One day in Mainz? A good choice! You only have a little time in Mainz, Germany and still don’t want to miss any highlights during your city trip to the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate? In this Mainz travel guide, I’ll show you a round-trip map of how to discover the best sights and highlights of Mainz on your own.
With JOURNICATION’s travel tips, you’ll be well prepared for your short vacation in Mainz or shore excursion on your river cruise. You will see, in 24 hours in Mainz there are more sights to discover than just the Fastnachtsbrunnen, the Mainz Cathedral and the Old Town with Kirschgarten. Let’s go, one perfect day in Mainz in 2022 is waiting for you!
What do you learn in this article?
One day in Mainz itinerary 🇩🇪 – The best things to do
Your overview & checklist – of course, best suited for screenshots 📷📝
This is your personal Mainz bucket list to check off all the highlights. This way you can make sure you don’t miss any of the Mainz attractions.
One day in Mainz – Your morning
- Jewish cemetery
- Breakfast in the new town of Mainz
- Walk along the Rhine
- Customs port
- Christ Church
- Electoral Palace
- Rhineland-Palatinate Parliament & State Chancellery
- Große Bleiche with state museum
Mainz in one day – Your afternoon
- Alexander Tower
- Roman Gate
- Kupferberg Terraces & Museum
- Chagall window of St. Stephen’s Church
- Carnival fountain at Schillerplatz
- Mainz Cathedral
- Gutenberg Museum
- Cherry Orchard
- Hop garden
- Roman Theater
- City park
- Rose Garden
One day in Mainz – Your evening
- Winter harbor
- Rhine bank Mainz-Kastel
BIG5 Mainz – Helpful Websites / Links
- You want to prepare yourself optimally for your vacation in Mainz and get a good overview? No problem! In another detailed article of JOURNICATION you will find an overview of the best things to do in Mainz
- As an additional source of inspiration for the shore excursion or city trip to Mainz and whole Germany I recommend the the Essentials with all Germany highlights:
- More about the Roman history of Mainz can be found on the website of Römisches Mainz.
- Important information about parking can be found on the website of Parking in Mainz
Mainz Highlights – Your one day itinerary for the city tour
Experiencing the best things to do in Mainz in one day is definitely an athletic undertaking. But with the route and map of JOURNICATION you are well prepared not to miss any highlights or must-do activities of Mainz during your city trip.
Things to do in Mainz in the morning
Start your perfect day in Mainz at the old Jewish cemetery, the “Judensand” near the main train station. Despite its quite central location, the cemetery with its many often very old gravestones is a real insider tip. The Jewish cemeteries of Speyer, Worms and Mainz have recently been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Unfortunately, you cannot visit the cemetery without a guided tour.
We continue to the New Town and pass the new synagogue, built on the remains of the old one. This was destroyed by the Nazis.
Breakfast in the new town of Mainz & customs port
An absolute recommendation for a great breakfast in Mainz are the cozy cafés in the Neustadt. You will find many good addresses around Gartenfeldplatz and along Frauenlobstrasse and Kurfürstenstrasse.
Insider tip: Try to reserve a table, the seats are very popular, especially in the morning.
Depending on which location you have chosen, you can take a leisurely stroll along the Rhine. In the newly developed quarter at the Zollhafen, the golden “Pandion Doxx” immediately catches the eye.
On the way from Mainz Neustadt to the city center, you will pass the massive Christuskirche. It is reminiscent of Italian churches and, together with the parks and rows of houses, offers a wonderful photo motif.
Mainz Castle, Parliament and Great Pale
Through the government district of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate with many ministries you walk to the Electoral Palace of Mainz. Today, the palace is mainly used for events of all kinds. Among other things, the famous Fastnachtssitzung “Mainz remains Mainz as it sings and laughs” is celebrated here.
The courtyard of the castle is a popular beer garden in the summer.
Opposite the palace is the state parliament and state chancellery of Rhineland-Palatinate. A new extension and forecourt with large flags give the building even more grace.
