Groningen

Travel Guide Europe Netherlands Groningen Groningen

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Introduction

Martinitoren, Groningen

Martinitoren, Groningen

© Herr Bert

Groningen is the capital city of the Dutch province of the same name. It is mainly known for its great student life, a big part of the population is made up by students, taking place around the big market square called "Grote Markt" and the "Vismarkt". On the Grote Markt you also find the most famous landmark of the Groningen, the Martinitoren. The center is dutch in the way that there are canals. It is the biggest city in the north of the Netherlands and is reached most comfortably by train from Utrecht and Amsterdam in about 2 hours.

Archaeologists have found traces of habitation from the Neolithic and the later Iron Age. The city appeared in writing in the year 1040 as "Villa Cruoninga", apparently already a place of some significance. The city has a rich history, which can be seen clearly from the Medieval buildings in the downtown area.

In the 13th century, when the city was an important trade centre, its inhabitants built a city wall to underline its authority. The city had a strong influence on the surrounding lands and made its dialect a common tongue. The most influential period of the city was the end of the 15th century, when the nearby province of Friesland was administered from Groningen. During those years, the Martini Tower was built, which loomed over the city at (then) 127 m tall, making it the highest building in Europe at the time. The city's independence came to an end when it chose to join forces with the Spanish during the Eighty Years' War in 1594. It was later reconquered, and joined the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.

In 1614, the University of Groningen was founded for religious education. In the same period the city expanded rapidly and a new city wall was built. That city wall was tested during the Third Anglo-Dutch War in 1672, when the city was attacked fiercely by the Bishop of Münster, Bernhard von Galen. The city walls resisted, an event which is celebrated with music and fireworks on 28 August (as "Groningens Ontzet" or "Bommen Berend").

The city did not escape the devastation of World War II. In particular, the main square, Grote Markt, was largely destroyed in April 1945, during the Battle of Groningen, which lasted several days. However, the Martinitoren, its church, the Goudkantoor, and the city hall were not substantially damaged.

Nowadays the city of Groningen is nationally renowned for the university, the museum and its vibrant atmosphere. 50% of the citizens are below the age of 30, making this the youngest city in the country. For decades, the bicycle has played a central role in the lives of people in the city, and today accounts for no less than 60% of all traffic movement with more bikes than citizens.

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Sights and Activities

Downtown Groningen is pleasant and interesting. The city centre providing plenty cultural heritage and a laid-back atmosphere. Together with the excellent Groninger Museum, it forms the main attraction for visitors.

Like many cities in the Netherlands, the centre is surrounded by a canal. Several historic canals have been "gedempt", or filled, however, and turned into streets. This is reflected in their names, and you'll likely find yourself strolling along the Gedempte Zuiderdiep. The heart of the city is formed around the two adjoining market squares, The Grote Markt (or Great Market) and the Vismarkt (or Fish Market). Standing tall on the edge of the Grote Markt is the Martini Tower, a true landmark for Groningen and one of its main attractions.

Martini Tower

The 500-year-old Martini Tower is the main landmark in the city. It used to be possible to climb it but this has been suspended after a few suicides took place lately.

Canals

Although smaller than those in Amsterdam and Utrecht, Groningen has some canals and a one hour boat trip is something you should consider to see the historical buildings from a different perspective.

Architecture

Warfare left hundreds of buildings in ruins in 1945, but a good number of monuments remain. Strolling through the city centre you'll encounter former canal warehouses, the city hall, several churches, the former Gold Office and many other historic buildings. The city has, with success, attempted to find a balance between modern architecture and historic grandeur. The latest initiative is a major renewal of the eastern side of the Grote Markt. Typical Dutch architecture is the Amsterdamse School, a style of architecture that arose from 1910 through about 1930 in Amsterdam. The Amsterdam School movement is part of international Expressionist architecture, sometimes linked to German Brick Expressionism. While Amsterdam has the most buildings in this style, Groningen also has some wonderful edifices, and sometimes called the northern capital of Amsterdamse School. 1 Vensterschool Stadspark at Parkweg in the lovely Grunobuurt district and 2 Bureau Gemeentewerken at Gedempte Zuiderdiep 96 are worth walking along. There are a number of special architectural skyscrapers. The Kempkensberg is a 25-story high-rise building in the south of the city and is commonly called 'The Cruiseship' by locals. The Gasunie Building is considered to be a great example of an ‘organic building’, situated on the edge of the Stadspark.

