After a hectic few months and suffering from severe wanderlust, I packed my bags and set off to Eindhoven in the Netherlands. A reoccurring cheap destination on Ryanair, it was hard not to be tempted as it’s a place that I’ve never heard of anyone going to and was curious at what it would offer.
It resulted in being the perfect base for my weekend travels and definitely helped the budget! I visited Amsterdam on the Saturday and then Antwerp in Belgium on the Sunday… click on the links to read about those adventures.
When telling people I was heading to Eindhoven for a long weekend, it was mostly met by confused looks of “where?!” …. The fifth largest city is in the Netherlands is home to Philips electronics and PSV Eindhoven. It is also known for being a University city, being one of the best in the world for Engineering and IT courses.
I arrived on Friday afternoon to the bustle of people excited for the weekend. The tourists that were on our flight headed straight to the train station to head to Amsterdam and I was left wandering the city centre. The best way I could describe the city is a mix between Scandinavian and Central European cool. Minimalist but homely.
I came across the Downtown Gourmet Food Market. Tucked away in a side street, it is a pert cozy nook in the city centre. Having been to a fair few food markets in my time, I wandered the stalls to find that it was all table service! You download the Butlaroo app and everything just comes to you. I opted for a glass of wine (obviously) and some gorgeous Afghani dumplings. If you have never had them before, I highly recommend them, I could’ve bought another few portions!
The main feature on the city square is De Blob. This unique piece of architecture serves as an entrance to a shopping mall. The smaller blobs nearby are entrances to a large underground bike shelter. Oh! On your exploring around the city, don’t forget to look out for the Stolperstein. I came across a few as I have done previously in Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, Prague and Antwerp.
If you want an itinerary packed city break destination, perhaps Eindhoven isn’t the best choice. However it is brimming with personality and is only an hour away from Amsterdam and Antwerp. It’s easy to navigate and reasonably small city centre makes it a perfect day trip or a base to do some more exploring.
For those of you who have been asking… yes, you can smoke weed here. In comparison to Amsterdam, it is a lot more subtle. I passed 2 different cafés whilst wandering the city and occasionally you would see someone light up in an outdoor eating complex (such as Downtown Gourmet Market), the smell wasn’t intrusive and is very much as if someone was smoking tobacco in the UK in a beer garden.
One thing that I do have to note about non-touristy hotspots such as Eindhoven is that everything is close or opens really really late on a Monday (I’m talking like 1pm). I budgeted to check out at the very last minute on Monday so I could explore the city before catching my flight. Turns out all the visitor attractions, including the Philips Museum is closed and all there really was to do was to shop and walk around. Not an unpleasant experience as it really made me relax after a hectic weekend away. I was originally going to walk to Nueunen to catch a glimpse of De Roosdonck but my feet were too sore from the previous two days and I was enjoying sitting down with a coffee watching the world go by.
Have you ever been to Eindhoven?