Eight reasons why you should and shouldn’t visit Eindhoven

  Eindhoven interchange.

Eindhoven interchange.

I recently got back from a trip to the peaceful Dutch city of Eindhoven – the fifth most populous city in The Netherlands – and almost don’t quite know what to make of it.

On the one hand, it was a country previously unexplored by myself, and it was interesting to compare it to home, as well as other places I’ve visited. But then on the other, it wasn’t really a proper tourist destination.

And whilst I still thoroughly enjoyed the escapade, I also realised that it probably wouldn’t be a place that would excite everyone.

So here are four reasons why you should, and four reasons why you shouldn’t visit Eindhoven

Why you should...

Football

  The outside of PSV Eindhoven's Philips Stadion, just a short walk from the very centre of the city.

The outside of PSV Eindhoven's Philips Stadion, just a short walk from the very centre of the city.

Eindhoven’s biggest selling point is their football team – PSV. The reigning Dutch champions have a rich history stretching back all the way to 1911, when local electronics company Philips created a football team for their workers.

  The view from the VIP boxes at Philips Stadion, which you get to see on the tour.

The view from the VIP boxes at Philips Stadion, which you get to see on the tour.

If you can’t get to a match – something difficult even if you happen to be there on game day, as they have 27,000 season ticket holders and just 35,000 seats – then the Philips Stadion tour and museum is highly recommended.

  Everyone on the tour gets the chance to sit in the home dugout where the substitutes sit on a match day.

Everyone on the tour gets the chance to sit in the home dugout where the substitutes sit on a match day.

The tour is access all areas and in addition to standing pitchside and sitting in dugouts you’ll get a tour of the executive boxes and suites, press facilities and both the home and away dressing rooms.

There's also the chance to go and visit the PSV Museum, which showcases a comprehensive collection of memorabilia from their beginnings to the present day. English audio guides are also included in the price, so that you can understand everything you'll see.

  A tunnel of match-worn jerseys at the PSV Museum.

A tunnel of match-worn jerseys at the PSV Museum.

It’s cheap

  Ryanair,  Wizz Air  and  Transavia  are three airlines who all operate from Eindhoven Airport and fly across Europe.

Ryanair, Wizz Air and Transavia are three airlines who all operate from Eindhoven Airport and fly across Europe.

Flights to Eindhoven are cheap, and can cost as little as £9.99 each way with Ryanair, who operate flights from Manchester, London Stanstead and Dublin on most days.

Hotels aren’t badly priced either, and you may even want to look on Airbnb to see if you can get an even cheaper deal.

Strange things you might not see elsewhere

  Maybe other countries should take this on board.

Maybe other countries should take this on board.

Eindhoven is home to some weird and wonderful things. Take express fast food, for example. Many takeaways have warm boxes, where food can be stored for a length of time. To unlock a door, the customer puts coins into the slot and can then take an item of their choosing. Whether this is unique to The Netherlands or even Eindhoven, I’m not sure, but I thought that it was quite a good idea - especially for post-night out snacks.

  At first I thought it was energy drinks. But upon closer inspection I discovered that it was a vending machine for boxer shorts.

At first I thought it was energy drinks. But upon closer inspection I discovered that it was a vending machine for boxer shorts.

There’s also a vending machine for boxer shorts. Yes, you read that correctly. So if you happen to get caught short at any point, then you can buy a fresh set of Bjorn Borg underwear and continue your day, or night, as normal.

They have some good museums

While these are few and far between, Eindhoven has a couple of fantastic museums. The city is the birthplace of DAF Trucks, and their old factory has now been converted into the DAF Museum.

  A look at some of the trucks inside the DAF Museum.

A look at some of the trucks inside the DAF Museum.

Here you’ll find a life-size portfolio of their work over the years, and a look back at the beginnings of the company.

  David Coulthard was Willams' test driver in 1993. Check out the video below to see the car in action!

David Coulthard was Willams' test driver in 1993. Check out the video below to see the car in action!

There’s plenty of interactive stuff for kids, and my personal highlight was seeing the Williams Formula 1 racing car test driven by David Coulthard in 1993, whose gearbox was manufactured by DAF themselves.

The Philips Museum is well worth a visit, and is set out as a timeline from its beginnings as a lightbulb manufacturer, all the way through to the electronics giant that it is today.

  This timeline is the first exhibition you'll see at the Philips Museum.

This timeline is the first exhibition you'll see at the Philips Museum.

Here you’ll learn not only about the growth of the company, but also the forward movement of humanity in the field of technology.

  Philips were one of the first mass-producers of the light bulb.

Philips were one of the first mass-producers of the light bulb.

Slightly out of the city centre is Eindhoven Musuem, an archaeological open-air museum, focusing on the Iron and Middle Ages.

Why you shouldn’t...

It doesn’t seem to get very busy

  Eindhoven doesn't fall under the category of 'hustle and bustle.'

Eindhoven doesn't fall under the category of 'hustle and bustle.'

Despite its population of approximately 250,000, the city of Eindhoven doesn’t seem to get that busy. Granted, I went there on a Monday and came back on a Wedsneday, but I thought that there would have been more people knocking around than there actually was, and at times it looked quite desolate.

Perhaps when the weather’s warmer and it’s at a weekend then there’s more going on. But for fans of people-watching, give Eindhoven in January a miss.

There isn’t a great deal to do

This is especially true if you’re not a football fan, as the main attraction is PSV. There are also some decent museums, but if you go for any longer than 48 hours then there won’t be much to hold your attention.

There is the option of going to Amsterdam, an hour and a half by road, or a trip across the border into Belgium, but Eindhoven itself doesn’t have many options to exhaust.

There are bikes… EVERYWHERE!

  People wait in the cycle lane to cross the road in Eindhoven.

People wait in the cycle lane to cross the road in Eindhoven.

Bicycles are a great way of getting around. You can hop on and off when and where you want; they’re much quicker than walking, better for the environment and save on public transport.

But in Eindhoven, they’re used to the point of overkill. You can’t walk more than 10 metres without seeing one, and that’s including the airport, where some staff members are even permitted to use them on the tarmac!

There are separate cycling lanes (which scooters can also use) sandwiched in between the roads and the pavements, and for someone from the United Kingdom where these don’t exist, it can be very easy to forget about them and step into harm’s way.

  Bikes, bikes and more bikes. Great for locals, a nightmare for tourists.

Bikes, bikes and more bikes. Great for locals, a nightmare for tourists.

In addition to having to remember that they exist, cyclists don’t always observe the rules and will cycle anywhere. As a pedestrian it can get extremely frustrating waiting for bikes to pass and having to be constantly aware in case one does come flying by.

It’s not a tourist destination

It really isn’t. There are no Eindhoven souvenir shops, unless you count duty free at the airport, and if there is a tourist information centre, then it’s almost impossible to find.

Unlike major cities, there aren’t city maps readily available at the main transportation hubs and so if you don’t prepare appropriately, it can be difficult to get around. Very few restaurants and bars have English menus, but a lot of Dutch people can speak the language, which lessens the significance of the barrier.

But on the other hand, the city is relatively unspoiled by the tourism industry, and so you get a more authentic look at life in The Netherlands.