Suggestions for social activities / exhibitions / restaurants Art pervades the city, even in the train station with its magnificent stained glass windows. The city's landmark is the Martini tower which has overlooked the city for over 500 years. Visitors can climb this fourth-highest tower of the Netherlands up to the third gallery to get a spectacular view across the city. Adjoining the tower is the Martini church. It originates from approximately 1230 AD and contains frescos from the 13th century and one of the largest Baroque organs in northwest Europe. Groningen has a considerable amount of modern architecture that goes hand in hand with historic architecture. There is an Italian link, proven by the fact that many of the most remarkable buildings in the city were designed by Italians.
Groninger Museum The showpiece of Groningen museums is undoubtedly the Groninger Museum; its striking pavilions designed by architects such as Alessandro Mendini and Philippe Starck are opposite to the central railway and bus station. This museum has a sensational brightly coloured interior and wonderful exhibitions, including a permanent collection. Hours of opening: Tuesday through Sunday and holidays from 10 AM – 5 PM, Friday evenings until 10 PM.
The Prinsenhoftuin Garden, which includes a rose garden and an herb garden, is one of the best examples of a Renaissance garden in the Netherlands. It is open from early April through mid-October.
Established in the 17th century, Hortus Haren has many interesting attractions. Coffee bushes, cinnamon trees, vanilla orchids and bananas flourish in this tropical rainforest environment. Get close to the collection of tropical insects in the insectarium or relax in the Chinese garden, a replica of a Chinese Mandarin's Feng Shui garden from the Ming Dynasty.
Boat tour through the channels A tour through the old channels of Groningen is one of the most popular excursions. You are given a unique opportunity to admire the many magnificent patrician houses and the towers of the town with their centuries of history. City cruises take place on almost every day of the year except on those days when extreme weather conditions force cancellation. Duration is one hour.
Restaurants (and Nightlife) Groningen is a university city which becomes evident in the evenings. The city centre is great fun and crowded each night of the week, providing an excellent and varied choice of restaurants, cafes, theatres, and cinemas. Time flies in Groningen as there are no fixed closing hours. In particular the Ellebogenbuurt has a high density of attractive restaurants and cafes, where quiet pubs alternate with bustling student pubs. The south side of the Grote Markt houses an enormous complex of linked pubs and discotheques, and there is live music in the centre every evening. Well-known names include De Spieghel (jazz), Café Buckshot (funk), and Café Koster (blues rock). Tourist Information Office More touristic information is available at the Tourist Information Office. The office is located at the ‘Grote Markt’, nearby the Martini Church.