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Vienna →Melk → Durnstein → Krems: details, details…

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I have reviewed so many posts and websites in order to cobble together details for the train-cruise day trip from Vienna to Melk. We will be traveling on a Monday in May. Since many of the posts I am relying on are getting rather old, I am hoping that someone with recent experience will comment on this plan. And perhaps it will save someone else a lot of research time!

7:10 Arrive at Westbahnhof; purchase combo ticket
Called "Bahn - Schiff – Kultur." You get 3 vouchers: train rides; Melk Abbey admission;
cruise. For the latter two, take vouchers to the ticket office at the respective places to exchange for tickets.

7:30 Depart Westbahnhof via Railjet; arrive in St. Polten Hbf at 7:54. Only 5 min to catch the next train!

7:59 Depart St. Polten REX 1612; arrive in Melk at 8:17. Train schedule is found at

8:30 In Melk: walk the town, have coffee/snack, walk to the Abbey Use map from Melk Abbey website

10:00 Tour Abbey and gardens - guided tour of Abbey in English at 10:55 or tour on your own

12:00 Walk to town for lunch - possibly at Zur Post

1:20 Head for the boat dock; choose boat; Exchange voucher for actual ticket
At the dock, check out Brandner (closer dock) or DDSG (little further) and decide which to take. DDSG boat has a larger open-top deck. Brandner boat more recently renovated. DDSG ticket booth is on the path from Melk. Brandner ticket booth is little inland. When you get to the river, there is a sign above the bridge for “Wachau
Scheduled Cruise Wachau.” (Do NOT cross the bridge; those boats for overnight.) Walk along the river; at the Y, take the narrow left paved path along the river.

1:45 Brandner departs
1:50 DSGG departs

3:05 Brandner arrives in Dürnstein. See the Castle ruins, sample wine, snack at Schmidl bakery
Both boats use the same Dürnstein boat dock; center of the village is 3- 5 min walk. A long series of steps are immediately by the boat dock, next to the Strand Café, good ice cream. To avoid steps, walk 3 min downstream on the Promenade, pass the blue steeple; use the stone walkway into the village.
Ruins: Walking directions from Dürnstein boat dock to ruins - immediately turn right as you leave the boat dock; walk several hundred meters on a paved promenade along the Danube. Photo ops along this way of the Blue Steeple, etc. You will find a paved pathway just before the small ferryboat on the left side.
Take this pathway, passing the Alter Klosterkeller heuriger and simply stay on this way till the top passing the nice markers as you go. This the easy way.

Bakery: Schmidl on Durnstein 21

Wine: By the east entrance door through the village wall is the small shop of the society of local vintners. Usually one of the members is there with samples and advice. Usually has a large barrel in front made into a table to allow one to relax, and small area inside. Common wines are whites:
• Gruner Veltliner-- the most commonly grown in this area - much difference in taste according to location of vineyard; note various types - federspiel is good
• Riesling
• Neuburger
• Some good reds also like Zweigelt
Domane wachau- This large co- operative of many small growers producing fine wines is walkable from the center of Durnstein in 5-10 min.
In the village center is the winery Bohmer- next to the Rathaus- small retail and test area- nice and cool on a hot day- multi generation family operation - good wine and at good price.

4:33 or 5:33 pm: Bus # WL1 departs bus stop Dürnstein Parkplatz Ost takes 18 min to Krems train station
The stop is at the east end of the village, about 5 min walk from the village center. Charge for bus is not included in combo ticket; pay bus driver. Bus schedule at

Directions: Dürnstein has just one main street, a cobble stoned pedestrian zone. Walk east on this main street, leaving the village by the wall door to the east end - it has the Steiner Tor. You walk past a vinothek on the right and a Raiffeisen Bank - then slightly downhill with vineyards on both sides- then using an pedestrian underpass - walk under the road and then just after this corner a Nah und Friesch supermarket to the left and a parking lot across the street on your right side - the small bus stop there by the roadway next to the parking lot. A small sign there in yellow and green I think with the letter " H " to show the bus stop. The bus will exit from the tunnel just a short distance to the west - turn the corner and stop immediately by this bus stop.

5:02 or 6:02 pm: Take Train from Krems/Donau Bahnhof to Franz Josef Bahnhof. arrives 1 hour later.
Or get off earlier - The train from Krems to Vienna makes 3 stops in Vienna, usually taxis are waiting:
connection UBahn line U-4 to city center - stops like Schwedenplatz, Oper/ Karlsplatz. 

2. Spittelau- UBahn lines U-4 and U-6; Take U-6 to U-3 to hotel.
3. Franz Josef Bahnhof – this is the end station streetcar D to center along the Ring. 
U-4 stop Friendenbrucke - a 5-minute walk. The D found in front of the train station; take direction Sudbahnhof.

Thank you, Fodorites!

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