Groningen is located in the north of the Netherlands, approximately 2 ½ hours from Amsterdam airport by train. Groningen has around 200,000 inhabitants and around 50,000 of them are students at the two main universities. Groningen is famous within the Netherlands for being a student town. It is perhaps most famous internationally as “World Cycling City”, the only place in the world where as many as 57% of all journeys are made by bicycle. The presence of so many students in Groningen makes it one of the most culturally diverse cities in the whole of the Netherlands.
The centre of Groningen is completely closed off to cars making for a very different atmosphere to most British cities. The city itself is very safe and its inhabitants are the happiest in the Netherlands in terms of the facilities and amenities available to them.
The city is nationally known as the "Metropolis of the North" and as "Martinistad" referring to the Martini Tower. Even so Groningen is not a very large city, it does have an important role as the main urban centre of this part of the country, particularly in the fields of music and other arts, education, and business.
Groningen's nightlife depends largely on its student population. Its cultural scene is vibrant and remarkable for a city of its size. In many respects, Groningen offers the closest equivalent to the British student lifestyle. So, if you would like to go abroad, but don’t want to miss out on the student experience, this might be the place for you. In particular, the Grote Markt, the Vismarkt, and the Poelestraat and Peperstraat are the places to visit - crowded every night of the week. Most bars do not close until 7 in the morning.
Furthermore from Groningen it is also possible to travel easily to Northern Germany and many students use Bremen airport instead of Amsterdam, because it is a major hub for budget airlines. You can easily travel to or from the United Kingdom by either air plane or train.