The most popular means of transportation for foreigners coming to Groningen is the excursion boat. While sightseeing the city from this vessel at least once is a must, it will not get you very far since you’ll end up at the same place as where you boarded. For your daily movement there are other ways to get around in Groningen.
The most obvious way is of course: walking. The centre of Groningen is compact since it’s located between the canals which used to border the city in the old days. This means that it’s easy to get around using your legs. Once you’re in the centre you’ll see most of the public stroll by the shops or walk their way through town.
While walking in the centre is popular, an even more favourite means of transportation is the bicycle. As can be seen outside university buildings, bikes are widely used by students. There are bicycle lanes throughout the city with traffic lights especially for cyclists. Since it’s such a popular means of transportation there are also OV-Fietsen (Public Transport Bikes) which you can use for as little as three euro’s a day if you have a subscription, which costs only ten euros a year. Ideal if you only need it occasionally.
Since there are so many bikes in the Netherlands there are plenty of places where you can buy one second-hand: almost all bicycle shops sell them. There are too many to mention here, but the shop which is most easy to find is right at the central station. The municipality collects illegally parked and abandoned bikes, gives them a facelift and sells them on the first and third Friday of the month for a low price. You could also consider asking an international study association like ESN if there are exchange students leaving town who are willing to sell their bike.
The most common form of public transport in Groningen is the bus. There are numerous bus lines running through Groningen and there’s always one which can take you where you need to go. There’s no need to wonder which line you need to take since there is a door to door journey-planner on the internet which can give you the fastest way of travelling and which bus line to take wherever you are in the Netherlands. Taxis are not very popular among students, mainly because it’s relatively expensive (tip: share a ride), but when in need they can come in quite handy. For example, you could have a flat tire but definitely don’t want to disappoint that nice boy or girl waiting for you in a bar at the other side of town. In those cases, there are always a few waiting at the station or the central square and of course you can order one by telephone.