Everything You Need to Know About Visiting and Taking Photos of Burg Eltz
Burg Eltz is one of Germany’s most popular medieval castles and attracts thousands of visitors each year. With its turrets, towers and beautiful surroundings, the medieval castle of Burg Eltz seems straight out of a fairy tale. Besides being a popular tourist attraction, Burg Eltz also is a famous spot for photographers. In this blog post, we’re sharing everything you need to know about visiting and taking photos of Burg Eltz, including practical tips as well as the best photo spot locations.
History of Burg Eltz
Burg Eltz dates back to the 12th century and has been owned by the same family, the Eltz family, for over 850 years. The castle originally belonged to Rudolf von Eltz. In 1268, the descendants of Rudolf von Eltz divided the castle and the estate in three equal parts. These three main lines of the Eltz family were referred to as Eltz-Kempenich, Eltz-Rübenach and Eltz-Rodendorf. For the next 500 years, the three families continued building and adding structures, mostly upwards, to the castle. Unlike many other castles in the area, Burg Eltz was never destroyed by wars or violence. The one and only time Burg Eltz was subject to military violence was from 1331 to 1336, when lords in the region opposed the territorial policies of Balduin von Trier. Already in 1331 the Eltz family asked for peace, which was finally granted in 1336. During the following big wars in Germany, Burg Eltz remained undamaged because of the diplomacy of the Eltz family.
In 1786, the Eltz-Rodendorf branch died out and in 1815, the Eltz-Rübenach branch sold their part of the castle to the Eltz-Kempenich branch. To this date, the Eltz-Kempenich branch is the sole owner of Burg Eltz and their original part of the castle is still in private use by the family. Parts of the castle that belonged to the Rodendorf and Rübenach branch of the Eltz family are open to visitors.
Visiting Burg Eltz
Parts of Burg Eltz are open for visitors. The only way to see the interior of the castle is with a tour, which is included in the entrance ticket. It’s not possible to freely roam around the castle. The rooms in the castle have been well-preserved and still have the original furniture, decorations and art pieces. During the tour, the guide tells about the history of the castle, the rooms and the decorations. We really loved the tour through the castle as it offers a true glimpse into the past.
Tours start every 10 to 15 minutes and are offered in German, with English tours approximately once every hour. You can ask the ticket office when the next English tour starts. You can also ask the ticket office for a leaflet with the translations of the tour text in Chinese, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish. The tours take around 35-45 minutes.
During the tour you’ll visit the Rübenach Lower Hall, the Rübenach Master Bedroom, the Knight’s Hall and plenty of other rooms. As a visitor you’re not allowed to take any photos inside, so unfortunately we can’t show you what the rooms look like. On the website of Burg Eltz, you can find photos of the rooms you’ll visit in the castle. We’d recommend going in the morning, as lines to enter the castle can get quite long during the day.
Opening hours of Burg Eltz
Daily from 09:30 until 18:00
The last admission is at 17:00 and the last tour starts at 17:30.
Burg Eltz is open from April 1st until November 1st.
The entrance ticket is €14 per person and includes a tour through the castle and a visit to the treasury.
Taking Photos of Burg Eltz
If you’re interested in photography or just want a perfect photo for your Instagram feed, you would want to consider visiting Burg Eltz outside opening hours. The area surrounding Burg Eltz is publicly accessible even when the castle is closed for visitors. Therefore, we’d recommend visiting Burg Eltz either before 09:30 or after 17:30.
We visited Burg Eltz an hour before sunset and had the place completely to ourselves. We only saw a handful of people hiking in the area. The castle is nestled between forested hills, which means that it’s relatively dark before sunset. It also means that it takes quite some hours for the sun to reach above the hills in the morning. Keep this in mind when planning your trip and prepare setting your camera to a lower shutter speed.
After visiting Burg Eltz for sunset, we went back the next morning during opening hours to take a tour of the castle. To our surprise, it wasn’t crowded at all yet and it would have still been possible to take photos without any people in it, even right in front of the castle.
When we got out of the castle at 11:30 there was a long line of people wanting to enter. This would have made it impossible to take photos in front of the castle without any people in the frame.
The best photo spots of Burg Eltz
Our favorite photo spot of Burg Eltz is right in front of the castle. This spot works great if you’re shooting with a model. If you’re shooting without a model, there are plenty of opportunities to be creative with the angles.
To reach the castle, you can either take the hiking path or the asphalted path. From the two paths, the asphalted path has the best views along the way. Our second favorite photo spot of Burg Eltz is along the last stretch of the asphalted path. We loved that we could sit down on the edge with the castle in the background. This is also a great spot to photograph the castle with the surrounding nature.
Higher up along the asphalted path, there is an area with a few benches where you can catch your breath. This is also a great spot for photos as you have an unobstructed view of the castle.
The only photo spot on the hiking path is on the very last part of the path when you see the castle for the first time. However, this is actually one of our least favorite sides of the castle as the castle looks more like a house from this angle.
There’s a hiking trail that goes past Burg Eltz. From this trail, there are also a few spots that offer views of the castle. We didn’t check it out so unfortunately we can’t tell you whether these spots are worth taking photos from.
The paths to Burg Eltz
As mentioned before, there is a hiking path and an asphalted path to Burg Eltz. Both paths take you to the castle in around 15 minutes. When we visited Burg Eltz for the first time, we thought we could only take the hiking path, as we knew that there was a shuttle bus that would drive on the asphalted path. We weren’t wearing any hiking shoes or clothes, so our jeans and sneakers got completely covered in mud after taking the hiking path. When we were down at the castle, we discovered that it would have been possible to take the asphalted path too. Even when we visited Burg Eltz the next day during opening hours when the shuttle bus was driving up and down the asphalted path, visitors were allowed to walk along this path. So we would highly recommend taking the asphalted path if you’re wearing nice clothes. It will save you a lot of time cleaning your shoes and pants.
If you don’t feel like it or have difficulties walking, you can take the shuttle bus down to the castle and back up to the parking lot during the opening hours of Burg Eltz. The shuttle bus is €2 per person per ride and payment is only possible with cash. The shuttle bus leaves every 10 minutes.
If you’re visiting Burg Eltz outside of the opening hours by car, we’d recommend parking close to the path you’d like to take. When entering the parking area, the start of the hiking path is on your right and the start of the asphalted path is straight ahead. When you’re visiting Burg Eltz by car during the opening hours, a parking spot or area will be assigned to you.
How to get to Burg Eltz
Burg Eltz is closely located to the Moselle Valley and can be perfectly combined with a visit in the area. From Cochem, it’s only a 30-minute drive to Burg Eltz. During the opening hours of the castle, parking is €4 for cars and €8 for camper vans. Payment for the parking is only possible with cash, so don’t forget to bring that with you.
By public transport
Burg Eltz is also accessible by bus line 365 from the train station Hatzenport. The buses to Burg Eltz run from April 1st until November 1st and leave twice an hour. You can check the timetable on the website of Burg Eltz. Hatzenport is located on the train line between Trier and Koblenz running past the Moselle River. The train from Cochem to Hatzenport takes 20 minutes.
We hope we’ve inspired you to visit and photograph the beautiful Burg Eltz and that this blog post helped you to make the most of your visit. In our opinion, visiting Burg Eltz is an unforgettable experience that offers a glimpse into medieval times. Remember to bring your camera and be prepared for a fairytale-like experience.
Have you been to Burg Eltz or is it still on your travel bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
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