Groningen Is Awesome: This is our city tour

Mark Vletter
13 maart 2015 Clock 7 min

We wrote this blog in 2015. Since it’s 2023 now, we updated the list with new must-dos and must-sees. Check out the brand new city tour in the Voys Handbook.

We often have people visiting Voys in Groningen and as experienced ‘Groningers’, we can honestly tell you; Groningen is awesome. Since most of our visitors are new to Groningen we have selected a ‘best of’ for you. Please visit our lovely city for at least a long weekend.

A larger overview of our favourite places.

About Groningen

The city of Groningen has the youngest average population in the Netherlands. We are also the happiest city in the world. In addition, it was once proclaimed the city with the best city centre in the Netherlands because of its charm.

Visit Groningen and experience why we at Voys decided to make Groningen our home.

About the map

Almost everything on our map can be done by foot but Groningen was ‘designed’ for cycling. Rent a bike and try it, but keep these things in mind. The quickest place to rent a bike is at our ‘central station’ (Centraal Station Groningen).

centraal station blog

Centraal Station Groningen

When to come

Groningen is great any time of the year but there are few times that Groningen is exceptional.

  • Mid to end January the city will be buzzing because ‘Eurosonic/ Noorderslag’ has arrived. It’s a great multiple day international music festival. If you don’t like music and you are more of a tech person? That’s ok!
  • For the tech minded people there is the ‘The night of arts and sciences’ in June. A night where tech and culture – of music, theater and art – come together.
  • Are you more into theater (and summer)? Visit Groningen during ‘Noorderzon’ at the end of August. Theater and music collide during this performance art festival culture. There is a very relaxed atmosphere. Visit it for a night and you will feel why Groningen is such a nice place to live. ‘

Noorderzon Festival

Where to sleep

Great, now you know when to come, you need to find a place to stay. These are our favorites.

  • Hotel ‘Schimmelpenninck Huys’; authentic, loads of history, in the city centre. Pricetag: medium (approx. $90,- a night)
  • Hotel ‘Prinsenhof’ in the city centre; old architecture, new hotel, has 4 stars but would be 5 stars if 4 more rooms would be available by elevator. Winner Hotel of the Year Award 2015 by Gault&Millau. Pricetag: high (approx. $150,- a night)
  • Hotel ‘Miss Blanche’; luxurious suites and apartments in the city centre; perfect for a short stay. Pricetag: high (approx. $130,- a night)

Nice things to do

If you are not visiting during one of the festivals these are some nice places to visit.

  • Our central station ‘Hoofdstation’ (nothing compared to Antwerp, but still very lovely)
  • ‘Groninger museum’ (Just the outside is lovely already and if you like modern arts, visit the museum)
  • Would you really like to see and understand the city and its buildings? Do the ‘VVV city walk’ on a saturday afternoon.
  • Go up the ‘Martinitoren’ or ‘Olle Grieze’, as the people in Groningen call it, and get a feel for where you are. Tickets can be bought at the ‘VVV’.
Olle Grieze

Saturday morning or afternoon

  • Visit the market on the ‘Vismarkt’ (Fishmarket).
Zuidwand Vismarkt Groningen
Zuidwand Vismarkt Groningen

Vismarkt (it looks quite different on a saturday morning)

Sunday morning or afternoon

  • Have a ‘kater onbijt’ (hangover breakfast) at ‘t Feithhuis or take a ‘brakke brunch’ (all you can eat hangover brunch) at Het Concerthuis.
  • Grab some music after 16:30 in cafe Buckshot.

Monday night?

Shopping and coffee (to keep you going)

Sure you can walk through our main street the ‘Herestraat’ which has all the usual suspects from Sting, to H&M and the dutch warehouse Hema. There is a nice little coffee corner named ‘Coffee united’, which you will also find near the ‘Groninger Museum’.

It might be nicer to visit ‘Folkingestraat’ – voted best shopping street of the Netherlands in ’15 – (and check out the synagoge). ‘The Brugstraat ‘ is nice as well. Once you’ve reached the bridge you can go back.

