The Best Hotels in Groningen, the Netherlands, for Every Traveller

Groningen is known for its architecture, canals and students
Groningen is known for its architecture, canals and students | © blickwinkel / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Phoebe Taplin
17 April 2019

Loved by romantic weekenders for its impressive medieval architecture and winding canals, Groningen is perfect for a city break beyond the usual. With an upbeat student population, it’s a lively place, too. From luxury suites to simple lodgings in historical locations, there are many excellent hotels in this under-explored city in the Netherlands. Here’s our pick of the best.

Gelkingehof Apartments

Map View
Gelkingehof Apartments
Courtesy of Gelkingehof Apartments / Expedia

We like the convenience of this converted 17th-century brewery in the historic heart of the city. You can take a four-minute stroll through the bustling Grote Markt to reach the medieval Martinitoren (Martini Tower), the city’s tallest steeple, and you’re only 10 minutes from the railway station. Big, airy, wood-floored apartments hunker around a hidden courtyard, and the company offers the use of free bikes. The area is packed with great pubs and cafes, or wander up Gelkingestraat for Thai food, sushi, Turkish kebabs, gourmet modern Dutch cuisine and more.

The Student Hotel Groningen

4.4/5 (377 Reviews)
The Student Hotel
Courtesy of The Student Hotel Groningen / Expedia

On the exterior of this smart brick tower block close to the city centre, a giant sign reads “Everybody should like everybody.” Inside, it’s all ping-pong, potted plants and quirky design features, including giant bananas flying over the reception area and a green brain glowing on a bedroom wall. Rooms include standard and deluxe options, while the trendy all-day cafe serves up cocktails or coffee, quinoa, veg and pomegranate Buddha bowls or Mrij beef burgers with Dutch fries.

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Loft 6 – Overnachten in Stijl

4.8/5 (4 Reviews)
Loft 6 - Overnachten in Stijl
Courtesy of Loft 6 – Overnachten in Stijl / Expedia

This loft is a sightseer’s dream, set between the Northern Maritime Museum and the popular postmodern pavilions of the Groninger Museum. Like all the Overnachten in Stijl apartments, Loft 6 has touches of luxury and quirky original features. Breakfast and a full kitchen are included, while all taste buds are catered for in venues up and down the pretty tree-lined streets nearby. You can sample strong, fruity guest beers under the plane trees outside Café de Kale Jonker (a brown cafe or Dutch pub) or head to the Metalcafé de Witte Wolf for heavy metal and thrash.

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Groningsche Suites

Bed and Breakfast, Inn
Map View

Just steps away from the lime-and-willow-fringed canal, you’ll find these grand, high-ceilinged suites in a former print company, complete with ornate wood, chandeliers, tasselled brocade curtains and old-school charm. The building is one of those red-and-cream-striped 20th-century brick houses that make this part of Groningen so attractive. It features a charming courtyard and a design institute next door. There are loads of city sights on the doorstep, including the wonders of the Northern Maritime Museum, opened in 1932 in two medieval buildings.

Asgard Hotel

Map View
Asgard Hotel
Courtesy of Asgard Hotel /

Design and sustainability are the watchwords at this cool, stylish place occupying a renovated 1930s nurses’ hostel on a curving cobbled street in the canal-ringed heart of the city. You can enjoy a breakfast of organic produce from local farms before relaxing amid the neutral tones of the ecologically built bedrooms, featuring clay walls. For grand views, you’ll want to book a luxury room on the third floor. The funky Groninger Museum is a five-minute walk away, along shady boulevards or narrow lanes hung with creepers.

Bed and Breakfast de Onlanden

Bed and Breakfast, Inn
Map View
B&B de Onlanden
Courtesy of Bed and Breakfast de Onlanden /

Tall white egrets forage in the flooded reeds while deer and ponies graze the open fields of De Onlanden nature reserve. Immerse yourself in watery peace and birdsong, including the Netherlands’ highest concentration of skylarks, singing as they rise. This original three-room B&B on the edge of the reserve, with its big house plants and wooden beams, is the perfect getaway, well placed for birdwatching in the misty sunrise. Groningen is just 10 minutes by bus from the Park + Ride at the end of the road.

