Exploring Mainz: Your Perfect Low-Key City Escape
It looks like Mainz is your kind of place! Want a nice city trip but not a huge city? Then the student city of Mainz is a top destination. During our trip through Sulawesi, we met a fun German couple with whom we clicked instantly. We had a blast drinking (lots of) beers in Nijmegen in winter. This time, we decided to head to Mainz, making it our first stop on our European road trip. And it was a brilliant idea—Mainz is a fantastic and cozy city, perfect for a few days.
Where to stay in Mainz
The environmental zones in Germany are strict, and unfortunately, our lovely bus (despite running on gasoline) wasn’t welcome in the city. Finding a campsite near Mainz wasn’t feasible either. So, we decided to book accommodation for the first few days.
Tip! If your car or camper is allowed in the city, you can also stay on the little island right in the middle of the city. How cool is that? You just can’t stay out too late because the ferry runs until about 9 p.m. But you’ll be at one of the best spots in town.
Ferienhaus Zur Mainpforte
We booked a place with the Kramer family just outside the city for two nights, so we could keep our bus and belongings nearby. We forgot, though, that our Tomos, which barely reaches 20 km per hour, requires a helmet in Germany, so it stayed snug in the camper.
The accommodation was fantastic. The family, including their super-happy dog, was very sweet, and the house had everything—kitchen with a dishwasher and espresso machine, bathroom, laundry room, a large bedroom, and a spacious balcony. A great place to start our trip.
The house is just a bit outside the city, about a 40-minute walk. A tad too far for Buddha. You can always catch the bus or order an Uber. For a few euros, you’ll be right in the middle of the city. I say, go for it!
Altstadt & Neustadt
Mainz is divided into Altstadt & Neustadt. In the old part, Altstadt, you’ll find beautiful historic buildings, such as the Mainz Cathedral. It’s a lovely area to stroll through. You’ll also find plenty of terraces and cute shops. Neustadt is the hip part of the city, where you’ll discover cool concept stores, trendy breakfast spots, and cozy bars. So don’t forget to visit this part of town too.
What to do in Mainz
With just over 200,000 inhabitants, Mainz is a real student city with bars and great hotspots in abundance. The old town of Mainz is truly a sight to behold. You could easily spend days leisurely wandering around, but of course, we’ve also gathered some great tips for you.
The Mainz Cathedral is unmissable. It’s enormous and breathtaking. This towering building stands in the heart of the city and is perhaps one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture on the Upper Rhine. The cathedral was built in 975 and even survived the Second World War without any damage.
Opposite the cathedral is one of the oldest printing museums in the world—the Gutenberg Museum. Johannes Gutenberg is the inventor of movable metal type printing in Western Europe. The museum was established on the occasion of his 500th birthday.
Cool off at the city beach
At the bridge in the city, you’ll find city beaches on both sides. We opted for Kasteler Strand because here you can actually sit with your feet in the sand. Although swimming in the Rhine is not advisable, it’s definitely worth ordering a cocktail and dipping your toes.
Mainz Food Guide
We were lucky to get some insider tips here, and boy, did we eat a lot. We had delicious meals at the following places:
- Bei Oma Else: super tasty and also inexpensive. Wednesday is burger day, and you can order a hefty burger for just a few euros.
- Hintz & Kuntz: YUMMMM! Perfect location with a view of the cathedral and fantastic food. The bratwurst and spundekäse are both recommended.
- Eatdoori: Indian Food at its best. Don’t forget to try their homemade lemonades.
- Zeitungsente: one of the coziest spots in town for a beer or wine. If you’re hungry, you can order food from the restaurants on the street and eat it here.
- The Big Easy: located beautifully by the Rhine, you’ll find the hip “The Big Easy.” Ideal for rounding off your day.
- Krokodil: the place for breakfast or lunch. Everything is freshly prepared.
- Die Waffel: Here, you can enjoy the tastiest Afghan dishes.
- Neustadt Apotheke: from breakfast to late-night drinks, Neustadt Apotheke is the place to be!
- Nirgendwo: great beers!