Wiesbaden and Mainz are both state capitals, Wiesbaden being the capital of Hesse, and Mainz the primary city of Rhineland-Palatinate. Joining the two cities is the stunning Theodor Heuss Bridge, a bridge that did not escape the devastation of a retreating army in 1945, but has since been restored to its full glory.
Frankfurt, the fifth largest city in Germany, is approximately 40 km drive from either city along predictably good and fast German roads, giving expatriates living in Wiesbaden-Mainz easy access to big business, an extended network of jobs, and international travel.
Both cities have excellent transport structures. The road systems are generally superb, with good quality surfaces. However, due to the structures of the inner cities, as well as the number of people working in and around them, the roads in Wiesbaden and Mainz can be congested at rush hour times.
Driving is on the right hand side of the road in Germany, and please be aware that if your native driver’s license is not printed in English or German, you will require an International Driving Permit.
Cycling is accommodated by both road systems, but Mainz is particularly cycle friendly. Both cities have busy main rail stations, both served by the prompt and expansive Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV) transport network, which was the largest network in the world upon its foundation in 1995. Both cities are also stops on the S-Bahn rapid commuter transport rail systems.
Many bus routes connect the two cities, and also run extensively through the surrounding area, particularly towards Frankfurt. These services are generally extremely punctual and affordable. Mainz also has a tram service and Frankfurt airport is approximately 30 km from both city centers.
Healthcare in Germany as a whole is generally of the highest standard and extensive in its nature, with most residents being covered by state-funded schemes. You can find out more about this topic in our InterNations Guide to Health and Insurance in Germany.
Both cities are served by a number of respected hospitals and clinics, as well as having good access to general medical practices. The main hospital for Wiesbaden is St. Josef’s, while Mainz has St. Vincenz and Elisabeth’s, both of which are centrally located and readily accessible.
The education system in Germany is overseen by the federal government, but varies from state to state. In most areas of Germany, children attend primary schools up until the age of 10, but this may extend up to 12 years of age in some areas, such as Berlin. Secondary education then continues in some form until the age of 18. Germany has 164 dedicated international schools.
Further education in Germany is vast and varied, and offers many opportunities to expats and their kids who live in Wiesbaden-Mainz. The two main universities in Wiesbaden are the EBS University of Business and Law, and the RheinMain University of Applied sciences. Mainz also has a University of Applied Sciences, as well as the University of Mainz itself, which specializes in many areas, from theology, through medicine and philosophy, to physics and chemistry.