Groningen is a Dutch city situated in the north of the country. The Netherlands is a relatively small country with a population over 16 million people in an area of 40,000 km2. All major Dutch cities are easy to reach and other European capitals are nearby. Its main language is Dutch, but most people speak English as well. The Dutch have always been merchants. It is no coincidence that the country is one of the founding members of the EU. Its merchant past is still evident in its historic architecture and the international outlook of the Dutch. The country is also known for its high standards of education, health care and social equality.
The old Hanse city of Groningen (200,000 inhabitants) is the economic and cultural capital of the northern Netherlands, including north-eastern Germany. Nearly half of the city’s inhabitants are under 35. It is a dynamic city with many restaurants, cafés, pubs, art galleries, theatres, museums and bookshops serving the needs of its youthful population. The area around the Grote Markt provides a wide range of shops and boutiques. Three times a week the two central squares, Grote Markt and Vismarkt, are home to busy produce and goods markets. The city has a mixed population, with shops, restaurants and places of worship catering to every ethnic background
The city centre of Groningen is a mixture of fine, historic buildings, many of which belong to the University of Groningen, and modern architecture. The University Medical Center Groningen is an example of groundbreaking architecture. The city is a strong supporter of the arts and invests generously in creative talent. It hosts annual events such as the Eurosonic Noorderslag pop music festival in January, the Noorderlicht photography festival in September and October and the Noorderzon performing arts festival in August. There are plenty of museums to visit in the city. Most famous of course is the Groninger Museum, designed by Allessandro Mendini. This museum hosts a mixture of exhibitions, ranging from art-historical style, exotic cultures and kitsch to theatre, painting, sculpture, architecture and science.
Busting student life
Groningen is known as a bustling student city. Students from all over the world come here to study at one of its many institutions and to enjoy student life. Over 50,000 students have enrolled in Groningen. In their spare time students can attend cultural events and festivals and use all kinds of student facilities, including a wide range of low-cost sporting facilities.
City of Talent
Groningen encourages research, innovation and entrepreneurship. It attracts many young, creative entrepreneurs and invests in outstanding IT infrastructure. Key projects are Wireless Groningen and Target, an expertise centre for large-scale data processing. Internationally Groningen collaborates closely within the Northern Development Axis, sharing knowledge and expertise with the North German cities, the Baltic states and Scandinavia. Groningen is truly a City of Talent.