By train or car.
By bus, car, taxi, on bike or on foot. From the north east of Groningen (from the hostel at Boeg 28) take bus number 3. It takes you into the centre of town and to the trainstation. On the picture: The girls (from left to right Wendy, Cecilia, Isabel, Red Sandra and Nicolien)waiting for bus number 3 at the busstop.
the easiest way to get to...
the easiest way to get to Groningen is by train. There's a direct and an only-one-change-in-Amersfoort connection from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Groningen every half hour (see www.ns.nl for train info).
You can also fly from Schiphol to Groningen Airport Eelde, a cute little domestic airport just a few miles south of Gronngen (info at www.gae.nl).
And since Groningen city and province has quite some canals, you can even reach the city centre by boat.
in the city you best take the bus or a bicycle. For the city centre you need a pair of comfortable shoes. Distances in the Netherlands are... well... short.
The train brings you conveniently right into the city of Groningen. Only about a ten minutes walk to the Martini Tower. The train station building is awesome too. It looks marvelous!
Check the NS website for train times.
Horse drawn carriage
While walking over the Grote Markt we suddenly saw this nice carriage. Has to be great to get aound Groningen like this. I think you'll b able to get more information at the Tourist Information desk (VVV).
The way I used to get around in Groningen is by bicylce. And as you can see.... I am not the only one!!! Everywhere in the city you see people on bicycles, parking places for bikes, or bikes just put where ever they like. This is a picture of the "bicycle parking garage" at the central train station.
The best way to go to...
The best way to go to Groningen is by train. The train station has been restored, and is one of the most beautiful in the Netherlands. In the city, parking lots are scarce.
In the city, the best way to get around is by bike, which you can rent at the train station. There are also buses.
Make sure you bring something...
Make sure you bring something to eat or drink with you when you have to drive that long. Of course there is plenty of locations where you can have a coffee. But when its hot (like the day we went) you like something to drink all the time.
On our way back home we have...
On our way back home we have the luck that is kind of signs are on the road. The blue ones tell you where to go and how far away you are from the destination you are.
If you go to Groningen like we did, you travel to half of the Netherlands. You see places you never heard of and see things you have never seen before.
But you also come across some...
But you also come across some other signs telling you where to find citchens, restaurants, hotels or things to do. This signs are more colourfull and have the name from the item on it.
If you know where you wanna go or what you wanna see, its very handy to follow this signs. You also find a sign for a parcing spot very close by.
Take the train to the north
A very good way to travel to Groningen is by train. When you are in Amsterdam, The Hague or Rotterdam it is very easy to come in Groningen. Just take the train there and you don't have to change into another train.
Of course you can also com by plane but then you arrive at Airport Groningen (in a small town called Eelde) and then you have to take a bus or taxi to go to Groningen. It is not far but very inconvenient. By car is also a possibility but it can be difficult to park your car in the city Groningen.
When you have decided to stay in Groningen you can get around and visit the smaller places in this province. When you want to do this the best thing you can do is rent a car. If these places are very close to Groningen you can consider to rent a bike.
Of course it is also possible to take the bus but I won't advise you to do this because they don't go frequently.
Travelling with (young) kids.
Are you nervous about taking your baby or child on a plane trip? You aren't alone, most parents are nervous about it. We have moved with the kids to Alkmaar by car this holiday and drove some distances by car on when we were there and we learned a few things that hopefully will help you.
Bring books, old favourite toys and new surprise toys. Do remember that balls are not a good idea as they can end up anywhere! Our best buys were definitely books, especially sticker books are great! They can peel the stickers off, are glossy, have thick pages to turn easy, have bright colours and come in endless subjects. They're a nice break from the other books your child might be tired of, too. Put aside fears of setting poor eating habits, and bring on the snacks! We told Iris: “Welcome to the world of boredom eating."
Toy bars meant for stroller use are a big help in the car, as they often feature toys plus a snack cup, and are big and easy for you to grab from the front seat for refills. During the car trip it’s always a good idea to play a game and sing some songs. It sounds rather easy, but it does work!
We only have one last statement! Just do it! Don’t be afraid that it might go wrong. We have learned this, because we have been travelling with Iris from the beginning. She was only 6 weeks young when we had our first short vacation and stayed in a hotel. Iris has been used to it rather fast and (maybe because of it) has always been an easy kid to get along with.
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Sadly this was a very poor experience. There was no form of refreshment service on the train; the journey was some 2.5 hours from Schipol to Groningen.
The up side was that first class seats were sold for the same as second class - sadly they did not appear to be any different, and the compartment I was in did not have it's heating working.
Punctual service at least.
Up to October 1st roadworks are taking place on the A28, the road to and from the city of Groningen (Groningen - Assen and vice versa).
One better be prepared for it for on almost any hour of the day one will be delayed.
- Road Trip
Don't drive at night
Arriving after dark, we weren’t sure we were going to find a hotel. We must have done the square with those 2 big roundabouts a dozen times. In and out of the city centre, passing the train station again and again.
When you enter the centre, it seems like you can’t drive anywhere, or so if you don’t quite understand the signs, so you follow the route and ends up leading right back out of town LOL. Until eventually we started following other cars that seemed to go where we thought we were not allowed and landed right in front of the Best Western Cityhotel. There we stayed for the night.
Now looking at this map looks like hotels surrounded us. Hehhehee serves us right for arriving at night.
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The center of the city is quite compact (1 or 2 sq. km)
Everything is within walking distance, and you get to spot more hidden secrets that way.
It's by walking around that the same-sex and red light district locations were pointed out to me (not that I ever seemed to see anything interesting so far)
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