“Last hoves on the land of Woensel”
Completing the weekend after visiting Antwerp the day before, we return to where we flew into and from where we would depart later on in the evening, Eindhoven. Although this is not my first time here, but possibly the third or so, that was many years ago anyway hence not much I can remember. On the bright side, this is now the perfect occasion to finally have a travel guide written about this city and ready for anyone of you willing to travel here and get some first hand information about.
Although a small and still quite industrial city, it is turning into the 21st century and beyond with great projects all across its boundaries. Being in the sectors of banking and financial, technology, industry and housing. Lets not forget Eindhoven really developed and thrived with the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. It is when it truly expanded and kicked off to become one of the key cities in the world in the production of electronics especially after the foundation of Philips, first producing light bulbs then expanding to plenty other sectors that we basically cannot live without something Philips in our lives.
Another world-wide known company that established towards the end of the 1920’s decade is DAF, the nowadays car and truck manufacturing giant. Unfortunately, the city was not spared during the WWII raids, and it suffered badly to the point that the reconstruction that followed did not restored the buildings but instead, cleared and made way for a new rearranging of streets and planning, and so the new buildings in place.
Eindhoven is not the place you come to expect a cute traditional Dutch medieval old town; in the other hand, it is the perfect city to enjoy a day and visit in full without any rush. It is definitely worth it and now more than ever with the latest projects and great gentrification a place architecture lovers will enjoy. Not to mention the countless bars, pubs and discos you can find in Begijnenhof. The night is thriving! Choice to cater anyone in music styles and clientele; it’s definitely guaranteed you’ll have a great party time here.
Something you could combine in the same day is perhaps the Designers Outlet at Roermond, not too far towards the east, right by the German border, of beautiful Breda and even Kinderdijk where you will find the world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site listed windmills, so famous in the Netherlands skyline. This last option is what we actually did, and although it was the second time I went there, it was still very worth it. After all, the drive there was merely 45 minutes. Just a little more beyond and you would be in Rotterdam.
For further information about Eindhoven visit Wikipedia and Wikitravel sites. The Netherlands currency is the Euro (EUR). Please note that any price reference is true as from when this guide was created, therefore check prices in advance as with the time they change.
What to see and do in Eindhoven:
- The Blob One of the newest additions in the city, an entirely glass covered egg-shaped shop located at the major confluence of Mathildelaan and 18th of September streets, opposite the Lichttoren.
- Lichttoren Quite a symbolic building in the city, the former factory and headquarters of Philips lighting department, together with some of the company’s main production buildings.
- Witte Dame South from the Lichttoren along Emmasingel Street, another of the Philips buildings, it was the radio factory.
- Philips Museum The first ever factory of the incandescent lamps is nowadays transformed into the main exhibition venue of the company’s history. Located across the road from the Witte Dame.
- Demer Street and Hermanus Boexstraat The main commercial thoroughfares running north from near the train station towards the south.
-Market Square In between both Demer and Hermanus. Unfortunately not much is left from how this used to be before the WWII.
-Catharinaplein South along Demer Street (section named Rechtestraat), the next square where you will find the most important church in the city, Saint Catherine’s.
-Begijnenhof Just continuing south along Demer (section named Stratumseind), after Catharinaplein, this part of the street is the going out area for party at night. Many pubs, bars and restaurants.
- Van Abbemuseum Right across the Dommel River at the end of Stratumseind. The main modern and contemporary art museum in the city housed in a building explicitly built for the museum in 1936, with a new striking extension from 2003.
- DAF Museum Located in Tongelresestraat right by the Eindhoven Canal, east of the Dommel River. With plenty of cars and trucks of all eras since the beginning of the company.
- Kempenland Museum Housed in a beautiful neo-Romanesque church. West from the city centre, right by the southern corner of the Philips Stadium.
- Klokgebouw Towards the west outside of the city, hence not the touristy sight, however for industrial lovers this is a must. The former main factories of Philips, now transformed into a great new thriving area blending offices and housing.
The international airport is the second busiest in the country after Amsterdam Schiphol. It’s the main gateway into the city with airlines and routes through a good bunch of European countries. With the arrival of the low-cost airlines the network expanded quite wide and finding a nice deal is sometimes too tempting to resist, especially considering this can be a great base for reaching other rather expensive cities to fly to as is Antwerp, Rotterdam or Dusseldorf, and the plenty other great cities you can reach from Eindhoven such as Liege, Maastricht, Breda, Roermond (with the massive outlet centre), Aachen and others. Bus 400 and 401 connect the airport with the city centre for 4 Euros per way.
Coming overland is a great option considering distances in this part of West Europe are generally small and the transport options very good and reliable that being railways and buses.
Within the city, distances are very short, the city centre and majority of the sights are within short walking distances in between, hence no need for taking any public transportation.
Finding a good hotel deal in the city was not an easy task. fair enough the overall cost was acceptable, however it was higher than most other cities in Europe, especially considering Eindhoven is not an out of the blue place nor really touristy. The most reasonable point to start your search is by checking some of our preferred affiliate hotel search engine such as Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Otel.com, Agoda, Opodo, LateRooms or Ebookers. Then, if your budget is still not met, there is a good selection of properties through airb&b and the likes of course, but do not expect much difference if compared to a hotel.
We stayed at the Van der Valk Hotel, while not in the city centre meaning a 45 minutes walk to the train station and downtown, we did have a rental car hence not a problem in the otherwise, great location in this case. It makes a huge difference a hotel in the city centre or outside, as we got the perfect deal. Very comfortable, nice and new, great and friendly staff and a fantastic indoor pool we did also manage to use. Highly recommended, but only if you have your own transportation or do not mind in taking a short bus ride.