The red train crossing the bridge in this photo is the S8, which has come from Hanau by way of Frankfurt and the Frankfurt airport.
From here it will go on to Mainz Süd (south station), Mainz Hauptbahnhof (central station) and from there to Mainz Nord (north station) before crossing back over the Rhine on another bridge in the direction of Wiesbaden.
You can take your bicycle for free on the S-Bahn in the Rhine-Main area, but you must have a ticket for yourself before boarding the train.
The S-Bahn trains are the only ones that stop at each and every stop along the way, and they are the only trains with no toilets, on the theory that people will use them for short rides only.
Mainz, being close to Frankfurt, has excellent train connections, plus a number of direct lines from the city itself to numerous destinations about the country. From Mainz Hbf you can get direct trains to Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart and even Innsbruck and other cities in Austria. The station is located on the western edge of the old town, and if you want to get into the main part of the city as fast as possible its best to take a right up Bahnhofstrasse and head towards Schillerplatz.
S-Bahn or RE trains from Frankfurt takes about 45mins to 1 hour to Mainz Haupbahnhof. The Mainz suedbahnhof is nearer to the centre of the town though. About 5-10 mins walk from Mainz suedbahnhof.
S-Bahn trains also run into the nearby towns such as Wiesbaden in less than 10mins.
Typically I drive into Mainz when visiting; however, recently I had the opportunity to use the train station. I was on a journey that required me to change trains at the Mainz central station (Hauptbahnhof) and I was in a bit of a hurry because I had limited time between trains. I also was traveling with a toddler and a stroller.
I’m familiar with traveling on the German train system and typically have no difficulties. However, I was perplexed upon arrival in Mainz to find no signs leading me to the other platforms. I saw steps heading down, but no signs. I was in a hurry and I had to consider my small passenger as well. Finally, I opted to go to the main part of the station and start from there. At this point, my train was within two minutes of departure and I found I had to go up the escalators to the bridge and then go down a long set of steps to my platform (no elevators were seen in the immediate vicinity). Up and down we went, arriving on our platform rather out of breath (well, me – not my companion since he was in a stroller). Fortunately, our train was delayed by ten minutes so we made our connection. However, without this delay, we would’ve missed the train.
The next day we were once again in Mainz on our return journey, but this time our platforms were in the same place so there was not a problem (except that our train was late again – but I was so happy to not have to trek across the station that I didn’t mind the delay).
My suggestion when changing trains in Mainz is to 1) allow ample time between your trains and 2) if your platform is not listed on the signs, head to the main part of the station (look for signs that say “Ausgang to City”).
These recent travels with my grandson have given me a new appreciation for those who must navigate the public transport system with baby strollers or small children in tow.
From the Frankfurt airport, it's easy to visit Mainz since there's a train station inside the airport. The train will have visiters in Mainz within fifteen or thirty minutes, depending on which train they ride. However, there's more than one station for Mainz, so be sure to depart at either the Mainz Main station or the Mainz Sud (south) station. Don't depart at the Mainz Kastel station, which is abandoned.
By far the best way to get around Germany is by train. Rail service is suburb even though it is a little expensive. Trains run to/from Cologne every hour and stop in Mainz on the way. You can also catch trains from Koblenz to Mainz or Frankfurt which will lead you by the Rhine river for most of the journey.
There are frequent trains that run between Mainz and Frankfurt - with a convenient stop at the Frankfurt International Airport. The only trick is making sure that you board the right train - there are several platforms - and you have to make sure that you're on the right portion of the platform.
The Hauptbahnhof in Mainz looks more like an impressive civic museum than a train station!
Best deal is to get a German Rail Pass which allows unlimited travel for a given days. Train tickets are not so cheap in Germany. To see the beautiful Rhine Town and Castle, you need to use the train to get to places like Bingen, Koblenz and St. Goar
PLEASE NOTE THAT FERRY DO NOT RUN OR ARE VERY LIMITED DURING WINTER TIME SO TRAIN IS A MUST IN WINTER
The bahnhof is located in the centre of the town which is about 15 minutes walk from the Market Place.
You might also want to consider getting a Rail pass from Traveldex which offers cheap rates for oversea visitors