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4 top places for a meet-up with friends in Groningen

Have you arrived in Groningen and started exploring this vibrant student city? Especially if you’re a newbie, it might come in handy to have some fun places in mind when meeting friends and your colleagues! Here are some of the must-visits in Groningen that will each capture your heart (and your stomach).

Previously, I wrote about some crucial things to arrange before coming to Groningen as a newcomer and I shared my authentic student-life routine for a day. Now, the new academic year is about to start in less than a week and the city is currently filled with students taking part in introduction events, such as the ESN Intro Week and the KEI Week (both are great for making connections outside your program and exploring the city!). Others are moving into their old/brand new apartments and reuniting with friends. So, if the weather allows it, make sure to check out the following places (and their locations on Google maps) to meet up with your crew!

1. Café Zondag in the Noorderplantsoen

Thinking about a nice walk and a cup of warm coffee? Whether you’re taking a break from studying, working, or simply feeling like getting some fresh air in the greenest “Central Park” in Groningen, grab a drink with your buddy/buddies at Zondag in the Noorderplantsoen! Besides some lovely hotspots for a picnic near Zondag, for example around the Muziekkoepel, you might encounter a large variety of bird species all over the park.

2. Canals and the roof garden in Westerhaven

Once you get hungry and tired of walking around, my all-time favorite area in Groningen, called Westerhaven, lies a couple of minutes away from the center (Vismarkt). How about a delicious brunch with a view on the canals? At Wadapartja in Westerhaven (and also on Zuiderdiep), you can not only taste a local selection of beers, coffee, fresh bread and veggies, but you can also buy a pretty piece of furniture for your home. I am definitely planning a visit there soon! After brunch and dessert, let’s sit for a while at the beautiful roof garden Daktuin, where you can relax and watch the flowers. Westerhaven is ultimately a magnet for students like me, because I enjoy chilling by the canals and at the same time being able to go to the nearest shopping center (with Primark, MediaMarkt, etc.) right away!

3. Study and have fun at The Forum

Time to hit the books again? Don’t worry, if the University Library is fully reserved, head straight to the Forum! You may find the Forum a bit louder than the library because of the escalators and distinct chatter of those who are not studying. But if you belong to those who go there to have fun with friends, don’t forget to go all the way up to the rooftop terrace and appreciate the incredible view of the entire city and its surroundings. In summer, movies are played on the roof apparently too. There’s even a pretty charming restaurant “NOK” on the tenth floor below the rooftop with a bar and huge windows facing the spectacular Martini Tower.

4. Chilling by DOT

Groningen may not be the best place to go for a summer beach vacation, but if the sun comes out and the weather gets warmer, DOT is the place to go! DOT, characterized by its unique white dome with a movie theater and a planetarium inside, is located opposite the huge UMCG complex. This popular spot with a nice gastro bar right by the canal draws Groningers to the beach and the pier. And even in winter, why not stop by and try immersing yourself in the cold water in the canal?

Last but not least, there are some other cool spots around the city to be explored that I haven’t mentioned here. If you’d like to know more about where to have a drink, or where to listen to good music at night, check out Level 4 of the Virtual Groninger Game! I’m definitely taking inspiration from the game for my new must-visit list in Groningen.

Do you want to see more of Linda as an Ambassador of Groningen? Follow Linda and the other ambassadors via the Instagram account of the Become a virtual Groninger game and stay in touch.