top 5 sustainable cities in the netherlands

PART 5 - Groningen

We reached the end of our top 5 sustainable cities in the Netherlands and today we will talk about Groningen!

Have you ever heard about this city? 

Let’s see why it makes part of our top 5!

Groningen is located on the north of The Netherlands and it’s known for its sustainable economy! And what does this means? It means that the city supports a circular economy and you’ll find a lot of second-hand shops, not only for clothes but for anything you might need! They even sell vintage items by the kilo!
This city is also known for being super vegetarian-friendly, meaning that you won’t have any problems finding plant-based food on any menu!
As if this wasn’t enough, the city University has a unique characteristic: it has a Green Office! A department that maps out all the green companies in Groningen, gives its students tips to live a more sustainable life and even promotes activities and events related to sustainable matters! How great it would be if all Universities had this!
These are some reasons that make this city sustainable!

So what there's to visit in Groningen?

Now let’s see what you can visit! 

These are some of the highlights:

  • St. Martin’s Church and tower
  • Noorderplantsoen park
  • Lauwersmeer national park
  • Do the 90-kilometre Kiek over Diek bicycle path to see amazing landscapes
  • Discover the area of Wadden Sea – an UNESCO world heritage site
  • Go for a walk on the oldtown and by the canals
  • Fortified Village of Bourtange
  • Vismarkt – the place to find all local food

If you wish to know about other interesting places to visit, I invite you to visit the city’s official website.

All photos were taken from there.

Sustainable accomodations in Groningen

After exploring all these beautiful places we all deserve a good rest! So let’se see some different hotels! I’ll show you too in the city centre and one a little further!

Best Western Hotel Groningen Centre & Best Western Plus Hotel Groningen Plaza


Both these hotels are located in the city centre, so they’re perfect for those who want to feel city life and explore by foot.

The hotels have a Green Key certificate and here is part of what they do:


  • They use mainly organic products and they incentivize their suppliers to deliver on a sustainable way;
  • There are no plastic bottled waters, as the hotels bottle their own water;
  • They use LED lighting and water-saving mechanisms in the washrooms;
  • The amenities are in dispensers and not on small plastic bottles;
  • All their cleaning products have ecological labels;
  • All waste is recycled;
  • In partnership with ReFood, the hotels donate their leftovers so this company can produce fertilizers or produce any sustainable energy;
  • The hotel offers charging stations for electric bicycles and cars (cars at the Best Western Plus).
The first one is located at the heart of the city and the second one is 15 min by transport from the city’s heart. The second one also offers a pool and some boat rentals.

If you want to know more about these hotels or book them, here are their websites:

Best Western Hotel Groningen Centre 

Best Western Plus Hotel Groningen Plaza


Ecotourism Straw-Hotel Groningen

This might seem crazy but this hotel makes everything with straw, including ceilings and beds!

But that’s not the reason why I brought them here, let’s see their sustainability values:

  • Most of their electricity comes from solar panels;
  • They only use LED lighting;
  • They prefer to reuse and recycle older materials to their constructions;
  • All bed linens, towels and shower products are made with organic products;
  • Their large shed where they host meetings is insulated with natural fiberboards;
  • All cleaning products are also organic;
  • Breakfast is composed only by organic and locally sourced products.

Do not worry if you’re allergic to straw, as they have a room free from it! This hotel is located 20 minutes away further from the city centre, so this is for those travelling by car or those who prefer to be in more contact with nature! You can know more on their website

Had you ever visited Groeningen? Let me know in the comments.

Have a great day


Patrícia Mano Ahmad, Travelling to the Green