"Mainz am Rhein" Top 5 Page for this destination Mainz by antistar
Mainz Travel Guide: 318 reviews and 659 photos
Mainz is a wonderful place and has shot straight to the top of my list of favourite Germany cities. It has a long, amazing and still visible history, a small easily manageable center, and a relaxed, and varied population. On top of all that it has a great location on the Rhine, and is easily accessible from one of Europe's busiest airports: Frankfurt. I loved the city and wished I could stay. My friend who joined me on his way to Milan curtailed his Italian trip and stopped in Mainz longer. This is one of the few places I will definitely return to one day.
At over 2000 years old Mainz is one of Germany's oldest cities by far, and has an amazing history stretching all the way back to Roman times. It became the most important city of the Church of Northern Europe during the 8th century, celebrated by the building of the magnificent cathedral starting in 10th century. Most significantly of all, at least for me, Mainz was where the Information Age was first conceived. Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press and made possible the mass production of books, an act that would change the face of the Western world forever. You can now even see the very first Gutenberg Bible in the vaults of the Gutenberg Museum after the city bought them all back from an American collectors for a tidy sum. This vast history is evidenced all about the city, despite war damage, and you can find pockets of medieval buildings and vestiges of Roman artefacts all around the city, mixed in with the clean modern architecture of the post-war rebuilding.
Mainz is a relaxed city of a quarter of a million people. It has a large immigrant and student population giving it a young and vibrant feel. There's lots of great food for all tastes and budgets, and plenty of night life. It can look a bit rough around the edges, especially near the station, but it felt very safe. The old city is a very manageable size, and you should never feel overwhelmed. Although the city is quite flat and with few obvious landmarks poking out above the skyline it is quite easy to navigate around, and there are plenty of helpful information signs to guide you should you get lost.
Update: I returned to Mainz 8 years later in 2013 and I wasn't quite so charmed by the city. It's still a pleasant place, and I think I could live here happily, but now that I've seen more of Germany it's not quite so amazing as I first thought it to be.
On both my first two visits to Mainz the musical tiles on Adenauer-Ufer have proven to be irresistible to children and... more travel advice
The trip up the river Rhein by boat is an unmissible experience, and one that draws in tourists from miles around. It... more travel advice
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