What’s Eindhoven like? Well, for me Eindhoven is a cool city. That is – at least from what I observed – an unpopular opinion. Asking foreigners, or even the Dutch themselves, you can easily conclude that most people just don’t like Eindhoven for many reasons. The city lacks an old town, outstanding events and… females. At first glance, it may appear just boring and simply ugly, due to its modernism.
But is it really like that? I, myself, enjoy Eindhoven way too much. I might seem like a weirdo but there are several reasons for which I adore this bizarre city.
What’s Eindhoven like: a glance into the future
While many touristic places can offer you spectacular attractions such as the Old Town, historic churches, remarkable views, exotic cuisine or just this city vibe, Eindhoven might look a bit… soulless. True that it’s not Budapest or Paris. I’m far away to say that Eindhoven is a tourist city. But it doesn’t mean it’s a bad city.
As you might know, I’m Polish myself and I just adore Cracow. It’s our most visited city. Foreigners love it. This city reminds me of a fairy tale. It’s my favourite place in Poland. And even though I haven’t seen many cities in the Netherlands, I still choose Eindhoven as the number one
You see, many touristic cities are alike – old and beautiful. Meanwhile, Eindhoven is just full of lights and modern buildings. You can easily spot the difference between Eindhoven and, for example, Maastricht – a city nearby.
And for me, that’s what makes Eindhoven special. It’s simply… not beautiful. I’m aware that this sentence sounds ridiculous but hear me out. While many cities in the world – including my beloved Cracow – reminds us of the past with their architecture and history, Eindhoven looks to the future.
Eindhoven is the father of Philips
It’s the city of design. You can especially see that during Dutch Design Week.
You can spot many lights all over the place which, by the way, claims to be one of the most technical areas in Europe
You can take a walk through the campus of TU/e, which is on the top list of technical universities on the continent.
You can look for a job in many innovative start-ups and companies around the city.
You can feel the innovative spirit all over the place.
What’s Eindhoven like: for me, not a typical city
As a former journalism student, I’m as far from being an engineer as possible. And Eindhoven is a city full of engineers, not journalists. Hence, most of my friends here have a rather scientific mind, I used to feel a bit uncomfortable and out of the place.
But here’s the thing: even though this feeling might be unpleasant, it actually teaches you a lot. For instance, how not to be ignorant. How to look further and learn from people who know different things than you.
Naturally, I’m aware that most won’t agree with this one because chances are that you’re an engineer, and you don’t feel different. From my point of view, though, being in this city has taught me a lot.
As you might know, I’m a part-time journalist and I write articles about innovative companies. I wouldn’t get that job if I haven’t moved to Eindhoven. I wouldn’t have gotten that job if I hadn’t moved to Eindhoven. Probably because I never thought that I’d be good at this It’s a great experience to write about something significant and learn, by chance, so many new things.
What’s Eindhoven like: it’s full of great people
I was lucky enough to travel and live in various places. I was lucky enough to meet many people everywhere I go. And now, I was also lucky to make new friends in a place where I knew almost nobody.
Maybe you know that I used to live in Spain. It was way easier for me to meet other students there. Way easier than here, in the Netherlands. I have to admit that my beginnings in this country weren’t easy. I felt lonely, I almost had no friends and I realised, in a very unpleasant way, that people really do not give a damn, even when they seem different.
Eindhoven for expats
Many times people asked me why do I keep living in this place. They didn’t understand why I didn’t come back to Poland when things were clearly not going in the way I wanted them to go.
When I had an accident with my bike.
When I couldn’t find friends.
When I couldn’t find a job.
When my landlord decided to sell the house.
When I had a car accident.
Or when the pandemic happened and everything changed for the worse.
Generally speaking, I had many excuses to pack my bags, come back to Poland and say “I was wrong. It didn’t work out”.
But I was stubborn. I don’t know if I just didn’t want to admit that moving to Eindhoven was a mistake, or maybe I just liked the city too much.
I guess I was very lucky that this time, again, I had a chance to meet wonderful people.
Make new friendships and collect memories. It took me some time, but I finally got it – a short internship turned out to be a life-changing experience.
Once again, I realized that the city without people is just a place. It’s not a matter of buildings, restaurants or clubs but about the experience, you can have there. I know that this reason is suitable for basically every place in the world, but once you understand it, then it’s way easier to like the city.
When I have a walk towards Eindhoven, most of the time I think of people or events that happened in those specific places. Therefore, I don’t even have time to complain about the city.
I know that I’m probably one of ten people in the world that actually like it here. I’m aware that I can’t change somebody’s mind, and I still might look like a weirdo. But well, what can I say? If someone asks me, “What’s Eindhoven like?” I just say that for me, it’s like home.