This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Groningen. To help you make friends with Groningen before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Groningen is located in the northernmost borders of The Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of Groningen and has almost one hundred ninety thousand inhabitants. Officially, the city exists from the beginning of the eleventh century and used to be a major trading and cultural center for many centuries.
The city features a very traditional Dutch character in terms of style and architecture, particularly obvious in the city center, where most of the attractions as well as the Groningen hostels are located. Hostels in Groningen are not many and are by and large conveniently located within the area of the historic center, but prices are not that low. Still, the city is relatively small, so don’t hesitate to book a hostel outside the very center of it.
Around Grote Markt, the main square, and the adjacent Vismarkt, you will find the only three buildings of the area that survived the WWII devastation -- the old City Hall, the Goudkantoor (tax authorities in the old times and café/restaurant nowadays), and the beautiful Martinikerk (church), with its tower which was once the highest building in Europe. Climbing up the tower is a must and will provide you with some great views of the city.
The city of Groningen features the highest rate of student population in the country (it is home to two universities), guaranteeing that the city is one of the most vibrant and dynamic in The Netherlands, with restaurants, bars, and cafes. Nightlife is notable with many bars remaining open till 7 or 8 in the morning.
The main train and bus stations are hosted in a beautiful building located within a ten-minute walking distance from both Grote Markt and Groningen hostels. The city has been characterized many times as the "world’s most bicycle-friendly city," and this is the best way to move around; walking is fine as well because the city is not big. Transportation is also fine. And like most of the Dutch cities, Groningen is quite heavily canalized -- taking a boat tour or hiring a canoe is highly recommended.
Written by local enthusiast for Groningen hostelsfumantsu