Mainz
A PARTY-LOVING WINE CITY ON THE RHINE

Mainz Dome © Horschig/DAAD
Mainz Dome© Horschig/DAAD Open fig caption

According to the name of a German TV show, "Mainz bleibt Mainz, wie es singt und lacht" – Mainz will always be Mainz, a city that sings and laughs. And they have every reason to be so, living in such a beautiful city right on the river Rhine. Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the city for the Mainzer Fastnacht, or carnival.

WELCOME TO MAINZ

Mainz is idyllically situated between vineyards and castles on the river Rhine. The capital of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate has a long and rich history. It was founded by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. Many parts of Mainz still bear witness to this period even today, notably an ancient Roman theatre. Mainz’s cathedral of St. Martin is also over 1,000 years old.

The city’s most famous son is Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of movable type printing. The University of Mainz is named after him, and a monument to him stands on Gutenbergplatz in front of the Staatstheater. Mainz also has a Gutenberg Museum with an exhibition dedicated to the inventor and book printing.

The broadcasting service “Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen” (ZDF) is also headquartered in Mainz. This is why the ZDF mascots are referred to as the „MAINZelmännchen“.

Mainz is part of the wine-growing region of Rheinhessen, which is the biggest in Germany. You can explore the Rheinterrassenweg between Mainz und Worms. The hiking trail takes you past vineyards and historical towns.

The people of Mainz are enthusiastic party-goers. And partying becomes particularly riotous during Fastnacht, as the people of Mainz call their carnival. This is when they dress up in fancy costumes. Celebrations culminate in the Rose Monday procession at the end of February or beginning of March. Decorated carnival floats, marching bands and dance troupes parade through the town, throwing sweets into the crowds of revellers. Fastnacht even has a monument: the „Fastnachtsbrunnen“, or carnival fountain, on Schillerplatz.

The people of Mainz celebrate lots of festivals. And one thing that should never be missing from such a festival is wine. The people of Mainz love their wine. There are two wine festivals that take place in the Stadtpark. There, you can sample different wines at the numerous stands. The market is most beautiful at night when everything is romantically illuminated.

Johannisnacht is also a well-known and popular festival. This four-day public event in June features musical and cabaret performances but also a book and art market. There’s a funfair on the banks of the Rhine with lots of different amusements and funfair rides such as the Big Wheel, which offers you a fantastic view of the city. The festival ends with a big firework display over the Rhine.

LIVING IN MAINZ

The city offers a wide and varied range of leisure activities. If you’re interested in culture, take in a show at the Theater Mainz. This is free for students of the Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) and Mainz University of Applied Sciences.

You can go on an extensive shopping tour in the area around the theatre. Get off at the „Höfchen“ bus stop and you’ll find yourself in the middle of the pedestrian area. Marktplatz am Dom is just a few metres away. Here you’ll find department stores, boutiques and street cafés with a view of the cathedral. The Gutenberg shop and ZDF shop are also located here.

When the weather’s good, Stadtpark and Volkspark are great places to go. The two parks run into each other, and this is where students meet for picnics. There are also a minigolf course, café and designated barbecue spots. From the Stadtpark, you have a good view of the Rhine, which is not far away. You can jog or cycle along the Rheinpromenade or simply relax on the banks of the river. One Rhine highlight is a beach bar on Adenauer-Ufer. On hot summer days, you can hang out in deckchairs and hammocks or play beach volleyball with friends.

Lots of student parties take place in Mainz on Wednesdays and Thursdays and there’s plenty going in town in the evenings. For example, Mainz has several Irish pubs that organise karaoke evenings. KUZ is also a good place for different kinds of entertainment. The culture centre organises parties, readings and concerts.

In Mainz, you can find several good places to drink cocktails – in some of them you can even order breakfast until 4 in the afternoon.

How to find a room in Mainz

Many university and college towns have dormitories or student halls, and a room there is often the most affordable accommodation. To obtain a room in a dormitory or student hall, you have to apply to your college or university’s student union (). Our ‘Find Student Hall’ function can be of practical help. You only need to make a few mouse clicks to get to the online application form. Find a room and more information about dormitories and student halls in Mainz.

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