Finally a guide about my own city! Usually I am traveling so much that I hardly get to spend time in Eindhoven, but over the years I have gotten to know the city enough to write this city guide. This guide will come in handy as restaurants and museums are starting to open up again after the first phase of COVID-19. Eindhoven is not the most beautiful city in The Netherlands, it doesn’t have a typical historic city center, but it does have a rich, industrial past because of Philips. I like how the municipality organizes events that honor the past, but is also actively looking for a new identity, by organizing events such as Glow, the Dutch Design Week and the Dutch Technology week. Historic factories are used again with a different destination, while enhancing the looks of the city.
Strijp-S is the former forbidden city of Philips and it still breathes the Philips heritage. I love how the buildings are given a new purpose, as Strijp-S features many restaurants, a food hall, stores, a cinema, a concert building, a skate hall etc. When you visit Eindhoven, Strijp-S is a must visit. You need at least one afternoon to wander around admiring the industrial past of Eindhoven. Two shops I would recommend specifically: Intellegentia Ice for its specialty ice cream and Gusj for furniture. I will highlight some other highlights of Strijp-S in their own paragraphs. I took some pictures in the beginning of 2020, but Strijp changes so fast that I had to go back to update the pictures for this blog.
Veemgebouw is the foodhall of Strijp-S. As Strijp-S still is an up and coming area, it usually isn’t very crowded. However it is worth a visit for some of the specialty stores, the wine bar and the beer cafe. It is a particularly lovely spot at Sunday afternoon, as it gets a bit more crowded then. When the weather is good the beer cafe also has a very good outside terrace which is perfect for people watching.
Urban Shopper is a design initiative/store that has super original items as well as vintage finds, which I would recommend to visit at Strijp-S. If you are looking for an original present, this is the place you should check out first.
Van Abbe museum
Van Abbe is Eindhoven’s art museum, I personally find the collection a bit hit and miss, but I have to recommend visiting the museum for its interesting building. The building has many look throughs and geometric shapes, which make it worth visiting. The entrance price is € 13 and for kids under 13 it is free. Check out the opening times here.
One of the things that I love most about living in Eindhoven is the amazing events that are being organized. Yearly in November Eindhoven organizes Glow Lights Festival, which honors Eindhoven’s past as the light city. Over the past years the festival has gotten incredibly popular, so if you want a relaxed visit I would recommend to visit during a weekday.
Dutch Design Week
The Dutch Design Week (DDW) usually takes place in October and I always try to visit. The DDW is a really good time to visit Eindhoven as pretty much all of Eindhoven participates and the city is super atmospheric. Usually I buy a passe-partout ticket and my favorite exhibition is the Graduate Show of the Design Academy. Strijp-S, Piet Hein Eek, De Kazerne and Sectie-C are cool areas to visit if you don’t want to buy a passe-partout, but do want to get a feel of the atmosphere.
The FeelGood market is a monthly event at Strijp-S. Strijp-S is still in the development phase and during weekdays can feel a bit empty, but this all changes when the FeelGood market is being held. The FeelGood market usually takes place at every third Sunday from 12-18h and it is nice to go for some afternoon fun-shopping or to try lunch at one of the many foodstalls. The market has a good variation of art, knickknacks, vintage and food and it is also suitable to visit with kids. Make sure to look for Asjewah, the jewelry line of one of my friends! Check out the official website for the dates that the market is being held and updates regarding COVID-19.
Natlab is the independent cinema of Eindhoven. I always love to go here if I want to go to the movies, because of the atmosphere and the relaxed audience. Natlab is located on Strijp-S, in an old Philips building and it has a great and affordable restaurant as well. During the summertime they organize open-air film nights, which is a super special way to watch a movie. You only need to bring a comfortable seat with you 🙂
Near the university, Eindhoven has a pedestrian/bicycle tunnel which features images of John Cleese’s iconic silly walks, which is fun for taking a silly walk (or not).
Blob: In the city center you will find one of my favorite quintessential Eindhoven buildings, the “Blob”, pictured below. In the Blob you will find the store Sissy Boy and opposite the Blob you will find the atmospheric terrace of Usine. The Blob is often used for projections during the light festival Glow!
Because of COVID-19 you have to make reservations for all restaurants and capacity is limited. Just in case the COVID-19 pandemic blows over, I would recommend to always make reservations for the weekend.
