It must be tough being what Rick Steves calls the ‘most beautiful castle in Europe‘. While Neuschwanstein Castle gets all the love from Instagram and foreign visitors as the castle that inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty creation, we concur with Mr. Steves. Burg Eltz Castle is absolutely one of the most beautiful and well-preserved medieval castles we’ve ever visited anywhere in Europe.
The 12th century castle of Burg Eltz is located in Moselkern near the Mosel River, near the Rhineland in central Germany. It was built 850 years ago, and has remained in the same branch (the Rübenach and Rodendorf branch) of the Eltz family for 33 generations. Burg Eltz Castle is still privately owned but in a special arrangement with the German government, it is open to the public as a national historic site.
Visiting Burg Eltz Castle, Germany
Taking a castle tour of Burg Eltz is a must do. If arriving by car, use the car park and then board the free shuttle bus that transports you to and from the castle. Nestled near the Mosel River, the grey stone walls and turrets of Burg Eltz rise spectacularly from the green forest valley floor.
If you’re up for a walk, skip the shuttle and stroll down towards Burg Eltz from the parking lot. The views of the castle from above are stunning, and highly Instagram-worthy, of course. It’s well worth the walk. Leave the shuttle for the upward climb back after your tour.
Guided tours of the castle are available in several languages, and they’re the only way to visit the interior living rooms, weapons and treasure rooms of the castle. You can buy your timed-entry tickets online or upon arrival at the castle. Special tours for children are also available.
Burg Eltz Impressions
We enjoyed an excellent English-language tour on our family visit. We began in the weapons room (swords and crossbows through the ages), which was the biggest hit with our kids). We proceeded on to the kitchens, the negotiation (conference) room, and a lady’s bedroom, which included an indoor toilet.
The Castle’s furnishings are all original, and it was incredible to see the wealth and stature of this family over the centuries.
One of the most popular sections of Burg Eltz are the treasure rooms, found in the basement of the castle. The collections of porcelain, jewellery, religious artifacts, weaponry, suits of armour, and statuary are amazing and priceless. It’s incredible to be able to view so much European history in one place.
Got castle fever? Read more about visiting other stunning castles in Europe.
Read more Europe
Photo credits: S. Laroye
Have you visited Burg Eltz Castle, or other castles in the Rhine Valley in Germany? Share your comment below.