This trip is all about visiting Groningen, a province in the northeastern part of The Netherlands with fascinating cities and villages, history and culture, natural beauty and interesting architecture. Uncover the hanging kitchens of Appingedam and the star-shaped medieval fortress at Bourtange. On this trip, you have it all: biking, walking, canoeing, city tours, museums, and more!
You might also like our Relaxing Friesland Holiday to explore this neighbouring province. Or you can check out our Netherlands Tour Package of Friesland and Groningen to see both provinces in one tour.
Groningen is not the most highly-touristed area of the Netherlands, but there are plenty of fun things to do here! There are loads of tourist attractions in Groningen city itself, while the surrounding villages and countryside also offer interesting sites and activities. Lesser-known destinations mean smaller crowds and more authentic experience with Dutch culture and history. Get off the typical tourist track with us at TravPact and you’ll Travel with Impact!
With 2 persons: From €599 per person
Single supplement: €275
Your trip to Groningen Province will begin in the beautiful city of Groningen in the North East of the Netherlands. You can arrive by plane directly to Groningen Airport Eelde from some cities in Europe, or by train from Schiphol Amsterdam or Eindhoven Airports, or even by car. If you arrive without a car, we can either arrange a car rental for you or adapt the itinerary so that it can be done entirely by public transport and/or bike.
After arrival, you have the rest of the day to yourself, with a vast variety of activities to explore in Groningen. We suggest going out for dinner in one of the restaurants near your hotel, as they offer a quieter, non-touristy experience. We also recommend an evening bike stroll or a walk along the canals of the town.
Tonight, you will stay at a unique “neighbourhood hotel”, offering a truly local experience of life in a typical house in Groningen with locals for neighbours.
Today, you will be taken on a walking tour of the city of Groningen. You will be introduced to the charms of the city by an experienced local guide, who will show you the unknown and hidden places in the area. Make sure to bring your camera! The city’s architecture offers postcard-worthy views all around, with narrow alleyways and secluded alms-house courtyards to explore, too.
You will, of course, see the Martinitoren, which is the highest bell tower in Groningen, located right in the city centre, on the edge of the main square (the Grote Markt). You’ll also see Prinsenhof, the 15th-century mansion currently utilised as a hotel and nice restaurant (also for lunch), together with the magical gardens (Prinsentuin) that are open to the public.
Visiting Groningen city offers plenty for you to explore. This day can certainly be eventful, as we suggest carrying on exploring the city at your own pace after the guided tour. Groningen is bustling with energy and everyone can find something they love here!
We suggest you get a good night’s rest so you’re ready for today’s adventure! You will go on a 21.5-kilometre bicycle journey through the province of Groningen towards Winsum, a village north of the city of Groningen. Just as you leave the city, you will pass by Rietdiephaven, which is a small harbour inspired by the classic Maritime quarters. This picturesque area is a colourful and modern spot on the map.
Further along the road, two rivers (Reitdiep and Drentsche Aa) come together near the village of Wierumerschouw. Here you can also see Wierum, a small village built on an artificial mound, which is characteristic of the region of Groningen. When you arrive in the village of Wetsingersluis, you can observe classic canal locks.
The next stop will be the village of Garnwerd, which has the smallest street a car can drive on in The Netherlands: Burgemeester Brouwerstraat. Maybe you will be lucky enough to see an experienced local driver manoeuvre through the narrow, almost alley-like, street! Garnwerd is also a nice place to have lunch or a drink.
We also suggest taking a little detour to visit the small authentic village of Feerwerd with its red brick houses.
At the end of the day, when you arrive in Winsum, we will have booked a nice hotel for you to relax.
Today, you’re invited to continue exploring Groningen’s tourist attractions at an active pace, switching from the bike to a canoe and going along the rivers (Boterdiep and Reitdiep) to observe the beautiful landscape. The canoe rental is offered at the hotel where you will be staying; if you prefer a slower pace, sit back and relax by renting a “whisper boat” (fluisterbootje) instead.
Starting your journey from Winsum, you will be canoeing along the Winsumerdiep, eventually entering the Reitdiep waters as well. On your way, you will pass by small authentic villages, and you’ll have multiple opportunities to stop at a kayak pier to stretch your legs and enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the calming, quiet landscapes of the province.
However, if it is not your lucky day with the weather, or if you simply want to stay on land, you can instead explore Winsum and its surroundings. We recommend taking your bike or walking around the village, seeing the classic Dutch windmills and historic churches, maybe stopping for lunch in one of the cafés with waterfront terraces.
Today you will head back to the city of Groningen by bike. You can, of course, choose your own path, but we recommend following this journey to see our suggested highlights.
Starting from Winsum, you will head towards the charming village of Onderdendam of nearly 600 inhabitants. There you can see typical windmills and bike through uncrowded streets.
Further on, you will visit the village of Bedum, where you can find the Walfriduskerk, a church that is leaning more than the tower of Pisa! Interesting fact, this village is also where Arjen Robben, a well-known Dutch football player, comes from.
From Bedum, you will follow the bike path back to Groningen, with the wind in your face and seemingly endless fields on both sides. Upon arrival in Groningen, you can have lunch in the city or go for a walk if you would like. After that, you will drive to Midwolda, a village situated 35km away. Here, you will check into your accommodation and have the rest of the day to yourselves.
Today, you will drive about 30km from Midwolda to a small fortress village called Bourtange, located in the eastern part of the province right by the German border. The fort dates back to the 16th century and is in the shape of a star when seen from above. It is important to note that Bourtange is not just a Groningen tourist attraction – there are a little over 400 people living in the village to this day.
While in the village, you can visit the Fortress Bourtange museum right in the centre of the “star”, see the cannons that still function to this day at the very edge of the moat, and also see the traditional windmill. On your way back, we recommend passing through (or even making short stops) in two villages.
The first one you will pass is Blijham, a village with two beautiful parks and a Protestant church, where you can enjoy an afternoon walk. Further on, if you wish to prolong the day, you can drive through Winschoten and stay for dinner in a restaurant like Backhuys, which is decorated in a traditional style. If you prefer to dine back in the village of Midwolda, we suggest visiting the restaurant located on a farm, where you will be served dinner based on fresh, local ingredients.
This is the last day of your Groningen visit! To make the most of today, you will start by driving about 24km heading northwest from Midwolda to Appingedam. This characteristically medieval city is known for its hanging kitchens. Initially introduced as a way to create more space, the hanging kitchens of Appingedam look like bay windows and have become a symbolic feature of this charming city.
We highly recommend reserving time for a walking tour of the historic city centre streets, as well as paying a visit to the Museum of Appingedam and the Groninger Zilverkamer with its extensive collection of Groningen silver.
From mid-May to mid-September, there is a possibility to observe seals nursing their newborn pups just 20km east of Appingedam, where Het Groninger Landschap built a special viewing wall to allow visitors to observe the seals without disturbing them.
You depart from Midwolda today at your leisure. We hope you have enjoyed visiting Groningen and we wish you a safe trip home or to your next destination!
TravPact is Travelife Certified, which means our tours are in line with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Industry criteria and our certification is formally recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
With a professional background in the nonprofit sector working in international development, we are keenly aware of the impact tourism can have on a destination and its people.
That’s why we choose to bring your focus away from driving long distances, and instead offer alternatives such as bikes, sailboats, kayaks, or simply walking to reach a destination where possible.
Moreover, in order to give you the most authentic experience, we give preference to small local hotels, B&B’s, and campsites. In these spaces, you can connect with the Dutch culture in an authentic way and experience the cities and villages of the Northern Netherlands.