When you arrive in the Netherlands at Schiphol, the Amsterdam International airport, the easiest way to travel to Groningen is by train. The underground train station is located near Schiphol Plaza, within several minutes walking distance from the luggage claim areas. The Dutch railway system is run by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS for short). You can recognize it by its yellow and blue colors. Just follow the yellow illuminated signs that direct you ‘To the trains’.
It is important that you purchase a train ticket to Groningen before you board the train. Passengers traveling without a valid ticket will be fined. You can buy your ticket as business class (€ 27.40 one-way) or first-class (€ 45.21 one-way). There are three ways of purchasing a ticket: at the ticket office where you can purchase a ticket from a railway officer in person, online as a print-at-home ticket or as E-ticket and from ticket-vending machines that you will find in the luggage claim hall as well as 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.
A train goes from Schiphol Airport to Groningen twice every hour. Make sure that you board one of the carriages marked with the destination Groningen as the other part of the train may travel to Leeuwarden (which is ~70 km away to the west).
The journey from Schiphol Airport takes approximately 2.5 hours. The trains are quite comfortable and usually feature free wireless internet. However, there is no form of refreshment service on the train so be sure to purchase your snack at Schiphol.
Travelling from Bremen Airport
Bremen airport might be convenient for cheap intra-European flights because it hosts the discounter Ryanair and also offers low airport taxes.
To travel from Bremen to Groningen you can use the train or a bus. For both options you have to go to Bremen central station (Hauptbahnhof) first.To get from Bremen airport to the central station you have to use public transport. Tram No. 6 will bring you directly from the airport to the station within 15 minutes (here are departure times for this tram).
You can purchase train tickets to Groningen at Bremen central station or online from the German railway system die Bahn. Be sure to take a train to Groningen (do not mix up with Gröningen, Germany!) with a step over in Leer, Germany. The journey from Bremen HB takes about 3 hours.
There is a direct bus connection from the Bremen Hauptbahnhof to Groningen by the company Flixbus. The bus schedule can be found here. The bus fair is between € 11,- and 24,- if you book online and € 24,- if you pay directly at the bus (note that there might be no places left if you don’t reserve a seat beforehand). It takes about 2.5 hours to reach the Groningen Central Station (CS).
Groningen Airport Eelde
There is a small airport very close to Groningen which is an attractive option if you travel from London since it is practically a door-to-door flight that does not require travel by train. You can find flights and other information on their website. From Groningen Airport Eelde there is a bus connection to Groningen central station which takes between 30-50 minutes. You can check for the connections here.
Traveling to Groningen by car
Please note that car traffic in the city centre 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 fifteen parking garages located near the centre.
Oosterpoort has its own parking place. Pre book here.
More information on car parking in Groningen, including the street parking regulations, can be found here.
Groningen has various taxi companies, here is a small selection of them:
Taxi Groningen: +31 (0)50 541 8452
Taxi Noord: +31 (0)50 549 4940
Taxi VTG: +31 (0)50 301 5222
Traveling within Groningen
The conference venue, is within walking distance of the main train station. It’s about a 5 minute walk.
If you like, you can also hire a bicycle at the station.
If you stand with your back to the station you will see the Groningen Museum in the canal in front of you. Walk towards it. Cross the bridge past the museum and continue walking straight ahead. Cross over the Zuiderdiep and continue straight on, into the Folkingestraat, towards the centre. Follow the Folkingestraat until you reach the Vismarkt. Continue straight ahead, past the Zwanestraat on your right. Turn right into the Broerstraat where the Academy Building of the university is located. The entrance to the Academiegebouw is now on your left and the University Library is on your right.
A single bus ticket (Eurokaartje) costs € 2,84 which allows you travel within the two zones of the city for the duration of 1 hour. Here you can find information about connections.