Piet Hein Eek: Piet Hein Eek is one of my favorite restaurants in Eindhoven for lunch, as during lunchtime the production site of Piet Hein Eek (Eindhoven’s most famous furniture designer) is open. The restaurant is really stylish as well and features many of Piet Hein Eek’s quintessential designs. The service is hipster like and the food is trendy. This is also a lovely spot to visit during Dutch Design Week.
Het Ketelhuis: Het Ketelhuis at Strijp-S is another restaurant that honors Eindhoven’s industrial past as it is located in a renovated Philips building. The Ketelhuis consists of two floors, on the first floor they have a restaurant that serves three-course meals that vary regularly and on the second floor they have a shared dining restaurant and they organize events. The dishes are always delicious and original and the service is personal and usually knowledgeable. The waiters explain the weekly menu while sitting next to you at the table, giving an intimate feel. The furniture and decor have just enough scruff to give the large spaces enough atmosphere.
De Kazerne: De Kazerne is a restaurant and art exhibition. The restaurant is mainly decorated in black-tints giving it a very luxe feel, which is enhanced by the interesting art and design exhibitions which are presented throughout the restaurant. De Kazerne is a little bit more expensive than the other restaurants on this list, as a three course menu costs about € 35 and wine € 6,50 per glass, which can add up over the night. The value for money is very good though.
De Karseboom: De Karseboom serves healthy and delicious food for fair prices. Your meals usually come accompanied by a large portion of vegetables, a salad and choice of potatoes or fries. The personnel is a bit artsy and direct, but in a fun way. De Karseboom is especially good to visit in summer as they have a super cozy, large garden, which can feel like heaven on earth on a hot day.
Coffeelab (formerly Onder de Leidingstraat): Coffeelab can also be found on Strijp. It is a trendy restaurant in an industrial setting. I usually visit for lunch or for the take-away meals. On their facebook they announce which meals they will prepare for that week, a meal costs about € 8,50 and they usually prepare one item with meat, one vegetarian and one vegan option. If you have your stomach set on one of the options, it is always a good idea to give a call and reserve a specific meal (before take-out).
‘t Boshuys: To be honest I don’t love the food at ‘t Boshuys, but I do like to go for a drink after a long walk in the surrounding nature. ‘t Boshuys is located just outside of Eindhoven, near Best, in the middle of a forest, close to beautiful moors. In this area I usually go mountain biking as well. It feels super special to have this beautiful area located so close to my home.
Welp: Welp is a golden-oldie on the Kleine Berg, which I find one of the most atmospheric streets of Eindhoven. The restaurant is beautifully decorated and the waiters are super kind and professional, they never seem to disappoint me… Welp is a the perfect restaurant to go to if you are with a small group, as they have some super cozy round tables. Welp is also a great starting point of your evening if you like to go for drinks afterwards, as there are many bars located at the Kleine Berg.
De Vooruitgang: A few years ago De Vooruitgang burnt down, but this turned out to be a blessing for Eindhoven as they reopened De Vooruitgang with one of the prettiest decors in all of Eindhoven. All of the walls are beautifully decorated, with wine bottles, plants or rugs (!!). I personally prefer to go here for drinks to show friends that are not from Eindhoven how pretty Eindhoven can be. Even people from Amsterdam are impressed by De Vooruitgang 😉 At Friday nights you can dance here, as the back turns into a “club”. In the weekends it is always super crowded, so you have to come early to snag a good seat.
Fifth NRE: Fifth NRE is located slightly out of the city center, in another industrial area of Eindhoven. The restaurant has recently been renovated and it went from bohemian to really trendy. Fifth NRE regularly organizes (music) events and shows. On this terrain you will also find the cycling cafe “Cyklist”. This area is the place to be during the warm summer months, where you will find the trendy locals.
Stadsbrouwerij or Van Moll: These are two specialty beer-cafes in Eindhoven, that both have beers that are brewed in the Eindhoven region. Both cafes are very low key and relaxed and I find them typical of Eindhoven’s culture. Don’t expect anything fancy though. The Stadsbrouwerij also serves simple, but good meals. At Van Moll you can also play lots of board games.
De Kreeftenbar: De Kreeftenbar has the best sushi of Eindhoven, they serve sushi a-la-carte, which I much prefer to all-you-can-eat restaurants. It is not a traditional sushi restaurant, for example they serve sushi with mango, which is really surprising! De Kreeftenbar is the sister-restaurant of Mood, has the same sushi but has better service and is less of a see-and-to-be-seen place.