Groningen is the largest city in the north of the Netherlands. It is the capital city of the Groningen province, and it has a number of different expatriate communities, many of which were established after young people traveled from across Europe to study there.
Groningen has two large and well established universities, the University of Groningen and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, which have around 28,000 and 25,000 students respectively. The population of the city itself is just under 200,000, meaning that students make up over a quarter of Groningen's population.
In many ways, the universities are the lifeblood of the modern city, and the large student population means that Groningen has, on average, the youngest demographic of any Dutch city.
Groningen generally experiences a cool and temperate climate, similar to much of the rest of the Netherlands. However, the city tends to be slightly colder than other Dutch cities, especially in winter, due to the influence of the North Sea and its north-westerly winds and gales.
Snow and frost are common, although prolonged periods of snow lying on the ground are uncommon, due to the slightly warmer daytime temperatures. The average daytime temperature in summer months is 22°C, and humidity is typically high. Wet weather is common, especially during the spring months.
Rental costs in Groningen are relatively low - although the quality of housing does vary considerably. Rooms in shared houses (typically but not exclusively used by students) can rent out for as little as 200 EUR per month. Studios and small one bedroom flats are typically available for less than 600 EUR a month and two bedroom flats are in the region of 1000 EUR.
Of course, there is a range to choose from, and some of the oldest most attractive apartment blocks can command much higher rental values. A number of English-language websites including Pararius.com and XPATRentals can be a good starting point for your property search.
Whether or not you need a visa when moving to Groningen very much depends on your country of origin and the length and reason for your stay. In our article on Moving to the Netherlands, you can find out more about visa regulations.