The small, quaint Austrian city of Melk lies along the banks of the beautiful Danube river, near the Wachau Valley. With a population of just under six thousand citizens, life is laid back here, making it an ideal port of call on any river cruise.
Melk’s history as a marketplace dates back to 1227, and because of this early trade, the town boasts some incredible architectural examples that are representative of many different periods throughout history. One of the more famous structures is the imposing Stift Melk, an impressive Benedictine monastery perched high atop a hill overlooking the Danube and your river cruise ship.
Your River Cruise Ship Docks …
River cruise ships tie up near the action in Melk, allowing you to simply step ashore and begin your day of exploration.
When in Melk …
Due to its relatively small footprint, Melk is a town you can truly explore at your leisure.
Among the best ways to spend your day:
- Walk. It takes around 15 minutes to cross from one end of town to the other, so don’t be afraid to wander and explore every street and laneway you see. There’s no getting lost in Melk!
- Stift Melk, sometimes referred to as Benediktinerstift Melk, is the aforementioned monastery perched high atop a hill with commanding views of the town and the Danube river. But don’t just come here for the view: the monastery itself is a sight to behold. A 650 foot-long corridor and a library featuring over 80,000 individual volumes are among the attractions here.
- The Town Hall, as you might suspect, anchors the centre of Melk. But don’t be quick to pass it by: it was constructed in 1575 and is well worth a look and more than a few photographs.
- The Melk Tourist Office on Babenbergerstrasse 1 provides a handy map to tourists featuring a comprehensive self-guided walking tour. If you’re unsure where to go first, this is a great place to start. They can also recommend some great cycling excursions that take you through the beautiful Austrian countryside and have you back at your river cruise ship with time to spare.
River Cruisers Should Know!
- The currency in Austria is the Euro (€)
- German is widely spoken in Melk, though you should find most locals, particularly those directly involved with tourism, should know English well. Despite this, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on your German; the locals will appreciate your efforts!
- Crime isn’t an issue in Melk, but exercise the same amount of caution you would in any foreign locale.