Historic Heritage

Most of the historic heritage can be found within the ring of canals. The most visited tourist attraction is without doubt the Martini Tower, but there is much more to see in Groningen: old canal warehouses, guesthouses, typical Dutch gables and beautiful gardens. Probably the most characteristic streets of the city are the 13 Hoge and Lage der A streets. These two streets run along the A canal and are known for the dozens of national heritage sites, in particular the outstanding warehouses from the Middle Ages and a 17th century brewery named 'Batavia'. Scattered trough the city centre are several late-medieval Guest Houses (Gasthuizen). During daylight hours these picturesque courtyards can be visited for free. The houses are not open to the public: the people living in them enjoy their quiet and privacy. Access is through gated doorways that will be unlocked during daylight hours and locked during the evening/night. The largest and oldest one is the courtyard of the 14 Pelstergasthuis, located in the Pelsterstraat, next to the Pelstergasthuis church. The Guest House consists of several courtyards connected through archways. In the Peperstraat, near the end on the left when viewed from the Poelestraat, is the 15 Pepergasthuis. The Peper Guest House was founded in 1405. Part of the medieval city wall is still visible from the courtyard. At the tourist information is a city walk available through many courtyards.

Museums

Groningen also has a good share of museums, the Groninger Museum being of the most impressive ones. It is just across the trainstation and the building just can't be missed, with striking architecture by Italian architect Mendini. The main trainstation is worth seeing itself as well by the way, with its 19th century architecture it is one of the most beautiful trainstation in the country.

Other museums include:

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Events and Festivals

Eurosonic & Noorderslag

In the second weekend on January, there is one of the biggest music conventions of Europe coming to Groningen. The days of the business people are filled with seminars at the Oosterpoort, but on thursday and friday evening there is music in a lot of cafés in the centere of Groningen. If you want to watch a couple of the upcoming European bands before they become big, this is the place to be. On saturday there is Noorderslag an evening at the Oosterpoort with only dutch bands. Tickets for both events are limited.

Prinsentuin, Groningen

Prinsentuin, Groningen

© Herr Bert

Koningsdag (King's Day)

In 2013, the Dutch throne was passed on to King Willem-Alexander and what used to be Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) will from 2014 become Koningsdag (King's Day). The date will be changed to the 27th of April, which is the king's birthday. In 2014 however it will be on the 26th of April because the 27th falls on a Sunday. On this day the streets of almost every sizable town in the country come alive with activity.

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Weather

Groningen weather is typical of what you get in the Netherlands: mild winters with rare snow, and reasonably warm summers. Generally though, both summer and winter are just a bit colder compared to places more to the south in the Netherlands, meaning temperatures around 20 °C during the day and around zero during the winter.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max4.4 °C5 °C8.6 °C12.2 °C17 °C19.4 °C21.4 °C21.9 °C18.2 °C13.5 °C8.4 °C5.5 °C
Avg Min-0.8 °C-0.8 °C1.2 °C2.7 °C6.5 °C9.1 °C11.3 °C11.1 °C8.8 °C5.6 °C2.5 °C0.5 °C
Rainfall69 mm44.9 mm61.3 mm44.1 mm57.5 mm72.6 mm73 mm56.6 mm71.8 mm69.8 mm78.1 mm75 mm
Rain Days181416141415151416161919

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Getting There

By Plane

Groningen has international and domestic flights leaving from Groningen Airport Eelde. The airport of Groningen offers 11 weekly flights to and from Copenhagen, daily flights to and from Brussels and Munich, daily flights (from April 2018 triple daily) to and from London-Southend (Flybe), two flights per week to and from Gdansk (Wizz Air), and various other scheduled flights to selected cities and holiday destinations in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Canary Islands and Turkey. The Brussels, Munich and Copenhagen flights are operated by Nordica, in cooperation with Star Alliance members such as Scandinavian Airline, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. Therefore, a lot of destinations are reachable from Groningen with a transfer at Copenhagen Airport, Munich Airport, Brussels Airport or Warsaw-Chopin Airport.

