Country: The Netherlands
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Time zone: UTC +1
Closest airport(s): Eindhoven Airport (EIN)
A little bit about Eindhoven
Eindhoven may not be part of even the most fervent traveller’s vernacular, and who could be surprised as The Netherlands’ fifth biggest city is usurped by the likes of Rotterdam, The Hague, Maastricht and, of course, Amsterdam when it comes to tourism.
Although not Europe’s most attractive city, it is a hotspot for budget airlines, and for those looking for a Dutch experience without paying the Amsterdam premium, Eindhoven is a decent alternative.
The city is synonymous with electronics manufacturer Philips, a staple of the city’s consciousness since 1891, and they heavily influence two of its top attractions.
Why should I go?
While Eindhoven may not be perceived as a cultural hub, it does give visitors an authentic slice of Dutch life, which the tourist magnet Amsterdam may skew slightly.
Revel in the small city’s coffee shops (shops whose main purpose is to actually serve coffee), take a peaceful walk along the side streets or hit the trifecta of museums that are the core of their tourism industry.
According to tourism board This Is Eindhoven, it “is a city bursting with energy, brainpower, work ethic and fun. There is a constant flow of new developments in the fields of creativity, innovation, technology, design and knowledge.”
The main attractions
One of the city’s most recognisable ambassadors is football club PSV Eindhoven, founded 103 years ago.
The acronym at the start of the reigning Dutch Champions’ name stands for ‘Philips Sport Vereniging,’ a nod to their humble beginnings as an outfit designed to fill the need for activities for employees of the electronics giant.
Frequent participants on European club football’s biggest stage, the club have two European trophies to their name, including the 1987-88 European Cup, as well as 23 Eredivise titles.
Learn more about their storied history on the PSV Stadium Tour, with the €16.50 price also including access to the PSV Museum, complete with audio guide.
The fantastic all-access pass will let you go into the stands, dressing room, VIP boxes and even into the dugout, giving visitors the manager’s matchday perspective.
The fantastically presented museum has appeal to all, and not only details the history of the club but also the connection to Eindhoven and its people.
If you happen to be there on a matchday then PSV do sell tickets via their website. People purchasing from The Netherlands will need to first sign up for a PSV Club Card, but it is possible to get tickets without one if you are ordering from abroad. For more information click here.
Opening hours: There are tours every day with the exception of public holidays, Sundays, European match days and the days prior to that game. A list of PSV fixtures can be found here.
Price: The tour costs €16.50 for adults, and discounts are available for children and groups. You can find a price list for match tickets here.
Although Philips are now headquartered in the capital, the company are entrenched in Eindhoven’s DNA.
Started in 1891 by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik, the company expanded from making carbon-filament lamps and other electro-technical products into a global business.
Across the road from Philips Stadion is the Philips Village, created exclusively for Philips employees, accommodating a hefty workforce in its earlier years of expansion.
Today Philips are known the world-over, and their story from homegrown business to the big-time of today is laid bare inside the Philips Museum, located inside the old Philips factory.
At the museum the story of the Philips’ is told, and how their vision and work ethic set the foundations for where the company is at today.
Visitors will be taken on a chronological journey, starting with filament lightbulbs and ending up with the likes of cat scanners and ambient mood lighting. It is a must-see for anyone who has an appreciation of culture and history.
Price: The cost of admission is €8.00 for an adult, with discounted tickets available to children and families.
Opening hours: The Philips Museum is open from 11:00 to 17:00 every day with the exception of Mondays.
Eindhoven has a certain pedigree when it comes to producing big-name companies, with renowned automotive company DAF also hailing from the city.
The DAF Museum, just outside of the very centre, showcases more than 85 years of history dating back to 1928 when the Van Doorne brothers began what currently is the fastest growing truck manufacturer in Europe.
Although most of the information isn’t in English, the various exhibits are very visual as the museum houses the DAF Collection of over 40 trucks and cars manufactured by DAF, with plenty of interactive bits and pieces to keep both children and adults occupied.
Price: Entry to the museum is €9.00 for adults, with discounts available for students, groups and children.
