If you were to draw a horizontal line through the centre of the Netherlands, (leaving Amsterdam aside) you would be left with Groningen as the largest city in the top half. This automatically gives Groningen a strategic prominence over a vast area – with all the attendant economic and cultural dynamics that naturally come with that position. The city of Groningen is the capital of the province of Groningen, the north easternmost province of the Netherlands. The largest (185,000 people) urban centre in the area, it is a relatively undiscovered and unspoiled part of the Netherlands that has kept most of its authenticity. Groningen has been awarded the title of Best City Center in the Netherlands.
In this bustling University City, everyone will find some of his liking. The striking Groninger Museum opposite the central station is an absolute eye-catching example of modern architecture. The Universiteitsgebouw, the Town Hall and of course the characteristic tower Martinitoren or 'the Old Grey' are also remarkable city markings. The centre offers a vast supply of very diverse shops.
In 2007, the European Commission carried out research among the residents of 75 larger and medium-sized cities, one of which was Groningen. The result was striking; the residents of Groningen are Europe’s most contented citizens. Since then, a whole new stream of visitors has started looking at our city; all intent on discovering the ‘Groningen Secret’.
Groningen is an attractive city with a level of facilities that can only be found in major cities. Institutions such as the University, the University Medical Centre, the headquarters of N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and the Groninger Museum, make Groningen the regional centre for more than half a million people.
The centre of Groningen has been preserved and its attraction lies in a contrast between old and new Groningen.
Founded in the third century, it has one of the oldest universities (1614) in the Netherlands. Its status as a major Dutch educational centre has imbued Groningen with a vibrant arts scene, lively nightlife and a wealth of fascinating museums covering various topics from science to comics, archaeology to modern art, and even tobacco.