Vacation recommendations in Eindhoven
Discontent is the first necessity of progress
Do you know the expression "With Crisis Comes Opportunity"? Well, that's the phrase that comes to mind when I think of Eindhoven.
What is the connection between expression from the coaching world and a Dutch city?
It turns out that not only people or businesses, but also cities can change and grow in the wake of crisis.
I invite you to join me on a fascinating tour in a changing and developing city, energetic and full of good vibrations .
Eindhoven is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands. A few months ago I looked at her official website and was excited.
I contacted the city's marketing office and received an invitation to a media tour. I suggested Yainina Afek, a friend and colleague, to join me and I did not realize how much the city would suit her like a glove.
Erik van Gerwen, who is in charge of the media and public relations of the city, hosted us asperfectly. He organized a highly invested tour and made us fall in love with his city.
Eindhoven greeted us with an intoxicating spring blossom. We have discovered a young, innovative, vibrant city, with electrifying energies (not for nothing … but for that later), a pleasant city with very nice people.
If Eindhoven was person it was definitely the most clever and yet cool student in class. And as we know, the 21 century is the age when the geniuses win.
Eindhoven is not a typical Dutch town with canals and houses with gables as one would expect from a Dutch city, but it is a stunning city that represents the "New Holland."
Flights and arrival to Eindhoven
It is a Low Cost company, but the flights were the best low cost flights I ever flew.You could say that Transavia is the Rolls Royce of the Low Cost companies.
Arrival from the field to the city: The field is small, efficient and pleasant. It is possible to take a bus (line 401) that arrives within 20 minutes to the central station or you can take a taxi that costs about 25 euros.
Car Rental: In the field you can also rent a car from a variety of rental companies.
Train: From the airport and from the train station in the city center trains are going to many cities throughout the Netherlands and Europe. It is therefore possible to combine a visit to Eindhoven with Amsterdam, for example. To land in Eindhoven, to spend two or three days, then take a train to Amsterdam and fly back.
From the train station you can reach the city center and the Bergen neighborhood by foot. It is easy to walk, in pleasant and safe places, even at night.
This 3-star hotel is in a prime location in the trendy 'The Bergen' neighborhood, a 10-minute walk from Central Station and a 5-minute walk from the city center.
The building once served as a match factory. Today it is at the forefront of innovative boutique hotels.
The entire check-in process can be carried out, for example, via the Internet or at computerized terminals at the entrance to the hotel.
In the rooms you get a smartphone with which you can tour the city (and not waste your smartphone's battery on navigation).
You can also rent a bicycle for a fee.
The rooms are small and minimalist, but the decor is young and colorful and the bed was surprisingly comfortable.
The staff is young, courteous and nice. Breakfast is served in the café adjacent to the hotel – but I think it was a bit poor. It is recommended to give it up and go out to eat in one of the many cafes in the neighborhood.
Bottom line: A recommended hotel that provides an urban experience and conveys the energies of Eindhoven. Suitable for couples or individuals.
Address: Kleine Berg 43
#Share The Vibe
Saturday morning is a beautiful day, Yanina and I march back to the central bus station, to the Tourism Bureau, to meet our host Erik.
The city is still asleep, but it can be seen how sympathetic and well-groomed it is.
Erik is also sympathetic, in fact he is even charming and he welcomes us warmly.
"Eindhoven also known as 'Dutch Design Capital', 'City of Lights' and according to Forbes Magazine "world's most inventive city" he proudly describes. "It is made up of three anchors – technology, design and knowledge"
Erik tells us that in the last decade, Eindhoven has been undergoing an accelerated process of branding and marketing, and the results are visible on the ground.
To understand why a Dutch city needs branding, you have to know the story of Eindhoven.
The story of Eindhoven
Until the end of the 19th century Eindhoven was a small industrial city known as the "City of Light" thanks to matchmaking. In 1891, a Phillips company was established and "increased the light" (literally). The company turned Eindhoven into a large, developed and vibrant industrial city.
It established a range of factories (from a light bulb factory to radio and television manufacturing plants to advanced medical equipment factories), providing jobs to the city's residents and many workers who migrated from the Netherlands and around the world. Pilips built new neighborhoods and cultural and sports facilities.
During the Second World War, Eindhoven was heavily shelled both by the Germans and by the British.
The ancient center was almost completely destroyed. After the war it was decided not to reconstruct most of the buildings and rebuild the city.
Eindhoven recovered from the war and many technology companies came to the city, but at the end of the 1990s a new crisis was born. The company DAF was in bankruptcy and Philips moved their headquarters to Amsterdam
Instead of collapsing, Eindhoven decided to turn the city into Brainport Top Technology Region – a city of knowledge, inventions and technological development in partnership with Eindhoven University of Technology and technology companies in the city.
Eindhoven's economic situation has improved dramatically, and today attracts young people and high-tech people from around the world. Alongside the knowledge economy in which it operates, there are also many social, environmental and tourism cooperative projects in the city.
