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.