I absolutely loved touring Burg Eltz during my trip to Germany in March, 2015. It's nestled in the hills in Münstermaifeld, Germany, and is still owned by a "branch" of the same family that lived there in the 12th Century. It's not a gaudy castle like some I've visited, and has preserved it's history in an amazing way with a lot of the original furniture and design.
My husband had to travel to Germany for work for 10 days, so Ava (9 months old) and I tagged along for the experience. Ava and I had 7 days of exploration on our own, but I knew Burg Eltz was a little gem that Ben would love as well, so we saved this castle for a family trip on his off day.
It's a beautiful wooded drive up to the entry gate where you park. You can either pay to take the bus to the castle, or you can hike on your own to have more time to take in the beautiful scenery. We opted for the bus since Ava was on my chest and it was a drizzly day, so we forked over the small amount (I believe 2 euro's each passenger) and hopped on the bus.
You ride along the windy road until out of the blue, up pops Burg Eltz, looking majestic and historic with hills all around and a creek running around the property. When you get over the bridge, you are greeted by a small food court area where they serve "fast food" and beer; great area to pass some time if you are waiting on a scheduled tour to begin. You may explore a little on your own, but most areas are restricted.
Take the Guided Tour
The tour educates you so much about the history and the battles fought, showing you where enemies camped up in the hills and tried to overcome the occupying family (and the reasons why!), but due to it's remote location Burg Eltz was difficult to locate and often left alone. They do offer an English tour at certain times.
A few tips:
- Traveling with Children - Most castle tours are not stroller friendly, as the walkways are usually old stone and there are many stairs. Plan to leave your stroller in the car! Also, the tour takes you into the living quarters so there are small items still present, so keep your child close by.
- Wear appropriate clothing! Good walking shoes and jackets as needed. Some areas in the castle are still cold and drafty.
- Photography is prohibited during the tour - The owners have requested no photography during the tours....It was a shame that people did not listen and would quickly snap photos while the guide was still assisting others into the next room. Photos are allowed in the "artifact" room and all of the other areas outside of the guided tour.
Visiting Burg Eltz should definitely be in your travel itinerary if you are close enough to Münstermaifeld, Germany. Out of all of the castles I was able to visit during my short stay, Burg Eltz was by far the most inspirational to me, especially knowing that the owners are still alive and living in Frankfurt! It just makes it more real to me than seeing a government owned castle that's geared towards tourism solely. Learn more and plan your trip on their official website, and make sure you take note of their operating times of year as they are closed during the winter.
Do you have any experiences you'd like to share about Burg Eltz? Please comment below!
Happy world traveling!