5 amazing reasons to love Mainz
At the confluence of the Rhine and Main rivers lies the city of Mainz, the beautiful capital of the Rhineland-Palatinate region — a place you should definitely plan to visit. This is a city of rich cultural heritage, with roots that date back millennia in which you could lose yourself for weeks exploring. It’s also a bright and vibrant place to live, with wining and dining options to delight any culinary enthusiast. So, without further ado, let’s look a little closer at five reasons to love this city, and why it’s worth adding to your ‘must-visit’ list.
1. It has an enthralling history
With a history that dates back over 2,000 years, there is plenty to delve into for buffs in Mainz. One of the best places to experience the past with all of your senses is the lovingly restored Old Town, which is brimming with authentic atmosphere. There are plenty of traditional shops and places to eat, though you could spend hours just strolling around its cobbled streets.
The real highlight of the Old Town is the magnificent Mainz Dom, which dominates the skyline. The 1,000-year-old cathedral is an architectural wonder, with Gothic, Romanesque, and Baroque styles all on display. You can visit the building and learn about its past on a guided tour — for more information please see the German website here.
2. It's a book lover's dream
Part of Mainz's illustrious history falls within the world of books — the city was home to the inventor of the letterpress (printing with moveable type), Johannes Gutenberg, who revolutionised the way books were produced in the fifteenth century. This printing pedigree is commemorated at the Gutenberg-Museum, which is situated just across a square from St. Martin's Cathedral. Here, bibliophiles can explore the evolution of the printed word with displays of presses, magazines, and newspapers from different ages. The jewel in the crown, however, are the two original Gutenberg bibles, the first books printed by Gutenberg which are almost 500 years old.
3. It’s the wine capital of Germany
The Rheinhessen is German's largest wine-growing region, and Mainz is certainly in the heart of it. The area has 26,500 hectares of vineyards, which produce the German favourites Riesling and Silvaner. The city, especially the Old Town, is home to many traditionally-timbered Alstadt taverns that serve the very best of these local wines, making it the ideal destination if you want to sample what the region has to offer. The global wine blog Schiller-wine has a few recommendations if you are planning a visit.
...and Great Wine Capital
Mainz and the region Rheinhessen have been a member of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network since 2008 and at the same time the exclusive member from Germany. Together with currently 9 other international cities all over the world Mainz and Rheinhessen build the network and they have one thing in common: all GWC members are internationally known and renowned wine regions and wine plays an important role in their economic and cultural life. Initiated by the network the international Best Of Wine Tourism Awards are conferred each year which honours wine businesses in all cities in seven different categories.
4. The city knows how to party
Along with Cologne and Dusseldorf, Mainz is one of the carnival capitals of Germany, with its annual celebrations spanning many months of the year. The festivities come to its peak in spring at 'Fassenacht', the famous fifth season celebration, which means day-long parties and all-nighters held throughout the city. Expect extravagant dinners, drinking in beer halls, costume balls, and a wonderful parade known as 'Rosenmontag'. You can get full details of upcoming carnivals and more on our events page.
5. It's the perfect base to explore the river lands
Thanks to its position at the point where the Rhine and the Main rivers meet, Mainz enjoys the enviable best of both worlds, making it the perfect base if you want to explore the surrounding river areas. The built-up banks of the rivers are elegant and a joy to stroll along, while looking slightly further afield will reward you with some of the most breath-taking sceneries of Germany.
In particular, the UNESCO-listed Upper Rhine Valley, or Rhine Gorge as it is more popularly known, is truly stunning. It is located around an hour’s drive from the city (it can also be reached by train), stretching for 65km of dramatic vistas along the river. An alternative way to explore this beautiful river region is to get a unique view from the water on a river cruise, such as The River Cruise Line's Rhine to Switzerland trip, which takes you to Mainz, as well as locations further upriver.
If you are thinking of visiting Mainz, these five reasons to love the city should be more than enough to add it to your itinerary. Enjoy your stay!