While I was deciding on destinations for my Autumn 2016 city breaks I came across flights to Eindhoven with prices starting at £24 per person return. When you think of city breaks to the Netherlands, Amsterdam and Rotterdam usually spring to mind, but not Eindhoven. So I thought I would book an Eindhoven city break so that I could discover what Eindhoven has to offer as a city break destination.
Destination: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Flight Time From London: The published flight time was one hour and 15 minutes, however the actual time in the air was just 40 minutes.
Airline & Airport of Operation: Ryanair operate two daily services from London Stansted, with one way flights starting at just £12 per person.
Transfer Time to City: The city centre is approximately six miles from the airport, which takes approximately 20 minutes by bus or taxi. The bus costs just €3.70 one way, and a taxi will set you back around €25 one way.
Where to Stay: I stayed in the Pullman Eindhoven Cocagne for this trip. I booked this directly with hotels.com, and the room cost around £60 per night. Upon arrival I was offered an upgrade from a classic to a superior room for just €20 and as the superior room had more to offer I accepted. The rooms and the hotel in general were very modern in design, extremely clean and comfortable, especially the beds. Breakfast was not included in the room rate, but was available from €17.50 per person. I didn’t sample the breakfast, so I can’t comment on what there was to offer. There was complimentary bottled water in the room as well as a Nespresso machine, which I thought was a nice touch. There was also a minibar in the room, although the prices were slightly on the high side. During my stay I did take advantage of the spa facilities, which were also very clean and modern. There was a small pool, sauna, experience shower, gym and a relaxation room complete with complimentary fruit and a Nespresso machine. Massages, treatments and sun beds were also available for a fee, upon request.
Top Eindhoven City Break Attractions
Philips Museum: The Philips company was founded in Eindhoven in 1891 by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik and started life by producing carbon-filament lamps. Philips are now one of the market leaders for a huge range of electronic products. In 2013 the Philips Museum opened in the centre of Eindhoven and showcases many examples of products designed and produced by Philips since the company’s foundation. Entry to the Philips Museum is €8 per person and gives a very enjoyable insight to the company, their pioneering designs and also their relationship with the people of Eindhoven. Allow a couple of hours to fully appreciate everything on display in the museum.
Stadsbrouwerij Eindhoven: Stadsbrouweij is located in an old factory on the side of the Dommel River in the centre of Eindhoven. They produce some stunning craft beers, and also the Bottle Distillery which is located next door produces some beautiful spirits such as gin, brandy and Vodka. Stadsbrouweij and the Bottle Distillery are open Wednesday to Sunday for visitors to sample and purchase their products. Guided tours are also available. When I arrived late on a Saturday afternoon the whole place was absolutely packed and I quickly realised that there must have been some kind of event taking place. It was in fact their 1st anniversary party – what were the odds! For this celebration you could purchase tokens at a cost of €2.25 (and also rent a glass for a small deposit) to use to purchase drinks. The drinks ranged from 1-3 tokens per drink. I first sampled one of the Bottle Distillery’s gins which was beautiful. Then I went on to try a few of Stadsbrouweij’s craft beers. I ended up staying for about four hours as I was enjoying it so much. Although the event was a one-off I would definitely recommend a visit here for some superb tastings.
Sint-Catharinakerk: Sint-Catharinakerk is located in the city centre, on Catharinaplein. Sint-Catharinakerk is a Catholic Church in the city centre which was constructed in 1867 after the previous churches located at this site were destroyed by fires, war acts and demolition. I would recommend a visit to this beautiful neo-Gothic church while on an Eindhoven city break to appreciate its stunning architecture, and its amazingly intricate stained glass windows. Inside the church you can also view a display of ancient artefacts which have been found in excavations from around Eindhoven.
Restaurant Recommendation: For lunch on the Saturday I stumbled across a small restaurant called De Luch. They had a few tables available outside in the sun, and the food I saw on some of the other diners plates looked amazing, so I decided to have lunch here. I did plan to sample some traditional Dutch food for lunch, but the menu looked so good that I couldn’t resist. A mouth-watering tuna tartare to start, followed by a delicious truffle risotto, all washed down with a beautiful South African Chenin blanc. The price per person including wine was around €45 which isn’t bad at all for the stunning quality of the food.
Local Delicacy: A local delicacy in Eindhoven is Stroopwafel. Stroopwafel is made from two layers of traditional waffle filled with a sticky caramel centre. Delicious!
Top Tip: If you come across mustard soup on a menu which in Eindhoven, give it a go! It’s a beautiful creamy soup flavoured with mustard seeds, but not too over-powering. You will also find diced sweet onion and baked bacon chunks in the soup – definitely worth a try.
Currency: The Euro is the currency of The Netherlands, at the time of writing the current rate is about 1.12 Euros per Pound.
Weather: Being located inland on continental Europe, Eindhoven enjoys warm, dry summers and cold winters.
Best Time To Go: The best time for an Eindhoven City Break would be late spring or early autumn as the weather will be just right. Also look out for local events throughout the year, such as the annual Glow festival which occurs every autumn, where light art is used on buildings and attractions around the city. Events like this will add an extra special touch your you trip.
Recommended Duration: I only stayed in Eindhoven for one night, and for me this was ideal as I had an early morning flight out on a Saturday and an evening flight home on Sunday. However, a second night would also have been nice so I could have seen a bit more of the city.
Conclusion: I went on my Eindhoven city break with a very open mind as I wasn’t expecting too much, and I was pleasantly surprised. I found a typical Dutch city oozing in modern design, with a rich design history. With regard to food, while there is a very cosmopolitan feel to the city with a vast range of different cuisines on offer it does not forget its own roots. With many great places, such as the Stadsbrouweij, popping up around the city the appeal to visit Eindhoven is only going to grow. My advice is to book an Eindhoven City break soon and sample everything that this wonderful city has to offer.