The Ultimate Guide to Melk – Austria

Melk Abbey, German: Stift Melk, reflected in the water of Danube River by night, Wachau Valley, Austria

Melk, Austria is a small town with a lot of charm. It is definitely worth visiting when you are travelling in Austria. Melk is located close to Austria’s picturesque Wachau Valley and is nestled next to the Danube River.

The town is also located close to many other great cities, such as the capital city, Vienna and Linz. Melk has a long history and it is also one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Austria. The town has a lot of great things to offer, including its old town, which is located on a hill.

There are also many beautiful buildings in Melk that are worth visiting such as Melk Abbey. If you have time, you can also take the cable car up to the fortress and enjoy the view from there. The town has many things to offer including museums, restaurants, shops, cafes, and more!

This ultimate travel guide to Melk will show you all the most beautiful places in Melk, what to expect when visiting, where to stay in Melk and things to do in Melk which will help you in planning a trip to Melk.

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How to get to Melk

By air, the closest airports to Melk are Linz Airport (LNZ) which is 85 km away and Vienna Airport (VIE) which is 92km away. From here you can take a train closer to Melk going via St Pölten over to Melk Bahnhof.

This can take an hour or two depending on where you have flown into. By car, Melk is located on the A1 motorway that runs between Vienna and Linz. From either Vienna or Linz, the drive takes around one hour.

What to expect in Melk

Melk is a small town that has a lot to offer. It is one of the oldest towns in Austria and therefore, there are many things to see and do while you are there. In Melk, the official language is German. However, most of the locals speak English as well. The people are very friendly and welcoming.

The official currency in Austria is the Euro and you will find many ATMs in the town to get cash out if you need it. It is always a good idea to carry some cash in case you can not use your credit card.

Tipping in Melk is seen as a way of showing gratitude for a service you have received. Normally a 10%-15% tip is left for the waiter or waitress, depending on the quality of service.

The weather in Melk, Austria is usually comfortable during the summer months, with temperatures rising to around 26 degrees Celcius during the day. However, in the winter the town is always snowy and cold with temperatures plummeting down to – 4 degrees Celcius.

How to get around Melk

You will find plenty of taxis in Melk which are always available. However, the best way to see the sights in Melk is on foot. You can walk around the town and admire all of the amazing buildings, churches, museums and more.

Walking around will be comfortable as it is not that big. However, make sure you have good walking shoes to wear as it can get very slippery in the winter months with all of the snow.

If you are staying in Melk for a few days, it is worth renting a car. This will allow you to explore the surrounding areas.

MELK, AUSTRIA -Bikes for rent in Melk town for tourists.

The best time to visit Melk

The best time to visit Melk is during the summer months, between May and September. It is warm and sunny and there will be plenty of things to do outside.

Many guided tours and day trips include extra activities along the River Danube during the summer too.

If you are visiting Melk during the winter months, you will need to be prepared for cold temperatures and plenty of snow. Although this can make it difficult to get around, it is still possible.

Make sure you have a coat and boots as it can get very cold and snowy. Ensure you bring adequate footwear as it can be slippery.

Melk abbey in Wachau valley in autumn, Austria

Things to do in Melk

There are a lot of things to do in Melk. You can visit the many churches, museums and galleries in the town centre. There is also plenty of shopping available if you want to do some retail therapy or souvenir shopping.

If you are staying longer than two days, consider taking a trip out into the surrounding countryside and marvel at the beauty of the Wachau Valley. There are also several boat trips available which allow you to get out on the water and enjoy a unique perspective on the town.

You can also take a walk along the Danube River where there are several parks and gardens available for strolling.

Quite often tourists will stay in a larger city such as Vienna, Linz or Salzburg and take a day trip over to Melk. Melk is a very popular day trip destination for tourists from these larger cities. The town itself is small and easily walkable, so it’s easy to see all the sights of Melk in one day.

Explore the Wachau Valley

The Wachau Valley is situated in Upper Austria and is only a 25 minutes’ drive from Melk. The Wachau Valley is one of the most beautiful areas in Austria and it is well worth taking a trip to see it.

The landscape is beautiful, with rolling hills and vineyards as far as the eye can see. It is an amazing place to hike and bike, with lots of trails and options for exploring its beautiful landscape.

Hiking through the valley is especially recommended if you are travelling during autumn or early spring when the leaves change colour.

The vibrancy of the trees makes for spectacular views that will make your photos Instagram-worthy!

The area is also known for its wineries, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop in at a local vineyard and sample their wares. If you like wine or just want to try something new, it’s worth checking out some of the local offerings.

autumn view of small austrian village Weissenkirchen in der Wachau on a Danube river bank , district of Krems-Land, Wachau Valley, Austria

Visit Melk Abbey

Melk Abbey is a Benedictine Abbey in Melk, Austria. It was founded in 1089 and became an important pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages.

The abbey is still active today, with monks living in the community. It is visited by 550,000 people every year, which makes it one of the most popular attractions in Austria.

It has a splendid architecture that is famous worldwide and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you are visiting Melk Abbey, make sure you go inside and take a look around. Visitors can tour the grounds and visit its museum which houses many artifacts from its history including religious relics that date back centuries.

