City Breaks

Things to do in Eindhoven

This fascinating Dutch city of art, sport, industry and culture is only four hours drive from our Calais terminal.

City of industry, innovation, art and culture, Eindhoven is a vibrant place to visit if you are in the Netherlands. Its streets were sketched by Van Gogh and it is home to two of the world’s biggest companies, each with its own museum, and it is internationally renowned as a centre for design and technology and modern art.

Amongst giant bowling skittles and a building known as ‘the Blob’, you can cycle a Van Gogh-inspired cycle path, indulge in tech nostalgia at the Philips Museum and take a tour behind the scenes at the home of PSV Eindhoven, one of the most famous of Dutch football clubs.

A stark modern high rise apartment building and a lower office type building

Where is Eindhoven?

Eindhoven is the largest city in the Dutch province of North Brabant, in the south of the Netherlands. It is the fifth-largest city in the country.  

Driving to Eindhoven from Calais

Driving to the Netherlands is easier than you might have thought. It takes just over four hours to drive from Calais to Eindhoven. Travelling on the A16 and E40 road into Belgium, the quickest route takes you via Ghent and Antwerp. There are no tolls on this route (there are no tolls in Belgium or the Netherlands).

Is Eindhoven worth visiting?

Eindhoven’s innovative past makes it a fascinating city to spend some time in. Visitors flock to the city to see the Philips and DAF Museums, and every year thousands of design enthusiasts descend upon its streets for Dutch Design Week.

History and culture attractions

Van Abbemuseum

A Brutalist-style cultural building backing onto a river in an urban area
Credit: Sailko, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Van Abbemuseum is one of the most important modern art museums in Europe. Opened in 1936 by local tobacco tycoon Henri van Abbe, the museum boasts an impressive collection, including masterpieces by Picasso, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Chagall, as well as more recent works by contemporary artists. Van Abbe was an avid lover of modern art, and donated a great many of the works on display.

Located on the banks of the river Dommel, the museum was extended in 1990 and this more modern building is one of the icons of Eindhoven architecture. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11am until 5pm all year round, except for New Year’s Day, King’s Day (27 April) and Christmas Day.

Philips Museum

Probably the most successful Dutch company of all time, Philips was established in Eindhoven in 1891 by Frederik Philips and his son Gerard. The company manufactured a wide range of innovative consumer and healthcare products, including the X-Ray tube, the Stirling engine, the electric shaver, video cassette recorder and the compact disc. Although Philips’ global HQ is now in Amsterdam, its roots remain in Eindhoven.

The eye-catching Philips museum is housed on the site of the lightbulb factory that was the company’s first premises, and takes visitors on a journey through the technology of the last 130 years with interactive exhibits, demonstrations and short films.

Eindhoven Museum

Eindhoven Museum is both an open air and a virtual, portable museum. The open air element is a recreation of a prehistoric and medieval village, primarily aimed at children and families. Museum staff in period clothing bring history to life, with tales of what daily life was like and demonstrations of ancient crafts. While there is no permanent, all-year-round site for the museum, items from the 23,000 strong collection are displayed in pop-up installations and exhibitions. The ‘Museum door de Stad’ (museum through the city) specialises in folklore, painting and sculpture from the local area.

The open air museum is open over the summer months but closed from November to April.  

DAF Museum

Hot on the hubcaps of Philips were the founders of DAF, the automobile manufacturer. The company was established in 1928 by Hubert (‘Hub’) van Doorne and a local brewer. DAF made commercial vehicles and cars in Eindhoven, and the name became known around the world especially for lorries and trucks.

The DAF museum is near the city canal and houses a vintage collection of the company’s vehicles down the years. It will fascinate the car lover. On one floor there is even a recreation of the 1930s village where van Doorne first started the company, with shops, tavern and garage.

