We have been in Vienna the last 5 days and it has been wonderful! We plan to take the train out to Melk tomorrow and wondered which train station to start from.
You can search schedules yourself here:
Basically, you have two train options - 1) a direct train from Westbahnhof to Melk, which leaves at 8:20 or 12:20 and takes about 10 minutes longer than the 2) train from Hauptbahnhof which departs at XX:30 and XX:55 (you can also alight at Wien Meidling) which requires a change in St. Poelten.
I think the train station you choose depends on where you are staying in Vienna. Are you only going to Melk, or are you planning to explore the Wachau valley too?
We are planning to explore the Wachau Valley. We are staying near the Opera House.
Then if you are staying near the Opera, then I would go to the Hauptbahnhof and purchase the ticket with the change in St. Poelten. You can buy the ticket from a machine, no need to go to the actual counter. To get to the Hauptbahnhof, take the U1 subway line from Karlsplatz/Oper - it is two stops away.
Once you get to Melk, I suggest taking the boat to Weissenkirchen, Spitz or Duernstein. All three villages are lovely - Duernstein is the most visited, but climbing the path to the ruined castle gives fabulous views and having an apricot dumpling on the terrace of the Richard Lionheart Hotel is memorable. Weissenkirchen and Spitz are known for their wine and apricots and have a more local feel. From any of these villages you would take the WL1 bus on to the Krems train station and from there a train back to Vienna.
If you come back by train from Krems, or decide to make the trip in that direction, trains to/from Krems arrive at and leave from the small Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof, on the northern edge of central Vienna.
Actually, the direct trains at XX:51 do return from Krems to Franz-Joseph Bahnhof, but the XX:19 train returns to Hauptbahnhof via St. Poelten. Both take about the same amount of time and I would suggest the one returning to Hauptbahnhof as it will be easier to get back to the Opera from there. If you do return on the direct train to Franz Joseph, you take the U4 subway line back to the Opera, but it is 7 stops.
I recall that the D Strassenbahn also goes by the Franz Josephs Bahnhof to/from the Opera stop. Admittedly slow, but a nice ride.
Thank you all so much. It should be a beautiful day.
The weather is perfect today. Have a great time.
Wish I was in Austria right now. We did the Melk/Durnstein/Krems trip about 4 times when we lived in Vienna. Sigh.