Are you looking for a list of the nicest sights in groningen? In this blog we describe 10 of our favourites. Drive up to the North of Holland to visit the lively studentcity Groningen. You’ll find beautiful building, cosy places to shop and also places where you can truly unwind.
The Martinitoren (Martinitower) belongs to the Martinichurch and with 96,8 meter, it is the tallest tower in Groningen. The inhabitants of Groningen call it “d’olle Grieze”. This means “ The old grey”. The Martinitoren exists for about 500 years en has a rich history. Trough the centuries the tower has survied a fire, a lightning strike and it nearly collapsed. The tower is one of the most famous sights in Groningen.
2. Grote Markt & the Forum
In the center of Groningen you’ll find “de Grote Markt”. Here is where you can find the Martinitoren and city hall. Another interesting building is “het Goudkantoor”. East on the Grote Markt stands the Forum, since 2019. This building is 45 meters tall and has an interesting build. A system of escalators in the central atrium connects the different levels of the building. The roof of the building contains a public roofterrace that provides you with a spectaculair view.
The Forum is a meetingplace for inhabitants and visitors of Groningen. It has a number of facilities, like a library, movietheater, debatecenter, museum, exposition hall, catering , education and the tourist office. The build started with a contest. The architects NL Architects made the winning design. In 2020 the Forum won several architectural awards.
3. Groninger Museum
The Groninger Museum is located across from the Central Station in Groningen and was opened in 1994. The main architect of the building is Alessandro Mendini. Parts of the building are designed bij guest architects. The heart of the building, the middle part, was designed entirely bij Mendini. The entrance is in this part of the building, just as the museumstore and museumcafe. The golden tower had no windows and is not accesible for the public. That’s because Mendini originally designed this tower as depot. He placed the depot in the heart of the building on purpose, so it will be something you can’t miss instead of a depot that is placed out of sight. You can see the tower from far. This make the Groninger museum a modern cathedral filled with art.
4. Hoge and Lage der A
The Hoge en Lager der A (higher and lower der A) is one of the most pistoresque places of Groningen due to the many historic buildings en the ship fleet located there. From the beautiful buidlings by the water, 28 are national monuments and 11 are municipal monuments. The names of Higher and Lower der A comes from the heightf of the quays. In the past this oldest harbor quarter of the city had an open connection with the sea. De citiziens of Groningen built a high quay (Hoge der A) for the load and unloading during high tide. On the other side came a low quay for the load and unloading during ebb, the Lage der A. In this way the trade could continue and they didn’t have to wait untill the water had the right level.
Gasthuizen (guest houses) were built to provide shelter for the sick, poor and pilgrims. These days they are a place to come to rest in the courtyards surrouding the guesthouses. In the center of Groningen you’ll find the Pepergasthuis, one of the nicest guesthouses in Groningen. This guesthouses has two seperate courtyards, which are connected trough a alleyway. The Sint Anthony gasthuis also provides lots of quitness in the center of Groningen. This guesthouse was orginally built as a plaque house. Later on it was also being used as a madhouse. A part of its income came from citiziens of Groningen that came to look at the mentally ill on sundays. There are many other guesthouses in Groningen.
The Folkingestraat is a nice place to shop in the center of Groningen. It goes from the Vismarkt, corner Akerkhof to the Zuiderdiep. In de 19th and 20th century this was the center of the jewish quarter. Five works of art in the Folkingestraat recalls this period in history. You’ll find “het voorgesneden paradepaard” between numbers 23 en 25. In three porches you’ll find edited photo’s from the early 19th century by Allie van Altena. High in the sidewall of 9b, you’ll see the word “weggehaald” which means “taken away”. At the corner with the Zuiderdiep is a bronze door that cannot be opened. And in the pavement you’ll see a series of half-moons with in the middle a full moon. A the end of the Folkingestraat (at the Zuiderdiep) the synagogue is situated.
In the center of Groningen there is a beautiful renaissance garden: de Prinsentuin. This garden is situated behind the Prinsenhof, a building from the 15th century. The garden was built in 1626 and is fully walled. Partly because of this, the garden is a really quiet place in the middle of the crowded center of Groningen. In the wall at the Turfsingel is a sundial that comes from 1731. It was restored in 1953. Above the sundial is a latin tekst: Tempus Præteritum Nihil Futurum Incertum. Præsens Instabile. Cave Ne Perdas Hoc Tuum. This can be translated as: Past time is nothing, the future is insecure, the current is shaky. Make sure you don’t waste yours. In the garden there is a tearoom that is open from april 1st untill octobre 1st, when the weather is nice.
The Aa-kerk was built for the catholic church. At the time of the reformation the church was adopted by the protestants. Overtime the church was severly damaged several times. It is a beautiful gothic church that has a charataristic yellow tower. The church now has a business and cultural function. It is nog in service as a church anymore. It is a nice church to visit.
The nothern Shippingmuseum focuses on the history of ship-building and shipping in de province of Groningen. The museum is situated in the Brugstraat in two buidlings from the 14th/15th century: The Canterhouse a the Gothic house. The canterhouse probably dates from the 15th century, the current front is placed in the 19th century. The house is named after the scientist and laywer Johannes Canter (Groningen 1424 – Groningen 1497) that live in this building with his family from 1470. The Gothic house is one of the eldest building in the city of Groningen. It is the eldest residential building in the city.
10. Vismarkt and Korenbeurs
The Vismarkt is an important square in Groningen. It is surrounded by a lot of historic buildings. The Korenbeurs (corn exchange) was built between 1862 and 1865 and has a remarkable neoclassical front. It was built to replace two smaller stockmarkets. It is a national monument. For it’s time, the building was modernly built, due to the cast iron construction and the use of a lot of glass. This glass was necessary to be able to inspect the grain. Untill the eighties of the 20th century, the building was being used as a corn exchange, although it became more and more a additional activity. After this the building has had several functions. Nowadays there is a supermarket located in the building.
Do you want to take a citytour and discover this city yourself? Download our Esplorawalk that wanders past the Highlights of Groningen.