Groningen as I see it - best views of the city
Reaching the end of my journey in the Netherlands in 2 weeks, I am starting to reflect my experiences and organize meetings with friends as much as possible despite the terribly cold windy unpredictable Dutch weather. I strongly suggest going to see the city when it is still warm (March - October) to enjoy the views at their best. Below is my list of the most beautiful places you can easily reach by bike in Groningen.
Every place is located near the center and close to each other, which is one of the things I like most about living here. This is unlike in Helsinki where train and buses are normal transportation taking you at least half an hour to visit a friend, or in Hanoi where motorbikes are commonly used in a quite dangerous way. It is possible to check out all of these places within 24 hours, if you know your way around, or a local with a day off.
1. Martini Tower is the highest tower of the capital Groningen - also its symbol and a common meeting point. Climbing up may be a bit tiring, but rewarding in the end. It costs 3 euros with the ESN card to climb up. Ticket can be bought in VVV tourist office.
2. Grote Markt - the main square where you can find souvenirs, have a drink at a coffee shop/pub near by, or even ice skate. Open events such as New Year parties, bands and gigs' performances are commonly help every couples of weeks.
3. Vismarkt - the biggest streetfood market opened on Friday, Saturday and Monday. You can find a eating guide post of mine in Vismarkt here. One nice thing is the biggest grocery shop Albert Heijn (which looks more like a temple for me) is located nearby, which helps me shop food ingredients efficiently. Meats and seafood in Vismarkt are fresh and slightly cheaper but do not last long, so I would not recommend shopping here weekly.
3. Just behind the Martini Tower is Prinsenhof garden. The garden is beautiful in the summer & autumn, also ideally peaceful for having a cup of tea or reading instead of pumping up into crowded libraries.
Another example of how green Groningen is, is the Chinese Tower, located 20-30 mins by bike from the city center. Entrance fee is 4 Euros (preferably), and member card for unlimited annual entrance costs 10 Euros. Though you may happen to find some weird Japanese pop culture fan doing photoshoots or wandering around this area, Chinese garden is fine for having a cup of tea while blending in the Asian atmosphere.
5. Reitdiephaven - Colorful buildings on water located near Zernike campus of Hanze Hogeschool. The view is not that breath-taking though it is interesting to see how these bright looking architecture were built in such an expensive landscape.
7. Canals & rivers are everywhere to be found. What you can do with them is to try a cruise around the canals or try a huge Dutch pancake for a nice dinner at the Pancake ship.