The Beautiful Burg Eltz
by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | June 8th, 2018
I have to admit, I've become quite a bit of castle junkie ever since visiting Neuschwanstein in 2016. It seems that Germany houses so many of the prettiest castles in the world. Every time I visit this great country, I always find myself standing in awe of one of these magnificent structures. Burg Eltz quite literally took my breath away the second I saw it. Maybe it was the hike down to it or maybe it was the exquisite architecture and intricate details of the castle. I like to think that it was the latter. Not to mention, this gorgeous castle was built in one of the most idyllic settings you will ever see. Positioned on its own hilltop, and surrounded by towering green trees, it is definitely a sight to see. Whether you're a castle junkie like myself, or just looking for a beautiful place to see in Germany, Burg Eltz will not disappoint.
When to Go
The inside of the castle is only open for viewing from April to November, however, the grounds are open year-round. If you visit during the open season then the castle tours are daily from 9:30 to 17:30. You can visit the castle grounds any time of the year. During the months of May through September, the weather is warmer and more comfortable, however, the crowds tend to be larger. During the months of October through April, the temperatures can drop quite low, and it can even snow. I know it might not be the most ideal time to visit Burg Eltz, but can you imagine how beautiful the castle must look covered in snow? I bet it's incredible!
How to Get There
The best ways to get to Burg Eltz are by car, train, or bus. I always find driving to be the easiest way and there is plenty of parking available in the lot. Parking costs 2€ / per car during opening hours, but is free when the castle is closed.
The nearest cities and drive times are as follows...
Koblenz - 30 minutes / 35 km / 22 miles
Trier - 75 minutes / 103 km / 64 miles
Mainz - 75 minutes / 103 km / 64 miles
Cologne - 80 minutes / 105 km / 65 miles
Frankfurt - 90 minutes / 149 km / 92 miles
Whether you drive or take a bus/train/taxi you will most likely arrive at the parking lot. From the parking lot you will need to either walk down to Burg Eltz or take the shuttle. The shuttle only operates when the castle is open and costs 2€ / per person each way. If you decide to walk, you have two options. One, you can follow the same paved road that the shuttle takes, or two, you can follow the footpath through the forest. The road takes around ten minutes and the footpath takes around fifteen minutes. I suggest taking the footpath. It's scenic, quiet, and feels like more of an adventure.
What to Do
If you visit when the castle is open, then a guided tour is a must-do. You'll see suits of armor and jester masks in The Knight's Hall, a real 15th century medieval kitchen, gold and porcelain artifacts from the Middle Ages, the Countess' Renaissance-inspired bedroom, and so much more! Tours are 10€ / per adult and 6€ / per child, run from 9:30 to 17:30 daily, and are offered in English, German, French, and Dutch. Also, be sure to check out the Treasury (a guided tour is not required for entry, and there is no extra cost), one of the castle's two restaurants, and the gift shop.
If you visit when the castle is closed, then immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings. Hike one of the trails, wander through the protected forest, and take in all the different castle views you can find. A lot of people, myself included, love going during this time. You may only encounter one or two other people, and there is something special about experiencing this magical place in such a peaceful setting.
Where to Stay
Koblenz is only thirty minutes away, and is the closest city to Burg Eltz. I recommend staying at the Mercure Hotel Koblenz. The rooms are comfy, the nightly price is fair (around $120 USD / 100€) and its close proximity to Burg Eltz can't be beat.
Other cities that are within two hours from Burg Eltz and make for an easy day trip are Trier, Mainz, Cologne, and Frankfurt.