Groningen is the most northern province of the Netherlands and is adjacent to the provinces Friesland and Drenthe and on the east side to Germany. Groningen has also three uninhabited islands in the Waddenzee.
Groningen has about 575.000 inhabitants (2007) and is one of the less densely populated provinces. No wonder because main parts of the province exist of meadows and other agriculture land.
Groningen has just one city (Groningen), a couple of smaller towns (like Delfzijl, Appingedam, Stadskanaal and Veendam) and a lot of typical rural villages spread all over the province.
Groningen is easy accessible by car from the rest of the Netherlands along very good motorways. The distance from Amsterdam is about 190 km’s and will take (depending of the traffic) at least 2 hours.
See for directions: www.viamichelin.com
The city has also very good connections by train with the main cities in the Netherlands. From Amsterdam evry half hour there is a train to Groningen, which takes almost 2 ½ hours.
See for more info: www.ns.nl
Within the province are several train services to: Delfzijl, Roodeschool, Nieuweschans and Leeuwarden. Most of these trains do stop on other stations as well. Information: www.ns.nl or www.arriva.nl
Most of the towns and villages can be reached by a dense net of bus services, sometimes running not too often. If you want to visit the touristy sights by bus, better check first with your hotel/host or check at: www.arriva.nl
The easiest way to explore the province is by (rental) car, or just try to bike around as we Dutchies do often. It is by far the best way to discover the many ‘off the beaten path’ sights and the natural scenery of the province.
See official website of the province: http://www.provinciegroningen.nl/
Or wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groningen_%28province%29
Groningen is the capital of the province with the same name. It is by far the biggest city in the northern part of the Netherlands with its more than 180.000 inhabitants it is the ‘Metropolis of the North’. The city has a university and a high school with about 40.000 students.
I think all these students have and use their bikes frequently and you will see a lot of bikers and bikes in the city. Groningen is also called ‘World Cycling City’.
Groningen is not well known by foreign tourists, but in the meantime it is the fifth most visited city by tourists in the Netherlands. For good reasons, because the city has a lot to offer: medieval touristy sights, museums, a vibrant (student) night life, an interesting shopping centre (‘the best city centre of the country’) and so on …
Groningen is called ‘Stad’ (City) by the inhabitants of the province and the people of Groningen call themselves ‘Stadjer’.
If coming by public transport (train or bus) it is very easy to stroll around the city centre. The main sights of the city are in walking distance of the railway and bus station.
Arriving by car you can try to find a parking space in one of the 12 parking garages in and around the centre. They will charge about € 1,60 per hour. Just follow the ‘P’ signs to one of the parks.
Groningen has five P+R sites (Park and Ride) with a total of 2.500 car parking spaces. The Citybus takes you comfortably and cheap ((€2,- for a max of 5 persons) into the heart of the city and back again.
For more information about the city of Groningen:
This is a picture that brings out the best memories that I have of the Province of Groningen. Standing in this field of cole-seed, with its beautiful yellow flowers and it's scented flowers brings me back to my childhood.....
There used to be so many of these cole-sead fields in Groningen, but unfortunately they start to disappear. Other crops seem to be more profitable these days. But I did find this field, and it made me think back to the past.
I've always loved these fields, the vibrant colour, the smell, it's gorgeous! Close to my friends house there was a field of cole-seed and when it was in bloom, you could find me there. Hahaha, it's a great spot to play hide and seek in, because the plants are so high..... but don't tell the farmer that I did that, hahaha, he probably won't like it ;-)
Favorite thing: The city hall s being renovated and the men on the scaffolding were all dressed in red, lined up under neath one and other and I thought it made a nice combination with my husband and kid walking by .
The province of Groningen is flat as flat can be. Only the dykes built along the coastline, witch have an elevation between 5 and 10 metres above sea level, can be seen from miles away.
Fondest memory: Fivelgo:
Derived from the local river Fivel.
To understand the explanation of the word “Wierden” we’ll have to go back to the Iron Age, about 700 BC. At that time farmers of Drenthe moved to the north (Groningen) because of the rich pastureland. They settled down on top of the highest sandbanks to protect themselves against the sea, witch now and then over flew the lower parts of the plain. The people rose up these banks by hand and built houses and churches on it. In this area most of the villages are built on “Wierden” or “Terpen” (synonym).
As you can see on the picture the "Terpen" or "Wierden" are almost circular and rise up to 9 m above sea level.
At the north side of the town heart is the Noorderplantsoen. A couple of years back it was decided that the parc should be restyled to the original English styled parc it once was. Much protest was heard and it was decided that some trees, which don t belong in an English styled parc, could be left alone.
Part of the old city walls are hidden underneath the mud.
It is claimed that one secret underground passage to the Grote Markt (Great Market) is in this parc. Nowadays the entrance is closed and only bats (the animals) are allowed to fly in and out.
Favorite thing: This is an often photographed spot of our city. Knowing that, I should have walked along the water and taken a photograph from the other side....yet I was too lazy :)