Groningen

The largest city north of Holland, Groningen is the capital city and also a municipality of the province of Groningen. It has also gained the moniker the “University City” with its large population of students, and the “World Cycling City” as cycling is the most preferred mode of transportation around the place. This ancient city dates back to the 11th century but is believed to have existed and have been inhabited long before then. It was a significant commercial centre in the 13th century and up to the 16th century enjoyed prominence in politics, economics and culture. A highlight in its rich history is the founding of the University of Groningen in early 17th century.

Because of its large student population, Groningen has the youngest average age population in Holland. This contributes to the vibrant and lively atmosphere in the city complemented by the unique charm of Old World and modern-day architecture. If you only have a day to spend in Groningen, start off with a tour around the historic centre along the canals (diepenring). You can either take a cruise or hire a canoe and paddle around for a different view of the city. Then you can visit some of its most popular destinations such as the Groninger Museum which houses a large collection of modern and contemporary art; the Martini Toren, one of Groningen’s most prominent landmarks. The tower is 97 metres high and offers an amazing view of the whole city and its surroundings. For shopping you can go to The Herestraat which is the main shopping street, the Folkingestraat or you can check out the Grote Markt (great market) and the Vismarkt (fish market) for fresh local produce and catch. 

Groningen also plays hosts to various cultural events such as the Noorderzon open-air theatre festival and the popular Eurosonic music festivals, an annual concert which brings in bands from all over Europe.