The Dutch Design Week 2016 is the last hot thing which the creative world has been buzzing about for weeks. And it is coming to Eindhoven soon (more precisely on the 22nd October). The best part of this? I have been to Eindhoven this summer and can, therefore, share some tips on how to make the most of your time here. Even if you are not a participant of the DDW, why not just to jump on the plane and plan a weekend escape in this funky Dutch city? Trust me, it cheap and fun. So let yourself explore your inner hipster and dive into the streets of the “Dutch Design Capital”.
The quirkiest area is surely the STRIJP-S. Fancy Shoreditch? Crazy about PopBrixton? Curious about CREATIVE CLUSTERS? Head up north and spoil yourself in the old Phillips’s factories which are being converted into the city’s creative hub.
Eindhoven is also super special for its unique architecture. These modernistic buildings, such as De Blob right above, provide clothes and food shops, cafes etc. designed in a very Dutch way.
The one place not to be missed (and can hardly be so since it is in the very middle of the city centre) is the Phillips museum! Fascinating, educational, interactive and inspirational! I did not anticipate to spend 2 hours there, I honestly do not know how that happened! Phillips has significantly influenced the city’s image, giving birth to the Stadium, Evoluon (conference centre and science museum) and, not surprisingly, also to the STRIJP-S.
The city is design-focused and therefore it is no rarity to bump into a gallery when you least expect it. The Van Abbe Museum offers a selection of modern art and the building itself is surprisingly picturesque from all sides (see the first and the last photo from the section above).
Sadly, the Design Huis is only opened for special occasions (which in the middle of summer was not the case), yet strikes with its brutal, minimalist architecture similar to London’s Barbican. On the contrary, the DAF museum is always opened. However, if you are not into trucks, you are allowed to skip it and spend the precious time exploring various other design hotspots Eindhoven has on offer.
The simplest, cheapest and most chick way of getting around is definitely by bike. Eindhoven is packed with cycleways and could easily beat London with the proportion of inhabitants who cycle here. It is easy to hire a bike from the information centre and set off to discover not only the city centre but also the breath-taking surroundings (expect windmills, nature reserve, High Tech campus and many others).
After a long day on two wheels the best way to let your hair down is in many of the local pubs and cafes. Considering the size of Eindhoven, it has a great choice of “after-hours places”. My most favourite was the Van Moll Brewery (yes, as a Czech citizen I can appreciate a tasty beverage!), with a large selection of in- and out of the house beers and a relaxed atmosphere every brewery should possess.
For an evening meal I picked the CALYPSO BISTRO BAR with many positive reviews. I was welcomed by the co-owner Louis (he did not introduce himself to me directly, but I did some searching in various books and tourist guides about Eindhoven and he is a big star apparently!), and in his soft English he presented me with today’s specials, highlighting his favourites. I listened to his recommendation and picked the vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese. What a blast! I wish I could come here everyday, the super friendly atmosphere, on-spot interiors and delicious food are the killer’s combo which makes Calypso a must-visit place!
Another restaurant/ design space, hidden from the main street, Kazerne, is very brutalist again. During the day there are no eaters, only the staff and the art. I spend a few minutes exploring the design works and the local lab, trying to understand the thesis. Kazerne will be taking part in DDW16 so there will surely be more sophisticated designs on display coming up soon.
And the most fun part of Eindhoven was the local food festival, probably not guaranteed to take part in October bud definitely something to come up for next summer!
So that is Eindhoven for you! Have fun and enjoy the DDW!
With DDW’s love,
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