Eindhoven

Eindhoven is a major city in the province of North Brabant in the Netherlands. With a population of over 213,000 people, it's the fifth-largest city of the Netherlands. It is by no means a main tourist destination in the country and most travel guides will devote no more than a page or two to it. Nevertheless, this bustling and modern city has a lot more to offer.

Eindhoven's history is dominated by industrial development and is inextricably linked to electronics giant Philips and, to a lesser degree, DAF Trucks. Although those industries have mostly disappeared, Eindhoven remains a European technology hub, hosting a technical university and many technically oriented companies and cooperation initiatives. In addition, over the past decade the city has become the capital of Dutch design.

Understand

Eindhoven City Center, with the Light Tower and Witte Dame on the right, the Blob on the left and the Admirant tower in the back.

Right until the beginning of the 20th century, Eindhoven was no more than a village. Less than a century later its number of inhabitants had boomed to over 200,000. The main reason for this tremendous increase in size was the establishment of electronics multinational Philips, which was founded as a light bulb manufacturing company in 1891 and was headquartered in Eindhoven until 1997. As Philips grew, the city of Eindhoven grew with it to feed the company's constantly growing need for workers. Philips' strong presence in the city gained it the title of "Lichtstad" (City of Light) and is still prominent today, as many of its former buildings are considered valuable industrial heritage and have been renovated. Frits Philips (1905-2005), who led the company for decades, was the city's main benefactor and was extremely popular among the people of Eindhoven. When walking the streets of Eindhoven today, you'll find his and other names associated with Philips everywhere. Parks, theaters, sports facilities and many streets are named in their honor.

Although Eindhoven is an old city, with town and market rights already awarded in 1232, little of this long history is visible when exploring its center today. Large parts of the city were destroyed during air raids in World War II and post-war reconstruction was focused on ambitious, modernist plans with little respect for the historic heritage that was left. Nevertheless, there are 140 national heritage sites (Rijksmonumenten) in and directly around the city, including many 19th and early 20th century buildings and a handful of older ones.

History

Looks can be deceiving, when it comes to Eindhoven's history. Modern as the city is today, it is in fact one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands. Henry I, Duke of Brabant, already chartered the then little village of "Endehoven" in 1232, as part of his extensive town planning process. Eventually the town established itself as a trade location en route from Holland to Liège. Its industrial activities initially centered around tobacco and textiles.

The city was destroyed and rebuilt several times in its written history. Despite late 14th century improvements to its fortifications and the establishment of a castle within the city walls in the 15th century, Eindhoven was plundered and burned by the Guelders in 1486. No more than 6 houses remained. Rebuilding took almost 20 years and left the town in poverty, with the fortifications being neglected. This resulted in another plundering in 1543. That same year, a fire ruined most of the city. During the Dutch Revolt, control of Eindhoven repeatedly alternated between the Dutch and Spanish, the city was burned down again, besieged for 3 months and finally captured by Spanish troops in 1583. When the French armies took over the already weakened city some years later, large parts of it were destroyed yet again. In 1629, Eindhoven finally became part of the Netherlands for good, but its tumultuous history left it a damaged and minor city.

This would change with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Due to the presence of Philips, DAF trucks and some other major industry, Eindhoven developed as a major player in the global technical and industrial design scene. It is considered to be the epicenter of Dutch design with such institutions as the Design Academy and the Dutch Design Week that takes place every October.

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 5 6 10 14 18 21 23 23 20 15 9 6
Nightly lows (°C) -1 0 2 4 7 10 12 12 9 6 3 1
Precipitation (mm) 65 55 58 44 54 65 76 65 63 61 65 70

Check Eindhoven's 7 day forecast at

The temperate climate is pleasant in Eindhoven. Due to its location, the average temperatures of this city are slightly higher and the rainfall is just slightly lower than the average of the rest of the Netherlands. However, it remains a coastal climate with mild, wet winters and cool summers.