NH Groningen Hotel de Ville

Chain Hotel
4.1/5 (355 Reviews)
NH Hotel de Ville Groningen
Courtesy of NH Groningen Hotel de Ville / Expedia

Grand gabled mansions line Oude Boteringestraat, the cobbled lane that leads from the door of this remarkable place to Grote Markt. The oldest parts of the hotel’s listed building date back to the 15th century, but the 66 bedrooms, decked out in warm autumnal colours, are comfortably modern. Suites feature antique furniture, and some have balconies, where you can sip your home-prepared Nespresso coffee while watching cyclists pedal past. The breakfast buffet is fresh and continental, while the Bistro ‘t Gerecht has a reasonably priced French menu. For drinks, the Serre Bar will serve you cocktails on the sofa by a real log fire or outside in the ivy-covered courtyard.

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Hotel de Doelen

Hotel de Doelen
Courtesy of Hotel de Doelen /

One of the oldest hotels in the Netherlands, the Hotel de Doelen has been in business, in one form or another, for more than two centuries. Sitting on Grote Markt in the city’s historic centre, it’s surrounded by heritage sites and within eyeshot of the gothic Martini Tower. It’s a great place to switch off and savour your downtime – perhaps relaxing at the sophisticated lounge bar, a favourite watering hole with its dark woods and sink-into leather armchairs.

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  • Hotel Schimmelpenninck Huys

    Map View
    Hotel Groningen
    Courtesy of Hotel Schimmelpenninck Huys /

    Housed in a residence that dates back to the Napoleonic era, this stately hotel is your dream bet if you’re here to get into Groningen’s regal side; its 60 rooms, furnished with rococo ornaments, have levels of luxury to suit your budget. Though it was mainly constructed in the late 1800s, some parts of the hotel are considerably older, including its well-stocked wine cellar, which has remained more or less intact since the 14th century.

    City Hotel Groningen

    4.1/5 (675 Reviews)
    City Hotel Groningen, Netherlands.
    Courtesy of City Hotel Groningen /

    This modern hotel is perfect for an urban getaway in Groningen. After all, it’s right in the middle of what they call the youngest city in the Netherlands. It has a bunch of “ambassadors” at the ready to point you to the city’s buzzy bars and restaurants, and when you return, you can relax in the Turkish steam bath or sauna. The 93 rooms, including singles, doubles and triples, are decoratively right on the cusp of boutique and business – smart and minimalist. You can access additional facilities such as a fitness room and a bar, which stocks locally brewed beer.

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    Hotel Miss Blanche

    Boutique Hotel, Suite Hotel
    4.6/5 (145 Reviews)
    Hotel Miss Blanche Suites & Apartments, Groningen, Netherlands.
    Courtesy of Hotel Miss Blanche /

    Offering a mix of accommodation options, from individually designed two-person rooms to larger suites with pantries, Hotel Miss Blanche is well-suited for solo travellers, couples, groups and families. The rooms are spread over a monumental 20th-century building and several other newer residences that run alongside Groningen’s Hoge der A canal. Thanks to its excellent location, there is a stack of bars, restaurants and cafes within walking distance.

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    Hotel Prinsenhof

    Boutique Hotel
    4.8/5 (155 Reviews)
    Hotel Prinsenhof, Groningen, Netherlands.
    Courtesy of Hotel Prinsenhof / Expedia

    Set in a palatial estate established by monks in the 15th century, this hotel offers you the opportunity to rest and recuperate in historical surroundings. After passing between several owners over the years, the estate was converted into a modern hotel, complete with two restaurants, in 2012. Though a lot has changed since its foundation, its long history is still on display, notably in its splendid gardens and magnificent brick façade. Nowadays, 34 luxury rooms are tailored around the estate’s unique layout and equipped with everything you need to have a memorable stay in Groningen.

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    Tom Coggins contributed additional reporting to this article.

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