Visit Dürnstein – See the Sights
Visit Dürnstein Abbey (Stift Dürnstein) and listen to an organ concert. The Abbey was established in 1400s and rebuilt in the 1700s.
Take a short stroll down the main pedestrian-only shopping lane. It only takes a few minutes to walk the entire length of the town.
Climb up to the Burgruine Castle at Durnstein. This castle ruin is said to be the location where Richard the Lionhearted was held for ransom. The trail up is clearly marked at the downstream end of town.
Visit Dürnstein – Gottweig Abbey
Travel by car downstream on the Danube to the first bridge. Then cross and travel about 10 minutes uphill to Gottweig Abbey (Stift Gottweig). The Gotttweig Abbey overlooks Krems and the valley below. The Gottweig Abbey Benedictine Monastery and World Heritage site may be a better option than the Melk Abbey nearby. Gottweig Abbey is a comparable experience to the Melk Abbey but it doesn’t get the daily hordes of river cruise passengers. Gottweig Abbey includes a museum, a restaurant and lovely views of the Wachau Valley.
Wachau Valley Hotel Listings
Hotel Listings for Dürnstein
Hotels in Krems
Hotel Listings for Melk
Visit Dürnstein – Wachau Valley River Cruise
The village of Dürnstein is in the picturesque Wachau Valley on the Danube River. The Wachau Valley is popular with major river cruise lines, but you can also travel on local boat trips. The DDSG Danube Blue and Brandner cruise the Wachau on a daily basis to Dürnstein from either Krems or Melk. You can also take a Day Trip to the Wachau Valley from Vienna.
The Wachau Valley River Cruise always is part of a Danube River cruise on Viking River Cruises, AmaWaterways River Cruises, Avalon Waterways River Cruises and Uniworld River Cruises. Check out the Danube River Cruise blog.
Durnstein weather is similar to Vienna’s. The weather influenced by the rolling hills north of the Alps and by the Danube River along the Wachau Valley. June – August has average highs of 75 F (24 C) and lows of 60 F (15C). Rainfall is light and spread evenly throughout the year. Snow falls from November to March and average lows are a few degrees below freezing during the winter. Summer is when the Danube River Cruises visit Dürnstein.
Visit Dürnstein by Rail
The Austrian Rail System (OBB) offers many ticket options to visit Dürnstein by rail. In addition to participating in Eurail passes, Austria also has an Einfach-Raus ticket. The Einfach-Raus ticket offers single day rates for small groups, similar to the Bayern Ticket in Germany. Vienna is about two hours away from Dürnstein by train. A vehicle rented from the Vienna International Airport provides another option to access the area. The highway and the train both run through separate tunnels underneath the town of Dürnstein.
Visit Dürnstein – Background
Less than 1,000 people live in Dürnstein. Dürnstein is in the scenic Wachau Valley of the Danube River between Krems and Melk. The Burgruine Castle above the village of Dürnstein is now in ruin. In the 1100s the castle was used by Leopold V, Duke of Austria to hold King Richard I of England for ransom on his return from the Crusades. Legend says that King Richard, also known as Richard the Lionhearted, wandered freely about the small town while he waited for his ransom to be paid. The Burgruine castle was destroyed in the 1600s by the Swedes. Dürnstein is a traditional wine growing area, but tourism booms in the summer now that Danube river cruises stop regularly in Dürnstein.