Once you step off the plane at Frankfurt Airport, a 30-minute train ride will take you to Mainz, City of Science and one of the World Wine Capitals located in one of Germany’s most renowned wine producing regions.
For the student who is fascinated by history, architecture, German culture, and life in a city catering to a student population of 35,000, Mainz offers a wealth of opportunities. Situated on the Rhine River, the city blends both rural and urban worlds. The combination of its unique local culture, characterized by openness, humor, and sociability with its easy-to-navigate setting make it the obvious choice for students who want to quickly and effectively immerse themselves in the local communities and enjoy the famous Gemütlichkeit of the Rhineland. Really: Wo kann’s schöner sein?
As capital of the German state of Rheinland-Pfalz, Mainz boasts a 2,000-year history—from the Romans to medieval Christendom to modern Germany, a history that is evident throughout the city. If you follow the city’s cobblestone streets bustling with life, you’ll pass by the cathedral, walk by 18th-century palaces, step into highly specialized museums, see a performance at one of the six theaters, enjoy local produce and goodies at the open-air markets and shop in vibrant neighborhoods rebuilt after World War II.
But as the heart of one of Germany’s main cultural and economic centers, Mainz is home to major newspapers, and radio and TV stations, among them the headquarters of the ZDF. A short train ride takes you either to Wiesbaden, the capital of Hesse, or Frankfurt, where international companies and banks do business within the vicinity of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Everybody enrolled in the Johannes-Gutenberg Universität in Mainz can use the sports facilities and take sports classes. Make sure to check the program of the “Allgemeiner Hochschulsport” for your favorite activity. Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, self-defense classes or aerobics have been amongst the favorites so far. In addition to what the university offers, students might choose to row on the Rhine, go bouldering or hiking along the Rheinsteig, join a local running team, or brush up their dancing skills.
On the Mainz website you’ll find listings of all the clubs and organizations offering numerous activities. Make new German friends while pursuing the hobby you’ve always loved or by taking up a new one altogether. And don’t miss the many restaurants offering international and local specialties.
You can count on being supported in pursuing your cultural, historical, musical, or sportive interests on your own. Lots of materials containing information on spots of interest in Mainz and the close-by cities of Wiesbaden (capital city of Hessen) and Frankfurt (Museumsufer) are provided.
Theater and Cinema
The Mainzer Staatstheater with its additional stages in the Kleine Haus and the TIC, the Mainzer Kammer Spiele, and the political, satirical, and hilariously funny Mainzer Unterhaus (quite famous in Germany and a stage on which every self-respecting German Kabarettist has to have performed) all stage a variety of performances that include classical and contemporary German and internationally acclaimed drama, concerts performing the music of all periods, as well as operas and Operetten—something in between an opera and the American-style musical.
There are a couple of movie theaters in Mainz. One of them, the CineStar, contains 10 different theaters.
Museums and Exhibitions
Mainzers like to celebrate, and they do it all year. In the summer, open-air concerts and festivals pop up all over the Rhein-Main area. One of the most popular is the Open-Ohr-Festival in Mainz on Pentecost weekend (including Monday), the Johannisfest in June and the Mainzer Sommerlichter in July. [More]