This is our first day trip and we're off to the north of Holland to Groningen. In August you can even go for a little daytrip and get a glimpse of an amazing festival. Travel time is around two hours and a half by train. You can go straight from Central Station there's always offers, so if you do it well you can travel all the way back and forth for €19.
Groningen is way up in the North and is first documented back in 1040. It is a student city so there is always a party going on, everything is reachable as all is within walking distance so it is definitely worth a visit.
Fun facts about Groningen
• They invented a cycling template for cities all over the world. One of the greatest invention were the traffic lights with rain sensors to give quicker priority to cyclists on wet days.
• Bars in the centre are allowed to stay open 24 hours a day.
• It has the largest natural gas-field in Western Europe.
• Groningen has the world's largest sugar factory.
A must this August is the Noorderzon festival from the 17th till the 27th of August. Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival Groningen is the somewhat curious combination of a cutting-edge international art festival and a large-scale summer fest.
Combined with great food, happy people and drinks. Set in the largest most beautiful park in the city it's a great closure to your visit this August.
Places to visit
It's not just the amazing collection and expositions you will be looking at. The building in itself is a piece of art to be admired.
The most majestic Albert Heijn you will ever see is at Akerhof in the city center. It is located in the "KorenBeurs". Which is a national monument from the 1700's the trading of grain was done on this location. The current building was designed in 1863 using the same technique used to build the eiffeltower. The building in itself is worth a view even if it just hosts a supermarket.
Stroll the Noorderhaven
The Noorderhaven is the last free port of the Netherlands, which means that ships can moor freely whilst there is space.
Before the closing of the Reitdiep, the Noorderhaven was the first port of the city when one came from the sea. It was also the main port in the 16th and 17th centuries due to the trading. Along the route many of the buildings are historical and come with their own explanations for you to discover.
The Grote Markt (great market) and the Vismarkt (fish market) are two large market squares in the center of the city. Surrounded by old buildings. Plus there is a market if your lucky and some really nice fish (kibbeling) to eat.
On the Grote Markt you will find The Goudkantoor (gold office). Built in 1635, the Goudkantoor is an example of early 17th century architecture with a splendid facade in the style of the Dutch Renaissance. For many years the building was used as a tax office where gold and silver objects were weighed, inspected and given a hallmark to proof it was real.,
Places to eat
Bakkerij Blanché is a must.
Milkshakes and kawaii
If you want something different visit the little lovely living stores both have a little cafe where you can indulge your inner child. With milkshakes,cake, macarons and just overdose on sugar.
At De Sleutel. Lovely meals of the day or as the Dutch say eat whatever is being brewed in our pot today! Located in a century old brewery dating back to 1659 you could not have a better spot. Plus good food for a cheap price at €10 who wouldn't?! Also try their bitterballen they are exquisite and homemade.
Time for a drink?
Here is a mini pubcrawl start at the gorgeous Uurwerker and off to the Pintelier, a Belgian beer bar and don't miss out on the Brouwerij Martinus which also offers a great roof-terrace and yummy meals!