Getting to romantic, medieval Burg Eltz Castle in Germany is possible by train, bus, and boat from Koblenz or by car as a day trip from Frankfurt, Mainz, or Cologne. Some hiking is usually required too.
Burg Eltz, one of Germany’s most romantic medieval castles, is in a somewhat isolated valley just off the Mosel Valley near the city Koblenz in the Rhineland Palatinate. The traditional approach to Burg Eltz is by hiking from the small town Moselkern, which can be reached by car, train, or boat. On many weekends, a bus service is available to near the castle. Drivers can get closer to the castle but some hiking is usually required to get to the medieval building itself. Day trip tours from Frankfurt to Burg Eltz are often available.
Getting to Burg Eltz on Foot
Burg Eltz is traditionally approached on foot via the Elzbach (Elz Stream) valley from Moselkern on the Mosel River. The easy 5-km hike on mostly unpaved paths takes around an hour to 90 minutes.
The trail is marked “Burg Eltz” from the station and boat landing in Moselkern. Once at the outskirts of this small town, the trail is unpaved with somewhat steep inclines near the castle itself.
Many other longer and more challenging hiking trails are available from other starting points to the castle. Enquire at the castle or local tourist information offices for details.
To Burg Eltz on the Burgenbus Linie 330 (Castles Bus)
On weekends and vacation days from May to October, the Burgenbus 330 (Castles Bus) provides a public bus service directly to the parking lot at Burg Eltz. The service operates four times per day making it an attractive option to hiking both ways.
Connections with the trains from Koblenz and Trier are possible at Hatzenport Bahnhof or Treis-Karden Bahnhof. The bus also stops at Moselkern Moselanlagen to connect with Mosel and Rhine River boats.
Bicycles can be transported on the bus – online reservations are advisable at RegioRadler (in English).
To Moselkern / Burg Eltz by Train
Moselkern is the traditional departure point for hikes to Burg Eltz. (If planning to use the Burgenbus 330, Hatzenport station is a better option for train passengers.)
Moselkern is a stop on the hourly Regional Bahn (RB) trains from Koblenz to Cochem and Trier. The train ride takes 30 minutes from Koblenz, 20 minutes from Cochem, and 90 minutes from Trier.
Trains to Koblenz generally run through the lovely Rhine Valley and takes 90 minutes to two hours from Frankfurt or Frankfurt International Aiport (FRA) and less than an hour from Mainz, Bonn, or Cologne (Köln).
Check timetables online at German Railways:
- To Burg Eltz with the Burgenbus (on weekends and vacation days only).
- To Moselkern by train and then walk or taxi to Burg Eltz.
To Burg Eltz by Boat on the Mosel River
During the Mosel and Rhine River cruise season, generally late April to mid-October, it is possible to travel to Burg Eltz by boat from Cochem or Koblenz. The two main options are Köln–Düsseldorfer (KD) and Kolb.
Köln–Düsseldorfer (KD) riverboat – currently only on Friday and weekends – generally leave Koblenz at 9:45 am to reach Moselkern at 1 pm and Cochem at 3 pm. Return boats leave Cochem at 3:40 pm, stop at Moselkern at 5 pm, and reach Koblenz at 8 pm. From Moselkern, hike or use the Burgenbus to Burg Eltz Castle.
Kolb’s cruises from Cochem connects well with the Burgenbus in Treis-Karden to travel to Burg Eltz.
To Burg Eltz by Car or Taxi
The easiest way to Burg Eltz by car is to follow Autobahn A48 from Koblenz to Trier and turn off at Mayen (exit 6) towards Münstermaifeld. From Münstermaifeld, follow the signboards to Burg Eltz via Wierschem.
From the well-marked Antoniuskapelle (St Anthony’s Chapel) parking lot, it is an 800-m (half-mile) walk to the castle itself. The road is paved but some steep inclines are tough on untrained leg muscles. A small shuttle bus (€2) is available if required.
When driving in the Mosel Valley rather than using the autobahn, turn off from the B416 on the left (north) bank of the river in Hatzenport towards Münstermaifeld. Alternatively, drivers can use the Ringelsteiner Mühle car parking lot in Moselkern and approach the castle on foot along the Elzbach.
A taxi should cost around €20 from Moselkern or Hatzenport to Burg Eltz, €50 from Koblenz, and around €80 from Frankfurt Hahn Airport. Advance reservations are advisable.
Day trip tours from Frankfurt are often available to Burg Eltz – these tours are fairly pricey but a good option for solo travelers without a car.
Burg Eltz is an easy day trip, especially for drivers, from larger German cities such as Frankfurt, Trier, and Cologne.