About Groningen


As a lively university city, Groningen has the youngest average population in the Netherlands. It has a long and turbulent history, which becomes evident from the historic warehouses, courts and buildings. Groningen is also a dynamic city, with numerous examples of innovative architecture within its boundaries. In addition, it was once proclaimed the city with the best city centre in the Netherlands because of its charm. Experience all of this and explore Groningen!


The Treaty of Groningen is a collaboration between the University of Groningen, the Hanzehogeschool Groningen, the University Medical Centre and the municipality of Groningen with the objective of further developing the city as the knowledge and innovation city in the north of the Netherlands and to retain the link with Groningen alumni.

Groningen is the largest city in the Northern region of the Netherlands. This automatically gives Groningen a strategic prominence over a wide area with all the attendant economic and cultural dynamics that naturally come with that position. Add to this the fact that Groningen has been one of the more popular cities among students for centuries and you quickly realize why people exclaim: ‘…never a dull moment in Groningen!’.


In 2014 the University of Groningen will celebrate its 400th anniversary. It is the second oldest university in the Netherlands, after Leiden. Since its inception in 1614, the University of Groningen has built up a rich academic tradition, something we are very proud of. Throughout its existence the University has produced many extremely talented graduates, including a Nobel prize winner, the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank.

The city

he most important Groningen monument is the Martini tower which has overlooked the city for over five hundred years. This fourth highest tower of the Netherlands can be climbed up to the third gallery, during which visitors can also communicate with the tower via their mobile telephones! Afterwards, see the Martini church, the largest church in Groningen. Originating from approximately 1230, it includes frescos from the 13th century, and one of the largest Baroque organs in northwest Europe. Be sure to ask about the church’s opening hours prior to your visit.

Station hall

The Groningen main railway station has more on offer besides getting on or off a train.   This is the “cathedral of the winged wheel”, the entrance gate for the city as well as an extremely important monument. When standing in the main hall, imagine yourself a traveller from the 19th century: admire waiting rooms for various classes of passengers, leaded windows, beautifully decorated ceilings and the six metre-high wrought iron street lamp in the centre.

Prinsenhof and Prinsentuin

The Prinsenhof was originally built for the representative of the Bishop of Utrecht during 1040-1215. Since then it has had several occupants who have further embellished the building. Recently, it has been converted to a de luxe hotel with a stylish restaurant and Grand cafe: see www.prinsenhof-groningen.nl. Behind the Prinsenhof is the Prinsenhoftuin, which includes a rose garden and herb garden, and a footpath covered with foliage (berceau). The garden, surrounded by a wall, is one of the best examples of a Renaissance garden in the Netherlands.ne of The Prinsenhoftuin garden is opened from early April to half-October from 10 am to sunset. The tearoom is open during fine weather.

Groninger Museum

The Groningen Museum is located opposite the main central station and is one of the most high-profile museums in the Netherlands. This is due not only to its striking design by Italian architect Mendini, but also because of many successful exhibitions, including works by Russian painter Repin, American photographer Andres Serrano, and Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf. The permanent collection consists of a large assembly of     porcelain and works by  the Groningen artists’ collective De Ploeg. 

Nederlands Strip Museum (Dutch Comic strip Museum)

The Nederlands Stripmuseum is the newest museum in Groningen, and the only one in the Netherlands that highlights comic strips. See comic strip heroes such as Suske en Wiske, Jan, Jans en de kinderen, Dirkjan, and many more. The museum has been divided into special halls for children, adults, and connoisseurs. In addition to an extensive collection of old and new comic strips, there are regular changing exhibitions. See how comic strips are produced; sometimes, you can see a strip cartoonist at work.

Universiteitsmuseum (University Museum)

The Universiteitsmuseum has an extensive collection of instruments and objects used at the University of Groningen, including material for medicine, biology, physics and psychology. The collection also includes minerals and fossils, in addition to prints and costumes. (Free tickets will be provided in the registration package.)

The Hortus Haren

A few miles south of the city of Groningen you will find the largest botanical garden of The Netherlands. It consists of approximately 20 hectares of plants from all over the world and some greenhouses. The Hortus Haren is worth a visit in every season. You may visit the Laarman Tuin, the oldest and largest part of the garden with an arboretum and a pinetum and a part with deciduous trees. You will find peace and quiet here and also a somewhat mysterious atmosphere. There is also a Chinese garden and you can sip tea in the Chinese pavilion. During the summer months the garden hosts a sculpture exhibition.

Fontana Bad Nieuweschans

There are enough other interesting places to find in the Province of Groningen, for instant a total relaxing day at Fontana Bad Nieuweschans. Enjoying the wholesome Thermal bath, dozing off in the pleasant warmth of the Sauna square and feel completely reborn after a relaxing body-treatment. This is what you can expect from a stay in Fontana Bad Nieuweschans. Here you can leave the daily stress and worries behind you and settle down completely!


Bourtange is situated at the border of the province with Germany (proximally a 40 minutes’ drive from the city). This is unique fortress town has been completely restored to its original state, surrounded by ramparts. Some old houses are furnished as they were in the 18 th century, while some serve as cafe’s and boutiques.  This visit can be combined with one to Ter Apel or one of the unique “lintdorpen” historic strip villages. These are long single rows of houses on both sides of a canal, from the days of peat exploitation.

University Gift Shop

The University Shop offers a wide range of high-quality goods, including clothing, china, design and other gifts. The University Shop is located in the centre of Groningen (Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 39).

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