Tourist information

Get in

Eindhoven Airport is geared towards low-fare carriers

By plane

Take the Phileas bus (lines 400 and 401) from Eindhoven Airport to the city

Eindhoven Airport

Eindhoven Airport, located just 5 kilometers outside the city, is the Netherland's second busiest airport by number of flights, behind only Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Its terminal has been greatly expanded in 2013 and now features most of the facilities expected from a modern airport, including an on-site Tulip Inn hotel.

Eindhoven Airport is connected to the city and its main train station by means of bus rapid transit, namely the famous Phileas guided bus. Phileas operates bus lines 400 and 401, which alternate throughout the day and provide a c.a. 20 min ride between the airport and the train station approximately ever 10 minutes at daytime. There is no bus service between midnight and 6 AM. The fare is €2,21.

Unlike Schiphol, Eindhoven Airport is mostly served by low-fare carriers Ryanair, Transavia and Wizzair, as well as holiday charter specialists. The most flights are to destinations around the Mediterranean, especially Turkey, but the connection network has grown greatly post-2010 and now includes most countries of the EU. Do note that airlines operating to and from Eindhoven are point-to-point carriers, so there is no chance to get a through ticket to Eindhoven from an airport that does not have a direct flight - in that case, flying to Amsterdam or Dusseldorf may be more advisable.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Schiphol Airport is a 90 minute ride by train, with a direct connection between the airport and Eindhoven central station (€19,90).

If you are connecting between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Eindhoven Airport there are two options:

To get to Eindhoven by plane, travel with a railway operator... on a bus!

Düsseldorf Airport

The German state railway company, Deutsche Bahn operates a bus service between Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof train station, Düsseldorf International Airport, Eindhoven train station and Antwerpen Centraal in Belgium. The Antwerp connection can be used to connect to Brussels Airport (Antwerpen Centraal is 40 minutes by direct train from Brussels Airport), while Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof has direct train connections to Frankfurt Airport (bookable as airplane tickets if you fly with Star Alliance).

There are three bus services daily (four on Saturdays and Sundays), and the journey between Düsseldorf or Antwerp and Eindhoven takes 1.5h (the full Antwerp-Düsseldorf run is 3 hours with a stop in Eindhoven). Tickets can be bought via Deutsche Bahn website much like train tickets (just specify Eindhoven as destination or origin) and can be had for as little as EUR 9. Do note that the buses depart from and arrive at Dusseldorf Airport's Intercity railway station, not the airport terminal. You need to take the free SkyTrain monorail between the terminal and the train station, for which you should allow at least 15 minutes.

If you see this facade and Mr. Philips in front of it, and look for a bus to the airport, you are on the wrong side of the station

By train

Eindhoven Station is a major rail transport node in Southeastern Netherlands. Do note that it is not called "Centraal" like in many other Dutch cities - searching for "Eindhoven Centraal" will return all kinds of amusing results, but not the station.

Train services calling at Eindhoven Station include:

Listed by distance, travel times to major Dutch destinations include:

When exiting the station on the south side, turn around and take a look at the building from a distance. Architect Koen van der Gaast designed the 1956 station to resemble a Philips radio of that time, gaining it national heritage site status. Do note that the city buses only stop on the less impressive northern side of the airport (but the long-distance ICBus to Dusseldorf and Antwerp stops on the south).

There is a secondary station called Eindhoven Beukenlaan, located next to the former Philips business park Strijp-S. This station is served by regional trains.

By bus

Express bus lines serve the central bus station, located at the back of the train station, and include connections to and from:

Trains are generally a more convenient way to travel to or from these places, unless you want to make a stop in one of the villages on the way.

By car

The A2 national highway from Amsterdam to Maastricht passes Eindhoven to the west and south of the city. The A2 connects here with the A58 to Tilburg and Breda and to the A67/E34 from Venlo to Antwerp. In 2004, the A50 was completed connecting Eindhoven to Nijmegen and Zwolle. Please be aware when driving to Eindhoven by car, that local access from the highways is provided by the N2 "Randweg", which runs in parallel along the A2 and A67 highways around Eindhoven. Look for "Randweg N2" early on when approaching Eindhoven to avoid having to make substantial detours, or use an up-to-date navigation system.

