Bart was born and raised in Groningen and is the biggest fan of his “Grunn”. He loves to share all his favourite spots in Groningen!
One of the many places Groningen is known for, is its almshouses. Bart: ‘There are lots of almshouses in Groningen. There even is a walking route through Groningen where you only walk through almshouses, and that route takes at least 1.5 hours! That is how many almshouses there are. If you stand on our roof, you can see church towers all over the city and they all have almshouses. They are actually a bit like little villages. I would love to live in one someday. The most beautiful and oldest is the Pepergasthuis from 1405. And the best part is: it is right opposite the hotel! Yet many guests cannot find it because it looks like you can't go in.’
It might be that the Noorderplantsoen is the most famous park in Groningen, but according to Bart the Pioenpark is the most beautiful one! Bart: ‘I used to live very close to the Pioenpark, so I went there quite often. I think it’s really beautiful, especially in spring when all the flowers start to bloom. I like to go there for a walk or read a book. The park is just outside the city, but it is only a 10-minute walk from the hotel. If you really feel like barbecuing, you can better head to the Noorderplantsoen though. But believe me: the Pioenpark is really the most beautiful one.’
Wall House #2
The "Wall House #2" is not your typical house, and is therefore definitely on Bart's list of favourites. ‘When you see the Wall House, you think like: what kind of weird building is that? It is actually similar to the famous Cube Houses in Rotterdam, but then in Groningen. The Wall House is a building with strange shapes in many different colours and a wall in the middle. There were many designs, but this is the only house that was actually built. In the past, the interior was shown so that you could see what it would be like to live in that house. Nowadays the interior has been removed and it is used as a museum with art on the walls, which I also like very much. The Wall House #2 is really something you have to see if you come to Groningen. And if you are there anyway, you should would pay a visit to the Hoornsemeer.’
Everyone is familiar with the photos of the old ships at the Hoge and Lage der A, but did you know that if you walk a little further, you actually encounter the most beautiful part of Groningen? ‘The Noorderhaven takes your breath away. It's a pity that many people don't walk past it when they are in Groningen. You have to go around the corner, but it seems like there's nothing around it. If you do go, you'll find the Noorderhaven. The Noorderhaven is the only free port in the Netherlands and if there is a spot available, you can moor your boat there for as long as you like to live. A friend of mine also lives in the Noorderhaven on a boat and especially in winter it is great fun. You can see everyone skating by from your house and we can sell "koek & zopie" from the boat. Speaking of famous photos: in the Noorderhaven you always see the boats with lights on, because people actually live there. Perfect spot for an Instagram shot!’
Many people pass by this place because they don't know it's there. Bart: ‘The synagogue is in the most gorgeous street in Groningen, and that's not just because I live there. There are lots of nice little shops here, it's a real folks street. Especially around the holidays many people come here to shop. The street is located in the old Jewish neighbourhood and at the end of the street there is a synagogue. It is not used as a synagogue anymore, but it has been completely restored to how it used to look. Now it is used for exhibitions, for example World Press Photo Groningen. I think it really is an icon for Groningen and would recommend all people to go here.’