By Train

Although Groningen is the northern most city in the country, train connections are fast and frequent with travelling times about 2 hours from both Utrecht and Amsterdam. Check the National Railways website for details.

By Car

From Groningen the national highway A28 runs south to Utrecht. Also the A7 is an important highway running from Bremen in Germany all the way to Amsterdam through the northern provinces of the Netherlands, crossing the famous Afsluitdijk, built to prevent floodings from the sea. If is a short route from the province of Friesland to North Holland, passing by Groningen.

By Bus

Groningen is one of the places in the Netherlands that served by Eurolines. Public Express operates a bus from the Groningen trainstation to Bremen Airport.

Flixbus operates a couple of domestic intercity bus lines from Groningen. Line 821 runs to Hengelo and Enschede and line 822 runs to Apeldoorn, Arnhem, Nijmegen and Eindhoven. These bus lines leave at P+R Haren (near Postillion Hotel) and opposite the central train station, at the other side of the road. Booking in advance is cheaper. The buses are in most cases cheaper and faster than making the same journey by train.

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Getting Around

Like most cities in the Netherlands, Groningen's historic city center is surrounded by a canal, the diepenring. Most of the sights are within this area, and the Central Station is 50 m outside it, and the museum built in it.

Within the diepenring, traffic is very restricted; Groningen's centre is designed to be as traffic-free as possible, and it is very difficult to drive and park within this area. Even resident parking permits are strictly rationed. However, the central area is compact and can be easily crossed on foot or with a bicycle.

Further out, Groningen has a loosely connected ring road, consisting of several N-roads forming a rather square ring shape around the centre. The city sprawls somewhat and crosses this ring in places, but most of the population live within this area.

By Car

Groningen is not the best city to drive around in with your car. Parkingspaces are limited and prices are pretty high. There is however the option to park your car at a so-called transferium. These are places where you can park your car, and continue to the innercity by public transport. There is one at Kardinge (N46), but also a little bit further away from the city in Haren (south along the A28), Hoogkerk (along the A7) and at Zernike there are transferiums.

By Public Transport

Q-Link is a group of 5 bus services which are air conditioned, have a WiFi connection, and run from city destinations to places just outside the region. One exception for line 15 which is a student express line to Zernike.

Line 1 runs from the Central Station to the Zernike/Zuidhorn, via Grote Markt, Noorderplantsoen and Paddepoel.
Line 3 runs from Lewenborg to Leek via Kardinge, Grote Markt, Central Station and P+R Hoogkerk.
Line 4 runs from Beijum to Roden via Kardinge, Grote Markt, Central Station and P+R Hoogkerk.
Line 5 runs from station Europapark to Annen via UMCG Hospital, Grote Markt, Central Station, P+R Haren and Zuidlaren. Sometimes this bus terminates at P+R Haren, so make sure Zuidlaren and Annen are mentioned if you travel this way.
Line 6 runs from P+R Haren to Ten Boer/Delfzijl via Central Station, Zuiderdiep, UMCG Hospital and Ruischerbrug.
Line 15 is a student express service from Central Station to college campus Zernike. It is located just north of Paddepoel and line 15 runs via Rembrandt van Rijnstraat and Paddepoel. These buses are very crowded in the morning to Zernike, and in the afternoon back to the Central Station. This route does not run in weekends.

By Foot

If you stay in the centre of Groningen, it is easy enough to find your way on foot. As it is not a huge city, this is not a place where you will have blisters on your feet from walking.

By Bike

Cycling is the best way to travel around. Getting from any place in Groningen to the centre will take at most 20 minutes. This makes the bike a fast, cheap and easy way to travel in Groningen. Don't get scared by the overwhelming number of bicycles. The city houses tens of thousands of students, whose primary means of transportation is the bike. Bicycle theft is pretty high. Most bikes have one lock, but it is best to use a good second lock (preferably a strong chain lock for least €30).

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Eat

A typical 'Groninger' specialty is Groninger worst, a sausage made from raw minced pork which is then air dried. You can buy this sausage in every supermarket and butchery. When visiting a snackbar, you should try a eierbal. The eierbal is a ball-shaped croquette, filled with veal and a whole egg. The eierbal is seen as the Groninger variant of the Dutch croquette.

