This past month, I visited Eindhoven, the Netherlands for a long weekend. This modern Dutch city is the perfect antidote to the historic cities in the Brabant area as the modern architecture, cool neighborhoods, and great hotspots in Eindhoven make it shine. I used Eindhoven as a base, however I think that one day in Eindhoven is a great way to get a taste of the things to do in Eindhoven. If you’re flying into Eindhoven airport and considering having a day in Eindhoven, keep reading for what to do in Eindhoven…
Inside this guide to Eindhoven
- Is Eindhoven worth visiting and why you should visit Eindhoven
- History of Eindhoven
- Where to stay in Eindhoven
- Things to do in Eindhoven in one day
- What not do in Eindhoven
- Getting to Eindhoven from Amsterdam
Is Eindhoven worth visiting?
Personally, I’m someone who loves old historic cities. Due to Eindhoven’s history (below), Eindhoven is an ultra-modern city. Although it’s certainly full of great hotspots, it’s not for everyone. If you’re into looking for cool hotspots, modern architecture, and cool urban renewal projects, you’ll love Eindhoven. Simply, if you enjoyed Rotterdam, you might like Eindhoven as there’s tons of hotspots.
I visited as my husband was attending a metal festival nearby and it made more sense to stay in Eindhoven for a few days. I loved the craft beer, the cool neighborhoods, and the food that I had in the city as well as the festive atmosphere. People in Brabant are very proud of their Southern culture and I’d love to visit Eindhoven for Carnaval as I think that it would be a blast.
Eindhoven is famous in the Netherlands for Glow Eindhoven, which is a light sculpture festival (similar to Amsterdam Light Festival) that takes place in November. I haven’t been yet, but the sculptures look amazing. Another exciting event is the Dutch Design Week in October as Eindhoven is at the cutting edge of Dutch design.
A brief history of Eindhoven
Eindhoven received city rights in 1232 by the Duke of Brabant. It was pretty small with a castle outside of its walls, however it was plundered and burned. In 1554, a large fire destroyed most of the city, however the city was rebuilt. However, Eindhoven was destroyed at the hands of the Spanish as it was a frequent battleground between the Dutch and the Spanish.
The industrial revolution was good to Eindhoven and thanks to Philips, the city boomed in the late 1800s. Like many cities, Eindhoven grew beyond its medieval boundaries in the early 1900s, partially due to its strong electronics, engineering, and automotive industries.
During World War II, the Philips factory downtown was destroyed by the RAF although the rest of the city was destroyed by the Luftwaffe. As a result, Eindhoven rebuilt itself in a modern style as little of the original historic city remained.
Where to stay in Eindhoven
I found Eindhoven fairly affordable compared to many other Dutch cities. I stayed at the Sycamore, a no-frills guesthouse in the Villapark. Villapark is a famous neighborhood in Eindhoven near De Laak where the Philips family had the house that they entertained at. It’s only fifteen minutes on foot from the center and it came with free parking. The wifi was a bit slow, but I really enjoyed the location as well as the five minute walk to the train station as I took a day trip to Den Bosch.
If you’re looking for something different, consider staying at the Blue Collar Hotel, which is located in the cool Strijp-S district. This hotel in a former factory has an awesome bar as well as affordable rates.
Those looking for something clean and modern can check rates at the Student Hotel near Eindhoven Centraal, the Little Grand for the boutique hotel experience, or the Pullman Eindhoven for a 4* star hotel with quality.
What to do in Eindhoven in one day
Breakfast in Eindhoven
Eindhoven has a ton of great hotspots although my favorite was Meneer Boer All Day Breakfast. It is exactly what you expect and I was really blown away by the breakfast (even as an American!) Their menu portions are large–and the quality is high given the affordable price. (They offer vegan friendly options as well!) I loved the interior although get here before lunch time as it gets crowded.
Coffeelab, a modern coffee bar near Eindhoven Centraal, is one of the best coffee places in Eindhoven. If you’re not much of a big breakfast person, consider stopping by for a morning pick-me-up at this Eindhoven hotspot.