As in all Dutch cities, parking in the city center is quite expensive and during rush hours the main streets can be jammed.

There is however a Park & Ride service operating next to exit 31 of the N2. This service, called P+R Meerhoven (Page in Dutch), costs €3,- for the first 24 hours. From here, lines 18, 401 and 402 provide a frequent bus service to the city centre, with retour bus tickets to the city centre costing €0,50 per person. The bus- and parking tickets can be bought on-site at the machine using a debit or credit card.

Get around

The city center is largely car free and small enough to get around on foot. If you're headed for the outskirts or surrounding villages, take the bus or rent a bike.

By bus

Eindhoven has an extensive bus network. You can purchase an OV-chipkaart, a plastic card on which an amount or a travel credit can be loaded, at the bus company's office or vending machines in the main bus station Neckerspoel which is at the north side of the main railway station. You can plan your trip in advance using the trip advisor of Hermes bus company which serves bus transport in the Eindhoven region and in the Arnhem-Nijmegen city region.

By bicycle

You can rent a bicycle at the train station, which is a nice and typical Dutch way to get around the center or explore the outskirts of town or the surrounding villages. Remember that bicycle theft is a problem in the Netherlands. Eindhoven is no exception, so make sure that you have a proper lock. When you're out shopping in the city center, use the free guarded bike parks under the 18 Septemberplein (entrance right on the middle of the square, open Mo-Sa 8.00-23.30h) or in the basement of the Heuvelgalerie (entrance on the north-west corner, Mo-Th 08.00-20.00, F-Sa 08.00-04.30h). Both also open on "shopping Sundays", but for limited hours. The guarded bike park in the train station has broader opening hours but costs around €1.20 per day.

By taxi

Taxistands can be found on both the north- and south side of the railway station. For a list with taxi services see PIN Taxi Eindhoven . Note that taxi transport in the Netherlands is rather expensive. The legal starting rate of €7.50 will get you 2 km. After that, you pay €2.20 per km. Eindhoven Airport has got it's taxistand (50 meters from the terminal entrance/exit).

By car

A Europcar office for car rental is located on the Fuutlaan, a 10 minute walk from the train station. Exit the station on the city center side and head left on the main road in front of you (Stationsweg). You'll find Europcar after about 1 km, on your left. Parking within the inner city circle costs around €2 per hour, with a usual daily maximum of around €14. There are quite many parking garages and area's, well indicated by "P" signs. A few examples in the center are listed below. In the outskirts of town public parking places on the streets are often free.

See

Monument to Balzac sculpture by Auguste Rodin in front of the Van Abbe museum.

In order to claim you have seen Eindhoven, at least a glance at its Philips-related history is a must. Fortunately, this is hardly a challenge as many of the Philips sights are right in the heart of the city. The Van Abbe museum is the main attraction listed by travel guides and is an excellent pick if you're into modern art.

Museums

Landmarks

The Evoluon was built as a futuristic reminder and celebration of the city's innovative and technical character

Churches

Cemeteries

Do

Eindhoven is perhaps the liveliest city in the South of the Netherlands. If you're willing to get informed, you'll find events are taking place at almost any given time. If you're flexible in planning, try to visit during one of the main events like GLOW or the Dutch Design Week. When you've had enough of the urban vibe, just head for one of the many natural areas around and see a whole different side of the Eindhoven region.

Bicycle tours

Direction sign Rondje Eindhoven

There are signed bicycle tours in and around Eindhoven. Just rent a bike and explore the surrounding villages, forests and heaths.

