Groningen, the capital city in the northeastern part of the Netherlands in the province of Groningen, is a clear travel recommendation for a (spontaneous) weekend holiday or short trip!
The Dutch city with its almost 200,000 inhabitants has a very beautiful city centre. It scores well with the large market and the many small shops, which fortunately still differ to a large extent from the well-known chains of German shopping streets. From Bremen you can comfortably drive to Groningen in less than 2 hours and also from the Ruhr area via the A31 motorway.
There are many affordable hotels in the city centre and good parking facilities (car park 10 Euro / day). Our hotel for the short trip was the “The Students Hotel” (Affiliate Link). It was only opened in the middle of 2016 and is ideally located for tours in the city. After a short walk of less than 10 minutes you were in the middle of the center.
Besides shopping, the city also offers more culture. A visit to the Groninger Museum is a fixed part of the weekend. So if you like modern art, don’t miss the visit!
Adjacent to the inner city area there is a beautiful park, where you can also relax from shopping.
Martinitoren – the church tower at the market square of Groningen
Directly in the centre of the market square there is a church tower with the Martinitoren, from which you can get a very good overview of the city (entrance 3 Euro). If you want to go deeper into the history of the city, you can book a tour at the tourist information office in front of the Martinitoren. Some of the tours are also carried out by (German) students enrolled at the university. The 50,000 students are of course very much alive in the cityscape – there are lots of bars, cafés, clubs in Groningen…. There is more to see than you can get on a weekend and it’s certainly a good reason for a second and third visit!
Groningen city centre
The Groningen city centre is compact. So you can leave your car safely in the underground car park and you can really reach everything on foot in the centre of town very well.
In the immediate vicinity of the hotel we found two great addresses for the evening with the Persian restaurant Topoli and the Pub De Toeter. The restaurant is relatively small – the food itself was really tasty and the service was very friendly. In the pub De Toeter (doesn’t sound so friendly in German) you have an incredible selection of draught beers, 120 other types of beer from bottles, special beers and allegedly 300 different types of whiskey. The way to the hotel is thankfully short – it’s just behind the next corner…
No matter if pub or club in the evening. In the morning, a visit to the market in the centre of town is part of the fixed schedule! The classics are of course cheese, sausage, bread and fruits. If you love fish, you will surely find it at the Vismarkt in Groningen! Since so much shopping makes you hungry, you should definitely take a portion of kibbling or the (Belgian) fries with you. Naturally, the tulips in the Netherlands, which are offered by the many local retailers at low prices, are not to be missed.
Vismarkt, Grote Markt and Folkinge Straat
Leaving from the Vismarkt there is also Folkinge Straat, which is a really nice street with small shops. It is not without reason that the street was chosen as one of the most beautiful shopping streets in the Netherlands.
Our conclusion: Groningen is a great destination for a weekend and surely a few more days! Due to the short journey time from Northern Germany, it is of course very popular on German holidays even for one-day visits. We’ll be back! And if you’re tired of Groningen, Bremen may be an interesting option for you. There is a good time to celebrate here – especially during Christmas time, in springtime in costumes or in autumn with the oldest folk festival in Germany.
If you want to prepare yourself before your trip, you can read it here and have a look at it.