Carve out some time to explore this incredibly youthful and lively city. See our recommendations on how to best enjoy Groningen, suitable for 2, 3 or 4 days.
Start at the Groningen Museum, which is located opposite the main central station and is the most high profile museum in Holland. This is due not only to its striking design by Italian architect Mendini, but also because of varying exhibitions, including works by Russian painter Repin, American photographer Andres Serrano, and Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf, among many others. The permanent collection showcases porcelain and other works by the Groningen artists’ collective, De Ploeg.
The most important Groningen monument is the Martini Tower (Martinitoren) which has overlooked Groningen for over five hundred years. This fourth highest tower of Holland (97 meters) can be climbed until the third gallery, where you can enjoy a perfect view over the city.
Head onto the Fortress Bourtange - often besieged, never conquered! The past comes to life in the renovated Bourtange fortress. The surrounding area is also worth exploring: the Westerwolde area is famous for its variety, from wooded areas to moors, and brooks to pastures.
Check out Estate house Menkemaborg. This prominent stately home gives a sense of the Netherlands in the 18th century style with a rich interior which partly comes from other Groningen estate houses. It is located on a spacious area with moats, gardens, boulevards, drive ways and rose gardens.
Relax and unwind at the Lauwersmeer National Park , which is ideal for walking, cycling and sailing. With a rich and varied flora and fauna, this parkland is also a favourite location for bird-watchers. Visits can be combined with an excursion to the island of Schiermonnikoog.
Go on a shopping-spree. Recently, Groningen was rightfully chosen as one of the best city centres in Holland. The selection of shops is enormous and incredibly varied. From large chain shops to small and charming ones, anything can be found in Groningen. Books, clothing, shoes, accessories, antiques and furniture: be sure to have some fun shopping in Groningen!
Visit the Pieterburen seal sanctuary for an interesting day adventure and learn everything about the seals and sea life. The village of Pieterburen is also the starting point for many hikers, who come for walks across the mud flats or the first stretch of the Pieterpad trail.
How about an afternoon Mudwalking tour? At low tide in summer and autumn, the Wadden area can be seen from up close, when for a few hours it’s possible to walk across the uncovered mud flats. This provides an opportunity to explore the vast plains until the rising water washes away the fresh footsteps.
Explore more history with Hanging kitchens of Appingedam. The main attractions of Appingedam include the impressive Nicolai church and the Raadhuis, the Renaissance style town hall built in 1630, and the historic Solwerderstraat. But the highlight is the Damsterdiep, with its idyllic bridges and unique kitchens that literally hang over the canal! Leisure boating is also becoming popular, following the course of the Damsterdiep boating circuit.
Anytime you visit, be sure to fit in one or all of the weekly markets. Enjoy the local, delicious and ethical produce on offer at the weekly markets at the Vismarkt, Akerkhof and Grote Markt. Here you’ll be served by enthusiastic local farmers and traders, who all contribute to this 350-year-old culinary hotspot.