A city trip to Eindhoven filled with local surprises

By: Naline Outdoor fanatic | Read time: 10 minutes
  • Eindhoven centrum, Blob

It doesn’t matter how new you are to Eindhoven or how familiar you are with it: this innovative city continues to be exciting. During a city trip in the city of Philips, Dutch design and light art, I allow myself to be surprised by tips from Eindhoven residents. They show me what innovation means for them in museums, factory buildings, monasteries and city districts. From small boutiques to design hotels and from on the street to on my plate.

Day 1: In the footsteps of Philips

Eindhoven is inextricably linked with Philips. The modest family business grew into the global player that exits today. And Eindhoven grew with it – from being a poor farming area to being a prosperous working-class city and a breeding ground for technology and innovation. I go on this unique journey through the past, present and future in the interactive Philips Museum, located on the exact spot where the very first incandescent light bulb came into being. It also gives you a good idea of the trail of industrial heritage that Philips left behind – one well worth the trouble of following!

Dutch Design by Piet Hein Eek

Dutch Design by Piet Hein Eek

Sooner or later, that trail leads to the former Philips industrial park Strijp-S, which has now developed into a known cultural and culinary hotspot in the city. If you are not familiar with it, you should certainly go there. I continue cycling somewhat further to the nearby Strijp-R. At the spot where parts of radios and televisions used to roll off conveyor belts, you can now take a look at the workplace of one of the most successful Dutch designers ever: Piet Hein Eek. Wandering through the shop, I am amazed. After this visit, a wonderful lunch with local ingredients can be enjoyed in the Piet Hein Eek restaurant or order some delicious fries at the neighbouring ‘Friet Piet’ fries stand.

Trudotoren op Strijp-S in Eindhoven

The Campina site

My next stop is at the Kanaaldijk. The former Campina site is being transformed into a bustling city district filled with creative businesses. One of those businesses is Mark of Bottle Distillery, who instantly fell in love with distilling while on holiday with his wife. In a monumental building in the former ‘Melkontvangst’ (where milk used to be collected from local farmers), while standing next to a shiny copper kettle he tells me about the distilling process and his passion for traditional gin, rum, brandy and liqueur with unique taste combinations. Here, a tasting is an experience and, of course, I cannot resist visiting the shop afterwards to purchase a little something delicious to take home!

Tranquillity in the city along the Dommel river

If you want to leave the commotion of the city behind for a while, you do not have to leave Eindhoven! Just follow the Dommel. This rippling river links Brabant villages and cities over a distance of more than 120 kilometres. In Eindhoven, it winds through parks, under bridges and along various places of interest, including the Van Abbemuseum.

The world of light art

The world of light art

As evening falls, there is still much to see in Eindhoven – or, even more to see. This is especially so during the annual GLOW light festival, but there are plenty of permanent light artworks to admire in the city as well. Just a stone’s throw from the Campina site, I admire Loom Light and, in Heuvel shopping centre, the Dome of Light. And have you already spotted the 90-metre-long Space at Central Station from Daan Roosegaarde (also known at the luminous cycling path along the Van Gogh route)? An overview of all permanent light artworks can be found here.

Motion Imagination Experience

More light art in Eindhoven:

Sleep like a modern monk

You can also stay overnight in Eindhoven at numerous unique heritage sites. Design goes to the next level at Kazerne, a former military barracks where you can now eat, drink, work and sleep in exhibition spaces. I check in at DomusDela. A historic complex of the Augustinian Order now houses the modern Boutique Hotel Mariënhage. Tonight I will sleep in the ‘modern monk’ room, but first I intend to enjoy a dinner in the nearby Brasserie Rita (named after the patroness of impossible causes).This location also embraces the past in a contemporary way with classic dishes that have a modern twist.

Day 2: Shopping locally

Woensel’s West Side Stores

Woensel’s West Side Stores

The next morning, after a wonderful breakfast, I leave the centre. Eindhoven is a great city for a day of shopping. Obviously, you can shop in the centre, but it is much more fun to go into the districts where you can score something really special at small businesses. Strijp-S has many cool concept stores, but Eindhoven has yet another trump card: Woensel’s West Side Stores. This is a location that even locals have trouble finding and it really is an excellent excursion from the centre. In and close to Edisonstraat in the Woensel city district, I go into one boutique after another. I rummage through vintage items at Strange Avenue and Karoessel and allow myself to be tempted by the global home decorations offered by LUZ vivir. Lunch may be the biggest surprise: at Valli's Corner, Valli conjures up delicious home-made Asian dishes.

Eindhoven Volta Galvani in Woensel

Later, I wander through the fairy-tale-like Volta Galvani gate and end up in what must be the most colourful street in Eindhoven. The first residents of these houses could choose the colour of their home – as long as it was not the same as that of the neighbours. That, too, is Eindhoven!

Concluding in style at NRE

If you, like myself, leave Eindhoven by train, then there is a last pitstop close to the station. At the former gasworks NRE site, I take a seat at FIFTH NRE. It is a favourite among Eindhoven residents – and mine now too. Depending on what time you are there, you can enjoy a lavish drink, a hearty meal, special beers, live music or a cup of coffee made from beans freshly roasted by the neighbours. Inspired by the Bottle Distillery, I choose a festive gin tonic and raise my glass to another very successful weekend in Eindhoven.

Scroll back to top