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Capital of Rhineland-Palatinate

Mainz is known far beyond Germany for its most famous son: Johannes Gutenberg, who made his revolutionary invention of printing with movable type around 1450 in Mainz. He has certainly left his mark on this regional capital. Mainz is the city of media, uniting a modern cultural scene with the witnesses to 2,000 years of history. Museum-lovers are spoilt for choice in Mainz. From Roman warships to the world-famous Gutenberg bible, from the cathedral treasures to archaeological finds from early history to the Middle Ages. In Mainz, you can turn any day into an exciting day at the museum.

1. Location of Mainz in Germany

The city of Mainz is located in the Rheinhessen holiday region, approximately 89 km to the east of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (see map on bottom of page).

Rheinhessen is one of the nine holiday regions of Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate. Whatever it is you're looking for, Rheinhessen has it all. Modern city life and traditional sleepy villages, temples to fine dining rubbing shoulders with bars serving the new season's wine, art galleries in warehouses, theatre in vineyards, jazz in a barn. If variety is the spice of life, it's especially true in Rheinehessen, Germany's largest wine-growing region. The local people are cosmopolitan and full of joie de vivre, with a dash of Gallic laissez-faire and a certain idiosyncrasy thrown in. ... read more about the Rheinhessen holiday region

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2. Media City with a History

Day after day, the great wooden press stamped its black letters on to parchment in Johannes Gutenberg’s workshop. And finally it was finished — the first printed bible. 180 copies were printed in three years, which would previously have taken decades for monks to write in their monasteries. The rapid distribution of knowledge had begun. In the Gutenberg Museum you can still experience the hard life of a printer, either as a spectator or hands-on in the printing workshop. You can admire the first printed works of mankind, secure in their glass safes. This collection of treasures is the only one of its kind in the world.

Gutenberg laid the foundations for the modern world of media. It is no coincidence that the largest TV organisation in Europe, ZDF, perches regally on Lerchenberg hill overlooking Mainz. The SWR station also has its regional studios in Mainz, as do RPR. They offer you the chance to get behind the cameras and the spotlights and to experience first-hand the stage fright of the stars before their scenes.

After so much media, a trip to the venerable walls of ‘old’ Mainz provides a welcome chance to relax. Even from a distance, you can see the symbol of the city — the cathedral. For 1,000 years, the ‘Domgebirge’ (cathedral rock) has looked down over the city onto the southern atmosphere of the market square, St. Stephen’s Church with its captivating blue Chagall windows and an ‘old town’ that has been lovingly restored at great expense and effort, with its narrow lanes and squares surrounded by half-timbered buildings. It is here that the wine bars of Mainz await you and here that you are guaranteed to quickly get to know a real ‘Meenzer’ (resident of Mainz).

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3. Points of Interest

The fascination of past and present come together in Mainz in a unique way: While the printing press stamps out letters in the Gutenberg Museum, the glamour of modern-day media can be experienced at ZDF, the German broadcasting organisation.

