The UNESCO World Heritage region Wachau and Melk Abbey makes an awesome day trip from Vienna. At least that is what my Japanese friend said when she visited me. No sooner said than done we packed our rucksacks and started our trip very early in the morning.

 

Basics about the Wachau

The Wachau is a scenic landscape around the Danube River in Lower Austria, which is listed as UNESCO world heritage since 2000. Aside their beautiful nature, the region is known for their delicious wine, apricots as well as their many beautiful historic churches, abbeys and castles.

 

Our trip to the Wachau

We met at Wien Hauptbahnhof, Vienna Main Station, and bought a combined ticket from ÖBB, the Austrian Federal Railways, at one of their red ticket machines. The special combined ticket (called Kombiticket in German) includes a train ride from Vienna and back, the ship fare from Melk to Krems or the other way round and the entrance to Melk Abbey as well as its garden.

Mister Wong at the train station in Melk.

Me, at the train station in Melk.

After a one-hour train ride, we got off at Melk and took a little walk through the small town and up the hill to Melk Abbey. Do not worry, because you cannot miss it. It is the humongous yellow building on top of the hill, above the old town.

Mister Wong looking up to the back site of Melk Abbey.

Me, looking up to the back site of Melk Abbey.

 

Touring the Melk Abbey

After we entered the abbey, we showed our Kombiticket at the ticket counter and received our entrance tickets for Stift Melk (as it is called in German). By the way, you can enter the outside parts without a ticket.

Plushie panda Mister Wong at the square inside of Melk Abbey.

Me, right after entering Melk Abbey. Isn’t it beautiful?

 

Plushie panda Mister Wong in a side alley of Melk Abbey.

Me, in a side alley of Melk Abbey.

Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take photos inside, so I made a quick last shot of the staircase before I entered.

A beautiful staircase inside of Melk Abbey.

Isn’t the staircase inside the abbey stunning?

After a short walk through rooms where you learn a lot about the history of Melk Abbey and can view various art treasures, you reach the balcony. Up there you are allowed take photos again. I really love the view from up there where you can see the whole town as well as the Danube River.

Plushie panda Mister Wong looking down from Melk Abbey.

Me, looking down on Melk.

Whoops, finally a pretty close-up photo with me in front of Melk Abbey. Unfortunately they are always renovating parts of it.

Plushie panda Mister Wong in front of the church inside of Melk Abbey.

Finally I can make a selfie in front of the beautifiul building. But wait, am I blurry?

After we exited the Melk Abbey, we went to the abbey’s garden with a detached house in it, which is located right next to the exit. We took a quick walk and took many photos of the art displays.

Plushie panda Mister Wong inside of the garden of Melk Abbey.

Wow, the garden was so beautiful!

Plushie panda Mister Wong on an art display inside of the garden of Melk Abbey.

Can you find me?

Cruising the Danube

Afterwards we went to the shipping pier down at the Danube. There are two companies, which accept the ÖBB combined ticket, landing right next to each other.

Direction signs which show the way to the pier at the Danube River in Melk.

We were a little late so we had to walk quite fast towards the pier. Gladly there were many direction signs.

We hopped on to the next ship that took off. You can get off either at one of the towns Spitz, Dürnstein or Krems. Just don not forget to tell the ship’s staff when you get off.

Plush panda Mister Wong in front of a Danube River public-transit ship.

I can’t wait to ride the ship. So exciting!

Even if you do not get off at Spitz or Dürnstein, you will get a beautiful view of the towns. So don’t be afraid, you will not miss anything.

Plush panda Mister Wong looking at the famos clock tower of the church in Dürnstein.

The famous clock tower in Dürnstein. You get the perfect view from the ship.

 

Plushie panda Mister Wong on a ship on Danube River, in front of the Austrian flag in the back of the ship.

That is the Austrian flag on the back side of the boat.

We decided to drive all the way up to Krems, look around the town. In the evening we took the train back home to Vienna. Although it was an exhausting trip, we really enjoyed it and I definitely need to go back soon and try original Marillenknödel (sweet dumplings filled with apricots) for which the Wachau is famous for.

 

Mister Wong’s “don’t forget’s”:

  • Get to Vienna Main station early so that you have enough time to buy your ticket at one of the ticket machines before the train departs.
  • Do not forget to bring drinks with you as well as some snacks, in case you do not want to eat at an overpriced restaurant.
  • If you get seasick easily, do not forget to bring medicine with you.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Although you will take the train and the ship, you will walk a lot.

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