A lot of the restaurants can be found in the inner city, and most of them are located at or near the Grote Markt and the Vismarkt. For most travellers the wagamama restaurants are well-known for providing good food for a reasonable price. Groningen has one at the Vismarkt.

  • Blabla, Nieuwe Boteringestraat 9. Vegetarian and vegan hotspot.
  • De Uurwerker, Uurwerkersplein 1. Vibrant restaurant and bar, nice interior and tasteful pizzas. The square in front is shared with De Pintelier bar and crowded on warm nights.
  • Flinder Cafe, Nieuweweg 2/Schuitendiep 54. Modern design cafe/restaurant that offers organic food. The restaurant is furnished with design from the own Flinders furniture design line.
  • Fatoush, Damsterdiep 15. Libanese food and mezze. Also vegetarian.
  • Wadapartja, Gedempte Zuiderdiep 39-41. Restaurant serving all kind of dished made from local products. The chef likes to give the recipes local character. Also vegan and vegetarian.
  • Het Concerthuis, Poelestraat 30. Indie-styled restaurant and bar. Food-sharing is the credo here and lovely place for alternative drinks.
  • NEWS Cafe. Elegant urban restaurant and cafe on a premier location. Also great place for a drink.
  • Boccaccio, Steentilstraat 38, ☎ +31 50 3112126. 17:00-22:00. Tuscan cuisine. Great food and atmosphere. Weekly specials offer an excellent and reasonably priced 3- or 4-course menu. Make a reservation if you plan to eat after 18:00 as it can get busy. €38.50, 4-course menu.
  • Eetcafé 't Koetshuys, Blekerstraat 22-24, ☎ +31 50 310511. 17:00-21:30. A nice little restaurant that is 5 minutes away from the Fishmarket (vismarkt). Great food, for a nice price. Prices vary from €9.50 for the dish of the day to €16 for the house specialty, Moroccan style marinated tenderloin. Main courses come with fries, a salad and depending on your dish, warm veggies.
  • De Oude Gasfabriek, Langestraat 66. Restaurant located in the former gas factory from 1854. The restaurant serves all kinds of foods and has a large selection of vegetarian and vegan food. The restyle of the building is extraordinary.
  • Kohinoor van India, Oostersingel 112. Restaurant for good and affordable Indian food. Also take away.
  • Fujiyama, Grote Markt 21-B. Teppanyaki restaurant on the corner of the Grote Markt - though if you want showmanship with your dinner, Fujiyama is the place to go.
  • De Herbivoor, Gedempte Zuiderdiep 59, ☎ +31-61-970-1739. Tu W F Sa 11:00-18:00, Th 11:00-21:00, Su 11:00-17:00. This place calls itself an "organic, vegan, salad bar". And while sustainability is clearly the focal point of this popular lunch place, you'll find more than just salads here. Think burgers, wraps, soups and sweet pastries - and a daily changing menu, based on seasonal produce. Dinner is only available on Thursdays.
  • Humphrey's, Vismarkt 42. Simple, but nice restaurant. Nationwide restaurant chain. Average price 3 courses à la carte €18.
  • De Kleine Moghul, Nieuwe Boteringestraat 62. This tatty-looking small Indian restaurant has an all-Indian staff, but you can only pay with cash and there is no English menu. The food is stunningly good, well worth a visit.
  • Mr. Mofongo's, Oude Boteringestraat 26, ☎ +31 50 3144266. 11:00-22:00. Fusion-style restaurant with very good dishes for a reasonable price. May get crowded in the summer and during midterms and endterms since the University's library is around the corner. Also a nice place to have drink later at night.
  • Ugly Duck, Zwanestraat 28. Main courses including bowl of salad, baked potatoes, vegetables from €10.50. Really good!
  • Taj Mahal, Veemarktstraat 94. Restaurant for nice Indian food at the southern side of the city's centre. Also take away.
  • V.o.f. Lambik, Grote Kruisstraat 73, ☎ +31 50 3144360. This small restaurant serves one meat or fish dish and one vegetarian dish and both dishes change every day. It is located next to the Noorderplantsoen, which makes it a good spot in the summer.
  • De Zevende Hemel (Seventh Heaven), Zuiderkerkstraat 7 (North of the centre, near the Nieuwe Kerk.), ☎ +31 50 3145141. Excellent food and wine but quite pricey; a good place to treat yourself.

