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Budget outings

Dating on the cheap

In spite of your generous parents and your DUO loan you often find yourself digging through your couch cushions for change at the end of each month. But if you’re planning a date in Groningen with someone from out of town, you can do it for cheap!
By Eva Meester / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

In the morning


What’s better than waking up with a great cup of coffee? Groningen has plenty of places with affordable coffee: the Uurwerker serves a cup of joe for 2 euros. If you also want something to eat, make your way to Il Gusto. If you buy a sandwich, you get a cup of coffee for free.


Eager to stretch your legs in the morning? You can get a cup of coffee at the Albert Heijn (1 euro for a cappuccino) and start the morning with a brisk walk through the Noorderplantsoen. With a little luck you’ll spot Randy the Senegal parrot, who has made the park his home, and who was recently joined by a great Alexandrine parakeet, whose name is unknown.

In the afternoon

Ready for lunch after your morning’s walk? Here are a few affordable places:

El Txoko

From Monday to Saturday, students can get a lunch deal for only 6.50. You can choose from several sandwiches, including ham, carpaccio, or salmon, and a nice cup of coffee or tea.


Jaxon’s, on the same street, also has a great lunch deal. You can put together your own lunch for 5.50: a sandwich/grilled cheese, soup, and a drink of your choice.

Bij Britta

Bij Britta serves a brilliant grilled cheese sandwich for only 3 euros. Even better are their home-made pies. You should try the Mississippi Mudpie. It’s a lot of chocolate!

To do

If you don’t want to sit around staring at each other all day, there are plenty of activities in

Groninger Museum

The colourful Groninger Museum cuts a colourful figure against the backdrop of the stately trainstation. Have you ever been inside? It’s not only worth a visit, but it’s completely free for Groningen students (students from outside Groningen pay 2.50). ‘We currently have The World at Home, an exhibition on Asian porcelain and delftware’, says student and visitor host Roselien Hofmeijer.  ‘The students who come here are often very enthusiastic.’

An exhibition on animals opens on 23 November and from 8 December you can see creations by glass blower Chihuly. ‘He makes really amazing pieces’, says Hofmeijer. ‘It’s really cool.’

Petting zoo

Nothing beats petting some cute critters. The Stadspark has a small petting zoo with goats, cows, and chickens. Bring some old bread to feed them with. The animals will love it.


Did you know that the Groningen eierbal is a national heritage? So if your date isn’t a local, you should definitely introduce them to it. The egg, coated with bread crumbs and fried, can be found in almost every snack bar, or you can get it from a snack wall for a euro.

The University Museum

The University Museum was closed for a while, but this week marks the start of their new exhibition: BEYOND THE LAB: the DIY Science Revolution This exhibition tells the exceptional stories of scientific pioneers, from people who developed diabetes treatment outside a laboratory to neighbours who came up with a way to measure air pollution. The exhibition is available until 14 April 2019 and free for staff and students.


Hella romantic, right? Starting this week you can skate at the Grote Markt. The rink will be open from 11 am to 11 pm every day. You can get a ticket for 3 euros and for another 3 euros you can rent a pair of skates.. 

In the evening

Did all the activities make you hungry? There are several very affordable places where you can get the daily special.

Eating what’s on at Feel Good

If you want croquette rolls, Feel Good at the Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat is not the place for you. Everyday between 5 and 7 pm you can get a healthy meal for 7.50 – but it’s a ‘eat whatever’s in the pot’ kind of situation; you don’t get a choice, but the meal usually includes quinoa, seeds, and nuts. You can see what’s cooking on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Flinders Stufi night

On Monday you can go to Flinders, where they’re having Stufi night. Starting at 6 pm, you can get a meal for only 7.50. Drinks are also cheaper on this day: beer is only 1.50 and a bottle of wine costs 10 euros.

Free Café

Are you well and truly skint? You can always make your way to the Free Café. On Wednesday they can be found at BackBone050, an old school building, and on Sunday the event takes place at Edanz. You can get a free vegetarian meal at 6 pm. The meal is completely made up of leftovers. The café not only brings people together, but also limits food waste. And the café isn’t just for homeless people: students are more than welcome.

The Groninger Forum

The Groninger Forum shows films that are just a little different than what you might be used to. If you’re both students, a ticket costs anywhere between 5 and 8 euros, depending on the type of room and film.

‘It’s really lovely’, says one student. ‘The rooms aren’t that big and everything looks great. You can also take your drinks from the bar with you to the film. I also like that it’s slightly cheaper here.’


Have you ever considered taking your date to play old-fashioned board games? Many pubs will have a few lying around on a shelf. The Concerthuis even has a game menu to choose from. In café d’Ouwe Brandweer you can spend an evening drinking and playing Snakes & Ladders or Qwixx.

Jam sessions

And then there are all the places in town where you can listen to music for free. There are jam sessions in O’Malley’s, led by Erik and Saikat. You’ll hear funk, rock, as well as singer/songwriters. And no, you don’t have to participate. All you have to do is listen. Jazz pub New Orleans and ‘t Kantoor also host jam sessions.

Do you prefer something a little harder? Keep an eye on what’s playing at the basement bar at Vera. Tickets are just 1 euro and you can find young, new bands.

DOT Groningen

Last, but not least: DOT Groningen. For 15 euros you can get a daily special and a film classic for dessert. They also regularly host planetarium shows, where you can take a 3D trip through the universe.


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