See the best of Mainz in 24 hours – take a look at the main attractions. Rheinhessen is also known as the "land of 1,000 hills“, so it is only fitting that you should begin your tour of Mainz at the top of one.
Kupferberg hill affords spectacular views across the city and is also the location of the Kupferberg sekt winery. The name "Kupferberg" is synonymous with sparkling wine. Explore the centuries-old vaulted cellars, which burrow several storeys deep down into Kupferberg hill, and sample some sekt in the magnificent rooms of the neo-classical building (museum, guided tour and sekt tasting by prior arrangement: www.kupferbergterrasse.de
From Kupferberg, it's on to the next hill, Stephansberg, where the Gothic Church of St. Stephen contains a unique treasure: stained glass windows by the French artist Marc Chagall. They bathe the church in an iridescent blue that looks like something from another world. Admire the breathtaking beauty of the windows and don't miss what may well be the most beautiful cloisters in Rhineland-Palatinate.
From Stephansberg, your tour takes you through picturesque lanes down to the old quarter. The main street here is Augustinerstrasse, lined with little boutiques and home of the baroque Augustinian Church. Strolling towards the cathedral, you'll see to your left the Cherry Garden – a romantic square at the heart of the old town. A few more steps across Leichhof square brings the imposing 1,000-year-old cathedral into view. Did you spot the mounted figure on the roof? It is St. Martin, after whom the cathedral is named. On the other side of the cathedral is the pretty market square, where a lively market is held on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Cross the square in the direction of the Rhine and you will come to the Haus zum Römischen Kaiser, home of the Gutenberg Museum. This is one of the oldest museums of printing in the world and is dedicated to one of the city's most famous sons, Johannes Gutenberg. As well as a copy of the world-famous Gutenberg Bible and many other unique printed treasures, the museum also has an authentic reconstruction of Gutenberg's printshop. There is a demonstration every hour from 10 a.m. onwards (except 1p.m.).
From the museum it's just a stone's throw to the Rhine. There, you can either take a cruise with a Rhine riverboat and admire Mainz from the river, or wander along the pretty promenade. To the left is the state parliament and the Electoral Palace, to the right are the historical Fort Malakoff and the shopping arcades. Through the arcades you can reach the Museum of Ancient Shipbuilding, which has five original shipwrecks dating back to Roman times.
Outside the gates of the city, the wide Rheinhessen hills stretch into the distance, reminding many visitors of Tuscany. Whether exploring the idyllic villages along the Rhine or the many villages of the 'hinterland', it's worth looking out for the vintner's taverns - a Rheinhessen institution. These cozy taverns are run by the wine-producers themselves on their own estates and can be recognised by the bunches of flowers hanging above the doorway - A delightful and romantic way to round off your Mainz experience!