Europe, Germany, Travel

Eltz Castle – A Day Trip


A couple months back I was in Frankfurt, Germany for work. I was able to stay the weekend which meant before my trip, I was looking for day trips that were reachable from Frankfurt. As you’ce probably gathered from previous posts, I like castles. Through my searches I came across Eltz Castle, the quintessential castle when you think of medieval structures.

Getting To Moselkern

To get to Eltz Castle you first have to get to a tiny town called Moselkern. Talking with my German colleagues, this town is not well known as none of them had heard of it before and I received the typical look I receive from Europeans when I told them I was going all the way out there to see a castle. But my mind was set. I woke up early Saturday morning, grabbed a coffee and headed to Frankfurt Hbf (the main station in Frankfurt). There is a train that runs from Frankfurt to Koblenz to Moselkern. It costs roughly €38 round trip and the scenery makes it well worth it. Especially the train from Koblenz to Moselkern as it follows the river the entire way. You’ll see the prototypical German villages and castles or churches perched on the hills above them.

On the train ride this morning #europe #travel #adventure #germany #train #castle

A video posted by Tyler (@_life.of.ty_) on

When You Arrive In Moselkern

When I arrived in Moselkern I wasn’t sure I was in the right place. There were zero people at the train station when I disembarked. But after exiting the small station and walking a couple hundred yards through town I saw a sign for Burg Eltz (German for Eltz Castle). Following the many signs that are pointing you in the correct direction, you’ll finally get to a river and trail.

Hiking To Eltz Castle

eltz-castle-hike The hike to Eltz Castle is roughly 3 miles (5km) and takes about an hour. It’s an incredibly fun hike, with a well marked trail that follows the river through the woods. As you come around a bend, Eltz Castle emerges and it will definitely be larger than you expected. Perched a top an outcrop and surrounded by the river on three sides, Eltz Castle will invoke memories of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. The area is remote and quite hilly and you wonder why this particular location was chosen if not for it’s isolation. When you arrive at Eltz Castle, there is a place to hike up and get a great panorama like the one you see in the featured image. Since I visited in early February, the sun was relatively low on the horizon and made for a perfect backdrop.

Eltz Castle, A History

I was surprised to find out that Eltz Castle is what they call a Ganerbenburg. Basically it is a castle that is jointly owned and occupied by multiple heirs and/or multiple families. This was the first I had ever heard of such a thing but apparently it was rather common as Lords very rarely had the funds or resources to build castles by themselves. Eltz Castle can trace it roots to the 12th century and maybe even a little before that. The fortifications were added later as the Castle sat on an important trade route. Also a surprise to me given the remoteness of the area. Today, the Castle is open to the public and is still occupied by descendants of the Eltz family.

 In Conclusion

Eltz Castle makes for a great day trip from Frankfurt or the surrounding area. Getting to and from Moselkern is easy and affordable enough and the hike out there is a treat in and of itself. If you like castles, history or just fancy a day out and about then Eltz Castle is just what you are looking for.

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  • Reply Cammie Moss August 11, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Is there any other way to get back to the Eltz Castle besides hiking?

    • Reply Life of Ty August 11, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      Actually, I think there is. In the video where you see Eltz Castle down below in the background, there is a road connecting to that platform but I don’t know if it’s a local road or if tours and buses come down it as well. When I was there, it looked like most people had hiked out there or were locals and drove in.

  • Reply Bekki Boothby November 27, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Looks amazing!
    Really want to do this trip from Frankfurt when we are there in December.. do you think it would be doable at that time of year? I also can’t seem to find train tickets from Frankfurt at that price…we would be travelling on a Wednesday in December, I’m not sure if midweek it is more expensive? We only have 2 days in Frankfurt before moving on to Heidelberg and Cologne… but we thought one day was enough for us to see the old town and the Christmas markets. Would welcome your thoughts! 🙂

    • Reply Life of Ty November 27, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      Hi Bekki. Thanks for reaching out. I did this trip a couple years ago so prices may have changed a bit but there shouldn’t be a huge difference. It’s a local train so it might not be on the english websites if that’s what you’re looking at. It’s definitely doable this time of year. I went in February. 1 day will be enough in Frankfurt if you don’t plan on spending hours in museums and stuff like that.

    Leave a Reply to Cammie Moss Cancel Reply