The original home of household electronics brands ‘Philips’, Eindhoven is an industrious and very modern city where contemporary hotels and convenient transportation make the city a favourite for business travellers. There’s also a flourishing arts and cosmopolitan scene in residence, provided for by a fabulous range of niche retailers and a creative selection of restaurants.
The bombardment Eindhoven suffered in WWII meant the city had to be almost completely rebuilt, resulting in a destination today that has a modern-looking townscape but a long history. Its hotels, then, mainly have a contemporary feel – leading examples are the 192-room Best Western Premier Art Hotel (Lichttoren 22) and the business-friendly Park Plaza Eindhoven (Geldropseweg 17). The three-star Hampshire Hotel Parkzicht Eindhoven (Alberdingk Thijmlaan 18) has a pleasant setting on the edge of a large park, while the new Tulip Inn Eindhoven Airport (Luchthavenweg 27) has a plum location within the airport itself.
With more than 200,000 people calling Eindhoven home, the city offers plenty in the way of retail activity. Heuvel Galerie (Heuvel Galerie 133) is the pick of the shopping centres, with its most eye-catching stores including Hugo Boss, H&M, Björn Borg and The Body Shop. Elsewhere, De Bijenkorf (Piazza 1) is a large-scale department store selling a number of luxury brands. For a more traditional shopping experience, there’s a weekly market at De Markt Square in the city centre, taking place every Tuesday morning. The same setting also hosts an art and collectibles fair every Saturday.
Eindhoven has a thick multicultural influence these days, something which has translated into a cosmopolitan dining scene – take your pick of cuisines from the likes of Indonesia, Greece, Argentina and Morocco. Top spots include Eetcafé Cooks (Kerkstraat 30), which has some creative twists on Dutch home cooking, Turks Restaurant Ege (Rivierstraat 36), which specialises in Turkish dishes, and the airy Piet Hein Eek (Halvemaanstraat 28), notable for having a good vegetarian selection. If it’s nightlife you’re after, it’s worth heading to the Stratumseind, renowned as the Netherlands’ most bar-heavy street. Elsewhere, the Kleine Berg district has an arty, laid-back appeal.
A two-week-long programme of high-quality chamber music, the Storioni Festival takes place in various venues across the Brabant region, most notably in Eindhoven itself. Concerts take place in music halls, museums and other venues.
Naked Song Festival
A gathering dedicated to singer-songwriters, the Naked Song Festival only lasts a day but draws a superb array of well-known artists to the city. You’ll hear everything from blues to roots music, with many concerts performed solo and acoustically.
For 10 days each summer, the avenue of Kennedylaan becomes an all-action fairground known as Park Hilaria. With more than 100 rides and attractions – not to mention food stalls, beer gardens and free musical performances – it attracts big crowds.
Billed as ‘a forum of light in art and architecture’, GLOW is a well-established event centring on conceptual light installations and large-scale light projections. The festival lasts a full week and ties in with Eindhoven’s reputation for design and creativity.
Fijne Feestdagen Festival
A new wintertime event translating roughly as ‘Fancy Festivities’, the Fijne Feestdagen Festival encompasses everything from ice rinks and shop window displays to seasonal food and live music. Also on offer are guided architecture walks around the city.