Facts & Figures

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. Add to this the fact that Groningen has been one of the more popular cities among students for centuries and you quickly realise why people exclaim: ‘… never a dull moment in Groningen!’


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’. This brochure has been specifically produced to assist you and all those fellow explorers.


Among its many wonderful attractions the province of Groningen can count: the tower in Europe that leans the most (Bedum), the Netherlands’ poet laureate (Driek van Wissen), the youngest average city population in the Netherlands, the birthplace of one of the Netherlands’ most famous stand-up comedians Freek de Jonge, the most Italian city north of the Alps, the world’s most beautiful urinal, the most impressive city fortifications, the best Schnittger organs, the smallest hotel, the most comfy, homely bars, the most rapidly expanding harbour, the most northerly megalithic tomb, the largest artificial lake (Oldambtmeer), Rutger Kopland, the winner of the Netherlands’ premier literary award, the most important power and energy pipeline junction, the best bar (De Wolthoorn), the greenest municipality (Haren), the Netherlands’ largest car showroom, Europe’s largest student event (KEI week), the seals’ ‘capital’ / sanctuary Pieterburen, the last clump of Fibrous Tussock-Sedge in the northern Netherlands, the country’s lowest house prices, one of the world’s top five photo festivals (Noorderlicht), Europe’s largest bar (De Drie Gezusters), the highest percentage of students in higher education, the country’s most beautiful building (Gasunie), the best cup of coffee at Doppio and the Netherlands best city centre, and the Netherlands’ very own former Olympic gold medallist in swimming, Ranomi Kromowidjojo...

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