Stained glass at St Stephen's Church © Der Wilde Bernd
The capital of the Rhineland, Mainz is a bustling city with a curious but exciting mixture of medieval architecture and gleaming office blocks. The city is over 2,000 years old and mixes the old and the new with alacrity. The Dom und Diözesanmuseum dominates the skyline in the centre of town, and St Stephen's Church, with its original Chagall stained-glass windows, is a popular attraction in the Old Town, as is the Schillerplatz square. The Kaiserstraße boasts an attractive pedestrian boulevard and church. The city is compact enough to enjoy walking tours around town or along the Rhine.
Mainz is also the birthplace of Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, making books a popular souvenir from the city. The museum dedicated to Gutenberg is a highlight if you are interested in the revolution sparked by the printed word. The museum includes a working replica of Gutenberg's printing press and is housed in a beautiful old building. Mainz is close enough to Frankfurt for a quick day trip and one only needs a few hours to stroll around the historic Old Town, where many of the most attractive buildings are clumped, and enjoy one of the city's great restaurants or cafes. Equally, Mainz could occupy travellers for a whole holiday.