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The city of Groningen

Heading north to the City of Groningen; the city of talent, the city of students.

At first, I did not quite understand what the “hype” was about Groningen, nor did I understand why many students choose to go to study there. In my mind, I thought that it was “too far” from main and know cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and so forth. I, myself, had never been to Groningen before 2015 nor was I planning to live or study there in the future.

Upon visiting my close friends various times in Groningen, I began to understand what it was about the city that attracted them the most – it was truly an international student city. Everywhere you would go you could see students and young adults with different nationalities; on a daily basis, you would see people from all over the world, people from China, Germany, Ireland, Peru, Aruba – you name it and Groningen has it!

But the question remains...Why is Groningen such a popular city for students?

Groningen is well known for its universities such as Hanze Hogeschool and Rijksuniveristeit. These two universities are top quality institutions, where sixteen of Hanze’s programs are ranked number one in the Netherlands while the Rijksuniversiteit is ranked number eighty-two of the world. Along with those universities, they offer various exchange programs for students from all over the world.

© Aïshyta Sichtman
Groningen Martinitoren | © Aïshyta Sichtman

One of the benefits of living in Groningen is that it’s very close to the German border and there are various buses that go directly from Groningen to Germany; within three hours, you’re already in Hamburg!

According to, Groningen has a population of approximately 200.000 inhabitants. One in every fifth person in Groningen is a student, which is what makes Groningen the highest student population density in the Netherlands. Groningen provides its students with the possibility to learn about different cultures, traditions and cuisines due to the high rate of international students.


Upon snooping around and discovering more about the city of talent, I have come to realize why Groningen carries this title – City of Talent. There is something to do for everyone in Groningen. For example, if you like art or poetry, there are various café’s that hosts poetry nights once or twice a week. If you like dancing, you can sign up for dance classes. Let’s not forget about the amazing nightlife where bars are allowed to be open 24/7, talk about the city that never sleeps!


Before closing the journey of this wonderful city, I highly recommend you to go visit some of the many astonishing attractions that Groningen has to offer:

  • In Bedum you can visit the tower in Europe that leans the most; The 12th-century tower of Walfridus rises nearly 120 feet over the northern Dutch town of Bedum but leans 8ft 6 inches to one side;

  • In Hunebed you can visit the outdoor museum with Megalithic tombs;

  • Every year in August, Europe’s largest student event is organized for new international (and national) students, the KEI-WEEK;

  • In the middle of the city, De Drie Gezusters has 20 different bars within the same building, making it the largest bar in Europe;

  • And last, but not least, the greenest municipality – Haren.

To conclude, Groningen is really an amazing and different city because of its huge population of international students, which makes it a perfect place to learn more about the different cultures from all over the world. Above all, Groningen is the #1 student city, #1 in education, #1 as the “Happiest City” in Europe as of 2013 and #1 Bicycle city. Groningen is really on top of everything, what else could you ask for?

As you’ve read this article, I hope to have convinced you to visit the wonderful province of Groningen and discover all that it has to offer, I hope to see you soon!


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Phryme Magazine.


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