Top things to do in Groningen

Attractions, tours, and activities in Groningen

About Groningen

Including tips for the best time to visit Groningen

The city of Groningen was formerly one of the Netherland’s most prominent cities, evidence of which can still be found in its historical Grote Markt and illustrious medieval architecture. Across Groningen, you’ll find museums like the Groninger Museum detailing the city’s history and artistic past, as well as how it came to be known as the ‘Metropolis of the North’.

Groningen remains one of Holland’s most picturesque cities with many dining and shopping areas lining its canals. Take a walking tour across the Old Town to see the neoclassical and neo-renaissance architecture of the Provinciehuis or experience some nature at the Noorderplantsoen. These festival grounds showcase the overgrown walls of the former city, reminiscent of a traditional English garden. For exquisite views of Groningen and its surrounding areas, climb the stairs of the 15th-century Martinitoren Bell Tower that dominates the skyline. Outside the city, the fortified village of Bourtange is not to be missed – renowned for its moat system and geometric hedgerows.

As one of the Netherland’s largest university towns, Groningen has superb nightlife. Start your evening at the Old Town’s Martinus Brewery to sample local beers in a traditional bierkeller environment. Afterwards, head to the Grote Markt’s Der Witz Café for an idiosyncratic pub filled with titbits and curiosities or visit The Stockroom – Groningen’s first speakeasy, home to 1920s iconography. For music, Simplon hosts over 200 events a year, ranging from pop and urban to techno, attracting music lovers from across the Netherlands.

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Most popular time to visit October-December
Cheapest time to visit January-March
Local currency € 1 = $1.05
Language Dutch
Average weekend price $123 per night
Average weekday price $125 per night
Average stay 1 night

Points of interest in Groningen

Stay near the top sightseeing spots in Groningen

Groningen reviews

What other travelers say about Groningen

10

Much more to do than we initially realised.

June 20, 2022

Much more to do than we initially realised. Recommended: canal tour, Groningen Museum, Interior Architecture of Groningen Railway Station, loved The Forum, went out to University of Groningen Zernike Campus to photograph the architecture, did a walking tour of the city and identified so many great places to eat. The Swingin’ Groningen music festival was on so we saw some sets across the multiple stages across the city, enjoyed the Maak Festival (craft festival). Buses are so easy around the city. Use your feet or use the bus (for Zernike Campus). Beware some restaurants don’t accept Visa Debit or Visa Credit. You’ll need cash or Maestro to pay in those locations. This is because Visa “promises to pay” which in those venues is seen as a loan and is therefore not acceptable to some independent traders. They also don’t like the American Express card because of the fees Amex charge. We ate macarons and bonbons at Grand Cafe Prinsenhof after a walk through the stunning Prinsenhof Gardens - check it out in Google maps, it looks good from an aerial perspective too, Pho Saigon Restaurant had HUGE portions of great food. Smaller portions and less good was the Het Goudkantoor behind the Grote Markt but it was hosting a live music event. Not bad, just not great. We ate on the terrace at Markt Hotel and that was delicious. Best food by a mile we had was at the Four Roses Mexican restaurant, I normally avoid Mexican food because it can me hot or miss, but this was a BIG HIT. We were hugely surprised by the exhibits in the Groningen museum - much more beautiful and interesting than we were expecting. Would love to go back again.

Laura
Laura Ireland
10

Fabulous city , loads to see and do.

April 18, 2022

Fabulous city , loads to see and do. Groninger museum is well worth a visit, always has interesting exhibitions. Lovely city to stroll around , lots of seating areas, lovely parks and canals , terrific coffee shops and bars.

Mary
Mary Ireland
10

Groningen is a great city in the North of the Netherlands.

March 28, 2022

Groningen is a great city in the North of the Netherlands. The whole city was friendly and easy to navigate. We found a great range of food and drink options (especially the Smoke meat platter) A wide range of activities round the city is super cool. Great place to relax and watch the world go by for a long weekend

Stuart
Stuart United Kingdom
10

Groningen has many sweet bars and restaurants.

March 7, 2022

Groningen has many sweet bars and restaurants. be picky! There are lots of options! Visiting the old 'Hofjes' or 'Gasthuizen' is definetely wirthwile: there are many of these areas, where between the 16th and 19th century, sick, old or otherwise troubled people were offered housing. The vvv offers many tips where to go and what to do. The easiest way to get around is by foot: the inner city is extremely accesible.

Karen
Karen Germany
10

A wonderful mid-sized city with plenty of sun and...

March 3, 2022

A wonderful mid-sized city with plenty of sun and picturesque photo ops for those who want to take some. The Forum, the Vismarkt and the Grote Markt are definitely recommended, they provide so many views of the city from the top to the bottom. The Noordenplantsoen is where you would go for a trip out to the park, especially in the spring and summer. Your best bet of getting around fast is the bike, but you can walk anywhere in the city center within 15 mn from point A to point B. Their bus system is great too, just make sure you get what is called an OV-chipkaart when you first arrive at the bus station, that is the best way to pay since they don't take cash, only debit cards (Vpay) or the OV-chipkaart. As is everywhere in the Netherlands, be wary of the bikes because they WILL run you over!

Anna
Anna Netherlands
10

Groningen is a lovely town with a wide variety of...

January 11, 2022

Groningen is a lovely town with a wide variety of (vegetarian) food options, boutiques for shopping and green spaces. Hungry? Get your fix at croissanterie Du Nord, and your burger+fries at BØRGØR (soft serve yum!). Get the miniature egg balls (eierbal) at gastropub De Drie Gezusters and pair with their Blonde craft beer. Shopping? Folkingestraat and Oosterstraat. Views? Don't forget to stop by the Groningen tourist store at Forum and marvel at the skyline from its rooftop (free entrance) to admire the Martini tower up close. Travel: Best is to explore the city by foot or by bike. Busses take you to peripheral green areas. For instance: National Park Lauwersmeer is just 50mins away by bus!

Yi
Yi Netherlands

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