Now you walk along the Große Bleiche towards the center. The street is one of the main arteries of the city and connects the main train station with Rheinstraße on the banks of the Rhine. The building with the golden horse on the roof catches the eye: the Rhineland-Palatinate State Museum.
Here you can expect exciting exhibitions, exhibits and media about the history of the city of Mainz and the whole region – not only from the Roman times.
So, if you are interested in history and have a little time on your day in Mainz: Top address!
Things to do in Mainz in the afternoon
Enjoy the view from the Kupferberg Terraces
But now finally a viewpoint, please! I was a big fan of far and wide views would have already become a little impatient 😉
Here was the army camp in Roman times. The many Roman street names in this part of the city still bear witness to this. Today, the Mainz University Hospital is located on the hill.
The army camp was supplied by a huge aqueduct connected to a spring in Mainz-Finthen on the hills outside the city.
The remains of the aqueduct, today is only commonly known as “Roman stones” (how imaginative…) are not part of this circular tour. However, you can reach them on the other side of the Uniklinik on foot from the city center.
On the way up, you will pass the Alexander Tower. It is one of three remaining towers of the old city fortification. Formerly there were 34 of them.
From up here you have a great view over the city of Mainz and Wiesbaden into the Rheingau.
If you have a little more time, the champagne cellars of the Kupferberg Terraces are absolutely worth seeing. You can expect an exciting guided tour deep underground.
Near the Kupferberg Terraces you will find the remains of the old Roman Gate. There is not much to see, but an information board explains the site. I always find it fascinating when you realize how old those stones there in the ground really are….
Chagall window & carnival fountain at Schillerplatz
From the Kupferberg Terrassen, it’s just a stone’s throw along Gaustraße to St. Stephen’s Church. The striking building above the old town of Mainz houses an artistic highlight of Mainz: stained glass windows by the Jewish artist Marc Chagall.
These windows are unique in Germany. They are 9 long windows in different shades of blue with scenes from the Bible.
Now you go down Gaustraße (the “Gaugass’, as the Mainzer says) to Schillerplatz, where you will find one of the most important sights in Mainz: Not the statue of the German poet, but the Mainzer Fastnachtsbrunnen.
The Fastnachtsbrunnen in Mainz is a fascinating structure about an important cultural heritage of the whole region: the Fastnacht (no, it’s not called “carnival” in Mainz!). Completed in 1967, the fountain is adorned with over 200 figures all about the most beautiful season of the year.
Now you walk along Ludwigsstraße in the direction of Mainz Cathedral. The “Lu” connects Schillerplatz with Gutenbergplatz. Opposite the Mainz State Theater, the city commemorates its most famous son: Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of letterpress printing.
Marketplace: Yes we all live in the shadow of the cathedral
The tour continues via the “Höfchen”. A particular highlight in Mainz is the market square. The massive cathedral and the surrounding historic houses are a great ensemble and the market square is accordingly popular for a break with a cool or hot drink.
The Mainz Cathedral (long form: the High Cathedral of St. Martin in Mainz) is a sight in Mainz that can hardly be overlooked. It is one of the imperial cathedrals and today is the seat of the Catholic diocese of Mainz. Construction started as early as the 10th century. Over time, many elements were added in different architectural styles.
From the market square you have direct access to the Gutenberg Museum via Liebfrauenplatz. Here, the history of letterpress printing is impressively presented. Highlights of the exhibition are two original Gutenberg Bibles from the 15th century.
Link to the museum
On Liebfrauenplatz and Marktplatz there is still a lot to discover: The massive sandstone Heunensäule, the ornate historical market fountain from the Renaissance and the original Nagelsäule from the First World War.
Stroll through the old town of Mainz
But now into the old town of Mainz: once through it runs the Augustinergasse, which you can easily follow.
The Kirschgarten with its historic half-timbered houses offers a special photo motif. Turn around again from here: You have a great view of the cathedral with the wine house “Zum Spiegel”.