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Drink

Groningen's reputation as university town is borne out in its nightlife, which is comprehensive, with numerous options for drinking and clubbing. There are also several places to play pool/billiards. Most bars have the standard Dutch beers, but more and more international, especially Belgian, beers are beginning to have a presence. Bars in the down town area do not have fixed closing hours. Theoretically they can stay open for 24 hours a day, which a few bars do.

The largest nightlife area in Groningen is the Poelestraat area, located southwest of the Grote Markt. Here you'll find a lot of clubs and bars. The busiest nights are Thursday to Friday (studentnight) and Saturday to Sunday.

  • De Pintelier, Kleine Kromme Elleboog 9. open daily from 15:00, closing Su-Th at 02:00 and F and Sa at 03:00. Traditional Belgian pub serving more than 80 kinds of beer and whisk(e)y.
  • Cafe de Koffer, Nieuwe Blekerstraat 1. Daily 16:00-03:00. Another "speciaalbier" pub. Lots of bottled beers, and a few on tap. Most are Belgian or Dutch, but there are also a few American and British beers on the menu - a real rarity around here.
  • Der Witz, Grote Markt 47. A 'Brown Café' located on the Grote Markt in a very small building. Serving many kinds of beer.
  • Het Kasteel, Peperstraat 25. A compact international student hangout on Peperstraat. Sells Jäger and other shots for €1 and 13-beer 'zwaards' ('a sword') for €10.
  • Huis de Beurs, A-Kerkhof Zuid Zijde 4. On the southwestern corner of Vismarkt. Has made a come-back and is very trendy now. Live piano music in the evening. The first Dutch socialist party was founded here.
  • De Drie Gezusters (Three Sisters), Grote Markt 39. On the Grote Markt. Possibly the largest bar in the Netherlands as well as in Europe. Many bars connected in a mazelike fashion; has several façades on the Grote Markt that look like separate bars, but don't let that deceive you.
  • De Kostery, Martinikerkhof 2. In a corner of the Grote Markt, next to the Martinitoren. Family style. Nice terrace in summertime.
  • O'Cealleighs, Gedempte Kattendiep 13. An Irish pub on Gedempte Kattendiep. Small pub, but good atmosphere; the place people go to play a bit of Irish folk of an evening.
  • The Pacific, Oosterstraat 65. Aussie pub in Groningen and the meeting place for internationals Groningen. Mostly international staff.
  • O'Malley's Pub, Oosterstraat 67. Irish pub next to The Pacific. Great place to watch football. Every Wednesday live jam sessions.
  • NEWS Cafe. Elegant urban cafe and restaurant on a premier location. Also great place for dinner.
  • Mr. Mofongo, Oude Boteringestraat 26. Next to dining a bar which brings the Groningen drinking scene into the 21st century. Mr. Mofongo introduced the gin wall and gin robot storing its own distilled spirits. On the roof is a greenhouse bar for street food and there is wine bar. Absolute hotspot.
  • De Minnaar, Kleine Rozenstraat 64. Lovely neighborhood cafe and bar. Nice vibe and local feeling. Many locals come to here for a drink.
  • Chaplin's, Gedempte Zuiderdiep 73. One of the many bars at Gedempte Zuiderdiep opposite the cinema. Quite popular bar, also with students.
  • Barrel, Haddingestraat 27. Groningen's best and only Italian-styled enoteca (wine bar) in Groningen.
  • Wijnkelder 't Huys van Groningen, Oosterstraat 53. Wine bar and gastronomy in a cellar.

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Sleep

As it is a fairly popular city trip destination among the Dutch, Groningen has plenty of choices for places to stay. There are no real top-end hotels however, so if you're out for luxury, you'll have to resort to some of the better mid-range places. Still, there are several very nice, historic hotels as well as a range of semi-modern and modern mid-range options. Travellers minding their budgets will find that accommodation here is relatively cheap.