  • NS train station (In the hall of the railway station is an access down to the bicycle cellar),  +31 40 297 91 00. Price/deposit for standard bike €7,50/€50,
  • Peter Heerings & ZN, Moreelselaan 56,  +31 40 211 20 32. Prices: standard bike €8, E-bike €20
  • VVV tourist information office, Stationsplein (Just outside the railway station),  +31 40 297 91 15. Price/deposit for standard bike €9,50/€50, electric bike €19/€75, scooter €25/€100

Concerts & theater

Dynamo

Sports

Parks & gardens

Despite it's industrial character, Eindhoven is in fact the "greenest" of the five largest cities in the country. Even within the province of North-Brabant, it is the greenest of the top 5 cities there. The park and grass fields around Lake Karpendonck make a great place for a summer picnic. If you're up for a stroll, try the City Walking Park (Stadswandelpark), at walking distance from the center and decorated with some 30 sculptures. Just south of the Stadswandelpark lie the larger Genneper Parks where nature and recreational activities come together (see above under "Do"). Within the Genneper Parks you'll find the Heempark Frater Simon Deltour, with example gardens showing original regional landscape types and natural habitat. The Philips van Lenneppark in the north of the city was named after Frits Philips' wife, whose maiden name was van Lennep. The family donated the park to the city for the 75 year anniversary of the Philips company. It houses a playground, skate park and petting zoo. Older is the Philips de Jonghpark just 1 km to the north between the Oirschotsedijk and the railway. This park was donated in 1920 by Anton Philips (the father of Frits) and his wife, whose maiden name was De Jongh. In the middle of the park is a pavilion for drinks and snacks.

Events

During the Glow festival, Eindhoven is a stage for artificial light shows and art. Many heritage sites take part in the event, including the Light Tower.

Eindhoven is a large and bustling city, with a full agenda. Dozens of large and small events are organized each year, a number of which are unsurprisingly about artificial light and design. Some of the major ones are listed below, but check the agenda on the tourist information website to see what's planned during your visit.

Buy

Eindhoven is the regional centre for shopping, and offers a wide range of large and small stores, including all the large chains in the Netherlands and a good number of small speciality shops. As it is hardly a touristic city, traditional souvenirs are relatively hard to come by. The VVV tourist information office directly outside the train station has some Dutch and Eindhoven oriented gadgets. Light bulb cartoons and similar images are a typical reference to Eindhoven's history in lightning. Also, museum shops will have some gift items relevant for their exhibitions.

Opening hours

With some exceptions, shops close at 6PM on Weekdays and 5PM on Saturdays, like in the rest of the country. Friday is "buying-evening" in the city center, with shops open until 9PM. Although shops in principle close on Sundays, so-called "Shopping-Sundays" allow (but do not oblige) store owners to open on a number of Sundays a year. These Shopping-Sundays differ per district and are canceled during July and August in some districts. In the city center, shops are open every first Sunday of the month. For other districts, see the municipalities list .

City center

With the covered shopping centre 'De Heuvel Galerie', large department stores including 'De Bijenkorf' and an extensive selection of boutiques an specialist shops, the center of Eindhoven is the most bustling shopping center in the South of the Netherlands. The following streets form the main, pedestrianised shopping area: 18 Septemberplein, Nieuwe emmasingel(admirant), Demer, Rechtestraat, de Markt, Nieuwstraat, Hermanus Boexstraat, Vrijstraat and Hooghuisstraat.

Outside the center

Markets


Book stores

Learn

Campus TU/e

Eindhoven is home of a technical university, a design academy and an international school.

Eat

You'll find plenty of restaurants in the city center. Main restaurant areas are the Dommelstraat (almost directly opposite the train station), the Markt and the Bergen kwartier, comprising both the Kleine Berg and the Grote Berg. As for other Dutch cities, you can find restaurant information and customer reviews on several (private) websites, e.g. Iens.nl or Eet.nu or delekkerstesushi.nl . They are mostly in Dutch, but numerical ratings will give you an idea of popularity at least. Pay attention to the fact that many restaurants are closed on Mondays and some close down for a week or two during summer.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

The Market Square terraces are a popular place to linger on a sunny afternoon

Bars and eateries's opening times in the city centre are usually until 2AM during the week, and 4AM on a Friday and Saturday. Student-nights in Eindhoven are Thursdays. The city's late nightlife mostly takes place in Stratumseind, a street literally filled with bars and fast food places, and the Market Square. The Stationsplein and adjoining Dommelstraat has a few bars too and for a less main stream experience, try the places on the Kleine and Grote Berg which are also more popular with an artistic crowd. Main party days are Thursday to Sunday, and you might find some places to be closed on other days.

