A Quick Guide to Groningen, The Netherlands 6 Great Tips
This museum's collection is colorful and varies from (Dutch) design to paintings by the Groningen art collective De Ploeg. The temporary exhibitions are also worth the trip.
I recommend a cup of coffee in the museum because as soon as the sun shines, you can sit here on the terrace on the Verbindingskanaal. Plopping down indoors is also a good idea.
Designer Maarten Baas designed the interior of the MendiniRestaurant (named after the buildings' architect, Alessandro Mendini). He filled the space with his Clay series: tables, chairs, sofas, and lamps made by hand from synthetic clay.
Address: Museumeiland 1, Groningen
GRID Grafisch Museum Groningen
Did you know that this former school building was bought in 1989 for one guilder? It is now known as the GRID Grafisch Museum Groningen and you can dive into the history of design.
Admire the old presses in the printing shop and bindery or experiment with the Werkman technique during a workshop. With every exhibition, the walls are full of colorful posters, printed with different fonts, in all shapes and sizes. There's plenty to see!
As icing on the cake, you can score a card for on your wall or a book in the store), of course with a beautiful design.
Address: Sint Jansstraat 2, Groningen
Wall House #2
As soon as you see the imposing Wall House # 2 with its enormous wall of 18.5 meters wide and 14 meters high, bright colors and different shapes, you immediately become curious.
What kind of building is it? And what does it look like inside? Architect John Quentin Hejduk already designed the house in 1973, but only after his death and the Blue Moon manifestation - during which five contemporary artists changed buildings in the city - the plan was realized in 2001 on the initiative of the city.
This special building is a symbol of the architecture of the eighties and nineties, in which Groningen created a furor as a place of international post-modern architecture. Inside you walk past old rooms and from the wavy windows, which are intended to broaden your horizon, you have a beautiful view of the lake.
There are regularly interesting exhibitions, for example about waste. Children can enjoy themselves in the studio. Every weekend the Wall House is open to the public from noon to 5 pm. This visit will certainly leave an unforgettable impression.
Address: A.J. Lutulistraat 17, Groningen
Anyone who loves large art installations will love the Tschumi Pavilion. The large glass building is in the middle of a busy road so that it is visible to everyone. In spring and summer, the focus is on kinetic art, in autumn and winter on video projects.
Every season there's a different artist who surprises visitors with his or her art. A while ago, for example, architecture students copied wooden half-timbered houses that have since disappeared due to the modernization of the city and attached them to the pavilion. They asked the question what would Groningen look like without modern architecture?
The building was also once transformed into a light sculpture and was covered from top to bottom with transparent foil on which images of nature are placed. Once inside, you saw how the work of art - which was about our relationship with technology - kept changing image and color because of the LED lamps shining on it.
Be sure to look around you, because according to the inventor Bernard Tschumi, what we see in this space is just as important as its surroundings. Because there's regularly new art to admire, you have every reason to visit again.
Address: Hereplein, Groningen
Het Forum Groningen
A cinema, museum, library, and knowledge center: the hypermodern Forum Groningen is all in one and therefore a pleasure for young and old. The 45-meter-high building alone, which has 14 escalators and a roof terrace with a view of the Martini Tower, is fascinating (in clear weather you can even see the lighthouse on the island of Schiermonnikoog).
Be surprised by a film that has never been shown in the Netherlands before or go for a classic. Visit an exhibition, for example about animations or artificial intelligence. Rather curious about a different way of thinking? Then go to an inspiring talk with a journalist, director, or presenter. Afterward, you can relax in the restaurant on the 10th floor.
Address: Nieuwe Markt 1, Groningen
Centrum Beeldende Kunst Groningen
Under the motto "Bring art closer to the people", Centrum Beeldende Kunst Groningen organizes exhibitions, events, and audio tours. The CBK is responsible for no fewer than 400 works of art in the city's public space.
In good weather, you can walk from this creative breeding ground to the Noorderplantsoen in about 20 minutes. There are often works of art by new talents on display that respond to current events, for example, the current 1.5-meter society.
Take a walk along with all the highlights of the 'Northern Summer audio tour' by downloading the app IZI Travel: Audio Travel Guide. Are you looking for a painting, sculpture, or photo for your home? Even then you are in the right place because there's an art lease with an extensive collection from 1950 to the present day.
Address: Trompsingel 27a, Groningen
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Jeremy East