After hearing from Erik about the history of Eindhoven, it was time for coffee.
CoffeeLab is next to the Tourist Office (Brandstore Eindhoven / VVV) and is recommended to open there the city tour.
The meaning of the name "Coffee Lab" is revealed quite quickly, Steven, the lovely bartender, tells us that they do experiments in coffee and the coffee mixture was developed by them. We experience an espresso-tonic – a combination of a tonic with ice and a lemon topped with an espresso whip – an excellent and tasty shot of the day.
Address: Stationsplein 17
Recommendations for tour routes in Eindhoven
Strijp-S is the example of the creative preservation of Eindhoven's industrial heritage. In the past, the area was considered a "Forbidden City" because the entrance was only for Philips employees. Today, the old factories have been transformed into bright areas of design, culinary, cultural and shopping.
The Urban Shopper is an addictive complex of 20 stores in the fields of design, fashion, vintage and urbanism. You will not want to get out. On the other hand, even outside the compound there is a rich life, in the square opposite the compound, every weekend, markets and festivals are taking place, like the monthly Feelgood Market Festival.
If you like hardcore industrial design and graffiti go to house number 10 in Ketelhuisplein. Philips' old factory was converted into a space for cooking workshops, a trendy restaurant and a patisserie. You can not stop taking pictures.
Getting there: From train station take train to Eindhoven Strijp-S
Or bus 401/402/403 (also available by car or bike) to Strijp-S
The city center is undergoing a process of upgrading and development. The center of Eindhoven is intimate, no traffic, mostly low construction, pleasant and not crowded. It's worth exploring the Demer and Hermanus Boexstraat pedestrian streets, which include famous chain stores (say Hello to Primark and Flying Tiger), restaurants and cafes.
The pedestrian streets spill into the market square. A small square, a mix of ancient buildings that survived and modern ones. From the square you can continue wandering through the colorful Vrijstraat pedestrian street directly to the Bergen neighborhood, The old neighborhood of Eindhoven or go down in Jan van Lieshoutstraat or Rechtestraat to the Catherine church, the town hall and the river
A tour of the city center (and Eindhoven in general) should not miss the Philips Museum. The fascinating museum housed in Phillips' first factory for incandescent lamps, vividly tells the story of Philips, through which we learn about Eindhoven's story.
Had it not been for the unfortunate fact that we arrived at the museum 45 minutes before it was closed, I would have been able to spend half a day there. Read the interesting information, activate the interactive exhibits, sit in the cool cafe and spend money in the lovely shop (the truth is that I actually did).
Perfectly suitable for children and teenagers.
Address: Emmasingel 31
Welcome to "our neighborhood", which we called a "Dutch dollhouse" since the houses of the neighborhood, almost the only ones not affected during World War II, are small, ornate and reminiscent of dollhouses. The neighborhood is packed with restaurants and cafés with interesting concepts, galleries, well-designed shops alongside bookstores, second-hand shops and antiques and trendy bars.
When we got there on Friday at 9 PM, it was alive and at the same time relaxed, not loud or threatening. You can walk for an hour or two with ease, go into all the shops, stop for coffee or have a snack.
Recommended restaurants in Eindhoven
Eindhoven is a city of food lovers and therefore has plenty of restaurants of all kinds, chain restaurants as well as cool concept restaurants and great gourmet restaurants.
Here are my recommendations:
The visit to Cucina Italiana was one of the highlights of our tour, not only because of the delicious food. We met the charming Ailen and Giovanni, the owners of the restaurant. Both originally from Milan. Ailen was a journalist, she first came to Eindhoven as part of her work and was captivated by the charm of the city. She decided to move to Eindhoven with her husband Giovanni, an Italian chef. They opened a restaurant located in Strijp S in the special area of the food market.
The restaurant's kitchen is open to the diners and they can see the chef in action. The menu includes traditional Italian food, from fine ingredients, based on traditional and modern methods. For me it was the best Italian meal I've ever had.
Italian cooking courses are also available
Address: Torenallee 86-02
Kazerne is a beautiful, vast space, located in what was Eindhoven's sanitation center (in other words, the parking of garbage cars). Designed in a modern style, the concept of Eat Drink Design combines an Italian restaurant, a design gallery, a courtyard for cultural events and guest rooms. The community project is the brainchild of Annemoon Geurts, an interior designer and artist and Koen Rijnbeek, a musician and producer who connect their love of design, art, music and hospitality.
Address: Paradijslaan 8 (Neighborhood The Bergen)
A covered food market in downtown Eindhoven. Like many markets of its kind, there is a large supply of street food stands from different countries around the world.
The design of the place is in the style of "green fingers" – hanging plants that softens the industrial look.
The main gimmick is technological innovation. You can order food from the stalls through the market application and it will arrive straight to the table without having to stand in line.
We tasted Spanish, Vietnamese and Japanese food which was excellent!!!
