Nature in the city

Groningen scores high on liveability indices partially because of the easy access to outdoor spaces and activities.


There are two main parks, and many smaller parks and green outdoor spaces dotted through the city.

  • Noorderplantsoen - ribbon park to the north of the centre, very popular in the summer, and for sledding and ice-skating in the winter!
  • Stadspark - large park to the south east corner of the city, laid out in the English landscape style. Also has an excellent children’s playground and farmyard.

There is an overview of more parks and gardens in the city on the GroningenLife site. Also check out our overview of outdoor sporting facilities.

Finally, there is a complete list of playgrounds on our page for children.


The city beach is open in the summer months, and has been rated by the Dutch Lonely Planet as the best Dutch city beach. Within easy cycling distance of the city centre are several outdoor beach areas:

  • Hoornsemeer
  • Kardingeplas
  • Engelbert


The canals in Groningen are surrounding the city centre. There are multiple activities that you can do on the canals:

  • Rowing
  • Stand up paddling - can be hired from this ice-cream shop
  • Hire a canoe or a boat to explore the city from the water
  • Take a boat tour

And of course, within ten minutes, you’re right out of town and into the green of the province. See ideas for trips out of town here.

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