Return to Austria

Melk Abbey, Benedictine Monastery
Melk Abbey, Benedictine Monastery

Melk is a small town of about 5,000 people.  The primary attraction of Melk is the Benedictine abbey of Melk, known in German as Stift Melk.  It was founded in 1089 AD but most of its present architectural design was created in the 1700s.  Melk Abbey has an extensive library of ancient texts.  The abbey survived the reign of Franz Josepp II, the Napoleanic Wars and World Wars I and II.  Today the abbey houses many ancient artifacts and is a functioning school with nearly a thousand students.  It is a tremendously popular stop for Danube river cruises.


Melk's climate is similar to Vienna's.  It is influenced by the rolling hills north of the Alps and by the secluded vegetation of the Danube along the Wachau Valley.  June - August has average highs of 75 F (24 C) and lows of 60 F (15C).  Precipitation is light and spread evenly throughout the year.  Snow falls from November to March and average lows are a few degrees below freezing during the winter.


The Austrian Rail System (OBB) offers many ticket options for rail transport to Melk.  In addition to participating in Eurail passes, Austria also has an Einfach-Raus ticket that offers single day rates for small groups, similar to the Bayern Ticket in Germany.  Vienna is about an hour away from Melk, so a vehicle rented from the Vienna International Airport provides another option to access the area.  Melk is a standard stop on Danube River cruises and is the upper river end of the scenic Wachau Valley along the river.

Attractions in Melk:

Things to see and do:

  • Visit the famous Melk Abbey.

  • Stroll the small town at the base of the abbey. 

  • Take a cruise from Melk through the UNESCO Wachau Cultural Landscape and visit Durnstein Abbey.  It's easy to combine a visit to Melk and Durnstein on the same day.  The DDSG Danube Blue and Brandner both cruise the Wachau on a daily basis.  Take the riverboat one direction and the train the other.

Church of the Melk Abbey

Church of the Melk Abbey

Day Trip to Melk from Vienna:

Hotels in Melk:

  • Hotel Listings for Melk:

View the Wachau Valley map

View Melk Pics