Official language: Dutch, Frisian
Time zone: UTC+2 (summer), UTC+1 (winter)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
There are 200.000 inhabitants and 300.000 bicycles in Groningen! If you want to feel the real Dutch spirit, rent a blue and yellow city bike.
Three times a week, a marketplace operates at Grote Markt and Vismarkt (Fish Market). Be sure to go there and try local specialties, e.g., salted herring with onion.
From Groningen, it is worth going to the shallow Wadden Sea. The Dutch like to stroll around its bottom at low tide. You can also go for a cruise on board of a 130-year-old Willem Jacob ship.
In Groningen, there are about 200.000 inhabitants, a quarter of which are students. For that reason, the average age is only 36! This student city never sleeps – the majority of bars and clubs are open 24/7. Find out what the must-sees are and how it is best to spend time here.
Start sightseeing the city in the main square; Grote Markt is closed for car traffic and it is here that you will find the historic Martinitoren church. Climb up its famous tower to see the city panorama. History enthusiasts should also go to the gothic churches of St. Martin, Saint Joseph, and Der Aa-kerk, hosting many cultural events. Modern architecture and art lovers will not regret visiting the Groninger Museum, which was designed by Alessandro Mendini. This extremely atmospheric city with low brick buildings and charming streets makes the best impression when explored by bike or... from a ship. One-hour cruises through the city’s main canal start in the marina, in front of the museum.
If you want to party, go to Vismarkt, Poelestraat or Peperstraat, where most of the pubs and clubs are located. At 36-39 Grote Markt, you will find the biggest pub in Europe: Drie Gezusters which means “Three Sisters”. It gathers over 20 different party spots! Be sure to order a local beer, Bax. Since it is in the Netherlands, the city has about 30 coffee shops and… a red lantern district at Nieuwstadt. Once the party is over, and the day has come, take a rest in the shade of trees in Noorderplantsoen park – it’s a favorite meeting among the locals, regardless of age.
If you get hungry, grab some street food, e.g., very popular pancakes. These are served for instance in Pannenkoekenschip, considered the best eating spot in the city, as well as… aboard the Pancake Boat. At the stalls at Grote Markt treat yourself to a waffle with caramel (stroopwafel), a sandwich with herring, mackerel or shrimps and the widely adored Belgian fries. In the center, you can choose from a variety of eateries that offer delicious meals from every nook and corner of the world, e.g., Asian cuisine. Where should you go? We recommend Pigalle, Weeva, and Bistrot Gerecht. Don’t forget to taste local cheese: edam and gouda.