Home Venue Groningen attractions

Social & Cultural Activities ‘to do’ during your stay in Groningen


Groningen is rich in history, open and hospitable, right on top of everything. It will grab you almost immediately. Let's just be honest. So many cities have lots to offer. Groningen is certainly one of them. Groningen is more than worth a visit. The credo is: ‘Nothing goes beyond Groningen’.

A visit to the ‘Groninger Museum’. Situated on which was once a canal opposite the railway station and is the golden eye-catcher of the city. The first large post-modernist building in the world. Built in water. Nothing yellow about the design. Who had the vision to create a building like this? Who had the guts to turn the ideas into reality? 200,000+ visitors a year since it opened. People travel to Groningen just to see this building. It is featured in every serious history of modern architecture. The inside is as original as the outside.




Groninger Museum



The museum is from Italian architecture but more buildings in Groningen have this background for instant in the inner city: The Waagstraatcomplex is located behind the town hall in Groningen’s city centre. Designed by the Italian architect Natalini, the complex consists of three mutually joined buildings into which the Goudkantoortje from 1635 has been integrated. The various works of art were commissioned by the architect, and placed as an integral part of the complex.

A walk taking in architectural highlights throughout the city is available at the Tourist Information Office at the Eastern site of the Grote Markt.


Station Hall

Station hall


The Groningen main railway station has more to offer besides getting on or off a train. This is the “cathedral of the winged wheel”’, the entrance gate for the city as well as an extremely important monument. When standing in the main hall, imagine yourself a traveller from the 19th century: admire shelters for various classes, leaded windows, beautifully decorated ceilings, and a very particular six metre-high wrought iron streetlight in the centre.


Another one is the modern Public Library which dates from 1992 and was designed by Georgio Grassi. It is located next to the 13th century Calmers house, the oldest Groningen house in the Oude Boteringestraat. The Italian architect subtly adapted the dimensions of this modern building to its historical surroundings, resulting in a harmonious contrast. These two buildings are round the corner where the Academic Building is situated. In the cellar next to the Public Library you can rent a bicycle for a day to make a longer trip to the city.
(Oude Boteringestraat 18).


The most important Groningen monument is the Martini tower which has overlooked the city for over five hundred years. This fourth highest tower of the Netherlands can be climbed until the third gallery. Afterwards, see the Martini church, the largest church in Groningen. Originating from approximately 1230, it includes frescos from the 13th century, and one of the largest Baroque organs in northwest Europe. Ask about the church’s opening hours prior to your visit. Both are situated right in the middle of the city at the north east side of the Grote Markt.



Martini Tower

Martini tower


If you are looking for quiet in the city, find one of the over thirty courts of almshouses: tranquil places in the city, often hidden behind impressive doors. These small houses originally provided accommodation to pilgrims, the poor, sick, and elderly. A special ‘Hofjeswandeling’ takes in a number of the most interesting ones. This special ‘walk’ will be organised by this years Eusarf Social Committee and will be held in groups of 20 persons and brings you around the most important buildings of the city of Groningen within 2,5 hours. The town walks will be held on Saturday 25th. Registration for this walk is possible on the website: www.eusarf2010.nl




One of the many ‘hofjes’


The Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat has several particular bookstores. The Zwerver travel bookstore supplies maps and travel guides, and books with travelling stories. More bookstores are situated in the vicinity: there is an antiquarian bookstore, which specializes in literature and art books.  The Zuiderdiep is paradise for lovers and collectors of antiques, curiosa, and art. A considerable number of antique shops are located here.

H. de Boer antiques is one of the many antique shops at the Zuiderdiep, and specialises in antiques, curiosa, and silver. Other antiques shops include Art & Nostalgie at number 114, De Essentie at number 102, Mimore at number 79/81, Bogart at number 108, and Bruin Antiquities at number 122.

A few miles south of the city of Groningen you will find the biggest botanical garden of The Netherlands. It consists of approximately 20 hectares of plants from all over the world and some hothouses. The Hortus Haren is worth a visit in every season. You may visit the Laarman Tuin, the oldest and largest part of the garden with an arboretum and a pinetum and a part with deciduous trees. In this garden a unique collection of wild plants can be found and in the spring rare orchids and stinzen plants flower here. You will find peace and quiet here and also a somewhat mysterious atmosphere.


Hortus in winter

Hortus during winter

There is an English garden, a water garden, a hydrangea garden, agricultural gardens, a bamboo garden and hothouses. In the Celtic Gardens of Ogham you walk through a time tunnel and “nine waves” before you enter ‘The Other World”. It is a green paradise with gods, legends and fairies from the mythological world and there is also a maze. In the Alpine Rock Garden you will be amazed by the wonderful plants. On top of the rock garden you have a great view of the Hortus at large. A visit isn’t complete without seeing the Chinese garden. The hidden Ming Empire is an authentic copy of a Feng Shui garden of the Ming dynasty. Craftsmen from China created and built the pavilions with poetic names like “The Pavilion of a Hundred Flowers” and “The Moaning of the Dragon” tea house. There are only three of this kind of gardens in the whole world outside China, one in Australia, one in Canada and the one in Hortus Haren. The Hortus also houses many parrots and it has a wonderful insectarium. Hortus Botanicus Haren
Kerklaan 34, 9751 NN Haren.


Haren is just 6 kilometres away and easy to find by local busses or by train. There are enough other interesting places to find in the Provence of Groningen, for instant a total relaxing day at Golden Tulip Resort Fontana Nieuweschans. Enjoying the wholesome Thermal bath, dozing off in the pleasant warmth on the Sauna square and feel completely reborn after a relaxing body-treatment. This is what you can expect from a stay in Golden Tulip Resort Fontana Nieuweschans. Here you can leave the daily stress and worries behind you and settle down completely! For more info go to: http://www.goldentulipresortfontananieuweschans.nl/default.aspx?Language=EN


Also in the province, near the German border (proximally a 40 minutes drive from the city) there is Bourtange, which is a unique fortress town. Completely restored to its original state, surrounded by ramparts. Old houses, cafés, shops, boutiques. Touristy? Yes, but not really. Combine with Ter Apel. Or one of the unique ‘lintdorpen’ – historic strip villages, long single rows of houses on both sides of a canal, from the days of peat.





University Gift Shop

The University Shop offers a wide range of high-quality goods, including clothing, china, design and other gifts. The University Shop is located in the centre of Groningen (Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 39).
Last Updated on Sunday, 13 June 2010 20:17