Mainz

Mainz is the capital city of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany.

Understand

The Mainzer Dom, Symbol of the City

Once the episcopal seat of the influential Prince-Electors, the "civilized" origins of Mainz date back to around 38 BC, when the Romans built a citadel here, named Mogontiacum. It was founded by the Roman general Drusus, brother of emperor Tiberius and father of emperor Claudius, at the strategic confluence of the Rhine and the Main; it shortly became the provincial capital of Germania Superior. Drusus died while campaigning beyond the Rhine, in the summer of 9 BC; his body was brought here to be mourned, and a massive funeral monument dedicated to him was built. The so-called Drususstein still stands (although unclad of its marble) inside the citadel of Mainz.

The city's location at the confluence of the Rhine and the Main rivers is ideal for trade, something reflected by the artifacts kept in the Landesmuseum, that show there have been settlements here since 300,000 BC.

The most logical starting point is the Dom, the Cathedral of St Martin and St Stephan, especially on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, when the farmers' market is open. Although the cathedral was actually started in 975, most of what is seen today was built from the 11th to the 13th centuries. At the Dom und Diözesanmuseum in the cathedral cloisters, you can truly witness the opulence and wealth controlled by the Church in Mainz.

Mainz is also the home of the man identified by Time Magazine as the most important individual in the last millennium, Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the moveable type printing press.

Mainz is also the home of the music publisher Schott Music.

Get in

By plane

From Frankfurt International Airport, the local train S8 towards Wiesbaden stops at Mainz Hauptbahnhof (or optionally Mainz Römisches Theater). The train runs at least every 30 minutes daily, and takes around 30 minutes to get the Mainz. Also regional trains towards Koblenz and Saarbrücken stop in Mainz. Both options share the same local tariff, regional trains are faster and somewhat more convenient. Cologne/Bonn Airport is served by a direct ICE connection and from low cost hub Frankfurt-Hahn Airport there is a direct shuttle bus connection.

By train

Mainz has several train stations. The biggest and the only one in which InterCity and InterCityExpress trains do stop is   Mainz Hauptbahnhof (main station), it is on the western edge of the city centre and works as a general hub for local traffic. Another noteworthy station is   Mainz Römisches Theater (Roman theatre), south of the centre, but it is only served by regional and commuter trains. Both are served from Frankfurt, about 45 minutes way, by S-Bahn line S8.

Central station

As of 2015, the cost of a single ticket on the Regional train (S-Bahn line S8) to Mainz Hauptbahnhof from the Frankfurt International Airport was 4.55 €.

Behind the Rhine bridge there is the station Mainz-Kastel with S-Bahn line S1, S9 and Stadt-Express SE10 from Frankfurt to Wiesbaden.

By car

Mainz is ringed by the A60 from Bingen / Rüsselsheim and the A643 and A671 from Wiesbaden, at the northern end of the A63 from Kaiserslautern.

When parking in Mainz if you use your EC debit card or a credit card in the entrance and exit machines instead of pressing for a pay at machine ticket you will get 10% discount on the parking fee. Alternatively taking a ticket from the machine on entrance allows 4 people to travel for free on buses and trams in the city.

By bus

A number of long range buses (including Eurolines) serve Mainz, usually halting at Hauptbahnhof. The station is also a hub for local bus traffic, serving the surrounding countryside and Wiesbaden.

From Frankfurt Hahn Airport for those arriving with Ryanair, there is a direct bus service to Mainz roughly every 90 minutes. The ORN bus stop which services this route is just outside the main train station's police department. The service takes approx. 60-70 mins.

By boat

There is a number of companies offering river cruises, typically leaving from Cologne or Koblenz and terminating in Mainz (and vice versa). The KD Rhine River Cruise Pass offers a cruise of the Rhine river around all the way to Cologne with the possibility of stops along the way.

Get around

The centre of town is accessible on foot from Mainz Hauptbahnhof. There are signposts and maps throughout the city centre, or you can pick up a map from the DB information desk in the station.

Kirschgarten - Doctor Flotte, a tourist restaurant also present in Heidelberg

Public transportation

The Deutsche Bahn site provides excellent maps, timetables, and route guidance for getting around Mainz via the city's extensive bus and light rail systems. Google maps shows the locations of tram and bus stops in Mainz. If you click the tram or bus symbol, you will get the name of the stop as well as a list of routes serving that stop. The local transit operator (MVG - Mainzer Verkehrsgesellschaft) has a website in German.

By bike

The local transit operator offers a bike rental system, with stations all around the city.

Cost: 1.40€ per 30 minutes

Map of available bikes: http://mobil.mvg-mainz.de/stationen-karte.html

Registration: https://www.mvg-mainz.de/mainzigartig-mobil/mit-mvgmeinrad/registrierung.html

You have to activate your account in their office, which is in front of the main train station.

See

Deutschhaus, today the House of Parlament of Rhineland-Palatinate
The 'Theodor-Heuss-Bridge' from Mainz-Kastel to the centre of Mainz.

Museum

Gutenberg Museum - house „Zum Römischen Kaiser“
Kurfürstliches Schloss (Electoral Palace)

Do

Osteiner Hof, a Rococo building that used to be the governmental headquarters for the region

Events

Learn

Buy

To take in most of the typical main shop name walk north east from the market square to Am Brand then west along Stadthausstraße to Römerpassage.

For more individual shops, explore the Altstadt around Augustinerstraße and Kirschgarten.

Out of town supermarkets can be found in the Gutenberg Center in Mainz-Bretzenheim.

If you want to bring some wine or food from the region, your best bet is the farmers` market on the squares next to the Dome. It is held from 9am to 2pm every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

Eat

Mainz has two culinary specialities, both types of cheese. Spundekäse is local cream cheese whipped with cream into a soft paste, served with chopped raw onion and pretzels the taste is mild and it goes great with beer. Handkäse is a sour milk cheese with a pungent aroma, most often served mit Musik, or marinated in vinegar and oil, then sprinkled with caraway seeds, resulting in a bizarre, firm, gelatinous mass that most people find to be a bit of an acquired taste and the "music" refers to the flatulence it tends to cause!

Budget

Mid-range

Heiliggeist Hospital
Portal of Frankfurter Hof in the old town city and Restaurant Gusto
Timber framing house in Laichhofstr. with Restaurant Zum Spiegel

Splurge

Drink

Bars

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Cope

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, February 10, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.