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Hobbies and volunteering

Restaurant Toet


Some of the most popular hobbies in the Netherlands are knitting, embroidering, gaming, baking, reading and photography. As many things in the Netherlands, most hobbies take place in an organised group or club. In addition to these hobbies, many Dutch people also use their free time to volunteer. If you are interested in volunteering, have a look at Link050. If you can’t find any English volunteering opportunities, you can ask City Central. They have an overview of organisations that are open to English speaking volunteers.

Finding the right hobby group

If you are looking for a hobby group or club, the best way to start looking is often in your own neighbourhood. Many neighbourhood organisations organise activities and some even have their own community centre. If you can’t find what you are looking for within your own neighbourhood, the Facebook group Expats in Groningen can be a good option. Here you can simply ask other expats in Groningen if they know where you can find the right, english speaking, group or club for you. For an overview of all organisations and clubs in Groningen, have a look here. You can click on the hobby of your choice and it will give you an overview of relevant groups and clubs. If you are interested in walking meet-ups inside the city or in the province where you can meet other internationals, have a look at the Groningen Walkers.


There is a chapter of the national COC network for the north, and there’s Queer Pride Groningen, Stichting LGBT Groningen, Ganymedes (for students), and DUTSJ (for theatre lovers).

For students, there is GDS Kalliope and Teimun (Groningen Model United Nations), and for local organisations that host debates or panels, check out Studium Generale and Forum Groningen.

Martinistad is a website with a thorough overview of almost every choir in Groningen! Most are in Dutch, but if you can read music, a choir is a great way to really get in touch with the locals and make new friends.

It depends on what you’re cooking, of course. Grocery stores called tokos (an Indonesian word meaning “shop”) stock non-Dutch foods, particularly produce, sauces and spices from Asian countries, but they also carry items from other parts of the world. Night shops also feature a lot of fruit, vegetables and other foods you won’t find in Dutch grocery stores.

Amazing Oriental is a Dutch chain grocery store that has lots of different kinds of cuisine. There are also a couple of other large grocery stores that primarily stock halal foods, such as Nazar and De Oosterse Markt.