Well, bundesliga.com is here to help you plan your short-trip to the university city that was once part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire...
Located on the river Rhine, Mainz is just a 45-minute drive away from its nearest largest city, Frankfurt am Main. The city can be reached by a high-speed train connection from Frankfurt, as well as Frankfurt Airport, which is 25km away and reachable via the S-Bahn (overland train) line S8. Other neighbouring larger cites are Stuttgart, some 130 km to the south, and Cologne, around 180 km north.
Instantly visible is the six-towered Roman Catholic Cathedral, the entrance to the old town, whose buildings blend Roman, Gothic and Baroque architecture. The Renaissance-inspired Marktbrunnen fountain is well worth a visit, as are the Mainz State Museum and the Gutenberg Museum, the latter curating the work of Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the movable-type printing press in the 15th century. Wine-drinking is a popular custom, and there is an annual Weinfest every August.
Take a stroll around the town to get a good feel for the city, as all the major attractions are central and within walking distance. The Gothic St. Stephan’s Church is just as much a must-see as Mainz Cathedral and you'll find numerous well-preserved Fachwerkhäuser (Medieval style houses) in the town centre. Make sure you also take a walk along the Rhine where you can grab a bite to eat or have a drink. Hearty options include Rhineland favourites such as Sauerbraten (German pot roast) and salmon, but there are plenty of international eateries at your disposal.
Newly built in 2011, 1. FSV Mainz 05’s Coface Arena is situated on the western edge of the city, just under five kilometres from the city centre. One of the Bundesliga's more intimate grounds, the Coface Arena nevertheless boasts an atmosphere as good as any you're likely to find elsewhere in Germany, especially during Fasching (carnival) season. If you can’t get one of the Matchday shuttle buses from the central station (Mainz Hauptbahnhof), bus 33 will take you to the Arena in under ten minutes.
Being a university city, there’s always something going on in Mainz. Wine tents and restaurants stay open late into the night towards the end of August and into September, while the streets spill over with costume-clad carnival-goers during Mainzer Fastnacht - a month-long Fasching celebration that traditionally kicks off on 11 November and comes to a head around Ash Wednesday. Natives will attest theirs is better than anything Köln or Düsseldorf has to offer, and they might be right.