FIVE PLACES TO VISIT AROUND GRONINGEN

There are a lot of interesting locations in The Netherlands and also outside the country that are within two hours from Groningen, but it is not always easy to find out for yourself. Of course you’ve been to Amsterdam, but why not try some lesser know but equally interesting places? To help you a bit, we present you 5 places that are not far from Groningen and are really nice.

Giethoorn

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Known as the Venice of The Netherlands, this village is full of canals. If you come here, don’t bring your car with you as it is forbidden to use any vehicle except bikes. The main form of transport here is by punt or canoe, which is, in fact, the best way to visit the more than 150 bridges. These canals were created in the past to transport the peat. The inhabitants built the bridges so they could go over the canals to the others parts of the village. Giethoorn is located in the National Park of Weerribben – Wieden, and is really close to Groningen. It is, however, a bit complicated to get there because you have to take two trains until Steenwijk and then a bus to Giethoorn.

Lisse

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This little village is located in the south of The Netherlands, just between Amsterdam and The Hague. The big attraction here is the floriculture activity, the parks and estates full of bulb flowers. The floriculture started in the 19th century, when various estates were removed to start growing tulips and other flowers of the same type. The only estate that wasn’t removed was Keukenhof, which is curiously the most famous of Lisse nowadays. This estate opens the 20th of March, just when the spring comes and the estate starts to be full of flowers again. Tickets cost 15€, and there is a discount if you are a group of 20. To get there take the train to Schiphol and then take the 58 bus to Lisse.

Bremen

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This German city located in North-West Germany has more than 500.000 inhabitants. The city’s main activities are industry and trading, but the thing that most attracts the attention of tourists is the beautiful city center. Bremen is also well known for the Brothers Grimm’s tale, The Town Musicians of Bremen. In fact, is represented in a sculpture by Gerhard Marcks, completed in 1951. Other important monuments are the town hall, St Peter’s Cathedral and the statue of Roland which symbolizes the freedom of Bremen. Don’t forget to take a walk in Böttcherstrasse and also in the Schnoor Quarter, the two most charming places in the city. And finally, don’t miss the opportunity to eat a delicious currywurst (a sausage with curry spice and curry sauce) in one of the street shops. Bremen is very easy to get to as there are buses leaving at all hours of the day.

Bourtange

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This amazing fortress and village is placed in the east side of the province of Groningen, very close to the German border. Bourtange was created in the 16th century, when the water flow wasn´t yet controlled and the country was full of marshes. It is built over one of the sandy passes that lets people cross to other places in the past. William I of Orange ordered the creation of this fortress to commercially isolate Drenthe, Groningen`s former name under Spanish control. Nowadays, this village is like an open air museum. Although a lot of the original buildings don’t exist anymore, the structure of the fortress maintains a five-pointed star. Even though going to Bourtange is a bit difficult, as you have to go to Winschoten by train and then get a bus to the village, it’s really worth it.

The Hague

There are so many things to visit and do in this southern city that it is hard to describe them all! The city is known as the residence of the Dutch government and parliament and also has some international organizations, like the International Court of Justice, located in the Peace Palace, an amazing neo–renaissance building. The Hague is also known for being the royal city, as the King works here, in the Noordeinde Palace. The Chinatown district is located really close to the train station and is also recommended. Plus, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the beach and the promenade, which is really easy to get to using the tram. Visiting The Hague from Groningen is very easy, as there are many direct trains.