When you are planning a city break in Holland you might well ask yourself is Eindhoven worth visiting?
The world’s design capital is full of shops, street art, bars, restaurants and innovative spaces.
It’s actually a brilliant, alternative city break in Europe. If you are wondering what to do in Eindhoven, then this guide is for you.
What to do in Eindhoven
#Eindhoven is full of shops, street art, bars, restaurants and innovative spaces. It's actually a brilliant, alternative city break in Europe. @visitholland
I spent a weekend in Eindhoven with Visit Holland and KLM hunting down some of the more off-beat things to do in Eindhoven, to inspire you to have an alternative city break in Holland.
Disclaimer: Sponsored post with Visit Holland and KLM
Eindhoven feels like a quirky city that is very much off the beaten track in Holland. It has a strong design and Industrial heritage that gives the city a unique, urban feel.
It is probably best known for previously being the headquarters of Phillips, one of the largest electronics companies in the world.
When the company relocated its headquarters to Amsterdam, Eindhoven began to transform its industrial, factory areas into vibrant, creative spaces.
This really is what makes the city so special and so kooky for curious explorers, who want more from their city break than just pretty buildings.
Explore the studio of Piet Hein Eek
You can visit the studio space of famous Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, in Eindhoven.
Like most creative hubs in Eindhoven, the design space and the concept store is located in a former Phillip’s site.
The Piet Hein Eek studio includes five studios that are rented out to up and coming designers as a space to explore their design ideas and turn them into reality.
Piet Hein Eek furniture
Piet Hein Eek’s distinctive pieces focus on waste and sustainability and he has primarily built his business around old materials.
The designer works from a huge multi-purpose space in Eindhoven that includes a showroom, shop and restaurant that are all open to the public.
This is not your average bland furniture store, unique designs, bold colours and creative flair are all on show here. This isn’t a typical Saturday morning in Ikea guys, this is a design experience.
You can browse through the huge showrooms that feature many works by Piet Hein Eek and other designers. There’s also a shop selling a range of kooky homeware and gift items.
If you like great coffee in gorgeous surroundings, make a beeline to the on-site cafe to have a delicious coffee in a bright, industrial space.
Visit the creative city Strijp-S
Strijp-S is an unconventional, creative city on what used to be the site of a Philips estate. The site consists of warehouses and historic buildings that have been revitalised into a breathtaking urban area.
The site was a former, gigantic Philips company estate. Thousands worked in this huge factory site making radios and televisions for the consumer market.
Only those who worked for Phillips could enter and it became known as the ‘forbidden city’ amongst locals.
As the years went by Phillips moved out of large parts of the estate and the district became vacant. The forbidden city was then transformed into a contemporary urban environment that is now accessible to all.
Today, Strijp-S features a unique mix of living, working and creative spaces. It’s an exciting hub for expats and local hipsters to relax, create and enjoy, in a dynamic industrial area.
The futuristic vibes here are so strong, that parts of it look like they have been lifted straight out of Blade Runner. It’s definitely a great place to get those urban, #cityscape Instagram shots, that’s for sure.
What to do in Strijp-S
The urban space now boasts a range of boutique shops, a craft brewery, restaurants, urban living, skate park, climbing centre and ice cream parlours, to name a few.
There are lots of things to do in Strijp-S, you can spend a good few hours exploring this super cool area. I’ve featured a few places below for you to discover.
Area 51 Skate park
Channel your inner skater at Area51, located in the heart of Strijp-S. It is one of the largest indoor skateparks in Europe and a great place if you are wondering what to do in Eindhoven with kids?
The skatepark has a large bowl and extensive mini ramp with spine and poolcoping. The skate park can be used by inline skaters, skateboarders, scooter riders and BMX-ers.
It’s very much a case of ‘count the hipster dad’ here as everywhere you look there are plaid shirts and bamboo coffee mugs.
