Mainz (Photo:Claudio Divizia/Shutterstock)
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Maria Harding
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of Mainz

Germany's Mainz -- a 2,000-year-old city of leafy squares, timbered medieval buildings, intriguing cobbled alleys, charming restaurants and offbeat shops -- is a highlight of any cruise along the Rhine River, not least because it's so easily explored.

Just a short stroll from the riverside, you'll find two of the city's highlights: the Gutenberg Museum (which celebrates Mainz's role as home of the world's first printing press and its first product, the world-famous Gutenberg Bible), and the wonderfully atmospheric St. Martin's Cathedral, also known as The Dom.

There are also Roman ruins, magnificent Baroque churches and Rococo houses to discover, as well as spectacular stained-glass windows designed by the famous artist Marc Chagall.

But if you've had your fill of sightseeing and museums, just take a stroll around Mainz's charming Old Town, where you can browse antique and art shops, and tuck into delicious German coffee and cake at one of its many street cafes. No doubt you'll consider your day there well spent.

About Mainz


Pro

Gorgeous churches, town squares and the Gutenberg Museum are worth exploring

Con

It's a quiet town; loud music is banned by law

Bottom Line

Mainz, the home of the world's first printing press, has much to offer visitors


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Where You're Docked

Riverboats moor up alongside the Hilton Hotel; from there, it's a short, pleasant walk to the city center. (Just walk ahead along the riverbank and turn right.)

Good to Know

Per local regulations, it's forbidden to play radios or loud music in public.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The official currency is the euro; for the latest exchange rate, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. ATM machines abound in Mainz; just stroll around the Old Town (aka the city center) and you'll find them everywhere.

Language

English is spoken widely in Mainz, but an attempt to speak a few words of German is always appreciated by the locals.

Shopping

If you really want to impress the neighbours, take home a page from the Gutenberg Bible, printed on a traditional press as developed by local hero Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century. You'll find these for sale in the shop attached to the Gutenberg Museum (see "Don't Miss"). Your best bet may be a page telling the Christmas story, with beautiful illustrations; pick up a page in black and white or full color, either solo or framed.

Best Cocktail

Situated at the heart of the Rheinhessen wine region (and within an hour's drive of seven other wine districts),Mainz is known as Germany's wine capital. So the fruit of the vine, particularly Riesling, is the must-try local drink. If you've a head for stronger stuff, you should also try Mainzer Lehmann Chen, a popular wine-based liqueur.