Groningen has an international tourist attraction not many locals recognize as a hotspot for tourism, namely the colourful houses in one of the neighbourhoods. For us Dutchies they seem quite normal, just with some colours. Globally, one thinks otherwise.
TIP: combine a visit to the houses with a stroll in the countryside around the neighbourhood!
Google on “colorful houses’ or check ‘colorful houses’ and one of the first hits will be this Reitdiephaven neigbourhood. At Pinterest this neighbourhood gets a lot of pins. International bloggers who came by to visit Groningen all asked if it was possible to see the colourful houses. Extraordinary in my Dutch eyes, as for us it is just a normal living area.
Click to enlarge
So, I wanted to see it’s colourful beauty with my own (transferred to tourist’s) eyes. There needs to be written about when a place in our city is developing as a new hotspot. I went there on a beautiful sunny winterday. Ideal for taking pictures. I was amazed (which I shouldn’t be) that when I was taking the pictures for this post, some French and Polish people were also there to see the houses.
Internet and social media have probably done their things. On internet appear great pictures of the colourful houses. The houses have a Scandinavian look with these bright colours. They are built at the waterside too. And put together these make a wonderful composition. I can understand why people want to see the houses in real.
Check them! It is absolutely worth it.
The area around the houses need might be made more attractive. The area is real Dutch: water, a marina, a cafetaria, world restaurant Taste and Flavor (opens late afternoon). That is why people come to Holland, I presume. I think however that the area can be made more interesting for visitors, even it was not the intention to become a hotspot. The area might come over as dull.
But don’t forget this is Groningen, prepare for its surprises in the landscape. The countryside next to Reitdiep neighbourhood has also some surprises. There is the old Reitdiep river, the hamlet and medieval church of Dorkwerd on its artificial mounds. More abandoned medieval artificial mounds lay in the landscape. For example you can take bus 11 to Reitdiepshaven and have a look at the houses, have a snack at the cafetaria’s and go for a walk around the countryside along Dorkwerd and Reitdiep river. Cross the river at the lock and walk back towards the university campus. Take from there a bus back to the city. I put in this link a route in Google maps. The walk takes about two hours. The farm at Friesestraat 422 is believed to be the oldest farm in county dating back to the 16th century.