Opening hours: The museum opens Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00 and is closed on Mondays.
Take a bike ride
The Netherlands is notoriously flat, and encourages a culture of two wheels. Amsterdam is fabled for its bicycles, and riding the contraption there is a feature on many bucket lists.
Eindhoven is no different when it comes to pedal-based enthusiasm, and tourists and day trippers can rent bikes throughout the city to join in with the fun.
There are designated cycle lanes all throughout the centre, but take care as these can become extremely busy at times.
Price: Bike rental is €10.00 per day from Eindhoven Brandstore, located just outside of the main interchange. Charges from other rental places and on-street racks will vary.
Eindhoven is served by a multitude of budget airlines including Ryanair, Transavia and Wizz Air and is directly reachable from over 70 destinations.
Terravision and Air Express Bus run daily coaches to Amsterdam if travellers want to extend their trip, and there are also great bus and train links to other parts of The Netherlands from Eindhoven railway station (the bus station is located behind).
The cheapest way to get from the airport to the centre of town is on public bus service number 400 or 401 and make sure to buy your tickets from the ticket machines by the bus stop before you board. Taxis are a more convenient alternative, but can be pretty expensive.
Where to stay
We stayed with a guy named Quang, whose house we found through Airbnb. Like most cities, Eindhoven has chain hotels such as Novotel and Best Western, but there will most likely be cheaper alternatives on websites Booking.com and Hotels.com – two of my main points of call when looking for accommodation on my travels.
Couchsurfing is another alternative for those on a budget.
Eat and drink
Eindhoven is home to a great range of bars, and has a chilled but enthusiastic vibe to its nightlife. One of my personal favourites was De Vooruitgang, a bar with a wide selection of beers, wines and spirits. It’s best feature, however, has to be its interior, with a quartet of Manhattan fire escape-style staircases granting staff access to their extensive range of alcohol.
O’Shea’s Irish Pub is also an interesting place to drink. Here you’ll find many of the city’s expats enjoying a tipple of whatever beverage tickles their fancy.
Food wise, take a trip to Ribs Factory. The steakhouse and grill restaurant serves up some of the best racks around and has a reasonable priced food and drink menu. The ribs, in particular, were a treat, with the tender meat just slipping off the bone before being washed down with half a litre of Heineken – naturally.
Caught short in public? Don’t worry, Bjorn has got you covered
One of the most peculiar things I’ve seen on my travels was at the Bjorn Borg store in Market Square. The retired Swedish tennis star’s fashion line includes an enviable range of underwear, readily available at the store’s vending machine if you can’t make regular opening hours.
It’s a perfect invention for those who work night shifts or those who get caught short on a night out. Other than that I’m not sure why it’s really necessary, unless it’s a marketing tactic.
Short and sweet
Although there are some quality ways to spend time in Eindhoven, there isn’t an abundance of things to do. I’d recommend a two-night break, as the main things can easily be enjoyed in a day and a half.
Beware of bikes
I kept getting caught out by cycle lanes, and was almost hit by cyclists on several occasions. This happened mainly when trying to cross the road, although most cyclists in the city take the precaution of equipping bikes with bells and usually ring them in good time to alert you of their presence.
Adjusting to having to look out for cyclists as well as cars can take some getting used to, especially as there are so many of them.
Use your feet
Everywhere in Eindhoven is reachable on foot, airport aside. Once you’re in town, there is no need to take public transport anywhere. Either rent a bike or just stick to walking – because that’s all the transport you’ll need.
Express food – one hell of an invention
In addition to boxer short vending machines, Eindhovenaars can treat themselves to after-hours treats from fast food joints.
Some eating establishments around the city had contraptions whereby passers-by could pay a certain amount to access food from little windowed compartments. Sausages, burgers and sandwiches were amongst the options which can also allow people to skip queues and grab a quick bite.
Did you know?
Eindhoven is not in Holland, but is a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, or, more simply, The Netherlands.
The capital city – Amsterdam – is in Holland, which is a region within the country divided into north and south, rather than one itself, which many people get confused by.
The municipality of Eindhoven is actually located within the province of North Brabant, in which it is the region’s largest city.
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