city highlights,  Europe,  travelnotes

Playful & Glowing Eindhoven

When my sister told me she would be moving to Eindhoven for work, I immediately thought of design, and then… total darkness!

Let’s say this small Dutch town is definitely much less famous than its nearby neighbor, Amsterdam, to the point that it doesn’t even have its “own” magnets!

With a quick Google Images search, I tried to jog my memory for something more recognizable and famous. But no, nothing: not even that helped me. Eindhoven is not widely known, and among its landmarks, there are no windmills or museums dedicated to painters with half an ear. Not even a tulip.

However, Eindhoven hides a playful and super technological side, which I discovered almost by chance. And I really liked it!

With the This is Eindhoven app, you’ll have access to a wide selection of hotspots, events, and insights that will help you get to know the design capital of the Netherlands.

You can download it here for iOS e Android

If you want to feel like Lilliputians walking among the giant bowling pins that make up the “Flying Pins” sculpture, the symbol of the city since 2000, representing the dynamics of life and work: on one side, the hectic pace, balanced by sustainable development.

If you’re a fan of irony and sarcasm, you can’t resist imitating the Silly Walks of Monty Python that decorate an entire tunnel with the most famous moves from the episode aired in 1970. Of course, in your tour (strictly on a bicycle, like the true locals), you can’t miss the Philips Museum, to trace the important steps that have “enlightened” our lives.

Art, light and food perfectly blending together  


It is precisely this connection with light that makes the city so special. Called “the city of lights” even before Paris, because it was home to the first match factories in 1870, Eindhoven lights up even more during the second week of November. Thanks to international artists, it transforms into a vast open-air playground, a succession of luminous installations that come to life throughout the city, changing its shape and color for an entire week.

It’s Glow festival, the festival of lights. Facades, buildings, churches, and abandoned spaces thus turn into projection screens, creating a triumphant display of sounds and colors that will transport you into modern-day fairy-tale worlds. Of course, being November, the weather may not be the most favorable, but armed with gloves and Gluhwein (mulled wine) and a slice of warm strudel, you’ll definitely survive the chilly 5°C. One installation leads to another, and I didn’t even notice the time or the cold – if someone who would thrive only in the tropics tells you this, you can trust it!

And then, following the GLOW route is very easy: the mobile website of is configured so that you can add it as an icon to the main screen of your phone. Open the route and make sure you have activated the location function. This way, you can see the various themed projects, discovering more about artists and installations.

Every year, a new theme is chosen so that visitors to Eindhoven are always amazed: I’ll be in the front row for the 2020 edition too!

Walking among immersive installations like “Dive in a sea of colors,” where you become true protagonists of the artwork, and all the buildings and facades are a celebration of shapes and colors.

And then getting lost in a “Sea of Sunflowers,” an installation created in collaboration with the light festival in Nanjing.

This clear homage to Van Gogh is a blend of technology and tradition: up close, the flower is nothing but a lantern, crafted in accordance with Chinese tradition.

Not to mention the stunning videomapping at Domusdela by the Portuguese Ocubo, that in a triptych, they brought to life stories of love, sins, and desires on the facade and courtyards of the Augustinian Church.


If all this walking has made you hungry, for a quick lunch or dinner, there’s the Down Town Gourmet Market” with a whopping 21 options to suit every taste. The market is indoors and always bustling, but almost every table has a sticker.

Once you’ve managed to snag one, you can download the app DTGM iOS e Android,scan the QR code and place your order. Easy, right?

If your hunger for light installations hasn’t faded yet, here’s the culinary experience for you: Dinner in Motion.

Dinner in Motion is a restaurant that will give you a 360 experience for all the senses. During the approximately 2-hour dinner (with 6 mini courses), you’ll be transported to different worlds with music and projections on the walls and table. A long table for 36 people who will join you in this immersive dining experience!

Do you still think Eindhoven doesn’t deserve its own magnet?

I definitely disagree!

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