Inside Melk Abbey, you will find an impressive library that houses many manuscripts that date back centuries. Outside Melk Abbey, you will find a beautiful garden pavilion full of flowers and plants. In the Baroque Age, this used to be a place where monks would go to relax. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Melk Abbey Tickets start from around 16 euros per adult with a guided tour. This includes visiting the Abbey church, Abbey museum, library and Marble Hall.

From April to October, Abbey park and the Baroque Garden Pavilion are also included in the entrance price.

Melk Abbey Monastery aerial panoramic view. Stift Melk is a Benedictine abbey in Melk, Austria. Monastery located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube river and Wachau valley.

Visit Schallaburg Castle

If you plan to visit Schallaburg Castle, then you are in for a treat. The Schallaburg Castle is one of the most iconic sights on the Danube. Its oldest surviving components were built in the 11th century, and it was later expanded into a Renaissance castle during the 16th century.

Today, it is open to the public and offers visitors beautiful views across its courtyard and out over the Danube River. If you are up for it, it is also located within an hour’s walking distance of Melk town centre.

The Schallaburg Castle is open daily from April to November. If you are planning a visit, we recommend buying your tickets in advance as they sell out quickly.

Schallaburg castle in the Lower Austria region. Beautiful landmark in Scholloch, near the Wachau valley during autumn.

What to eat in Melk

Peach strudel is a traditional Austrian pastry that is well-known around the world and can be found in Melk, along with Linzer Torte and many types of sausages!

A few highly recommended restaurants in the town of Melk include, Rathauskeller – Der Melker Gasthof. This is a cosy dining room which serves dishes like Chicken Scnitzel. Stifts-Restaurant which is modern and serves traditional Austrian food.

Plus, Koloman – DAS Kultwirtshaus which serves delicious burgers.

Linzer Torte cookies on white background with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

Where to stay in Melk

The town of Melk is well-known for its many sights and attractions, but it is also the convenient base from which to explore the rest of Austria. You can stay at one of the many hotels in Melk or even rent an apartment for an extended stay.

For example, Haus Nibelungenlied is a highly-rated hotel that is right next to Melk Abbey. Other recommendations include Hotel Wachauerhof, Golden Star Apartments and Pension Babenberger. These are all in prime locations of Melk and the nearby attractions are also easily accessible.

MELK, AUSTRIA - Historical centre of town. View of the Melk Abbey - ancient Benedictine monastery above the town of Melk. Lower Austria, Europe.

Tours to do in Melk

There are many guided tours that you can take part in around Melk. Melk Abbey is a huge tourist destination and therefore there are many guided tours you can book and experience straight from your stay in Melk.

Alternatively, if you are basing yourself in nearby Vienna, there are several chances to take guided tours and day trips over to Melk.

For example, this Melk Abbey Guided Tour from Vienna will provide you with the best chance of learning all about the history and culture of Melk Abbey.

The tour also includes entry to Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna and the chance to admire the scenic beauty of the Wachau Valley. The price includes a door-to-door return transfer from Vienna to Melk Abbey and back again in comfortable private cars.

Why not go on a wine-tasting tour in the Wachau Valley? The Wachau Valley Small-Group Tour and Wine Tasting from Vienna day trip includes a route from Vienna over to the Wachau Valley. Here you will get a true taste of the Austrian culture and countryside.

With your tour guide directing the way and providing knowledgeable insights throughout the day, you will make stops at UNESCO-listed sites such as the medieval town of Dürnstein. Insightful villages and scenic landscapes await you as you travel through the charming area.

Relax at a local wine tavern and taste excellent wines in small, intimate cellars that are perfect for shared experiences. During the months of May to September, your trip will include a Danube River cruise between Spitz and Melk.

Durnstein town in Wachau valley in autumn, Austria

Day trips from Melk

If you are interested in experiencing Melk and Salzburg on one day trip, you should consider the Melk Abbey and Salzburg Private Trip with Transport. Here you can visit two excellent cities with return transportation to and from Vienna.

First, attend a guided tour of Melk Abbey and learn about the fascinating history of Benedictine Monks. After this, you will be taken to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart! During your trip, you will discover the beauty of Lower Silesia where you will be able to marvel at the scenery that includes salt lakes, vineyards as well as mountains.

See the magic scenery from the movie “The Sound of Music” too. A must for film lovers!

Take a day trip from Vienna to go and see Melk Abbey. The Melk Abbey and Danube Valley Day Trip from Vienna includes a romantic river cruise along the Danube in summer months that takes you from Spitz to Melk.

You will witness Austria’s UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley and all of the breathtaking views that it has to offer. Look over vineyards and forests as the countryside rolls out for miles.

There will be much to learn regarding Austria’s rich history as you listen to your expert local guide. Visit the Benedictine abbey situated in Melk and enjoy taking in the local town.

Panorama of Melk abbey with Danube river and autumn forest


Melk is a town that is easy to visit for a day trip from Vienna or Salzburg. There are many things to do in Melk, from exploring the historic centre to taking a tour of Melk Abbey.

If you are looking for more than just sightseeing then consider basing yourself in Melk and taking day trips into the surrounding countryside. The town has a lot to offer, with plenty of restaurants and shops in the historic centre.

The surrounding area is also great for hiking, cycling and rock climbing. If you want to get away from the crowds for an authentic Austrian experience then visit Melk during quieter months like September or October.

Recommended tours in Melk

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The Ultimate Guide to Melk - Austria
The Ultimate Guide to Melk - Austria
The Ultimate Guide to Melk - Austria


  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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