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Eindhoven is situated in the south of the Netherlands, in the Noord-Brabant region, conveniently close to the borders with Germany and Belgium and excellently served by road, rail and air transport from all parts of Europe. In recent years, Eindhoven, the Dutch city of light, has made its mark as Europe’s most influential design city, culminating in the European Design Capital of 2006 award. During the annual Dutch Design Week in October, established designers and new talent display their work side by side in venues all over the city. While respecting the traditions of Eindhoven’s busy past, the city also looks to the future with a wide variety of modern architectural delights, from the wacky UFO flying saucer of the Evoluon Science Museum turned conference centre to the imaginative exterior of the Van Abbemuseum and the elegant Vesteda tower, the most beautiful residential block in the country.
The city buzzes with culture, artistic and entertaining events, design initiatives as well as a bustling business centre. However, those wanting to chill out will also find it a green and environmentally-friendly city criss-crossed with wide bicycle lanes and dotted with parks. The pedestrian heart of town is a shopper’s paradise with little speciality boutiques and all the top brand names. Visitors will never go hungry or thirsty in Eindhoven, as each step you take reveals a new pub, café or restaurant offering traditional, international and exotic cuisine.
Eindhoven is a gourmet’s paradise. Visitors to the city can sample cuisine from all parts of the globe. Dutch people love to eat and take their food very seriously. Local restaurant and pubs known as proeflokaal or eetlokaal are great places to try the local cuisine. Dutch food can be quite hearty with a lot of meat, potatoes and cabbage and, of course, superb cheese. However, dishes from Indonesia, China, Thailand, Italy and France are well represented. Don’t forget to try a Dutch pancake!
Eindhoven has a great variety of drinking venues, from traditional Dutch pubs to hip and trendy bars to Irish pubs with sporting events shown live on television screens. Clubbers come from far and wide to enjoy Eindhoven’s exciting nightlife. Pubs and bars stay open until 2 am from Sunday to Thursday, and until 4 am on Friday and Saturday nights. Stratumseind is the longest and most vibrant pub street in the country. Thursday night is especially popular with students. Stratumseind begins just south of Stadskerk St. Cathrien and heads south. This party street even has its own website dedicated to hedonism: www.stratumseind.nl.
Shopaholics will find paradise in Eindhoven. The most bustling shopping centre in the south of Netherlands contains more than one hundred shops and boutiques, all situated in the friendly, accessible, pedestrianised streets in the town centre surrounding the Markt. The covered shopping centres De Heuvel Galerie and Piazza Center contain large department stores and an extensive selection of clothing boutiques, trendy leisure wear stores, music and specialist shops. The Markt is the main market square in Eindhoven and wide store-lined streets lead off at all angles. The main pedestrianised shopping area is formed by a collection of streets: 18 septemberplein, Demer, Rechtestraat, de Markt, Nieuwstraat, Hermanus Boexstraat, Vrijstraat and Hooghuisstraat. Vrijstraat is the place to find the superb wine shop, Henri Bloem’s, while Oil:Vinegar offers all manners of kitchen equipment on Hooghuisstraat. Shopping can be fun in Eindhoven as there are endless opportunities for taking a break with a snack, a coffee or something stronger while you consider your purchases. In the De Bergen part of town, the streets are lined with smaller shops, second-hand shops, bookshops, little galleries, antique shops and specialist stores offering interior design or culinary items. From Kleine Berg walk to the beautifully restored Bergstraat with its many little specialist shops. At the other end of the scale, de Bijenkorf is a giant four-storey shopping centre. The Italian architect, Ponti took inspiration for the design of de Bijenkorf from the Dutch polder landscape as seen from a bird’s eye view. Next door, shoppers can find the recently opened Piazza Center. A weekly market takes place at De Markt every Tuesday, while art and antique collectibles are found at the same venue on Saturdays.
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