St. Catherine’s Church

Two towers of a neo-Gothic or medieval church rising up into a blue sky with leafy trees framing the scene

St Catherine’s is the most imposing and beautiful church in Eindhoven. Although it looks medieval, it was actually built in 1861-67 in the neo-Gothic style. It was sketched by Vincent Van Gogh, who lived for a time nearby in Nuenen, now a suburb of the city. Its 73-metre high twin towers are its most distinctive feature, one plain, representing purity and peace and the other decorated with turrets and battlements, thought to symbolise the strength of David. It is open to the public every day of the week except Monday.

Outdoor attractions

Stadswandelpark

There are green spaces right in the heart of the city, and Stadswandelpark is a popular park for locals, just 15 minutes from the city centre. Tall trees, wide paths, a lake and expansive lawns make it a lovely place for a stroll or picnic. Interesting statues, monuments and artworks are dotted along the paths, and here you will find the Philips Observatory and the Radio Monument, which commemorates the first radio connection with the Dutch East Indies in 1927.

Genneper Park

A black boarded mill building seen in the distance looking out over a river or canal with trees either side of the water

Just to the south of Stadswandelpark is the larger Genneper Park. ‘Genneper’ means ‘clear water’ or a place where two rivers meet, and the park is indeed at the confluence of the rivers of Dommel and Tongelreep.  There is no shortage of things to do within the park, including a range of paths and hiking trails, a mini golf course, swimming pool, the open air Eindhoven museum and an ice skating rink open during the winter. 

Van Gogh-Roosegaarde bicycle path

One of the most interesting things to do in Eindhoven is going for a bike ride on the illuminated cycle path on the outskirts of the city. Opened in 2014, the path is inspired by Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ and runs for a kilometre through the area where the artist lived from 1883-85. Thousands of green stones illuminate after dark and form swirling patterns, evoking the spirit of the painting and giving cyclists a magical sensory experience.

Shopping in Eindhoven

Het Veem food market

Housed in a former Philips storage warehouse, the Het Veem is a haven of street food stalls, cafés and restaurants. For an idea of what it is like, think of a Saturday at London’s Borough market or Madrid’s Mercado de San Miguel, but every day of the week! A great place to grab a beer, pizza or gourmet burger.

FeelGood Market

The FeelGood Market is held on one Sunday a month on the Ketelhuisplein. It specialises in handmade products, clothes and artisan food and drink, accompanied by live music and DJs. Organic delicacies abound, and there is always a great chilled family atmosphere.

Piazza Centre

Various modern buildings in a city square

If you want to find your way to the main shopping district in the centre of the city, just look for ‘the Blob’ – one of Eindhoven’s most notable recent additions. A landmark example of futuristic design and architecture, this asymmetrical dome of glass and steel is the other side of the piazza from the central shopping mall in 18 Septemberplein. This is also where you will find a fresh fruit market on certain days.

Take a tour of the Philips Stadion, home of PSV Eindhoven

PSV Eindhoven is one of the most successful football clubs in the Netherlands – Dutch champions over 25 times, and past winners of the European Cup and UEFA Cup. It was founded in 1913 as the club for Philips workers, and the company is still the main club sponsor. The club has always played at the Philips Stadion right in the heart of the city, and it is a mecca for football fans.

Stadium tours are held regularly on non-match days, taking you into the dressing rooms, the tunnel and out onto the pitchside. Tours include entry to the PSV Museum where trophies and club memorabilia are on display. 

Dutch Design Week

Nothing demonstrates the design reputation of Eindhoven more than Dutch Design Week, held every October in the city. Attracting over 350,000 visitors over nine days, events are held at 120 venues across the city, encompassing exhibitions, workshops, seminars, studio visits and parties – lots of parties!

Drive to Eindhoven with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

Your journey to Eindhoven starts with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle and a crossing from Folkestone to Calais in only 35 minutes. Find out more about the other fantastic places in the Netherlands to visit, all of which are within easy reach of our Calais terminal.

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Drive to Eindhoven with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

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