Up for some coffee now? A-weg has a nice coffee bar called ‘Doppio’.

‘Boteringe’ and ‘Kijk in ’t jat’ are the next streets you should visit. Near the ‘Kijk in ’t jat’ you should visit the ‘University of Groningen’. The ‘Grote Kromme Elleboog’ has some nice, more expensive and unique clothing shops as well.

If you really like a good cup of coffee (best in the city espresso kind), visit the ‘Black and bloom’.

Something to eat

If the long walk (or bike ride) makes you hungry, check out these places:.

During the day

‘Brasserie Midi’ in ‘Folkingestraat’ is a nice place for lunch or diner. They have a small terrace in the back. ‘t Feithhuis also is a nice place for brunch, lunch and diner. They have a very nice garden which is lovely on the warmer days. Their roof terrace is nice too.

At night

    • If you are craving for a good burger and a beer for a good price, ‘Pappa Joe’ is the place to go. You will absolutely smell like a BBQ afterwards.
    • If you like some good meat and a nice atmosphere Eetcafé ‘De Stadstuin’ is a nice place just outside the center. Want to stay in the center then ‘Eetcafé Roezemoes’ is very good as well.
    • ‘Grand cafe Groningen’ is a little more expensive and the food is a little better too.
    • If you want to go fancy (food quality wise) then we recommend ‘Dinercafé Diep’. Another, and maybe even better option is ‘Houdt van Eten’. Make sure you reserve a spot during weekends.
    • Are you taking the misses out for a bite then ‘Muller’ is the place to go.

A bar / pub / place to drink

Some bars in Groningen are open 24/7. Grote Markt and Poelestraat are the places with most of the pubs. If you have passed the age of 25 you’ll end up near the Kleine Elleboog (Belgium beer cafe ‘de Pintelier’). Passed the age of 30? Then the Grote Kromme Elleboog (‘Diner-café Soestdijk’) might be more your style. If you like a change of scenery try O`Ceallaigh Irish Pub or something alternative like ‘Kult’.

You are supposed to finish your night eating kebab with too much garlic sauce. There is only one place for kebab (according to Johan) and that’s ‘Hasret Döner Kebab’. No, you wil not forgive yourself the next morning, but too much beer at 3:15 in the morning will make Hasret seem like your only logical choice.

Music and theater

‘De Oosterpoort’ has most of the bigger concerts. ‘Stadsschouwburg Groningen’ does stuff like theater. Tickets for both are available online, but book well in advance, or you’ll miss out.

Other venues you can check out are ‘Vera’ and ‘Simplon’. ‘Simplon’ also has a youth hotel. These places have more niche concerts which means tickets are more often available.

Places to work (temporarily)

Of course you are always welcome at Voys to use one of our flex desks, but if you want to try another place you can visit ‘Launch cafe’. It is a startup hub and has loads of flex working spaces and nice people. Just walk in and pay for a day or less and the (more than decent) coffee is free.

Sport matches


Enjoy soccer? ‘FC Groningen’ is the local football club ranking top 10 in the Netherlands. It plays in a stadium which is near to the city center (and to Voys HQ). Do you live in Barcelona or in the UK? Skip the football 😉 Soccer is often played on Sundays.


Basketball more your thing? ‘Donar’ has the most active basketball scene in the Netherlands and a team ranking top 3 over the past few years. Are you from any big city in the US? Skip the basketball. Basketball is usually played on Saturday.

Speed skating

Speed skating can be found in ‘Kardinge sportcentrum’ and we are among the top of the world here so visit it for any great tournament, including juniors.


You will also find the tallest freestanding rock climbing wall in Europe at ‘Kardinge’, at climbing centre ‘Bjoeks’. ‘The Excalibur’ is a unique sight, towering over 121 feet (37 meters) in the air.

So that’s it

So that’s it. These are the most popular places we go to when we’re not working. And as with all these things, popular places vary so we’ll try to keep this post up to date. See you soon 🙂 And Groningers, if you have nice places you think our visitors should see. The comments are open!

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