  • Camping Stadspark, Campinglaan 6, 9727 KH Groningen (2 miles SW if city centre), ☎ +31 50 5251624, e-mail: info@campingstadspark.nl. Open from March to October, this camping ground is in the Stadspark, a large, wooded park just outside the ring road. If you're carrying a tent, this can be a nice budget alternative. Reception closes for lunch. Bring your own toilet paper. Free Wi-Fi around reception area only. On-site restaurant/cafe. €18 for a spot, 2 people and showers.
  • Simplon Youth Hotel (Simplon Jongerenhotel), Boterdiep 73, ☎ +31 50 3135221. This youth hostel has been around for a long time and remains a popular budget pick. Bunk-beds starting at €18.50. Rooms for up to 6 people are available, too.
  • RebelRebel Hostel, Energieweg 10, ☎ +31 683695965, e-mail: hey@rebelrebelhostel.com. The only container hostel in the country. Environmentally responsible, offering breakfast and bike rentals. €17.
  • Scandinavisch Dorp (Scandinavian Village Cabins), Oude Badweg 1 Eelderwolde, ☎ +31 50 5256867, e-mail: scandinavischdorp@home.nl. The 'Scandinavian Village' by the Paterswoldsemeer lake offers nice cabins in Scandinavian style. The cabins will provide you with a terrace, kitchen with a refrigerator, kitchenware and bathroom. €49 for two persons.
  • Apollo Hotel, Laan van de Vrijheid 91, ☎ +31 50 7630070. In the La Liberté high-rise building, nice views. From €80 for a double.
  • Bud Gett Hostel, Rademarkt 3-3a, ☎ +31 50 5886558. This modern hostel is situated half way between the railway station and the city centre. Its decoration is inspired by a Dutch painter Piet Mondrian and beds are made when you arrive. Dorm beds from €25, private doubles from €55.
  • Hampshire City Hotel, Gedempte Kattendiep 25, ☎ +31 50 3175510. This large hotel has simple but modern rooms and a nice rooftop terrace. Located in the city centre it can be a little bit noisy at times, but overall this place gives good value for money. Rooms come in different types, with the more expensive ones being quite a bit more spacious. The staff is helpful and there are facilities like a sauna and Turkish steam bath. The hotel rents out bikes for €5. From €60 for a double.
  • Hotel Corps De Garde, Oude Boteringestraat 74, ☎ +31 50 3175510. This charming, historic hotel is housed in a monumental 1634 building. Although equipped with all the modern day facilities you'd expect, it manages to retain its historic atmosphere, making it one of the finest places to stay in town. The only downside is that there's no space for an elevator, but the staff is very helpful, the breakfast very good and the lounge quite inviting. It has bikes for rent. Car parking in the direct surroundings can be expensive. From €99 for a double.
  • Hotel de Doelen, Grote Markt, ☎ +31 50 3127041. This hotel is an all time favourite due to its nice location right at the foot of the Martini tower, facing the Grote Markt. This place has been receiving visitors for some 200 years and the decorations clearly intend to maintain the characteristic feel, but all modern facilities are in place. The lounge is pleasant and the staff friendly. The only downsides are the steep stairs to the entrance and - as with many places in the city centre - you'll have to park your car in one of the public garages.
  • Martini Hotel, Gedempte Zuiderdiep 8, ☎ +31 50 3175510. This is an old hotel, and guests have been accommodated in this building since 1871. It's a bit dated and the rooms are small and simple, but the location is good (in the city centre), there's a nice bar downstairs and the prices are quite reasonable too. It has triple rooms, if you're a party of three. Private parking is available but costs €12.50 and should be reserved in advance, as it is sometimes full. From €64.50 for a double.
  • NH Hotel De Ville, Oude Boteringestraat 43, ☎ +31 50 3181222, e-mail: nhhoteldeville@nh-hotels.com. This four-star hotel in the city centre is stylishly decorated with a historic touch and offers more facilities than most hotels in town. Some of the rooms are a bit outdated but the staff is friendly and will park your bike in the nearby public garage, although the parking fees are fairly high. From €87 for a double.
  • Stee in Stad, Boterdiep 111, ☎ +31 50 3175510. This is a fairly special hotel; three houses have been transformed into a hotel. In each house there are three rooms. Every room has a different theme. Its staffed by people who otherwise have few chances on the labour market and often have been on income support for a long time. At the hotel the can (re)experience what it's like to have a job and acquire the job skills. However, this place is more than a social business initiative. It's also a pleasant hotel at 5 minute walk from the old centre. Several rooms have shared bathrooms. Singles/doubles from €50/69.
  • University Hotel, Kleine Kromme Elleboog 7-b, ☎ +31 50 3113424. This nice little hotel is situated at a cosy square with bars all around, close to the university and right in the centre. It is in fact part of the university and offers short but also long stay accommodation. Rooms are nicely decorated in a modern fashion, the staff is friendly and there's free tea and coffee in the lounge. Breakfast is a bit limited and there aren't too many facilities beyond what you'd expect from any hotel, but in terms of price and quality - this is a really good deal. Singles/doubles from €62.50/€79.50.
  • Prinsenhof, Martinikerkhof 23, ☎ +31 50 3176550. Prinsenhof Groningen is located right in the middle of Groningen city center, only meters from the Martini Tower. As soon as the monumental gate is passed, the city’s bustle is left behind. Offering a grand café, a hotel and an à-la-carte restaurant. From €149 for a double, Royal Suite €399.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés are not as widespread as you would expect, but you can easily find one in the popular cities. Most hostels, hotels and camp sites have several computers, so you can keep connected with folk at home. Here is a list of internet cafés that could come in handy for travellers. Otherwise, most libraries have lots of computers and prices are around the €2-3 per hour range, although sometimes it can be even more expensive.

