Top 10 places of interest

The following locations are highly recommended

In Groningen, the boundless energy of cafes, museums and festivals goes hand in hand with the peace and quiet of hidden almshouse courtyards and gardens. Here, you can walk on the seabed or enter the never conquered Bourtange fortress. Explore the 10 best places of interest in the city and the province.

Martinitoren

In the last 500 years, the Martinitoren tower has endured fire and lightning, and has nearly collapsed. Wars have been won and lost on its steps, but the tower has stood firm and, at 97 metres, it is still the highest building in the city. Climb the tower to experience some tangible history and a stunning view.

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Nationaal Park Lauwersmeer

Of course there was a plan behind the closing off of the Lauwerszee in 1969. But nobody could have imagined that the Lauwersmeergebied area would develop into one of the most beautiful scenic areas in the Netherlands. This is the only place in the country that features this combination of panoramic views of the horizon, stunning flora and fauna and so many options for recreation.

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The Dutch Wadden

Do you think that the Wadden Sea is all about the West Frisian islands? Well, you may be correct literally, but certainly not figuratively. There is no need to go all the way to one of the islands to enjoy the Wadden Sea area. From the infinite horizon in the Oldambt area to the scenic areas in the National Park Lauwersmeer, the coast of the Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage site has plenty to see and do.

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Folkingestraat

As you enter the city from the main railway station and across the museum bridge, you will probably walk down the charming Folkingestraat. This shopping street was once proclaimed the ‘Leukste Winkelstraat van Nederland’ (Best shopping street in the Netherlands). It’s a well-deserved title, because this street only features special shops and restaurants. Be sure to look beyond the shop windows to see the extensive amount of hidden art in the Folkingestraat.

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Hoge de A and Lage de A

The old warehouses by the canal tell the story of the industry of former days. Ships would enter and depart here and the sounds of rattling wheels and stamping horses could be heard all day long. Walking along the quays, you pass no fewer than 28 listed buildings and 11 municipal monuments, making you feel as if you have stepped right into a painting.

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Almshouse courtyards

Groningen almshouses used to provide free accommodation to the poor, to widows and to the sick. Today, private persons live in these oases of quiet in the city centre. Some of them are open to the public for a moment of contemplation. Some trees in the flowery gardens are old enough to have witnessed the former inhabitants.

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Piloersemaborg

In the era of squires, the province of Groningen was dotted with Groningen estate houses. Located a mere fifteen minutes by car from the city, the Piloersemaborg is the only manor farm still in existence in the Netherlands. The combination of farmer’s antiques, stately architecture and filled animal enclosures brings 19th-century history back to life.

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Vesting Bourtange fortress

This defence work was newly finished when the Spaniards showed up at the gate. But the combination of the bastions and soggy marshes ensured they quickly fell back. The Bishop of Münster was also unable to conquer Bourtange. Be sure to explore the impregnable Groningen fortress that has been restored to its former glory.

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Ancient village Niehove

The sea used to come much further inland, but this did not discourage Groningen residents. On the contrary: they simply constructed hills to build their churches and villages on. With dozens of ancient artificial dwelling hill villages, they reclaimed land bit by bit. The sober strength of these typical 'wierden' is felt most strongly in the village of Niehove.

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Groninger museum

These walls exude creative energy. Do you like it? The Groninger Museum was established in 1994, and has been a talking point in modern architecture ever since. This alone may be sufficient reason for a visit. Enjoy the complete experience of the varied and interesting collection and the innovative and sometimes provocative temporary exhibitions.

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