stein, built in the 15th century, is the oldest building in Melk.
Things to Do in Melk
The Melk tourist office at Babenbergerstrasse 1 in the center of town, one block east of the Rathausplatz, is open April through October. Free town map with a self-guided walking tour, a list of Melk hotels and Zimmer, latest info on nearby castles, bike rentals, and bike rides along the River.
English Tours of the Abbey: daily mid-March through October at 2:55; cost: € 9.30 including tour and admission to the Abbey. Buy your tickets at the information center of the Abbey at the east grand entry.
Melk to Krems Wachau Valley bike ride. Pedaling along the most beautiful stretch of the Danube river downstream 20 miles takes about 2 hours. Check with the Melk Tourist Office for the best route. The north bank bike trail is paved all the way, winds through picturesque villages, and runs near the river. The south bank bike trail merges with the actual road about half the time, but it has better river views.
Melk to Krems Danube Riverboat cruise. The downstream Melk to Krems cruise (~1.6 hr) is faster than the upstream Krems to Melk cruise (~3.3 hr). In the summer, many tourist boats operate at the Wachau. The most prominent and most visible boat companies are DDSG and Brandner. Both charge the same (€18 one-way, €23 round-trip), allow stopovers and take bikes for free, but they are not necessarily the cheapest. MS Stadt Wien is a popular alternative among locals (weekends only).