Wireless internet access using wifi is becoming more popular and is usually available at most hotels and increasingly at train stations. Also in trains (at least in most first class wagons, but also more and more in second class) and some buses you can use wifi. Finally, places like McDonald's and Starbucks have free wifi, and smaller individual business like cafés and restaurants are on the rise too offering these services. More often than not, these service tend to be free of charge, though there might be a limited time you can use the internet.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country code for the Netherlands is 31. The outbound international prefix is 00. The general emergency number is 112, like many other countries.
0800 numbers are toll-free and for 09xx numbers are charged at premium rates. Mobile phones have numbers in the 06 range, and calls to cell phones are also priced at higher rates.

From internet cafés, it is also usually possible to make long distance international calls. Like in other countries, telephone booths have almost disappeared, though some are still found around public transport stations, where you can use a few coins to make calls. It is only recommended for local calls.

The cellular phone network in the Netherlands is GSM 900/1800. The main providers of cell phone networks are KPN (Dutch only), T-mobile and Vodafone, who cover the whole country. Other operators, like Hollandsnieuwe, Simyo or Tele2, use one of these 3 networks basically.

It is best to buy a SIM card when in the Netherlands for use in your cellphone, as this usually works out cheaper than using the one from home. If you are planning to study or work in the country and stay for several months, buying a cellphone is the best option. A simple one, sometimes with €10 worth on it, can be bought from around €25. The simplest smartphones are around €75.

Post

The rate for sending a postcard or letter up to 20 grams within the Netherlands is €0.64 (2014). Since 2010 there are stamps available for domestic post which no longer include the value in €. Instead, there are stamps available with either a '1' or a '2' as a substitute for value. The '1' can be used for letters and postcards up to 20 grams, while 20-50 grams require you to use the '2'-valued stamps (or two '1'-valued stamps of course).

Sending items to other EU countries and the rest of the world (there is one price since 2014) will cost €1.05. Stamps are sold at post offices, supermarkets and smaller shops/kiosks; often the place where you buy your postcards can also supply you with stamps.

Sending parcels abroad is more costly. A standard-sized parcel between up to 2 kilograms will cost you €9 for destinations within the EU and €18 (both without Track & Trace) to the rest of the world. Prices with Track & Trace start at €13 and €24.30 respectively. Parcel service is available from major post offices only; standard-size boxes are on sale there as well. For sending parcels, it might be just as competitive and fast to use a company like TNT, UPS or DHL.

If you need to receive mail while moving around, you can have it sent poste restante (to be called for) to a post office of your choice, where it will be kept for a month. If you come to claim it, bring a valid ID, and make sure to have told the sender that the name on the envelope must be an exact match with that in your passport. For addresses of post offices, as well as more information, consult the TNT website.

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  • Latitude: 53.2148825
  • Longitude: 6.5677579

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