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Student life

More than just studying

In Groningen, student life is about more than just studying. There are countless different sport, study and student associations that you can join. In these student-run associations, you’ll have the opportunity to follow your passions, build upon your interests and make new friends along the way. Develop your cultural interests and display your artistic side by joining USVA, which offers courses in performing arts, musical performances and hosts student film festivals and other cultural events. If you are looking to stay fit and healthy next to your studies, then ACLO should be your first address. With 49 sports clubs and offering up to 100 different disciplines, ACLO is the biggest student sports association in the Netherlands. As a new student coming to Groningen you should also make sure to join either the KEI- or ESN-week. At these student-run introduction weeks, you will have the chance to get to know everything the city has to offer, including the best places to hang out, while making new friends.

Culture, festivals and events

During your time in Groningen, you will get to experience everything the city has to offer, be it art, music or the unique, student-inspired nightlife. Did you know that Groningen is home to a number of festivals? Artists from all over the world and Europe regularly come to the city for events such as Eurosonic, Noorderzon, Kingsland or Kadepop, to just name a few. Groningen is also an artsy city, having over 400 art installations spread across the streets and a number of museums throughout the city. Being a student town, Groningen also offers a vibrant nightlife. There are over 150 different bars and venues here, so it’s no wonder that even people from outside of the city come here for a night out. Unlike other cities, Groningen does not have regulated closing times which means that you’ll be able to dance all night long if you want to. In case you are on a student budget, nightlife here is also perfect: most places don’t require you to pay an entrance fee and offer student discounts.


Did you know that Groningen is one of the youngest cities in Europe? With an average age of 34 years, the city has a unique vibe to it that you won’t find elsewhere. You will notice that many university buildings are located throughout the historic city centre, with students living nearly everywhere in the city. This is also the reason, students in Groningen refer to the city as their campus. Due to a fantastic biking infrastructure (Groningen has even been named the biking capital of the world), you will quickly realize that everything is just a short bike ride away. The city itself has everything you need, from popular fashion chains to open-air markets taking place several times a week. There's also a lot to explore outside of the city centre. Take a stroll by the canals, visit the iconic coloured houses at Reitdiephaven or challenge yourself by climbing Europe's tallest freestanding climbing wall.

Groningen as a gateway to Europe

Groningen is an excellent base to start your travel adventures from. Amsterdam is just a 2-hour train ride away, so there is no excuse to miss out on happenings such as Amsterdam Dance Event, Gay Pride or Kingsday. In addition, nearly every other place in the Netherlands is reachable by train in just a few hours. From Groningen, large German cities such as Hamburg, Bremen, and Dortmund are easily reachable by car, train or bus in just a few hours. If you are looking for a quick weekend getaway you should consider going to Belgium, France or Denmark, all of which are reachable within just a few hours. Did you know that Groningen also has its very own airport from where several airlines fly to destinations all over Europe? Groningen-Eelde airport serves as a regional hub for international flights, which means that you can fly to destination all over Europe from here! In case you are looking for some space and fresh air, you should go and explore the seaside or one of the Dutch islands - located just 40 km from the city centre.

Last modified:06 February 2019 07.49 a.m.