St. Martins Cathedral
St. Martin's Cathedral, where numerous German kings were crowned, is one of the largest and most interesting sacred buildings in Germany. The Cathedral and Diocesan Museum has art treasures spanning two thousand years of church history in Mainz.
St. Stephen's
Visitors to the church are especially fascinated by Marc Chagall's wonderful stained glass windows with their mesmerising colours. Meditative blue tones predominate, sparing accents of green, yellow and red add to the vibrancy of the depictions.
St. Augustin's
Immaculately preserved church right at the heart of the Old Town with ornate baroque-style decoration, unusual for the region.
St. Peter's
Magnificently restored rococo church with frescoes based on the work of Joseph Appiani, with richly decorated pulpit and opulent altars.
St. Ignatius'
Classical church architecture with wonderful facade and crypts. A crucifixion group (reproduction) by the sculptor Hans Backoffen can be seen outside.
Gutenberg Museum
This renowned museum of writing and printing is devoted to the city's most famous son: Johannes Gutenberg. The museum's highlights are Gutenberg's Bibles and the replica of the old printing workshop complete with functioning printing press.
Roman-German Central Museum
The charming blend of perfect reproductions and valuable originals gives an insight into prehistoric times, Roman culture and the early Middle Ages.
State Museum
The Mainz State Museum is one of the oldest museums in Germany. It has a distinguished exhibition ranging from the beginnings of cultural history to the art of the present day.
Museum of Ancient Shipping
Houses the remains of five Roman war ships and two spectacular full-scale replicas.
Cathedral and Diocesan Museum
Religious art from the Middle Ages through to the modern day, including cathedral treasures, gothic wall hangings, sculptures and winged altarpieces.
Museum of Natural History
The largest collection in Rhineland-Palatinate contains impressive fossils from the Mainz basin.
Traditional theatre on three stages. The theatre puts on a wide variety of productions throughout the year in the Main Theatre, the Small Theatre or the TIC.
Cabaret venue with a colourful mix of cabaret and comedy. The ‘Forum Theater im Unterhaus’ is — and has been for more than 40 years — one of Germany's leading comedy and cabaret venues.
Frankfurter Hof
Historic venue with a modern interior. Balls, concerts and conferences are held here, alongside theatre and comedy.
Mainz Studio Theatre
The new studio theatre is located in the ‘Fort Malakoff-Park’ shopping centre.
The former factory building has been transformed into an arts centre which is the venue for raves as well as hosting concerts featuring internationally renowned musicians. A varied programme of cultural events, open-air cinema in the beer garden and much more besides in the amazing atmosphere of an industrial monument beside the Rhine. Mainz's arts centre.
Mainz Old Town
Tranquil squares, beautiful half-timbered buildings and magnificent churches give the old quarter a charming, pleasant feel. There are elegant boutiques, cafés and wine taverns to discover in baroque buildings and behind rococo façades.
Rhine River
The Cologne-Dusseldorf steamboats depart from Mainz on cruises down the Loreley Valley towards Cologne, past vineyards, castles and villages.
ZDF Television Garden
Every Sunday from the beginning of June to the end of August, visitors can peep behind the show business scenes and attend live broadcasts.
Kupferberg Sekt Cellar
The world’s deepest sekt (sparkling wine) cellar contains endless rows of bottles and the world’s biggest wine barrel. The tour ends in sparkling fashion with the opportunity to taste 5 different types of Sekt.
Isis and Mater Magna Temple
Oil lamps throw flickering light onto the walls, the air is full of the aromas of fruits and incense. The Isis and Mater Magna temple, a sensational find, is on display at the Taberna archaeologica. Multimedia presentation about the worship of Roman gods.

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4. Wine Bars & ‘Woiwirtschaft’

The true ‘Meenzer’ is someone you can chat with about everything under the sun. He is friendly, happy-go-lucky and sociable. You are most likely to meet him in one of the cosy wine bars, sitting at an old wooden table in a half-timbered little corner room. If you let it slip that you are not from Mainz, he will be happy to tell you all about the Mainz habits. At the ‘Woiwirtschaft’ (wine bar) you can enjoy a ‘Schoppe (a glass of wine)’, a ‘Halbe (a half)’ or a ‘Piffche (little whistle)’ — according to the people of Mainz, the enjoyment of wine is as short as a whistle. Even the menu contains a few riddles. For example, you can order ‘Handkäs mit Musik’ (‘cheese with music’) — why not let yourself in for a surprise. A little tip — you are expected to provide the music yourself!

In Mainz they serve the fine wines of Rheinhessen. Embedded between the Rhine and the ‘Land of Thousand Hills’ as Rheinhessen is lovingly called, Mainz is the ideal starting point for day-trips to the surrounding wine country. Numerous wine-growers open their gates to visitors to experience wine tasting, while country inns and garden restaurants also provide attractive settings for a little rest from sightseeing.

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5. The Fifth Season — ‘Fassenacht’ (Carnival)

However, once the bell rings for the ‘fifth’ season, the cosiness becomes a thing of the past. During the ‘Meenzer Fassenacht’ (the Mainz carnival), the ‘old town’ heats up and the bars fill to bursting point. The jesters dance, sing and party for all they are worth. If you want to experience the cheerful nature of the Rhine in its true form, this is certainly the place to come to. If you do not have enough time to see one of the best cabaret acts in the ‘Unterhaus’ club, you can always come back for another visit to Mainz, or even for a third, fourth or fifth time!

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6. Museums

Museum-lovers are spoilt for choice in Mainz. From Roman warships to the world-famous Gutenberg bible, from the cathedral treasures to archaeological finds from early history to the Middle Ages. In Mainz, you can turn any day into an exciting day at the museum. Museum tours organized by the Touristik Centrale Mainz are available for single travellers as well as for groups of up to 35 persons. An average museum tour takes approximately 1 hour. Of course, extended tours with expert guides are also available. For more information such as opening hours and admission charges, contact the Touristik Centrale Mainz.

