As well as the two major universities, there are a number of technical and applied teaching facilities, and a large and well-known music conservatory that has trained a number of the country's most famous musicians.
Given the large international population there, English is a broadly spoken language, and the International School of Groningen caters for around 130 students of all different nationalities.
As with many Dutch cities, public transport, walking and cycling are widely encouraged. In fact, Groningen has been dubbed 'cycle city' due to the fact that 50% of the journeys taking place in the city center are made by bicycle.
There is a large network of bicycle paths which make the city extremely cycle-friendly. Much of the center of Groningen is also open only to pedestrians and bicycles, making these modes of transport some of the safest and easiest.
The bus network in Groningen allows easy access to most of the city and its surroundings, and even goes as far afield as Bremen Airport in Germany via a Public Express service.
The city is well connected to the Dutch railway network through its three stations: Groningen, Groningen Europapark and Groningen Noord. The stations offer direct routes to many of the major Dutch cities including Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.
Some of these cities can also be accessed easily by road, using the A28 which provides a direct route to Utrecht, and the A7 which connects to Amsterdam in the South West, and Bremen in the East.
Groningen has its own small airport 10 km south of the city, and Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is accessible by a direct train from the central train station.
Amongst Dutch nationals Groningen is widely recognized as a bustling metropolis of the North, and has one of the largest urban centers in this part of the country.
There are a number of music halls and concert venues, including Martini Plaza and the Oosterpoort. The city has a recognizable cafe culture and many smaller venues choose to run shows and live music performances; perhaps most common are the 'jazz cafes' frequented by the music students of the Prince Claus Conservatoire.
Groningen has much to offer in terms of culture and history, and has a series of well-known and well-respected museums. The most famous of these is the Groninger Museum, which has recently been overhauled and is now one of the most modern and innovative of its kind.
Groningen is also home to a maritime museum, and extremely popular comics and graphics museums which have attracted a cult following. Another popular destination is the Noorderlicht gallery, which also organizes an international photography festival.
The city has regularly been voted as the best in the Netherlands for its nightlife - due largely to the thriving custom of the bars and nightclubs, provided by the student population. Nightclubs commonly do not close until 5am.