Pass the Augustinerkirche and head to the Hopfengarten, a popular meeting place surrounded by restaurants and cafés. A few meters down the street you will reach the wooden tower. It is one of three remaining towers of the former city fortifications.
The Mainz towers and gates facing the Rhine are named after the goods that were unloaded there at the historic Rhine Quay. Hence Wooden Tower, Iron Tower, Wine Gate, etc.
Citadel, Roman Theater and City Park
The citadel of Mainz rises above the old town. Large parts of the old fortress from the 17th century and especially the imperial period have been restored. From up here you have a great view over the old town. In the citadel you can see the old gun emplacements from the imperial period. The oldest part dates back to the Roman times: the Drusustein. The tower-like building from the year 9 AD (!) was erected by the Romans as a monument to their commander Drusus.
Now follows another Mainz sight from Roman times: the Roman Theater. The ancient theater is still used for events from time to time. However, these cannot really match the splendor of bygone days, when more than 10,000 spectators could be seated here.
Your way back toward the Rhine now takes you through the city park. The rose garden is worth seeing, even if you have to walk up the gentle hill again. In addition to goats and many birds, you can marvel at animals in the city park that you would certainly not expect to see in Mainz: Flamingos!
Things to do in Mainz in the evening
Now you’ve already had a long day of sightseeing in Mainz. Now it’s definitely time to sit back and relax with a good glass of wine or a typical wine spritzer. From the Stadtpark, you have several options:
The Favorite Park Hotel is located in the park itself. Here you will find a good selection of upscale and down-to-earth local food and drinks. In summer, there is a nice beer garden facing the park.
You’d rather head back towards the Rhine? No problem at all!
A good place for that is the Winterhafen, where the “Bootshaus” and the beer garden Mole are great locations directly on the Rhine.
From the city park it is also only a short walk. Pass the southern railroad bridge and walk a short distance along the Rhine. If you have a little time, walk to the middle of the bridge. From here you have a great view of the Mainzer Rheinufer and large parts of the city.
An outstanding address for a great sunset in Mainz is the beer garden of the Bastion Schönborn. Not in Mainz itself at all, but in Mainz-Kastel on the other side of the Rhine. Despite the name, the district no longer belongs to Mainz, but to Wiesbaden.
Nevertheless, from the restaurant, the beer garden or the great Rhine beach, you have a great view of Mainz and the Theodor Heuss Bridge at sunset.
Here you can even stretch your feet into the water – or just lie in a deck chair.
Insider Tipp Mainz: Ob für den Sonnenuntergang oder nicht: auf der rechten Rheinseite scheint länger die Sonne als am Mainzer Rheinufer…
You have more than one day in Mainz?
There are so many things to do in Mainz and the region – easily too much for one day.
Looking for exciting activities in Mainz when you have more time in Mainz, have chosen the city as a destination for a weekend trip or even longer? Then you have many options beyond the Mainz sights for just one day.
- If you have more than one day in Mainz, you’re sure to find time for the city’s exciting museums:
- Rhineland-Palatinate State Museum
- Gutenberg Museum
- Carnival Museum
- Museum of Ancient Maritime
- Visit the stadium of FSV Mainz 05 and watch Bundesliga soccer in a great atmosphere. You can find information about tickets on the club’s website.
- Excursion to Wiesbaden or Biebrich Castle
- Day trip to the Main metropolis Frankfurt
Mainz is a great starting point for excursions and day trips to the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Especially by ship, the many castles, palaces and the legendary Loreley Rock on the romantic Middle Rhine Valley can be easily visited. The ships depart directly from Mainz.
As an additional source of inspiration for the shore excursion or city trip to Mainz and whole Germany I recommend the the Essentials with all Germany highlights:
You want to prepare yourself optimally for your vacation in Mainz and get a good overview? No problem! In another detailed article from JOURNICATION you will find an overview of the best sights in Mainz.
Now you know the best Mainz sights in one day and see what a great destination the city on the Rhine is. Are Mainz with the Fastnachtsbrunnen, the Mainz Cathedral and the Kirschgarten now also on your bucket list?
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