"Groningen, city life and rural countryside" Top 5 Page for this destination Provincie Groningen by vtveen

Provincie Groningen Travel Guide: 884 reviews and 2,577 photos

You may find more pictures about Groningen on my Flickr set about Groningen.

City life

The capital of the province, also named Groningen, with its more than 180.000 inhabitants is by far the biggest city in the northern part of the country. It is also the main center, particularly concerning business, shopping, music, arts, education and cuisine.

Groningen has a famous university, founded in 1614. The large number of students living in the city contributes to a diverse cultural scene for a city of its size. And we have never seen so many bicycles as in front of the university buildings in the centre of town.

Groningen is an old town, already in the 13th century, when Groningen was an important trade centre, its inhabitants built a city wall. This means also that the city offers a lot of really old sights and other hidden and unexpected gems for visitors.

I will add specific tips about the city of Groningen in the 'Things to Do' chapter.

Rural countryside

Just outside the city the rural countryside starts with lots of space, quietness, meadows and agricultural land. As almost everywhere in the Netherlands the landscape is flat and has a lot of streams and canals.

But in the northern part of the province we found quaint old villages everywhere. Most of them are so called ‘wierde’-villages; a ‘wierde’ is the name for an artificial dwelling hill. These man made hills gave the people a dry shelter during high tides and floods. And between these and other villages are the typical mansions of Groningen, called ‘borg’; a kind of fortified house surrounded by a moat.

This part of the province borders with the Waddenzee, one of the greatest scenic areas of the country. The famous ‘Zeehondencrèche Lenie ‘t Hart’ (a seal centre/hospital) is located in Pieterburen, close to the sea.

The south-eastern part is quite different and has more woods and is not as flat as the rest of the province. It looks completely different and offers some really ‘off the beaten path’ sights like Fortress Bourtange and the monastery of Ter Apel; since 1992 one of ‘the top 100 Unesco monumental buildings’ in the Netherlands.

I will add specific tips about the province of Groningen in the 'Off The Beaten Path' chapter.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:vibrant city, spacious countryside, friendly people
  • Cons:(for Dutchies) far away, sights in the province a little bit difficult to visit
  • In a nutshell:unexpected beautiful with a lot of interesting sights
  • Last visit to Provincie Groningen: May 2007
  • Intro Updated Jul 4, 2007
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Reviews (31)

Comments (2)

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2008 at 3:30 AM

    A very lovely area, interesting page. Nice that they take care of the sick and injured seals.

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Jul 5, 2007 at 3:44 PM

    Interesting reading and Lovely photos of lovely sights and buildings around Groningen, Thanks Jaap!


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