Culture in the city

Did you know that Groningen has the richest cultural offering of all the provinces in the Netherlands? Part of this is because of the high density of cultural venues in the city.

On this page we provide an overview of the main cultural institutions. There is a broader overview of the things to see and do in Groningen on the tourism site, and another overview provided on the student-centred GroningenLife site, including film and festival information.


  • Groningen Museum - iconic museum showcasing contemporary art, fashion and design
  • Noordelijk Scheepvaartsmuseum (Northern Shipping Museum) - amazing collection on the history of shipping in the Northern Netherlands. The 2019 exhibition on migration is also worth a visit
  • University Museum - house museum of the University of Groningen, with an impressive collection of scientific instruments, specimens and curiousa, plus activities programme .
  • GRID graphic museum - museum of graphic art, with activities programme and courses for children and adults.

Have a look at the complete overview of museums in and outside the city.


  • SPOT - Stadsschouwburg and Oosterpoort, the main theatre venues with a joint website. Host a varied programme of theatre, dance and music performances. See the Language No Problem page for the offering suitable for non-Dutch speakers.
  • Machinefabriek - home base of the Northern Dutch Theatre group (NNT) and contemporary dance company Club Guy & Roni. All performances are subtitled and / or accessible to English speakers.
  • Groninger Forum - a multidisciplinary cultural centre, offering film, music, opera, lectures and other performances at various locations. Main location is currently on the Hereplein. Will move to new central location end 2019.
  • Martiniplaza - large theatre with varied offering including cabaret, musical, dance, sport and family-friendly performances.
  • Aa-theater - small local theatre for Groningen-based theatre.

Main contemporary art galleries

  • CBK - Centre for Visual Art . You can also loan pieces from their large library of local contemporary art.
  • NP3 - platform for contemporary art over three locations in the city.
  • SIGN gallery - interdisciplinary platform for contemporary experimental art
  • Galerie with tjsalling: - fine art gallery for young and upcoming Dutch artists
  • Noorderlicht - photographic gallery, hosts an annual international photo festival and the World Press photo exhibition
  • Lichtzone - photographic collective and gallery
  • Ann’s Art
  • Pictura

Enquire at City Central for English language tours of local galleries.

Live music venues

Groningen is a live music city! There are hundreds of small venues for live music, too many to list here. But we give you an indication of the most well-known ones.

  • Vera - legendary live music venue with own poster printing studio. Mostly rock and pop, with dance nights
  • Simplon - pop platform for hip hop, dance and performance
  • Oosterpoort - hosts big name artists from all genres
  • OOST - nightclub and electronic music venue

A recent article in the Hanze Magazine tells about more live music venues.

Discount cards

If you are going to explore Groningen, you might be able to get a discount. You can either look for a discount online or maybe use one of these discount cards and passes.

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