Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Proudly sitting on the Rhine river lies Mainz the capital of the beautiful Rhineland-Palatinate region. Mainz is well positioned only 30 mins from Frankfurt, 20 mins from Frankfurt airport and is surrounded by wine paradise. You should definitely plan to visit the offical and most festive Wine Capital of Germany.
This is a city of rich cultural heritage, with roots that date back millennia and as every page of its history was being written you can assure there was always a glass of wine by its side.
Here are 3 reasons why you want to get to know Mainz
1. It was good enough for the Romans, a city steeped in history and culture!
With a history that dates back over 2,000 years, the city was once a fortified jewel of the Roman Empire during its norther dominance. It was an important refuelling station (for wine) sending vessels of red to other Romans posts down the Rhein. One of the best places to experience the past with all of your senses is the medieval "Altstadt" old town, which is brimming with authentic atmosphere from he half timbered houses. There are plenty of weinstubes (cozy wine taverns) and places to eat, along 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.
2. It’s the Great Wine Capital of Germany and what grows together grows together... has an abundance of farm to table food - another reason to visit.
As mentioned Mainz is situated in wine paradise surrounded by the wine regions of Rheinhessen "the land of the thousand hills"and the Rheingau "Burgundy of the north". Rheinhessen is Germany's largest wine-growing region and Mainz is its capital heart. Beyond Riesling, the region is famous for Spätburgunder (German Pinot Noir) and Sylvaner which is a match made in heaven with the local white asparagus during the months of April to May
The areas land is fertile and has always been at the forefront of organic wine and farming practises with some of Germany's best agricultural produce coming from the surrounding farms. Every Saturday you can taste a huge variety of amazing local produce at the Mainz local market located in the city square surrounding the Dom. From the end of march till Nov you can be real Mainzer local and take part in the Marktfrühstück (market breakfast) with hundreds of locals slurping a Riesling Sekt with their Mainz breakfast of Weck and Worscht (rolls and sausage), which you can takeaway from one of the many local butchers near by.
3. The city knows how to party!
Rolling on from point 2 ...where there is a good weekly reason to pop a bottle. Mainz is one of the carnival capitals of Germany, where annually they come together to celebrate harvest, scare away spirits and express subversive anti-Prussian and anti-French thoughts in times of occupation, through parody and mockery. All sound like a good excuse to party!
The festivities peak weekend at end of Feb which means Mainz goes on lock down for day-long street party and all-nighters held throughout the city. Expect to wake up with a hangover as pretty much most of the city takes 3- 4 days off to dress up and get festive on a carnival float. DAS CRAZY!
Throughout the spring summer months Mainz also plays host to numerous wine festivals. On the first Tuesday from April to September the Mainzer Weinsalon takes place on the banks of the Rhein behind the Hilton Hotel. You can try wines from a league of Rheinhessen's best up and coming wine making stars with live music and plenty of after work socialising as you take in sunset Rhein vibes.
The Mainz Wine Festival
For a wine festival with over 150 stalls that pretty much takes over the city park its actually quite a relaxing, chilled affair. It takes place in the beautiful Mainz City Park and rose garden on the last weekend of August and first weekend of September. Entry is free. All you need is to deposit a couple of euros (pfand) for a glass when buy your first wine from one of the many local wineries. Lucky it goes over 2 weeks so you have time to slurp your way through all the amazing wines at a responsible pace.
Where to stay
Atrium is located up above on the hills behind Mainz in Mainz Finten a smaller surrounding city village. The hotel may not be centrally located but it surrounded by the beautiful farmlands and nature which is on the way to the Rheinhessen wine region with many good wineries already close by around the village of Ingelheim.
What it might lack in central convenience (down town Mainz is only about a 10 min drive away) the Atrium makes up for in having 2 awesome highly acclaimed restaurants to delight your self; the regional à la carte restaurant “Adagio restaurant & wine bar”or the culinary creative GenussWerkstatt. The GenussWerkstatt just landed the number 1 place to dine out in Mainz. Also you won’t go hungry, or disappointed with many other great restaurants like the Michelin star Steins Traube only a short 10 min stroll away.
Overall a good choice if you prefer countryside views and stylishly designed modern hotel with amazing food offering value for money experience.
Rhine river views combined with trusted Hyatt hospitality. The Hyatt in Mainz is right on the waters edge of the stunning Rhine while being located about a 10 minute walk to the "altstadt" old town of Mainz. Perfectly placed for an early morning jog or after dinner stroll along a paths that take you up and down the Rhein for the best views of Mainz. The hotel also has a magnificent wine terrace to get soaked :0 or soak up the views! The hotel is located about a 10 minute walk from the Mainz Römisches Theater train station (Not just a name but real ruins of the largest Roman ampi-theater found in the Norther Alps of Europe were excavated just behind the station). If you are traveling from Frankfurt this station one stop before Mainz main station.
If you need to be in out of Mainz (although I recommend hanging around) then this hotel is a great option because it a close walk to the Mainz main train station and has everything you need under one roof.
Me and All is a newly built, design focused hotel featuring an awesome gym and rooftop sauna area. The hotel also has a consciousness being a certified level 4 "Greensign" hotel with a sustainable management focus. And when you get thirsty there is a vibing bar to slurp some local wines and enjoy local and regional culinary treats.
While not in Mainz this hotel just recently opened on the banks of the Rhein in Bingen (about a 25 min drive /train ride from Mainz). In my opinion this was the kind of lifestyle hotel missing in the area. A hotel with a modern fit out, comfortable, youthful furnishings and featuring a full wellness offer with a rooftop pool. All that with great vineyard views from their restaurant terrace and access to the surrounding wine regions.
Mainz is great alternative when you need to travel through Frankfurt airport. Being closer to a variety of Germany's best wine regions its a great place to start your wine tour with many great well priced hotel options. Let me know if you are planning on traveling to Germany and have some questions about staying in Mainz for further tips on your travel and tour options.