If your kids are new to skateboarding, there is a comprehensive training area with smaller obstacles that can be used as a practice area for kids who are keen to try skating.
Area 51 skate park entrance
Entrance to the skate park is just €6, making it a great budget activity in Eindhoven.
There are also skate lessons and private tuition available, more information can be found on the Area 51 website.
Boutique shopping Strijp-S
If you are looking for a unique shopping experience in Eindhoven, head to ‘Urban Shopper’. This boutique store is located in the old factory hall on the ground floor or the Anton building.
The shop features creative, small-scale initiatives and innovative fashion concepts including eco designs, vintage wear and reused pieces.
Dinner at Radio Royaal
Radio Royaal is an industrial-themed restaurant housed inside a former Philips building at Strijp-S.
Radio Royaal menu
This modern restaurant serves a range of delectable French-German dishes and Dutch classics.
Typical dishes include Bitterballen, charcuterie, steak and fries and cabbage with sweet potato and roasted almonds.
Inside this expansive former factory, there is off-beat decor and plenty of things to keep you entertained.
Play table football, have a go at a punching bag and glide through the air on a giant swing.
I feel like I have waited my entire adult life to sit on a giant swing in a restaurant. Dreams do come true travel fans!
See incredible street art at Berenkuil
De Berenkuil is the name for the bicycle tunnels that run under the intersection of the Eindhoven inner ring road and join together in a kind of underpass pit.
I know what you are thinking, ‘Pip, are you seriously suggesting I spend my holiday visiting an underpass?’ Stay with me guys.
Berenkuil is not your average underpass in Eindhoven. Like most of the city, it is full of intrigue and design.
This seemingly ordinary part of Eindhoven acts as a canvas for a huge variety of street art and tagging.
De Berenkuil is located near the campus of the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Step into the Arena festival
The street art is, of course, temporary in its nature. Magnificent works today could be covered over tomorrow, so take your chance whilst you are in the city and get those street art snaps.
The site has grown in popularity due to a huge three-day street art event ‘Step into the Arena’.
Step in the Arena is the largest graffiti festival in the world and more than 150 graffiti artists descend on Eindhoven to work on the Berenkuil and further solidify its reputation as an incredible outdoor art space
For expertly crafted coffee you simply must visit CoffeeLab, it’s the best place for coffee in Eindhoven.
CoffeeLab is located directly next to Eindhoven Central Station. It’s a hub of coffee innovation and experimentation, managed by some of the best baristas in town.
Their coffee has both mocha toning and freshness and acids. They use a special blend from Brazil, Ethiopia and Rwanda.
It is then roasted by master burner Bjorn Aarts. Make sure to try a unique concoction when you swing by.
Spend an afternoon soaking up art and culture at the Van Abbemuseum, one of the most prestigious collections of modern, international art in Holland.
The design is certainly impressive and the expansive space lets a lot of light in and is a great space for contemporary art.
Van Abbemuseum ticket price
There is a variety of exhibitions to really make you think about contemporary issues in society.
The layout admittedly is a little confusing and there seemed to be no set logic in the way exhibitions were presented.
However, this doesn’t massively detract from the impressive exhibits and the feelings they invoke.
The entrance fee for the Van Abbemuseum is €13.
City Tour Eindhoven
If you are wondering what to see in Eindhoven, why not explore the city on a walking tour? Learn more about Eindhoven with a guided city tour. You can book a tour through the Eindhoven tourism office.
The tourism office offers a range of themed walks and the following applies for all guided tours:
- Duration: 90 minutes
- Price: € 125,00 per guide
- Max: 20 persons per guide
Take a tour around dynamic Eindhoven and learn more about this hub of technology, innovation and design.
Your knowledgable guide will give detailed information on Eindhoven’s modern architecture, art and culture.
Learn more about Eindhoven’s intertwined history with Electronics company Phillips. You can find out more more about how Phillips had a huge impact on the city’s employment, architecture and industry on this informative tour.
