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City Focus 

At a glance: Eindhoven

A city of high-tech innovation, Eindhoven is an international design superstar with a cosmopolitan vibe


Eindhoven is the historic home of electronics giant Philips, which was founded there in 1891. Although it left the city in 1997, the legacy of being the headquarters of a technical giant lives on: it’s a major world player in the industrial design and tech wizardry scene and is considered to be the heart of Dutch design. It’s actually one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands, but looks ultra-modern — it’s not pretty but it’s vibrant and friendly

Ultra-trendy Strijp-S, on the former Philips factory site, has plenty of distinctive industrial buildings, crammed with cool businesses. In the Klokgebouw, one of the most striking landmarks in the area, is the Blue Collar Hotel, featuring both a hostel and a hotel complete with themed suites. The stripped back space of the hotel bar and lounge is a cool space for drinks and food, under the watchful eyes of  a giant portrait of Motorhead’s Lemmy.


Dinner, drinks, culture: all on the menu at Kazerne. The food is Mediterranean-style, with fresh, seasonal ingredients, but it’s not all about eating. Housed in a former military police barracks, it also contains its own exhibition space, meeting rooms and labs for artists and designers to work on crossover projects between the creative industries and sectors. Founders Annemoon Geurts and Koen Rijnbeek are truly passionate about Dutch design and it comes across in every tiny detail.

The Van Abbemuseum was founded in 1936 and focuses on modern and contemporary art. Its exciting and eclectic collection includes work by Picasso, Kandinsky, Lissitzky, Rodin, Chagall and Beuys. A stunning new wing, designed by Dutch architect Abel Cahen, provides a stimulating environment in which to view the imaginatively curated exhibitions. The heart of the building is a 27m high tower with inward-sloping walls, onto which every floor opens out, providing glimpses of other parts of the gallery.


Pastry Club is housed in De Machinekamer, an ex-factory in Strijp-S and offers all the best things in life: a patisserie, chocolaterie, confiserie, tea salon and ice cream parlour. Courses and workshops are available; or just sit back and relax with a delectable sweet creation and enjoy the surroundings, before buying some chocolate to take home.

Eindhoven is extremely bike friendly. For a spectacular ride, head just east of the city to the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path. Part of the Van Gogh cycling route, which connects locations in Brabant, where he was born and raised, the path links the Opwettense and Colse watermills, which feature in his paintings. The surface is coated with a special paint which glows in the dark using energy gathered during the day; when night falls, the path is illuminated with patterns based on his painting The Starry Night.


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