- Travelling from Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam) to Groningen -
If you arrive in the Netherlands at Schiphol, the Amsterdam International airport, the easiest way to travel to Groningen is to take the train. The underground train station is inside the airport, within walking distance of the luggage claim areas. The Dutch railway system is run by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS). You will recognize it by its yellow and blue colors. Just follow the yellow illuminated signs that direct you ‘To the trains’.
- Train Tickets -
You will have to purchase a single-use chip card (this is your train ticket) to Groningen at the ticket counter or the yellow and blue ticket-vending machines that you will find in the luggage claim hall and by every entrance to the train terminal. You can purchase tickets from the machines only by using your Credit Card or a Debit Card with the Maestro logo. The vending machines do not take non-European Debit Cards. If you use a single-use chip card or OV-chipkaart please make sure you check in and out; hold your OV-chipkaart up against the NS card reader in one of the gates or free-standing posts. You can also buy your ticket online and simply print it yourself. This allows you to take care of everything whenever and wherever it suits you. All you have to do is complete the journey details, pay for the order, download and print your e-ticket. This means that you can board the train straight away! Information on travelling by train is available on the NS website. The journey from Schiphol Airport takes approximately two hours and Groningen is the last stop. Food and drinks are sold sporadically on the trains, so if you are starving, it is best to purchase food beforehand at the airport.
It is advisable to purcahse a first class ticket, which allows you to ride in the cars with a blue stripe on the side. These cars have more room, tend to be less crowded and (usually) feature free wireless Internet and 220V AC outlets.
Note: The ticket machines in Schiphol Airport take foreign credit cards, but the machines in Groningen do not. Thus, you will have to buy your ticket from the counter at the station in Groningen if you do not have a Maestro card.
- Train schedules -
Unless there is a disruption, trains to Groningen leave from the airpot at :04 and :34 from tracks 1-2. The :04 train is direct. If you catch a :34 train you will have to transfer in Zwolle about one hour into the trip. This is always a short transfer, meaning you just walk from your train to the other side of the platform to catch the Groningen train. If you miss this train in Groningen, there will be another in 30 minutes or you can look at the schedule to find a "Sprinter" train.
Information on travelling by train is available from the NS website. You might also find the website 9292.nl useful for planning your journey in the Netherlands. The planner combines all available public transportation - trains, buses, trams, metro, and boats - to provide an optimal route. It also informs you real-time about the current delays and disruptions in public transportation. The train leaves Schiphol Airport for Groningen twice per hour: the train at the top half of the hour is direct and the one at the bottom half requires a change in Zwolle. In both cases, the train to Groningen travels together with a train to Leeuwarden; make sure that you board one of the cars attached to the engine that says "Groningen." When departing from Schiphol, this will be the front part of the train (the left side of the platform). If you are unsure, just ask another passenger. If you do wind up in Leeuwarden, it is about a one-hour train ride back to Groningen (for which you must buy a separate ticket). The journey from Schiphol Airport takes approximately two hours and ten minutes and Groningen is the last stop. The trains are quite comfortable and (most trains) feature free wireless Internet in all classes and 220V AC outlets in first class. Food and drinks are not sold on the trains, thus you should purchase these beforehand at the airport. The Oosterpoort and Stadsschouwburg (Municipal Theater) are 1 km and 2 km from the train station, respectively. Walking directions are provided below, but you can also take a taxi from the train station.
If you have any problems, there are information booths at every station.
- Travelling from Bremen Airport (Germany) to Groningen -
Bremen airport may be convenient for cheap intra-European flights because it hosts the discounter Ryanair and also offers low airport taxes.
- By bus -
There is a direct bus connection from the Bremen airport to Groningen. The bus stop is situated close to the entrance/exit of the Ryanair terminal of the Bremen airport. The bus schedule can be found here. It takes about 3 hours to reach the Groningen Central Station (CS).
- By train -
There is an indirect train that leaves from Bremen CS (Hauptbanhhoff) by tram No. 6 (the tram schedule is here). Then you take a train to Groningen (do not mix with Gröningen, Germany!) with a step over in Leer, Germany. The journey from Bremen HB takes about 2.5 hours. More detailed information on the train connection can be found here and here.
- Travelling from Weeze Airport (Germany) to Groningen -
Weeze airport might also be convenient for cheap intra-European flights because it hosts discounters Ryanair, AirBerlin, Germania etc. First, you take a direct bus from Weeze airport to Nijmegen. The bus schedule can be found here. Then you take a train from Nijmegen to Groningen that runs every 30 minutes (schedule: NS website). In total, it takes 3½-4 hours to reach the Groningen Central Station (CS).
- Travelling from Eindhoven Airport (NL) to Groningen -
Eindhoven airport might be another convenient option for cheap intra-European flights by Ryanair, CityJet, Wizzair etc. First, you take a bus (line 401) from Eindhoven airport to Eindhoven train station. The bus runs every 10 minutes on Monday until Friday, every 15 minutes on Saturday, and every half hour on Sunday. Then you take a train from Eindhoven to Groningen that runs every 30 minutes with a stopover in Utrecht and Amersfoort (for some trains). In total, it takes 3½-4 hours to reach the Groningen Central Station (CS).
- Travelling to Groningen Airport Eelde -
Finally, you can flight directly to Groningen airport Eelde from a few European destinations. It is connected to Groningen Central Station either by Airportliner or by public bus line number 2. The bus journey takes about 30 minutes.
- Traveling to Groningen by car -
Please note that car traffic in the city center is restricted and street parking is very limited. Also be aware of the numerous cyclists that may not exactly follow the traffic regulations. There are ten parking garages located near the center. The ones closest to The Oosterpoort are the Oosterpoort parking and the Rademarkt parking. Parking garage Oosterpoort is located at Trompsingel 23 and is opened Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m. The parking garage at Rademarkt is located at Rademarkt 27 and is opened Sundays-Wednesdays from 7 a.m. till 1.30 a.m, on Thursdays from 7 a.m. till midnight, on Fridays and Saturdays it is opened 24 hours. More information on car parking in Groningen, including the street parking regulations, can be found here.
- Planning your journey in the Netherlands -
You might find the website http://9292.nl/en very useful for planning your journey in the Netherlands. The planner combines all available public transportation - trains, buses, trams, metro, and boats - to provide an optimal route. It also informs you real-time about the current delays and disruptions in public transportation.
- Taxis in Groningen -
Taxi Groningen: +31 (0)50 541 8452 Taxi Noord: +31 (0)50 549 4940 Taxi VTG: +31 (0)50 535 0088 Visa Information about visa is available from the Dutch immigration and naturalisation service.