Gutenberg Museum
In the Gutenberg Museum you can still experience the hard life of a printer, either as a spectator or hands-on in the printing workshop. You can admire the first printed works of mankind (Gutenberg Bible), secure in their glass safes. This collection of treasures is the only one of its kind in the world.
Museum of Antique Seafaring
This is the only museum in the world featuring the relics of five Roman warships from the 4th century. Two spectacular vessels, recreated in the original size, the wreck of a barge, numerous reliefs as well as instructive models and diagrams give you a profound insight into the antique art of shipbuilding and seafaring.
State Museum (Landesmuseum)
The former elector castle's stables now serve as a museum. Here you will find numerous examples of cultural life from the Stone Ages to the 20th century. Major attractions include an abundance of Roman monuments like the remarkable Jupiter's Column and the Dativius Victor Arch; jewelry of the empress Gisela from the 11th century; a large collection of Gothic and Baroque sculptures; a rich variety of the famous ‘Höchster’ porcelain; and a spacious art gallery.
Cathedral and Diocesan Museum
The museum, located in the cloisters of the cathedral, is devoted to religious art. It features sacral art from the Middle Ages to modern times. The collection includes valuables from the cathedral treasury, Gothic tapestry, sculptures and statues, winged altars, wood carvings, paintings, liturgical instruments, and manuscripts dating back to the 10th century.
Kupferberg Museum
In this old factory, with the deepest cellars in the world, you can explore the development of German sparkling wine. It is also the home of the world's finest collection of sparkling wine and champagne glasses, an exhibition of artistic advertisements, and the breathtaking art nouveau pavilion from the World Fair in Paris in 1900.
Museum of Natural History
This museum features the largest collection of natural relics in Rhineland-Palatinate and contains an ample collection of fossils from the region. It shows the evolution of animal and plant life of this region and its geology in an educational and entertaining way addressing both adults and children.
Roman-Germanic Central Museum
The unusual assortment of perfect copies and valuable original items presents a comprehensive picture of the cultural life of prehistoric times, the Roman Empire, and the early Middle Ages.
Isis and Mater Magna Shrine
A presentation of the ruins of a Roman shrine in Roemerpassage takes visitors on a journey through time back to the world of the cults of Rome.
Mainz Carnival Museum
The Museum offers a richly faceted survey of the famous Mainz Carnival, from the first carnival procession to the present day.
City History Museum
The City History Museum shows extracts from the city's rich history, from its Roman roots as a legionary camp to the state capital today.
Museum Castellum
Customs and history over the centuries down to the present are reflected in the exhibitions which are devoted to the Carnival, the fortress periods and various centres of economic life.

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7. Guided City Tours

During the course of the year, some 18 thematic walks are organized by the Mainz Tourism Office. These tours can also be privately booked and can be given in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Croatian and Dutch. There are also six different Mainz tours dealing with Mainz in Roman times, as well a general introduction to Mainz. The latter are given every Saturday year-round and Wednesdays and Fridays from May through October in German and in English. Among the ‘cultural’ tours are those dealing with specific highlights of Mainzer life: the Cathedral or Dom; the presence and spirit of the City’s Patron Saint, St. Martin; native son Johannes Gutenberg (the inventor of movable type printing and with it the founder of IT); the town‘s fountains and streams; important monuments and statuary; the antecedents and practises of Carnival (the City’s ‘5th Season’); and, of course, Mainz’s important sites of Jewish life, as well as medieval locations. To learn about Mainz and its treasures, and to register for activities, visit, call or write to the Tourist Office.

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8. Events Finder

Theatre performances, concerts, exhibitions, ballet, cabaret, lectures..., the cultural programs of Mainz include all these and more. The city offers a high class and varied cultural program to suit every taste. At Whitsun, the Open-Ohr festival invites young people from all over Germany to come to Mainz and experience music, cabaret, theatre, and discussion forums. During the summer, Mainz comes alive on its squares; numerous musical and artistic events attract guest from near and far every Wednesday.

Here you can search for events and festivals in the region.

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9. Hotel & Holiday Flat Finder

Here you have direct access to the online accommodation reservation service of the Tourist Board of Rhineland-Palatinate. No other hotel reservation system on the Internet offers you such a broad and comprehensive list of accommodation in Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate regions. You can list accommodation, search accommodation, contact accommodation establishments and make online reservations.

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10. How to get there from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport

10.1 By Rental Car

Google Maps: Route from (A) Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to (B) Mainz
(89 km distance / 1:03 hours driving time) » get directions

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10.2 By Bus

Buses run from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to Mainz.

Bus routes and timetables:

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Tourist Office Address

Touristik Centrale Mainz
Brueckenturm am Rathaus
55116 Mainz

Tel.: +49 (0) 61 31 - 2 86 21 - 0
Fax: +49 (0) 61 31 - 2 86 21 - 55