Groningen and the Netherlands

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​Situated in the north of the Netherlands, Groningen is a young and vibrant student city, with half of its citizens under the age of 35. Groningen has a population of 197.823 (in 2014) . Groningen boasts a picturesque and safe city centre, surrounded by relaxing countryside. The first major settlement in Groningen has been traced back to the third century AD. During medieval times, the city steadily became an important trade centre in Northern Europe. The map of the inner city of Groningen dates from the early Middle Ages and many old buildings in the centre still show Groningen's great history . The city is not only historically interesting, it also has impressive modern architecture.  



World's cycling city

Over 61% of all trips in Groningen are made by bicycle. The Groningers (people of Groningen) invented a cycling template for cities all over the world. One of the greatest invention were the traffic lights with rain sensors to give quicker priority to cyclists on wet days. By pedestrianizing some streets, building cycle tracks everywhere, and creating a unique transportation circulation pattern that prohibits vehicles from cutting through the city, Groningen actually made the bicycle -- in most cases -- the fastest and most preferred choice of transportation. The centre of Groningen is a very safe and comfortable environment for pedestrians and bikers. 


Student city

With more  than 50,000 students (25% of the population) Groningen is highly regarded as one of the best cities for studying in the Netherlands. There are numerous student societies and international associations based in the city, which enhance your social experience and help make you feel at home. Moreover, the city also has plenty of options for shopping and a buzzing nightlife. Every fifth person in Groningen is a student, which gives Groningen the highest student population density in the Netherlands; Groningen is the youngest city of the Netherlands: most people are between 20-24 years old. According to a survey, the Dutch are, together with the Danish, the most happy people on earth.



City of talent

Besides being a student city, Groningen is also ahead in the areas of research, innovation and entrepreneurship: a real city of talent. In order to make this known to the rest of the Netherlands, University of Groningen, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, the UMCG University Medical Center Groningen and the Province and municipality of Groningen have joined forces. Under the common denominator of 'Groningen, City of Talent', in conjunction with Marketing Groningen, they have started a national campaign under the motto of: 'Here is space for talent. Space for learning, for working and for growing. For further personal development and making the best of yourself. And there is room for living, sports and entertainment. There's no place like Groningen.'  
  • Groningen was awarded first place in Europe for educational facilities, health care services and public spaces (European Commission Survey , 2013).
  • Groningen is one of the 'Top 3' cities in Europe in terms of quality of life, sports facilities and air quality (European Commission Survey, 2013).
  • The Netherlands is ranked third in the world in terms of speaking English as a second language (EF English Proficiency Index, 2013).
  • The Netherlands has the third best educational system in the world in terms of value for money (Times Higher Education Ranking, 2012).
  • In 2009 the city was awarded as Fair-trade town.





Culture, history, and art

Because Groningen is the urban centre of the north of the Netherlands and has such a large student population, its cultural scene is remarkably big and diverse. It has a vibrant and famous nightlife, dominated by students. Bars in the centre are allowed to stay open 24 hours a day. Underground pop club Vera has a great reputation among alternative music lovers all over the world. Bands like Nirvana, U2, White Stripes and Sonic Youth performed here in the early days of their career. Do not forget to visit the famous Eurosonic festival is in Groningen every year. It is the largest European showcase festival. The Groningen Museum, a work of art in itself, is one of the most beautiful and special museums in the Netherlands. Other museums in Groningen include a comics museum, tobacco museum, and science museum.



​Welcome to Groningen!

Groningen is the economic capital of the north of the Netherlands. It has the largest natural gas-field in Western Europe. Groningen has the world's largest sugar factory. Also, it has one of the Netherlands' largest shipbuilding centres.

Within easy reach of Groningen there are the wide open spaces and striking cloud formations for which the Netherland are so famous. And a bit to the east you have the woods of Drenthe, with roe deer, foxes and sleepy villages. Yet most remarkable of all is the Wadden Sea, with its wildlife of seals and birds. At low tide, parts of these shallow wetlands fall dry. Then one can even reach a few islands on foot. However, this is a tricky business, so don't do it without a guide.
Want to know more about what's going on in the north? Check the Northern Times.

Imagine yourself spending your leisure time amidst this tremendous scenic beauty, and relaxing afterwards at an outdoor café on the Grote Markt or at a pop concert. Imagine skating at Kardinge sports centre, or playing squash there, and then going on to the Groninger Museum to see a sensational exhibition. Groningen has facilities for every taste, being the cultural heart of the

Northern Netherlands.


Groningen located

 two hours away from Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport, and three hours from The

Hague and Rotterdam. Groningen is also located very close to the German border, only 50 km. It's two hours away from Bremen, and three hours from Hamburg. There are direct buses between Groningen and Bremen airport. From Bremen

Airport you can fly with Ryaniar to many destinations in Europe at a very low price (eg. Milan, Malaga, Barcelona, London, Oslo, Stockholm). There is an airport in Groningen as well.

For train schedules and fares, please visit NS Website. Do you want to find out more about the bus fares in Groningen? Please visit website.


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