Center of Eindhoven
After a massive breakfast, you might be ready to walk around. Although Eindhoven’s city center is not historic, it’s full of cool modern buildings, perfect for architecture lovers. The glass shops were particularly cool to see. There’s ample parking although you’ll need to pay a few euros.
One of the major landmarks of Eindhoven that you can see from many places in Eindhoven is Sint Catherine Church. This Catholic church is from 1867. Classical concerts are held here each Sunday for a few euros.
Optional: Philips Museum
If you’re interested in Philips, you can visit the Philips Museum to learn about innovation and the future of lighting. Here, you can play with the latest technologies and get inspired by what is possible with technology. (I ended up skipping it to walk around more.)
The Strijp-S district is one of the coolest neighborhoods in Eindhoven. There’s a number of great restaurants in the Strijp-S District. We visited Bagels and Juice for a smoothie, which was delicious. Soul Kitchen is a well known dinner restaurant. Alternatively, consider visiting Onder de Leidingstraat or Radio Royaal. Brouwerij het Veem is a brewery that you can visit in this area.
For shopping, consider stopping by the Winkelcentrum Urban Shopper or the Vershal het Veem for innovative designs. You can also visit the Modern Art Museum here. I personally just liked walking around to see the street art here. (The cafe at the Blue Collar Hotel was also nice to sit out at.)
Dinner in Eindhoven
DOWN TOWN Gourmet Market
This food hall in Eindhoven hosts 21 eateries and two cafes, so if you’re visiting with a group, it’s the perfect place to get dinner as everyone can get what they want. Worth noting is that it’s card only, so be sure to make sure that your group takes turns as this Eindhoven hotspot fills up on the weekends.
The Happiness Kitchen
This organic restaurant locally sources its ingredients and creates beautiful, healthy food that you’ll want to eat. If you’re traveling with someone who has allergies or who is vegan, the Happiness Kitchen can easily accommodate their needs. Be sure to try the salted caramel brownie.
Where to drink in Eindhoven with the best craft beer in Eindhoven
Eindhoven has fantastic craft beer. As a craft beer lover, I visited a number of beer bars in Eindhoven and I must say that Eindhoven is one of the premiere beer destinations in the Netherlands. If you can get in and don’t love craft beer, consider visiting the Little One Speakeasy Bar, a cocktail bar in a former hofje.
Drinkers Pub is a cozy beer bar with a giant selection of beers from all over the world and Brabant. My favorite craft brewery was Van Moll, a craft brewery in Eindhoven with a dedicated beer bar. Bierprofesor is yet another great beer bar in Eindhoven. One of the other great beer bars in Eindhoven is Stadsbrouwerij Eindhoven, which stocks the 100 watt beer (one of the top rated beers in Eindhoven).
Skip the The Van Gogh Bike Path
One of the things that I was most excited about the the Van Gogh Bike Path. We waited until it was pitch black (around midnight) to go. We parked our car by the path and walked down the Van Gogh Bike Path, however it was actually quite hard to see the stars.
I felt really let down and I think that it would have been much better closer to sunset if I was on a bike. I’d recommend skipping the Van Gogh Bike Path as it’s a bit outside of Eindhoven and you’d need to bike a while to get here.
Other things to do in Eindhoven
Evoluon is a UFO shaped building that was conceptualized by Philips as a science museum on the 75th anniversary of Philips. It was popular for a while, however it’s now a crazy looking conference center outside of the city center.
Explore de Villapark
This beautiful leafy area close to Eindhoven Centraal is where many of the barons and industry titans of Eindhoven created their homes after the Philips family built De Laak, a sprawling mansion in this area. It’s just nice to walk past on foot admiring the spacious homes if you’re looking for a change after the modern architecture in Eindhoven.
Getting to Eindhoven
Eindhoven has one of the best budget airports in the Netherlands. You can easily take a 400-401 bus for a couple euros from Eindhoven Airport to Eindhoven Centraal. It runs every eight minutes. From Eindhoven Centraal, it’s a short walk to the city center and there’s a number of hotels in Eindhoven close to the train station. The train from Amsterdam to Eindhoven takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes direct. A single ride ticket costs a little less than twenty euros.
More about the Netherlands
Have you to Eindhoven?