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Groningen – best hotspots in and around the Dutch student city

24. August 2018

Who is following me already for a long time knows that I am super often in the Netherlands. Actually just because my better half lived there during her bachelor studies and she is since then totally in love with the language, the culture and the great parties in the Netherlands. Therefore, we always come back, either it is close to our living space in Germany.

Our last trip was to Groningen, which is located in the northern part of the Netherlands. Not only the city is called Groningen, but also the rural providence with wide and open spaces, where you find cows, windmills and (when it’s the time for that) lots of tulips. Of course, this is typical Dutch and you can find perfect photo spots around.

Vismarkt in the city centre of GroningenWhat to do in Groningen city

There is so much to do in this small city, because most of the citizen are students and this vibe is just everywhere. To explore the city is actually not that difficult, because Groningen is quiet a small city and you get everywhere in the centre by feet. But it is also nice to rent a bike for a day that you can discover even more, e.g. the Reitdiephaven is one of the most popular spot in Groningen or you can spend a summer day at the lake Paterswoldsemeer.


In the city centre, you find all international stores like Weekday or Pull & Bear. But normally we love to spend the days in the nice side roads because there you can find nice boutiques and great food spots.

Stores you have to visit:

  • Dille en Kamille, nature chasteness for home and garden interior
  • Mamamini Noorderplantsoen, where locals bring their stuff and where you can find specialities from clothing to furniture
  • Stardust, vintage and remake vintage clothing and accessories
  • BIEN, an inspiring concept store which sells also very nice Dutch brands from clothing to furniture and lifestyle products
  • Laif & Nuifer, best lifestyle and living accessories store in Groningen, where you can spend hours

… and just stroll around the Volkingstraat, which won already several prices for the best shopping street of the Netherlands!


Plant Shopping at Dille & Kamille

Laif & Nuifer, best interior store in town

Where to take a break:

  • PURE, for home-made donuts and organic frozen yoghurt
  • FEEL GOOD, fresh food and healthy drinks for your soul
  • Smooth Brothers, new hotspot for fans of juices and smoothie bowls
  • Cappuvino, with a great roof terrace above Groningen located at the fish market with special cappucino and wine of course
  • Bakkerij Blanche, for the best breakfast in town with delicious fresh bread
  • De Uurwerker, typical meeting place for student and other creatives
  • Flinders, lovely café with great interior and Dutch food
  • De Drie Gezusters, here you get everything from brunch over typical ‘borrels’ to lots of different beer from all around the world AND Groningen

At the rood top terrace of Cappuvino

Bakkerij Blanche

The best luxury stay you can have at Hotel Miss Blanche, located directly in the city centre. For further information click here. For lower budget you have to stay at The Student Hotel Groningen which is also very nice. There you get the young and enthusiastic vibe of the international student life in Groningen.

When the weather is sunny and you need some calm down, enjoy the Prinsengarden. Especially when the flowers are blooming it is like an oasis of sense of being. And a ‘kopje koffie’ at the Grand Café Prinsenhof next door should be also a must. Noorderplatsoen, an urban park, is also perfect for a calm down- make a picnic and enjoy your Sunday with the locals over there.

And unfortunately, the weather in the Netherlands is not always the best but, thankfully, Groningen has a great art museum in a famous building of the designer Alessandro Medini.

What to do in Groningen providence

Around Groningen city you cannot find that many cities but in favour a sweeping landscape with a wonderful nature and other attractions. Also the Dutch islands are not that far away and easily accessible. When you are like us interested in estates you have to visit some of them, because in the providence of Groningen are altogether 16 of them. The famous ones are:

BOURTANGE, which is not only a fortress but actually a whole little village of the (every tourist of a party is there, so you see lots of grey-haired people from all over the world)

Village of Bourtange

Menkemaborg, with a baroque garden of the 15th century

Verhildersum Borg, currently with a cute historic museum

Verhildersum Borg, drive way

Verhildersum Borg, garden

Verhildersum Borg, Restaurant

Verhildersum Borg, in front

Fraeylemaborg, currently with an art museum


If you are more interested in the fisher life, go to the north and spend some hours in ZOUTKAMP. There you get the freshest crabs ever… 🙂

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