Burg Eltz is probably one of the most magical castles, not only in Germany but in the world! Sometimes even called the Harry Potter castle, this place could feature perfectly in any fairytale.
Its rich history, incredible location and quite remarkable architecture make this one of the absolute must-visits in the region!
To make the most out of your visit to Brug Eltz, it is important to make sure you’re fully prepared. Not only to make sure that you avoid the big crowds but also for other practical reasons.
Luckily, this is exactly the goal of this blog post!
I hope to give you the best information about Burg Eltz in order to make your visit run as smoothly as possible. So let’s dive into it!
Getting to Castle Eltz
If you don’t have a car, it will be difficult to reach Castle Eltz. If you come by car, you can park it at the parking lot reserved for the castle, although it will still be a 1.3 km walk (or shuttle bus) to the entrance.
It is possible to reach Burg Eltz by train via Moselkern Station but then it is still a 5 km walk to the castle. Luckily, during weekends and holidays (from May to October), the Burgenbus will take you from the train station of Hatzenport or Treis-Karden directly to the castle parking.
If you’re discovering the region by bike, you can also take the Burgenbus from either of these 2 places, plus Moselkern and Mueden, with your bike, since the bus has a trailer especially for bikes!
Of course, there are also cycling and hiking routes going directly to the castle without you being required to take a bus.
Burg Eltz parking
When visiting Brug Eltz by car, camper or bus, the place you’ll likely end up at is the castle’s parking. This parking is paid for but you can stay there for as long as you want since there is no time limit on your visit.
- Cars: €2
- Campers/trailers: €4
Of course, from the parking lot, you still need to get to the castle, which can be done in two different ways.
Either you go on foot, taking a 1.3 km hike, or you can take the shuttle bus, costing you €2 per trip. I personally loved the short walk, so if you have the possibility I would recommend this!
However, if you want to have a great view of the castle from above, on the shuttle bus route, there is a great viewpoint as well (see picture below)! Note that the shuttle bus doesn’t stop there so you should walk your way there.
Visiting the castle is not free, however, admiring the castle or taking photos in front of the castle is ;).
The general admission fee (at this moment in time, 2021) is €11. Luckily, there are also several discounts for students (€7), large families, groups etc.
To find the up to date information, take a look at the official website of Burg Eltz!
Best time to visit
What is the best time to visit, is a very tricky question. When it comes to seasons, I do believe that fall is the best time to go, since the forest around the castle will be indulged in magnificent colours.
In addition, I would advise visiting outside of official holidays, preferably on a weekday and as early as possible to avoid the crowds.
When I visited, there was still a maximum capacity in terms of visitors so showing up early makes you avoid waiting in line until it’s your turn to go in (and the line can be long)!
Regular opening hours are from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
IMPORTANT: the castle will be closed during the winter (from November 15th, 2021) and reopens on March 31st, 2022. (Of course, you can still hike by ;))
So, now that we’ve discussed all the practicalities it is time to talk a little bit more about what you’ll actually get as value for money ;).
The castle tour
When entering the castle, you should make your way up to the courtyard where all the tours start. They provide tours in both German as well as English, so don’t worry if you don’t master the local tongue. Such a tour takes approximately 40 minutes.
The tour guide will take you through the different halls and rooms in the castle, which are decorated like they used to be hundreds of years ago. You’ll get to know stories about the family who still owns the castle as well as more information about how their life and habits looked like at that time.
I found it really interesting to hear about all the anecdotes that the guide was telling as well as admiring the original furniture that is on display!
The only remark I can give is that the German accent of the guide was quite strong so that it was difficult at times to understand him.
In addition to the tour, your ticket also provides you access to the treasury, where a collection of historical items is displayed to the public. Definitely worth checking out as well!
Taking pictures – avoiding the crowds
Castle Eltz is not only a great place to visit for historical reasons, but it is also one of the most insta-famous spots in Germany!
And there’s a good reason for that, I mean, look at its beauty!
But how do you actually take the best pictures while avoiding all the crowds?
Well, when I visited during the day, I realised it was impossible to do a proper shoot without a line of people waiting to get into the castle. So I returned after closing time (together with my boyfriend who took the pictures).
Initially, we were worried that the parking lot would have been closed off but this was totally not the case. We could just drive up and take the usual walking path down to the castle.
There are 3 beautiful spots when it comes to taking pictures at Burg Eltz. The first one is located on the walking trail just when you cross a corner and the castle comes in view. The second one is right in front of the castle, and the third one is located on the asphalt road where the shuttle bus drives. Halfway, you’ll have a little viewpoint that shows you the castle from above.
At these spots, before opening or after closure you’ll have the best chances at taking beautiful pictures of the castle!
Hiking around Castle Eltz
Many hiking routes pass by castle Eltz, which you’ll notice from the signs that are located near the castle.
So if you don’t want to come by car and pay a parking fee, or you want to combine a visit with something more adventurous, hiking to the castle might be the perfect option for you!
The options range from hikes of less than 2 km to hikes up to 13 km and you can find a nice overview of the hikes leading to the castle on its website.
Highly recommended though is the Eltz Castle Panorama Trail which takes you on a tour over the Mosel plateau. This hike is about 12,6 km long and will take you 4 hours to complete, starting in Wierschem.
Burg Eltz History
If you’re still interested in the history of Castle Eltz, here is a bit of information.
Burg Eltz has been around for about 850 years, and remarkably, in all this time the castle hasn’t been destroyed once (which is quite unusual for castles). Moreover, it is still in possession of the same family who originally built it! The current owner is Dr. Karl Graf von und zu Eltz-Kempenich.
Because of a dispute in the family in the year 1268, the castle was split into 3 parts, in each part living a separate branch of the family. Moreover, that family has brought forth several remarkable individuals who greatly influenced the history of the region around Eltz.
If you’d like to know all the details year by year, I’d highly recommend you to take a look at the full history here!
I really hope that I was able to convince you to visit Burg Eltz on one of your next trips to Germany and I hope you have enough information by now to plan your trip successfully!
If you’ve visited the castle, I’d also love to hear what you thought about it so feel free to drop a comment below and let me know your thoughts!