Groningen. An ancient city that’s young at heart. Where you can enjoy the peace of centuries-old courtyards, while lively student spots and bustling market squares are just around the corner. This vibrant city buzzes with energy. Have you already seen the many highlights? Don’t worry. There’s always something new to discover in Groningen.
Like a local
Vibrant city life vs. ultimate peace and quiet

Vibrant city life vs. ultimate peace and quiet

Groninger Forum and Martinitoren
With brand-new architecture rising up next to historic, centuries-old buildings, Groningen is just like its inhabitants: down-to-earth, vibrant and daring. Standing watch over all of this is the Martini Tower, a Gothic beacon amidst Groningen's bustling city life. Nicknamed D'Olle Grieze (The Old Grey One), it has been looking out over the city and the surrounding countryside for over 500 years and has witnessed many changes. One such change was the building of the Forum. This contemporary and futuristic building is the new cultural ‘living room’ of the city, with a library, cinema and various exhibition spaces. Take the escalators up – an experience in itself – and enjoy the unparalleled view from the roof.
Groningen is bursting with creativity. It’s the heart of the vibrant cultural scene of the northern part of the Netherlands and home to numerous museums, theatres and festivals. Take the Groninger Museum. The exterior alone is a work of art, and then there are its unique exhibitions. Take a good look around when walking through the city, because art can often be found literally in the street. Festivals such as Eurosonic Noorderslag and Noorderzon provide a stage to local and international talent, so it’s no surprise that Groningen was an important stepping stone to global fame for international artists such as Dua Lipa and Sam Smith.
Eurosonic Noorderslag

Poelestraat Groningen
Not quite ready for the day to end? Don't worry, Groningen has a fantastic range of nightlife options. There are no closing times for bars and clubs, so you can go out as long as you want. In the Poelestraat and the Peperstraat you’ll find a multitude of venues to let your hair down, but there is also plenty to discover in the rest of the city. There is always a place where you can enjoy a special beer or dance the night away.
Whether you like bustling city life or open spaces and peaceful countryside. Groningen has it all. Just outside the city, you will find charming little villages where you can unwind amongst the greenery or on the water. The surrounding countryside offers beautiful natural surroundings that are ideal for walking and cycling. Here you can relax and recharge.
Wander through the healthiest city in the Netherlands

Wander through the healthiest city in the Netherlands

Groningen might be a bustling city full of energy, but it’s also a great place to relax and unwind. The many parks and natural surroundings mean you can enjoy the silence and leave everyday life behind for a little while. Why not visit the Stadspark, the ‘back garden’ of Groningen. It was donated to the city in 1907 by Jan Evert Scholten, one of the richest people in the Netherlands at the time. The Vondelpark in Amsterdam and the Zuiderpark in The Hague pale in comparison to this 140-hectare gift.

De Gezonde Stad Index 2022
Groningen is the healthiest city in the Netherlands
De Gezonde Stad Index 2022

Go almost anywhere on foot or by bike

Cycling in Groningen
Groningen’s many green spaces are why it’s been declared the healthiest city in the Netherlands. Also worth noting is the space given to cyclists and pedestrians. Almost any destination can be reached on foot or by bicycle. So bring your bike or hire one when visiting Groningen. It’s a healthy way to see the city and its surroundings and allows you to see the places you just cannot go with a car.

Hidden gems
Visit remarkable, historic courtyards

Visit remarkable, historic courtyards

A long time ago, the poor, the sick, and widows could seek free shelter in Groningen's almshouses. The shared courtyards of these almshouses are a typical Groningen phenomenon. There are still many to be found in the city centre. Please note: the entrance gates are not always easily noticeable, but if you find one you should definitely take a look. Even if it’s just to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet. Because they are walled, the courtyards are far quieter than the hustle and bustle going on around them.
Pelstergasthuis hofje
Sint Anthony Gasthuis hofje
Two of the most famous courtyards belong to the St. Geertruidsgasthuis. In the past, Stadjers, the inhabitants of Groningen, could go to the fair on Sunday and, for a few cents, they could look through the bars at those they called the 'crazy people'. It’s not an episode in Groningen’s history to be proud of, and thankfully those fairs no longer exist. Those courtyards now offer a soothing green escape from the city.
Curious about all the courtyards? At the Groningen Store you can pick up a city walk that takes you past all the courtyards of Groningen, offering interesting information along the way. Or take a guided tour with someone from the Groningen guide team. They will show you the best places and courtyards and share all kinds of fascinating details about them.

Discover more cities as a local

Boating in Almere surrounded by architectural gems
Category: Discover

Almere: The youngest city in the Netherlands

The newest city in the Netherlands might just surprise you with all it has to offer. ‘Ally’ is an open-air museum of modern architecture.

Category: Discover

Maastricht: City in a landscape of rolling hills

Maastricht positively brims with culture, creativity and welcoming charm. Experience this Limburg gem like a true local and enjoy the beautiful nature, great food and friendly people.

Stationsplein Utrecht
Category: Discover

Utrecht: The most cycle-friendly city

Find out why Utrecht is regarded as a cozier alternative to Amsterdam.