De Markt

On a sunny day, the Grand Café terraces on the Market Square fill up in no time. This is the heart of the city, where the shopping crowd sits down for a break, colleagues drink an after work beer and friends meet over coffee or cocktails. You'll find a number of places on and around the Square. Most of them also serve meals.

Stationsplein & Dommelstraat

The Stationsplein lies directly across the street from the train station. It has some "Grand cafés", dancing bars and terraces. The Dommelstreet with all it's restaurants is a side-street of the Stationsplein and has a bunch of good bars too. All the way at the end of the Dommelstreet you'll find the Effenaar, Eindhoven's main popular music music stage.

Stratumseind

Stratumseind: the longest pub-street in the Netherlands

Go for a pub-crawl in the longest pub-street in the Netherlands. With over 40 bars and a number of places to eat, Stratumseind is Eindhoven's main nightlife area. Bar-hopping is the best way to get the Stratumseind-vibe. Its venues attract renown DJ's on a regular basis and when the weather allows the street becomes part of the party ground. The eating places stay open late, even after the bars close, to allow for the essential bite afterwards. The bars include:

De Bergen

'De Bergen' is a piece of old Eindhoven, which is still in reasonably original condition. The pleasant bars and restaurants on the 'Kleine Berg' are popular with the more artistic members of the public. It is a few minutes' walk through the narrow streets to Wilhelminaplein.

Wilhelminaplein

In this characteristic square there are authentic brown bars, terraces and live-performances. In summer, open-air performances are regularly organized. Every Sunday afternoon and Monday evening stunning live performances are given at café Wilhelmina.

Sleep

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under €50
Mid-range €50 to €100
Splurge Over €100

Hotel rooms are abundantly available in the city, mainly serving an international business crowd visiting the many technology initiatives. With the exception of major soccer matches in the PSV stadium, Eindhoven rarely runs out of places to stay. That being said, most accommodation is offered by large hotel chains in the city center and doesn't come cheap. Listed minimum prices can be significantly higher when the cheaper rooms are all taken, so check actual prices on the hotel or booking websites. Prices are often lower in the weekends. In many cases, €3.50 tourist tax and breakfast are not yet included.

If you're on a budget, check out the bed&breakfasts. These are smaller places which are often cheaper than the hotels (some starting around €30) but many of them don't have a website. Alternatively, consider the villages surrounding the city where you will find some smaller hotels and campsites. The best place to start is at the VVV (tourist info) office just outside Eindhoven Central Station or on their tourist information website .

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Cope

Connect

The international telephone country code for the Netherlands is 31, the area code for Eindhoven is 040. If dialing from abroad, use +31 but then leave out the 0 in the area code.

Internet

Eindhoven is a very well connected city in terms of internet, with many households having access to high speed internet at home. Internet facilities with actual public computers are rare, but there are a bunch of free and paid wifi spots to use if you are carrying a laptop. Many hotels have free wifi while in some places you still have to pay steep amounts, so check in advance.

Post

The Dutch postal company has closed most post offices and now cooperates with bookstores to deliver its services to the public. The services offered differ per place. If you're just looking for stamps, most book stores and the tourist information office can help you. For anything more complicated, try the specialized desk in:

Go next

The small scale rural countryside around the city has number of charming villages worth a visit. In the South East Brabant region, to which Eindhoven belongs, there are a number of natural areas and parks with marked bicycle and hiking routes. Even to Belgium, which is only a stone's throw away. Visit the tourist information office or check the specialized regional website for more information.

Routes through Eindhoven

Amsterdam 's-Hertogenbosch  N  S  Weert Maastricht
Zwolle Sint-Oedenrode  N  S  END
Vlissingen Tilburg  W  E  END
Antwerp ← Belgium border (22 km)  W  E  Venlo → German border Duisburg
END  W  E  Helmond END


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, November 27, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.