Out on the town with: Mai | A community hub at Sangha Café

There’s so much to do in Groningen, that you really need a guide to help you uncover the city’s hidden gems. Every week, UKrant’s student editors share their cultural agenda with you. What’s their favourite venue and which events in the upcoming weeks are absolutely not to be missed?

Hangout: Sangha Café

Visiting Sangha Café for the first time made me kind of sad. Sad, because as I near the end of my time in Groningen, I realised that had I known about this place earlier, I would have surely become a regular.

Conveniently nestled between Zernike and the city centre, Sangha is the perfect spot for whatever your day calls for – whether it’s something to drink or eat, a study session, or simply some genuine human connection. Every day except Saturday, the café serves delicious, healthy lunches and dinners on a donation basis, and you can always count on a mean cup of coffee or a calming cup of tea. 

The multifunctional building offers a space for any activity you might have in mind: grab a board game, or visit the meditation room for some peace and quiet. If the Dutch weather allows, sit in the lovely garden and enjoy your meal, coffee, or a moment of tranquility.

The visitors come from all walks of life, ensuring that interesting conversations are never hard to come by

The visitors and regulars of Sangha come from all walks of life, ensuring that interesting conversations are never hard to come by. Or, if you’d rather be left to your own thoughts, find a quiet nook in the cozy garden to read a book or lay in the grass and wait for the sweet house-cat Aifi to come and greet you.

Sangha is nothing like your average chain café; it’s a vibrant community hub. It hosts a variety of events, from midsummer markets to breathing and meditation workshops, non-talent shows, and family afternoons. 

And even if none of these are your cup of tea, you can always contribute by offering new suggestions or even leading workshops yourself. The café always welcomes volunteers who are keen to help. It’s a community space based on a philosophy of connection, being present in the moment, and service. 

Sangha Café
Van Oldenbarneveltlaan 6
Opening hours: Sunday – Friday noon to 10 p.m. 

Where you’ll find me in the coming weeks:

This Usva workshop about the interesting history of zines in (queer) political action seems like a wonderful way to close off Pride month! There is also of course a chance to get creative and make one yourself.

The conservatory promises to take the audience on a ‘summer musical journey’. Summer, music and journey all sound very appealing and something one would not like to miss. Having lived within an earshot of the conservatory for years, I know how good it can sound in rehearsals, and definitely curious to see a honed performance!

  • VRIJDAG Prinsentheater | 3 one-act plays
    When: July 7, 7 to 10 p.m.
    Price: 5 euros

A true case of three for the price of one! For a student-friendly price you can say goodbye to the first week of July with a fun evening of theater. Three aspiring directors showcase one-act plays on responsibility, law and the ‘spectacle of life’. You can also just sign up for one of them in case you are short on time, or if the date doesn’t suit you, there are three other plays one July 6. 

  • Vera | Popquiz
    When: July 12, 8 p.m.
    Price: 3 euros

After countless late-night hours spent at Vera enjoying music from all genres and corners of the world, it’s time to put that knowledge to the test. In this music themed end-of-the-year Vera pub quiz there is a chance to relive the fun and showcase your music trivia skills. 

Come for the curious name of ‘Hungry Wolf’ – after the hamlet where the festival takes place – but stay for the wide variety of events: this festival promises curious events titled ‘astronaut music’, ‘wolf yoga’, lectures on salt marsh walks, sleeping on bales of hay and much else. Located right in the backyard of the Wadden Sea, this festival offers a cheaper and more down-to-earth alternative to the other more grandiose festivals of the summer. 


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