Nestled in the centre of the Rhine wine region, at the confluence of the Rhine and the Main, you’ll find the small city of Mainz. Wine grapes have been tended on the surrounding hills since before Roman settlers arrived in 38 BC. As such, Mainz is the perfect spot to get a taste of the region.
Most visitors take the time to stroll the scenic banks of the Rhine before exploring the cobbled streets and half-timbered houses of the compact Old Town. Mainz is famous as the home of Johannes Gutenberg and his mechanical printing press that revolutionised printing in Europe; the excellent Gutenberg Museum is a popular attraction. Visitors also flock to the Roman ruins and to see the stunning stained glass at St. Stephen’s Church (or St Stephan zu Mainz).
With castles on every bend of the river and green rolling hills dotted with tiny villages, this region has some of the most spectacular scenery Germany has to offer. The port of Mainz, in the heart of the Rhine wine region, is a popular stop on any Rhine River cruise, drawing visitors from all around the world.
Cruise ships usually dock next to the Hilton Hotel on the Rhine River, just a short walk from the centre of the city.
Facilities near the port in Mainz include:
- Generous parking
- Tourist information centres
- Public toilets
- Restaurants and cafés
- Souvenir stores
- Bank and ATMs
- Medical centre and pharmacy
- Post office.
How To Get Around
Mainz is a small city with very few trams and trains. Although a network of buses makes the entire city easily accessible, most tourists won’t need to use them; all the main sights are close to each other and easily reached on foot. Taxis are also available.
Travel times from the port in Mainz:
- It is a 7 minute journey to Dom St Martin
- It is a 6 minute journey to Gutenberg Museum
- It is a 15 minute journey to the Museum für Antike Schiffahrt
- It is a 16 minute journey to the Mainz Hauptbahnhof (main train station).
- It is a 3 minute journey to Dom St Martin
- It is a 3 minute journey to Gutenberg Museum
- It is a 3 minute journey to the Museum für Antike Schiffahrt
- It is an 8 minute journey to the Mainz Hauptbahnhof (main train station).
- It is a 5 minute journey to Dom St Martin
- It is a 14 minute journey to the Mainz Hauptbahnhof (main train station).
Currency – The currency in Mainz is the Euro (€). Notes come in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500 denominations. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and €1 and €2 denominations.
Time Zone – Mainz runs an hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), following instead Central European Time (CET). From March to October, to observe daylight savings, the city is an additional hour ahead of UTC.
Weather – The climate in Mainz is warm and temperate. July is the hottest month in Mainz, with an average temperature of 18.6 degrees Celsius. January is the coldest month, with average highs of only 0.6 degrees Celsius.
Dom St Martin – Mainz’s famous Romanesque Cathedral, affectionately known as ‘The Dom’, has a dramatic façade constructed from distinctive red sandstone. The late-Gothic interior houses a collection of Christian ritual objects studded with jewels along with paintings, statuary and sculptures. Whenever church services are not being held, visitors are welcome to either walk through the cathedral for free or pay to join a guided tour. An excellent coffee shop next to the Dom serves a huge range of German cakes and pastries as well as beers and coffees.
Gutenberg Museum – This excellent museum focuses not just on Gutenberg’s invention (the mechanical printing press) but the entire history of printing, writing and bookmaking. Highlights include a few examples of the Gutenberg bible and some very early printed books. Visitors over 5 years of age can try the art of setting metal type by hand and printing their own page in the museum’s print shop just across the road. Printed posters and postcards are popular souvenirs.
Museum für Antike Schiffahrt – See the remarkable remains of three Roman ships at this Museum of Ancient Seafaring. The ships were used to defend the Roman settlements of the region from Germanic tribes around 300 AD. The two life-sized replicas will make you feel dwarfed. Scale models are available in the gift shop.