Eindhoven (map) has 220.000 inhabitants and is the Netherland’s fifth largest city. It belongs to the province of North Brabant and is only about 60 km away from Germany. As we are living in Essen, we originally only knew Eindhoven for its airport. It is a rather small airport, but very modern with cheap connections within Europe and an uncomplicated parking service. But Eindhoven has much more to offer.
Eindhoven is famous for its football club PSV Eindhoven. This stands for Einhovense Voetbal Vereiniging Philips’ Sport Vereniging and it becomes quite clear that the company Philips is predominant in the whole city. Einhoven has been and still is closely connected to Philips. But Eindhoven is not only famous for its airport or football club – This city is famous for its design faculty. And this creative and innovative influence can be seen and felt simply everywhere in Eindhoven.
The city council as well as the province and country representatives work closely together with the faculty and individual designers and try to support them. Therefore, Eindhoven is plainly full of art and design. The most famous and creative area is the so called ‘plug in city’. This area formally has been an industrial park and was turned into a creative playground. You will find individual shops, cafés, restaurants, design studios and show rooms everywhere. Most striking are the distinctively designed containers that you will find on the whole compound. They are used as workplaces, showrooms, seminar rooms or to offer snacks. This whole area is just bursting with creative energy. Get inspired by so many different and original ideas.
There is another great project that we would like to emphasise. When we walked alongside the PSV stadium we saw a little café that was called ‘Downies and Brownies’. We first didn’t really understand this name and thought that this is quite a poor name for a café, but when we came nearer, we realized that all the waiters had Down’s Syndrome. When we looked it up, we found out that there are even more ‘Downies and Brownies’ in the Netherlands. It is such a great idea. In general, the Netherlands are known for their way of including people with special needs in their society. ‘Downies and Brownies’ perfectly represents this philosophy.
Furthermore, Eindhoven offers typical shopping in the inner city part. There is a mall right in the centre and many other smaller shops all around it. We have to say that this part isn’t really unique, special or beautiful. It seems to be a common problem of a lot of European cities that the individual, independent shops are gone in the inner cities and got replaced by international top brands. You will find everything you need, but it is extraordinary.
Eindhoven is so much more than just your starting point for a holiday. If you discover the city, away from the inner city part, you will be surprised. The inhabitants of Eindhoven are extremely creative and innovative. We have never seen such visionary and amazing projects like the ‘plug in city’ and the ‘Downies and Brownies’. As we visited Eindhoven the weather was not that nice, but we will definitely come back during summer. Just leave the airport behind and discover original Eindhoven.