25 facts about Groningen › COT

Awards

  • Second best student city in the Netherlands (after Amsterdam, according to survey October 2007)
  • Safest City in the Netherlands 2004
  • Best liked by its inhabitants in a comparable Survey from the EU, July 2007, among inhabitants of 75 cities in the EU, on aspects such as amenities, facilities, safety, pleasant people living there, clean air. (1. Groningen, 2. Leipzig 2. and 3. Krakow)
  • Groningen belongs to the top five of best bike city (57% of all transportation within the city is by bike)
  • In 2009 the city was awarded as Fairtrade town
  • A survey conducted by the European Union in 2009 revealed that citizens of Groningen ranked the health care provided by physicians and hospitals at the highest level. The “Perception survey on quality of life in European cities” included 75 cities in the European Union, Turkey and Croatia.

History

  • The first major settlement in Groningen has been traced back to the third century AD
  • During medieval times, the city steadily became an important trade centre in Northern Europe
  • The map of the inner city of Groningen dates from the early Middle Ages
  • Many old buildings in the centre still show Groningen’s great history

Population

  • Groningen has a population of 200,000
  • Every fifth person in Groningen is a student, which gives Groningen the highest student population density in the Netherlands
  • Groningen is the youngest city of the Netherlands: most people are between 20-24 years old
  • According to a survey, the Dutch are, together with the Danish, the most happy people on earth

Culture

  • Because Groningen is the urban centre of the north of the Netherlands and has such a large student population, its cultural scene is remarkably big and diverse
  • It has a vibrant and famous nightlife, dominated by students. Bars in the centre are allowed to stay open 24 hours a day
  • Underground pop club Vera has a great reputation among alternative music lovers all over the world. Bands like Nirvana, U2, White Stripes and Sonic Youth performed here in the early days of their career
  • Do not forget to visit the famous Eurosonic festival is in Groningen every year. It is the largest European showcase festival
  • Other museums in Groningen include a comics museum, tobacco museum, and science museum

Economy

  • Economic capital of the north of the Netherlands
  • Largest natural gas-field in Western Europe
  • World’s largest sugar factory
  • One of the Netherlands’ largest shipbuilding centres

Transport

  • The centre of Groningen is partly closed off for cars, so it is a very safe and comfortable environment for pedestrians and bikers
  • Only two hours away from Utrecht, two-and-a-half from Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport, and three hours from The Hague and Rotterdam
  • Groningen is located very close to the German border. It’s only two hours away from Bremen, and three hours from Hamburg
  • There are direct buses between Groningen and Bremen airport, run by Publicexpress (www.publicexpress.de). From Bremen Airport you can fly with Ryaniar to many destinations in Europe at a very low price (Milan, Malaga, Barcelona, London, Oslo, Stockholm)