Tag Archives: Netherlands

Where We Slept and Ate in Groningen

If you want to stay in the heart of Groningen without paying a fortune, then the Martini Hotel is the best choice. The name of the hotel refers to the nearby Martini Tower.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the room, but I can assure you that they are cozy and comfortable and of course come with a free Internet connection.

I did however take pictures of the splendid bar! Follow our example and taste some of the local beers!

There is an on-site restaurant, called WEEVA. Not the cheapest option in town, but the decor is warm and stunning and the food and drinks are delicious. Highlights were my starter with blood sausage and a main dish inspired by Indonesian cuisine.

Looking for a place to have a snack or a light meal or a drink? Opposite the Martini Hotel, is de Oude Wacht, a very cozy pub with great food and drinks (especially beers and jenever, a local strong drink).

Popular snacks are a “tosti” (“croque monsieur” in Belgium, grilled ham and cheese sandwich, usually served with a small salad) and a “uitsmijter” (also popular in Belgium, open ham and cheese sandwich, with fried eggs on top, also served with a small salad). Lars and I had them for brunch twice.

I was adamant on eating in an Indonesian restaurant before we left Groningen and we did it! Just a few footsteps away from the Martini Hotel is Het Satéhuis and there I could finally taste some of the Indonesian specialties. I went for salmon satay and Lars went for beef. Everything came with a huge portion of rice and vegetables and at least 2 sauces.

We hope that all of these places inspire you to visit Groningen as well!

Gorgeous Groningen – Part 3

When it comes to art, Groningen has one major thing to offer: the Groninger Museum.

The museum dates from the end of the 19th century and the current building consists of three main buildings, designed by Philippe Starck, Alessandro Mendini and Coop Himmelb(l)au. (source: Wikipedia)

During our visit, part of the museum was closed, due to preparations for a huge Rodin exhibition. Anyway, Lars and I started by viewing the contemporary art collection, representing both national and international artists.

The contemporary art collection wowed us! The modern art collection however is also worth a visit. It features national and international works of art as well and doesn’t restrict itself to paintings.

The Groninger Museum also has a beautiful gift shop and a cozy cafeteria serving drinks and light meals at affordable prices. The museum is, by the way, easy to find, since it is located opposite the main train-station of Groningen. You can find more information on their website.


Gorgeous Groningen – Part 2

In the afternoon of our first day in Groningen, Lars and I made a boat trip, so we could see the town from a completely different angle. And have a nice beer at the same time. Isn’t it nice that there was a small bar on board of the boat?

The company that organises the boat trips is called Kool and is situated right opposite the beautiful building of the train station, at the Stationsweg. About 15 minutes before departure, you can go aboard. Our boat trip started at 2pm.

The trip lasts about an hour and takes you around the inner city of Groningen. A guide tells you everything you want to know about the town in Dutch, English and German.

Some of the boats that we passed during our trip are actually houseboats, others serve as a restaurant.

The boat trip gives you a lot of insight into the history of Groningen and picturesque anecdotes about for example the several city gates and the narrowest house of the town.

We paid 12,- euro per person for this trip and think it is absolutely worth it. For more information about departure times and special arrangements, you better check with the local tourist information office, situated near the Martinitoren.


Gorgeous Groningen – Part 1

Sometimes you arrive in a town (or any other place for that matter) and you immediately fall in love with it. That is what Lars and I experienced in Groningen. To be honest, Lars had been there once many many years ago; for me, it was the very first visit.

With its 200.000 inhabitants, Groningen is one of the biggest towns in the north of the Netherlands. Moreover, it has a youthful atmosphere thanks to its university with its 30.000 students. Finally, the inner city with all its main touristic attractions is very compact. Or, in other words, this town is ideal for a weekend getaway.

Lars and I first went to the Grote Markt with its Martinitoren, the highest church steeple of Groningen and also the bell tower of the Martinikerk. (Source: Wikipedia) The Grote Markt is also the place where you can find the tourist information office. Anyway, the Martinitoren is 97 meters high and is built in Gothic style. You can climb the tower, which we did not do, because of our fear of heights.

We continued our stroll to the nearby Vismarkt (Fish Market), home to a lot of pubs, shops and cozy eateries. The stall you can see in one of the pictures does sell fish.

We also passed the gothic Aa Church, but unfortunately it was closed for visitors, like all the other churches in Groningen, by the way. I am not sure if this is a general rule or if this applies only in the low season. By the way, the word Aa is actually the name of the nearby river.

We slowly approached one of the canals, that circle the inner town of Groningen.

This is what we did in the morning. In the afternoon Lars and I decided to see Groningen from another point of view.


Hotel Flashback – March 2014

This post is long overdue! Anyway, here we go. These are the hotels where we stayed in the beginning of March of this year.

Hampshire City Hotel Hengelo

Usually, Lars and I don’t stay in 4 star hotels, but we found a very good deal for this via booking.com. This hotel is right in the center of Hengelo and has got comfortable rooms, a very good bar and very friendly staff. Just a pity that they don’t have their own parking space and that breakfast is a bit pricey.

Hampshire City Hotel Hengelo
B.P. Hofstedestraat 50
Hengelo (Netherlands)

Walresidenz Am Roten Wasser

One of the best places we have ever visited! Comfortable room, friendliest hosts ever – who gave us a lot of interesting information about the area, very good breakfast. The place was being renovated when we there, but we didn’t notice anything.

Walresidenz Am Roten Wasser
Am Langenberg 30
Silberborn (Germany)

Hotel Alter Markt

Situated outside the center of Berlin, calm and cozy neighborhood, large room!

Hotel Alter Markt
Alter Markt 11a

Fründts Hotel

What a place! Spacious room, with high-tech bathroom, very good restaurant! And in the center of Wismar.

Fründts Hotel
Schweinsbrücke 1 – 3

The Bears

There are bears in the center of Hengelo…

5 giant plastic bronze bears! Apparently, it’s an (expensive) artwork that some people love and others hate.

Lars and I thought it was funny, but we wondered whether there is any connection between bears and the town of Hengelo. Anyway, I had fun photographing them!

What do you think? Is this art or not? Do you like this or not?

The Center of Hengelo

Lars and I stayed in a hotel, right in the heart of Hengelo. On Sunday morning, just before we left for Germany, we had a stroll in the center of town. Since the streets were as good as deserted, it was very easy ti take photographs.

Hengelo is a relatively young city, which developed quite quickly in the 19th century. Not so many historic buildings can be found here, because the town was bombed heavily during World War II.

We saw lots of shops, pubs and restaurants. It all looked very cozy and then we discovered something bizarre and funny …