I'm just asking to confirm what I've read... Is there a tour of the Castle that is only about 1 hour long and after that, out you go. or is there any exploring allowed after. Just checking. Also, does anyone know how much it cost? Thanks so much.
Hi Shelley. Just visited in September, and, yes, once the tour is done you are out of the main area of the castle. In fact, they lock the door to the castle behind you at the beginning of the tour, and only unlock the door at the end to let you back out! There is a small cafe available outside the tour area with some nice views, but that's about it. It is a fascinating look at a remarkably intact castle. The cost was 6 euro. Below is a link for the castle. Hope you enjoy your trip! http://www.marksburg.de/english/frame.htm
Eric's description is correct. Honestly, I was pretty disappointed by Marksburg. It was ok, but I thought several other castles on the Rhine were more fun to visit. It was very frustrating to only be allowed on a short and not allowed to explore the walls or linger to look at anything. Our guide really rushed us through, with minimal English translation.
Also note that they only offer a few English tours each day. Generally in most of Europe, if you can only visit a building by guided tour, you can not wander around afterwards on your own.
I have been there about 5-6 times in the past 2 years, most recently this summer. Whether the tour is worth it depends on the guide. Some of the tours were given by guides whose English really needed some work, to the point that my friends couldn't understand the guide at all. Sometimes the guides seem bored to tears, which again, doesn't lead to it being a good experience. On several occasions, having sent friends there, they returned and said they didn't think it was that good, so I have stopped recommending it as often as I used to, though I still think it is a great castle. If you get a good guide, it is even better. The castle that many of my friends (and me too) prefer, is Rheinfels, in St. Goar. It is massive and very impressive and you can wander to your hearts content, though if you want to see a castle with its contents, then choose Marksburg. Reichenstein is another castle that people on this forum don't seem to talk about too much, but it can be interesting too. Personally I think way too much emphasis is put on the "never been rebuilt" tag. Frankly, who cares? People don't say that in the Forum or all the other spots in Rome, but for some reason, this seems to annoy folks about the castles on the Rhein. Check the Marksburg website for times for the English tour, as now that it is autumn, they have winter hours and only one English tour per day.
The above descriptions match my experience at the Marksburg Castle. A nice enough castle and good tour. If I had to choose a castle in the area to re-visit, it would be Rheinfels, in St. Goar, which in my opinion is quite interesting, massive and wandering about is allowed. I also prefer St. Goar to the village about the Marksburg Castle.
Wow, Thanks everyone Well, we plan to see Burg Eltz, which is # 1 on my list, as well as Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau, so, maybe instead of Marksburg we could plan to see the one at St. Goar. Just a thought right now. Is there a fee or guided tour of that one? thanks all. I'm learning a lot :)
Third vote for Rheinfels. RS's guidebook has an excellent do it yourself, turn by turn section, and restaurant suggestions. Remember to carry your flashlight or buy candles at the admission giftshop.
Rheinfels is self-guided, although you must pay admission to enter. My opinion of Rheinfels? Worthwhile to visit if you're stopping in St. Goar, but castle ruins aren't exactly rare in Germany. It's one of the bigger ruined castles, and it offers great views of the Rhine, but personally, I would make the effort to visit Marksburg, and see Rheinfels only if you plan on a checking out St. Goar anyway.
Rheinfels or Marksburg? It depends on what you like. I asked my boys before a trip what they wanted to see? "Castles." Rebuilt or ruins? "Ruins." (Boys tend to speak in one-word sentences.) They had a great time in Rheinfels, less so in some of the castles where we were confined to tours and couldn't touch anything. Others prefer a complete castle with period furnishings and a guide.
For those who have toured Rheinfels Castle. How long did you take here? Thanks
About an hour, maybe a little less.
Only an hour???
Like I said, it's a ruin. Even in a large ruin like Rheinfels, there's only so much to see.
My last time there, we spent about 2 hours there. This included climbing all of the towers and walking through many of the tunnels, (thank goodness for the flashlight app. on my iphone) going to all the look-out points for photos, etc. We also stopped and read many of the information signs scattered through-out the castle, about the plants, events, etc. but I think those are all in German. They sell small books in English for a euro at the entrance. We all enjoyed the "facilities" too. Quite unusual. The walk up to the castle can take some time, as it is pretty steep walking. My last 2 times there, we have taken the Tschu-Tschu train. You can also ride up and walk down.
Thanks Tom & Jo, That's a help for sure. What other things, other than the castle should we try to see and do in St. Goar?
We were thinking of coming in on the KD cruise arriving about 12:20 and seeing the castle. Then seeing "whatever" and back on the cruise at either 3:50 or 5:50.
At Rheinfels, be sure to see the museum in the tower at the far NW end of the castle. It has a model of what the castle looked like when it was intact. In 2004 I visited Rheinfels while staying in Boppard. Came in on the train shortly after 9 AM and caught the trolley to the castle. When we got off the trolley just after 9:30, the driver came around and told everyone, "halb elf" (10:30), meaning he would be back to pick us up in less than an hour. I didn't say anything, but wondered if that would be enough time. It wasn't. I spent 2½ hours. I spent a long time visiting the ruins, particularly the passages on the river side, where the soldiers slept in little "caves" just behind the openings from which they would stop invaders climbing the hill. True, you can't walk around the Marksburg on your own (pretty normal), but it is pretty well preserved as it was when it was working castle. I found that interesting. I would chose the Marksburg over Burg Eltz due to the ease of getting to the former.
"What other things, other than the castle should we try to see and do in St. Goar?" There's a main street with shops and restaurants, a small park on the riverfront... and that's about it. I guess you could also walk along some of the vineyard paths on the heights above the town.
If you like old churches, there are 2 there, both very lovely and very old. Right on the main street.
Thank you Lee, Tom and Jo At this time, Lee, i'm planning to do all of these Castles. Burg Eltz is high on my list and will stay there. It's one I've wanted to see ever since planning this trip. Marksburg & Rheinfels are the ones i've added since reading good things about them. Jo- We Love old Churches and we'll add those in, if we can.
It sounds like a lovely little town. The vineyards and the park sound like something we'd like too. Thanks all! :)
I've been to Rheinfels twice, once on my own and once with family in tow. The first time I spent probably two or three hours. The second time, with family, we arrived at opening and left about lunch time - so a half day is probably a good plan.