Eindhoven is the largest city in the southern Netherlands (and the fifth largest in the country). This city is a hidden gem packed with top attractions that make locals proud. Ancient Eindhoven with many museums, ancient villages, and colorful light festivals. All waiting for you to discover!
The Van Abbemuseum – top Attractions in Eindhoven
The Van Abbemuseum, housed in one of the city’s most interesting modern buildings, is one of the most important galleries of modern art in the Netherlands. Among the more than 2,700 artworks on display are works by modern painters such as Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso. It also houses the world’s largest collection of El Lissitzky material.
Sculptures and art installations, video works, and posters are among the other notable collections, which include a large Paris collection from Jacqueline de Jong, as well as examples from the United States, Germany, and Eastern Europe. On-site, there is a gift shop and a café.
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Van Gogh Village, Nuenen
The picture-perfect village of Nuenen is just eight kilometers northeast of Eindhoven and is famous around the world for its inclusion in the art of Vincent Van Gogh, who lived here from 1883 to 1885. His temporary residence was the pastor’s house, which had been meticulously restored to its original splendor.
The Vincentre, an excellent new attraction dedicated to the artist and his time in Nuenen, is a highlight of a visit, and the focal point of many great walks following in Van Gogh’s footsteps. These self-guided tours through The Outdoor Museum take you to more than 20 different locations throughout the village that are related to the artist (some with audio commentary).
GLOW and other Festivals – top Attractions in Eindhoven
Every year in mid-November, Eindhoven hosts an international light art festival, with light artists from all over the world transforming the city into a colorful wonderland.
Every night, more than 30 illuminations transform streets and buildings. The illumination of Saint Catherine’s Church’s façade, highlighting its architectural details in various colors, is perhaps the most breathtaking of all.
Another significant annual festival is Lichtjesroute, which takes place every autumn to commemorate the city’s liberation from German occupation in 1944. Eindhoven is home to a number of world-class concert halls and theaters, including the spaceship-like Evoluon, formerly the Philips Science Center and now a conference center and music venue that regularly hosts major European acts.
If you’re looking for family activities, Dierenrijk is a great place to visit because the emphasis is on up-close encounters and interacting with the wildlife. Children can get up close to and feed many of the animals, including the red panda.
Elephants and seals perform, and glass walls allow visitors to get up close and personal with large animals like bears and tigers. The bird enclosure is accessible to visitors. There are playgrounds and exhibits both inside and outside, making this an all-season attraction.
The DAF Museum in Eindhoven
Since its inception in 1928, Eindhoven has been home to DAF, one of Europe’s largest truck manufacturers (and, at one time, car manufacturers). Founded in a small blacksmith shop by brothers Hub and Wim Van Doorne, the company – short for Van Doorne’s Aanhangwagen Fabriek – began with simple engineering products, gradually progressing from trailers to cars and trucks.
The DAF Museum Eindhoven, one of the most popular museums in the southern Netherlands, is a testament to the company’s success and includes a replica of the original workshops and offices, as well as samples of its vehicles from various eras, including several prototypes. On the premises, there is a shop and a restaurant. This is the best museum in Eindhoven.
St. Catherine’s Church – top Attractions in Eindhoven
St. Catherine’s Church (St. Catharinakerk) was constructed in Neo-Gothic style in 1867. The original structure, dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, was consecrated in the 13th century and was repeatedly severely damaged by war and fire, even serving as a stables and weapons store in the 18th century.
The current structure, which has been fully restored, incorporates a number of symbolic references to the work of Joseph Thijm, one of the country’s best-known writers. Highlights include its twin French Gothic towers, David and Maria, which stand 73 meters tall.
Interior features include stained-glass windows and two organs, one of which has 5,723 pipes.
PreHistorisch Dorp (Prehistoric Village)
PreHistorisch Dorp, one of Eindhoven’s most unusual attractions, is a replica of a prehistoric village, complete with dwellings and demonstrations of prehistoric people’s skills. The open-air museum recreates life in this and subsequent eras, including Roman and early medieval times.
Agriculture was once the main source of income in North Brabant (Noord Brabant), the second largest of the Dutch provinces, before the textile, electrical, and metalworking industries blossomed after 1900. As a result, the majority of the province’s settlements were small hamlets and villages with farms growing crops like rye, potatoes, oats, and fodder plants for dairy cattle.