Also recommended for families with children.
Address: Smalle Haven (Down Town)
Excellent Asian-French restaurant. This is a conceptual restaurant – at a fixed price of 27 Euro per person you can choose 6 servings (2 entrees, 2 entrees and 2 main courses). The dishes are small, inspired by French cuisine, but beautifully designed and tasteless, influenced by Japanese cuisine. It was especially delicious and, surprisingly, satisfying.
Address: Kleine Berg 57H, (The Bergen Neighborhood)
A spacious restaurant, in vintage industrial design, situated in Phillip's light tower. A century ago, Philips' bulbs were tested there. We examined the taste of cheesecake, apple pie, tomato soup, tuna and more and crowned the place as tasty and high quality.
Address: Lichttoren 6 (city center)
Street art in Eindhoven
When I go on bloggers tours, my greatest pleasure is the personal contact with the locals.
We meet the wonderful Claudia in the indoor dining market. She is young, smiling and energetic. In the mornings she works at the bank, in the evenings she writes her local blog and on weekends guides tourists on free tours .
Eric lent Claudia his car and she took us for a ride through Eindhoven's street art scene.
Urban art and Eindhoven is suitable like a glove to a hand, or actually like a spray to a hand. the city invests in street art, but in a creatively way.
Take for instance the 'step in the arena' project.
This is a standard underground bike ride built under a traffic circle. The municipality decided to allocate it to the culture of graffiti and street art. They allow anyone who wants to paint and spray on the walls of the huge compound. Once a year there is an urban street art festival. The walls are repainted in black and the artists let their imagination run wild. The beauty of the place is because it is in a green park, cyclists pass on their way to the city, and well-known street artists paint alongside novice or occasional tourists.
Address: Berenkuil Traffic Circle
Another wonderful project is the Tunnel Vision – the transformation of pedestrian passages into pleasant and amusing pedestrians thanks to street art painted in them. Near the University of Eindhoven and the railway station there is such a transition painted by Giftig Studio. They made a tribute to John Cleese's " Ministry of Silly Walks ". John Cleese himself came to launch the tunnel.
address: Professor Doctor Dorgelolaan 8
Shopping, vintage and design
Dutch design enthusiasts will find what they want in a huge and unique industrial complex, formerly a factory and today it is the studio, factory, inspiration room, shop and restaurant of the famous Dutch designer Pete Hein Eek.
Like wandering around IKEA, but in Dutch design. At the entrance to the complex there is a sense of flooding from abundance and color. It is recommended to take the crazy elevator to the top floor, to the designer's inspiration room and then start wandering among the rooms of the complex.
The place is in a nice new neighborhood. We arrived just in time for the cherry blossoms, that were beautifully photographed with the buildings in red or white bricks.
The disadvantage: There is no public transport and you have to get by car or taxi or take a train to Strijp s and then a fifteen minute walk.
Address: Halvemaanstraat 28
A vintage second hand shop full of all good in an eclectic complex that also includes a cafe, a courtyard for events, a hairstyle salon, a boutique hotel and more.
The complex is located in a neighborhood that was once considered a poor neighborhood, but in a process of Dutch-style neighborhood rehabilitation, called 'west side stores', it is transforming itself into a new and full-fledged place in local businesses.
Address: Edisonstraat 144
A new mall, located in the highest building in Eindhoven, near the futuristic building of the bulb. From a quick glance it seems that the mall has a selection of interesting design shops alongside restaurants and cafes with modern industrial design. It is worth entering if only to feast your eyes with the combination of the modern architecture of the building and the interior design of the shops and cafes.
address: New Emmasingel 54
Events in the city
As a city that bears the banner of urbanism, Eindhoven boasts a host of festivals and urban events. Here are three of the most prominent events in the city:
Dutch Design Week – During one week in October, Eindhoven becomes part of this important international festival. About 2600 designers present throughout the city, along with about 300 events, workshops, shows, etc. 19-27 October
Glow Eindhoven – Eindhoven Festival of Light – As befitting a city that owes its status for electric lamps, a light festival takes place during November, in which the city's buildings are illuminated by colorful lighting and special light displays are held. November 9-16
Emovesl – Festival for Urban Culture – Shows, Workshops, Graffiti and more – 21-23 June
Light Tour – Illuminated 22 km route with thousands of light bulbs, LED lamps and gas-fired lamps, The lights are lighted every evening from 19:30 to 23:30 and create fairy tale designs and more The route is for the liberation of Eindhoven from the Nazi occupation 18 September – 14 October
The tour in Eindhoven was one of the most enchanting tours I attended.
Instead of collapsing financially with the departure of Philips, she reinvented herself in all areas and conceived of herself as an innovative, technologically advanced city.
I recommend to take advantage of the cheap and comfortable Transavia flights and jump to Eindhoven for an urban weekend packed with culture, good food and shopping.
Find out the details about Eindhoven for children and youth.