Get proper context and history to the creative city Strijp-S. Discover the former connection with Philips and how this urban space has been transformed over the years.
Lunch at Kazerne
This former army barracks is now a beautifully designed gallery, shop, café and boutique hotel. Kazerne is the place to go in Eindhoven for an exquisite meal in gorgeous surroundings.
You can experience authentic modern Italian dishes surrounded by a gorgeous design exhibition and ambient surroundings.
Typical dishes include Spaghetti vongole, 3 cheese Ravioli with butter sauce and Monkfish Mediterranean style.
Eat your way around the Down Town Gourmet Market
Foodie heaven can be found at the Down Town Gourmet Market in Eindhoven. This hub of trendy food stalls is definitely one of the best places to eat in Eindhoven.
This food market is extremely stylish and has a large, open seating area that still manages to retain a cosy feel to it. It’s a perfect place to come when you are totally indecisive as to what to eat in Eindhoven.
The market includes 21 individual eateries and the various cuisines include offerings such as Dutch, Indonesian, Sushi, Turkish and Mexican to name a few.
Be aware that the Down Town gourmet market only accepts card payments and you can only make a reservation for groups of 15 and more.
Where to stay in Eindhoven
There is a huge variety of boutique hotels, guest houses, budget accommodation, hostels, high-end hotels, hostels and Airbnb’s to choose from in Eindhoven.
Some of the best hotels in Eindhoven include:
- Park Plaza Eindhoven
- NH Collection Eindhoven Centre
- Pullman Eindhoven Cocagne
- Boutique Hotel Lumiere
- Hotel the Match
NH Hotel Eindhoven Centre
I stayed at the fabulous NH Hotel Eindhoven Centre. This luxurious 5-star hotel is located right in the heart of the city, making it an ideal base for visitors.
The hotel itself is housed in a contemporary local landmark the Groene Toren, or Green Tower.
Its exterior metropolitan look continues inside where the highest level of comfort is complemented by luxurious furnishings.
Its rooftop bar VANE offers great views across the city at breakfast time and in the evening.
How to get to Eindhoven
Eindhoven is centrally located in Holland and in Europe. Cities such as Brussels, Amsterdam and Düsseldorf are all within 1.5-2 hours reach.
Flying to Eindhoven
I only live 30 minutes away from Cardiff airport and so it was incredibly easy for me to get to the airport and to arrive in Amsterdam in just a few short hours.
Amsterdam to Eindhoven train
The great thing about flying into Amsterdam Airport Schiphol with KLM is that there are fantastic train connections around Holland.
Travel in Holland
If you are visiting several cities in Holland I would recommend getting a Holland Pass.
With this pass, you can enjoy free entrance to top museums & attractions, skip-the-queue tickets, special offers at restaurants and discounts of up to 50%.
Is Eindhoven worth visiting?
Eindhoven feels very different from other Dutch cities and has a certain charm all of its own.
It’s true that it’s not the most picturesque city in Europe but it’s unique, urban feel makes it a destination for off-beat explorers.
Spend a little time hunting down the more alternative aspects of the city and you’ll be rewarded with a memorable city break full of kooky experiences and incredible travel photography opportunities.
I feel this under the radar city definitely deserves to be explored and you should highly consider it for your next city break in Holland.
Planning your trip to Eindhoven
Ready to book your trip to Eindhoven? Use these awesome travel resources to get you started:
- Search for the best flight deals with Skyscanner
- Search for the best hotel deals on HotelsCombined
- Get the best travel tips with a travel guidebook
- Book an Airbnb and have £25 towards your first booking
- Get the best destination recommendations from TripAdvisor
Check out all the best travel resources on my bumper travel resources page!
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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post with KLM and Visit Holland. All views remain my own as usual. This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission but come at no additional cost to you. By clicking these links you are supporting Pip and the City and helping to keep the content free. Massive thanks for your ongoing support.