Detailed information about accommodation options is available here.
Detailed information on how to get to Mainz can be found here.
All German ATMs (“Geldautomat” or “Bankautomat”) accept bank cards with the Maestro sign. Other bank cards or credit cards may be accepted, depending on the logos displayed on the ATM. In most cases, there will be an ATM charge for foreign cards.
While virtually all hotels, many restaurants, and some larger shops accept credit cards, acceptance is not universal, especially for small amounts. The most widely accepted credit cards are MasterCard and Visa; a few places may also accept AmEx and Diners, but will do so almost certainly only for an additional charge.
Driving licenses from EU/EEA member countries are valid in Germany without limitations. Other driving licenses are valid during a visit to Germany if you hold an International Driving Permit or have an official translation of your national driving license into German.
Except where a lower limit is signalled by traffic signs, the speed limit is 50 km/h inside towns or cities, and 100 km/h outside (except on the Autobahn).
The German electricity network operates on a 220V 50Hz AC basis. Wall sockets are suitable for both standard flat Euro plugs and the more bulky German “Schuko” plugs. Adapter plugs are sold in electronics stores and sometimes also in drugstores located in airports and train stations.
The emergency number is 112.
EU citizens are entitled to free access to medical care when presenting a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by the health authorities of their home country. All others should ensure they have appropriate travelling health insurance coverage.
Pharmacies (called “Apotheke” in Germany) will require a modest co-pay also for prescriptions covered under an EHIC; minor medicines (such as aspirin, cough syrup or band aids) will have to be fully paid by the patient in all cases.
There is free WLAN access for participants at the conference venue. We are trying our very best to ensure the bandwidth is sufficient even for this notoriously bandwidth-hungry audience.
You will find a piece of paper with your WLAN user name and password among your registration materials. The SSID is "Uni-Mainz", and the network is secured using WPA2 encryption and 802.1x (Radius) authentication. Alternatively you could also use the open (insecure) "Winulum" network. Please refer to the university's IT department's website for more information about how to setup the WLAN on your computer.
Participants from European institutions participating in the eduroam network can also access the internet securely using their eduroam account from anywhere on campus.
Many hotels will also offer internet access in their rooms, though in some cases there may be an additional charge. You can find out any details by enquiring at your hotel's reception desk.
Mainz is a very safe city, but nevertheless you should always take care not to take any unnecessary risks and avoid lonely and unlit areas when walking alone, in particular at night.
While considerably cleaner now than in the late 20th century, the Rhine is not suitable for swimming.
A local transportation ticket valid in all buses and trams in Mainz for the duration of the conference is included in the registration pack.
The postage for a standard letter or postcard to international destinations is ¢75. Stamps can be bought at post offices (and usually at the reception desk of your hotel); the Mainz central post office is in Bahnhofstraße, in the immediate vicinity of the tram/bus stop “Münsterplatz”. German post boxes are yellow.
The German mobile phone network operates on the GSM 900 and DCS 1800 standards. For some incomprehensible reason, a mobile phone is known as a “Handy” (with English pronunciation) in German (and many Germans actually believe this to be the English word for mobile phone).
The international dialling code for Germany is +49. From Germany, the “+” prefix is 00.
The emergency number is 112.
By law, the listed prices in shops and restaurants already include “Mehrwertsteuer” (MWSt.), the German version of VAT or sales tax, so what you see is what you pay.
Service is already included in your restaurant bill; however, giving a tip of 5–10% is considered polite. The customary manner of tipping is to mention the total (i.e. amount of the bill plus tip) to the server while paying, so that the server will give change accordingly. Tips are not usually left on the table.
Rental cars are widely available from internationally-known companies such as Hertz, Sixt, Avis or Europcar. German cars usually have a manual transmission, but many car rental places provide automatics upon request, possibly for an additional charge.
With very few exceptions (notably shops in train stations, at airports, and at fuel stations), German shops remain closed all day on Sundays. On weekdays, shops will typically close around 8pm.
In the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, smoking is banned inside all public buildings, including the university buildings. Throughout Germany, smoking is banned on buses and trains. Outside of designated smoking areas, smoking is also banned at train stations and in airports.
There are no vaccinations required to enter Germany, but the German government recommends vaccine protection against Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (whooping cough). Persons intending to hike in rural areas of southern Germany are also recommended to have vaccine protection against tick-borne encephalitis.
The weather in late July is generally expected to be fine, with an average high of 24 oC (75 oF) and average low of 13 oC (56 oF). There is a high probability of sunshine and a moderate probability of mostly mild precipitation.