We herein describe a rapid and selective sensing platform for tetracycline (Tc), which relies on the metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF) effect of europium (Eu3+)-doped silver-silica core-shell nanoparticles (AgNP@SiO2). The developed assay utilizes AgNP@SiO2 as a key detection component, which is systematically optimized to have a silica shell thickness suitable for the effective MEF phenomenon. In principle, the AgNP@SiO2, which binds to Eu3+ through the electrostatic interaction, captures Tc by selective chelation with Eu3+, leading to significant fluorescence enhancement of the EuTc complex. Based on this novel strategy, we determined Tc as low as 83.1 nM with a total assay time of less than 10 min, which is comparable to or better than that of the previous fluorescence-based methods. Furthermore, the practical applicability of this strategy was successfully demonstrated by detecting Tc in tap water. This work highlights the unique features of AgNP@SiO2 for MEF-based biosensing applications.