Things to do in Eindhoven

Top sights in Eindhoven

Did you know that Eindhoven was the birthplace of electronics giant Philips? Don’t worry, there’s more to the city than that. A leading city in modern architecture and design, Eindhoven generates plenty of buzzy student nightlife and hosts the regenerated Strijp S district. This is an authentic Dutch city - many of the best things to do in Eindhoven revolve around soaking up its lively atmosphere.

  1. Marvel at fine art
  2. A night out on the town
  3. Explore the DAF Museum
  4. Make for Strijp S
  5. Visit during Dutch Design Week
  6. Entertain the kids at De Ontdekfabriek
  7. Discover MU Artspace
  8. Catch a footie match
  9. Stay in a boutique hotel 

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1. Marvel at fine art

Culture vultures will want to head to the first-rate Van Abbe Museum at the earliest opportunity - hands down one of the best things to do in Eindhoven. Founded by a wealthy local cigar producer, it holds a superb collection of modern paintings that includes works by Picasso, Mondriaan, Klein, Chagall, Kandinsky, Toorop, Appel and Bacon. The museum, built in 1936 by architect Kropholler and expanded with a new wing designed by Cahen - with wonderful singing elevators - is an attraction in itself with a very pleasant café overlooking the pretty River Dommell.

While you’re there:
The museum hosts a range of activities, from workshops and demonstrations to family art clubs. Check the website for details.

When to visit: Tues–Sat 11am–5pm, first Thurs of the month 11am–9pm.

2. A night out on the town

You can’t go to Eindhoven and not dip your toe - heck, your whole foot - into its nightlife. Eindhoven’s technical university draws in many international students, resulting in a vibrant scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. The main strip for drinking is Stratumseind, which starts just south of Cuypers’ gloomy neo-Gothic St Catharinakerk. This street, with its loud music and cheap beer, has the honour of being the longest bar street in the Netherlands. A little less crowded is the Dommelstraat, with a good range of restaurants and trendy bars.

While you’re there:
Witness innovation first-hand. In a bid to discourage alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour, Eindhoven’s authorities have installed the street’s lampposts with wifi-trackers, cameras and microphones to detect aggressive behaviour. Keep your eyes peeled and see the city’s tech solutions in action.

When to visit: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, although several venues are open 24/7.

3. Explore the DAF Museum

Motorheads will want to prioritize the DAF Museum when deciding what to do in Eindhoven. It’s the least taxing of Eindhoven’s museums, devoted to the history of the Netherlands’ only home-grown car and truck manufacturer, and famous for inventing the efficient Variomatic transmission system. There are dozens of cars and trucks on display, as well as some fine examples of unique rally cars.

While you’re there:
The museum’s pride and joy is its 1968 DAF Siluro: built by Italian car designer Giovanni Michelotti, it is named after and resembles a torpedo.

When to visit: Tues–Sat 10am–5pm.

4. Make for Strijp S

Cool kids should make for Strijp S without delay. Just west of the city centre, this regenerated district is a former Philips industrial area consisting of dozens of industrial and office buildings dating from the 1920s to the 70s, such as the NatLab physicals laboratory and the landmark Klokgebouw building. Strijp S has been converted into the most creative district of the southern Netherlands, with apartments, galleries, restaurants, design shops, a café hosting live music gigs and even a rock ‘n’ roll-themed hostel! Of all the things to do in Eindhoven, spending time here is a must.

While you’re there:
Pay a visit to the Plaza Futura film house.

When to visit: Check the website for special events - for instance, Dutch Technology Week in June.

5. Visit during Dutch Design Week

Eindhoven is famed as a “design city” - and is home to a leading modern design academy.  The annual internationally renowned Dutch Design Week attracts almost 80,000 visitors, and all sorts of design projects can be found around town. If your visit happens to coincide with this prestigious event, count your lucky stars - but be sure to book your accommodation well ahead of time.

While you’re there:
There are hundreds of exhibitions, lectures, prize ceremonies, events and debates - plan carefully so you don’t miss any highlights!

When to visit: October.

6. Entertain the kids at De Ontdekfabriek

Anyone with kids in tow will want to make a beeline for the Discovery Factory in the Strijp S district. There’s a whole host of children’s activities on offer here, from building your own racing car to film-making and blowing off steam in the outside playground. Parents - breathe a sigh of relief.

While you’re there:
For rumbling bellies, food and drink can be bought at the bar.

When to visit: Wed & Sat 1–6pm, Sun 11am–5pm.

7. Discover MU Artspace

Inside the Gerard building in the Strijp S complex, MU is devoted solely to contemporary art and design. Its exhibitions frequently rotate, but it usually presents an innovative blend of design, fashion, music, architecture and new media by young and upcoming artists. Let your avant-garde down.

While you’re there:
Look out for talks and events held here, too.

When to visit: During exhibitions: Mon–Fri 10am–6pm, Sat 11am–5pm, Sun 1–5pm.

8. Catch a footie match

PSV Eindhoven is among the Netherlands’ big-deal clubs - watching a match is one of the most atmospheric things to do in Eindhoven. That said, tickets for key matches are notoriously hard to come by. The club was originally founded for Philips employees - PSV stands for Philips Sport Vereniging or Philips Sports Union.

While you’re there:
Buy a flag or a beanie and wear your new colours with pride.

When to visit: The football season runs from September to May, and matches are traditionally held on Sunday at 2.30pm, with occasional games at 8pm on Wednesday.

9. Stay in a boutique hotel

Looking at Eindhoven holidays and can’t decide where to stay? Fear not - the city has a wide range of hotels. Lumière is a boutique hotel located right in the heart of town, with all the luxury you would expect - and large, comfortable beds.

While you’re there:
Save your appetite for breakfast, which is served in the next-door bakery.

When to visit: Be aware that rates can rise considerably during major events in the city - beware Dutch Design Week!

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