Has anyone taken the train from Vienna to Melk to see the Abby? Is it worth it? Do you have to change trains?
Yes and no. I took the train to Melk from Vienna and it was a very easy and direct route. And Melk Abbey is definitely worth it. I loved it and thought it was quite beautiful. It includes rooms containing vestments that are hundreds of years old, a library filled with incredibly old books and literature, and of course, the church, which was as ornate as any I’ve seen (and which also contained some glass-coffined skeletons). You also can go onto a large stone balcony, which gives you a beautiful vista of the town below.
If you have time, I highly recommend taking one of the boats that goes down the river from Melk to Durnstein. The cruise was so nice and there were so many things to see along the river, including Durnstein Castle, where Richard the Lionhearted was held captive. And Durnstein itself is well worth a visit - it's one of the more charming towns I've been to, and I would easily go back there again.
I did this on a special priced OBB combi ticket that included the train from Vienna to Melk (direct, no change), a ticket to enter the Abbey--very interesting & worth seeing, particularly the library--then a ticket for the boat portion on the Danube to Krems--lovely scenery, very beautiful towns along the way--where I had the option to explore Krems before catching the train back to Vienna later in the day. You can also exit at Durnstein. I enjoyed a great lunch in Melk and explored the little village before the boat journey--I was not as adventurous as usual due to an epic blister on one heel, but must say that overall it was an excellent day trip.
Is that combination ticket always available from
I checked through the OBB site and couldn't find that option.
I have also been considering visiting Melk from Vienna.
I am going in September.
Here is the combination ticket on OBB - https://kombitickets.railtours.at/en/kombitickets-austria/wachau-ticket
I used this package in June of 2022, its price was €68. One thing to remember is that although you can order it online, you have to go to the ÖBB ticket office in the train station to pick up your train ticket and the vouchers for the Abbey entrance and the boat ride. I picked mine up the day before to be safe.
After a train ride of about an hour, the train stops in Melk, which is a pretty little town. Lots of steep stairs!
You exchange your voucher for a ticket at the Abbey and tour at your leisure.
After the tour the ticket ladies called me a cab. You can walk for like 20 minutes, but I didn’t want to get lost. The cab was €15 including stopping at an ATM so I could pay him (bring cash!)
Once you get to the docks, exchange tour vouchers at the small booth before the restaurant. Be mindful of the boat schedule, last year the Melk to Krems route left at 11:00a, 1:30p, & 4:25p.
Like most , I got off at Dürnstein. (The train station in Krems is really far from the dock). Turn right from the dock, left at any street, then (uphill) to the main drag. Turn right and go through town.
Walk through the pedestrian underpass, and the bus stop is on the right, opposite a grocery store. I think the bus fare (not included in the combi ticket) was around €2.50, but I got the old lady discount so I don’t know for sure. About 15 minutes later the bus pulls up to the Krems train station, and an hour later you’re back to Vienna. A perfect day trip, and DEFINITELY worth it!
If this is too long, feel free to sling it over to trip reports.
I got off at Dürnstein. (The train station in Krems is really far from the dock)
To get right to the train station in Krems when coming from Dürnstein, there is an alternative.
You may skip the boat ride between Dürnstein and Krems and go by train instead, using the Wachau railway. The route runs along the river, so you see exactly the same as being on the boat.
Note that this is a seasonal train service: until May 29 only on weekends, starting May 30 daily.
that's great information. thanks for all of those details.
Regarding the combination ticket, does the boat run from Melk to Durnstein/Krems, the first weekend of May? We plan on spending 3-4 nights in Vienna and then 3-4 nights in Salzburg. Would it be better to take the train from Vienna to Melk, visit the abbey and town, and then continue on the train from Melk to Salzburg?
If you want to visit Melk and the abbey only, then taking the train would be straightforward (Vienna-Melk-Salzburg). You will have to make train changes because the express trains to Salzburg do not stop in Melk. I do not know whether there are lockers for your luggage at the train station in Melk.
Should you want to visit Dürnstein and the Wachau valley too, a different approach is necessary, depending what you want to see in which order and how much time you would like to spend.