Located in northern Holland, Groningen is known primarily as a university city. However, the city has a rich cultural background and is a beautiful place to visit. The city centre is also the Old Town. It is surrounded by a charming canal providing lovely tours, and is filled with historic buildings, museums, and cathedrals as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes. The student population makes Groningen a lively and diverse place to visit. There are some fun markets and a popular pedestrian zone with great shopping. The city is very pedestrian-friendly, however, the best way to explore is like the locals—by bike!
Location: Northern Holland in the region of Groningen
The capital city of the region, which shares its name, Groningen is located in northern Holland. The city has great transportation links, and is reachable by air, train, car, or bus. Groningen Airport is only 20 to 30 minutes away from the centre, and the city is served by three train stations (Groningen Central, Groningen Europapark, and Groningen Noord). If driving, the city can be found on the A28 and A7 motorways.
Business: Dependent on its two universities
The University of Groningen along with the University of Applied Sciences contributes heavily to the city’s economy, with about 25% of the entire population being students. Because of the student population, you can find a large amount of businesses in the form of restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in and around Groningen, especially in the city centre.
Culture: A university city with a diverse culture
You may often hear Groningen referred to as “The Metropolis of the North” in Holland. Despite its relatively small size, the city has a very large character, partly due to its diverse student population. Music and the arts are very alive here with performances at multiple venues, including the Stadsschouwburg and MartiniPlaza. There is also the Groningen Museum, which houses one of the best contemporary art collections in the world. And don’t forget to check out the markets Grote Markt and the Vismarkt for some local goods and excellent food!
Activities: A cycle-friendly city with lots to do!
Cycling is a must in this city, and you’ll see plenty of people riding everywhere. With its beautiful canals, this is the perfect way to see the city. If you’re adventurous, you can also rent a canoe and paddle through the canals. In the city centre, a walk to the top of the Martini Tower is a must. From up there, you’ll have excellent views. Definitely head to Folkingestraat, where you’ll find the most picturesque street with the best shopping.