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With its vibrant, multicultural population of students, tech professionals and innovative designers, Eindhoven is a contemporary city pulsing with life. This IT and design hub started out as a tiny town – but now, the city's cool restaurants and boutiques have moved into the old buildings, while ultra-modern architecture dominates the skyline. It's a thriving urban gem slightly off the beaten track.
Unique accommodation, sociable areas and community spirit: Eindhoven hostels have it all when it comes to making long-lasting travel memories. Most have free Wi-Fi, as you might expect from the Netherlands' techiest town, and some hostels in Eindhoven have on-site bars or outdoor terraces to meet fellow travellers. For something completely different, there is an Eindhoven hostel in a spacebox (a self-contained room) in a micro-museum.
There are seven districts in Eindhoven, each with its own vibe. The Downtown neighbourhood is known for its innovative eateries, international shops and boutiques where you can browse Dutch design. De Bergen, one of the oldest parts of the city, is an art-lover's dream. Bookshops and cafés line the streets, along with art galleries and antique stores. Strijp-S – set inside the former Philips factories – is a must-visit for a glimpse at the city's industrial heritage. Bursting with creative spaces, fashionable restaurants and cinemas, it's where Eindhoven's history meets its cutting edge architecture.
Its contemporary culture and interesting food and drink scene mean there's loads to do in Eindhoven. There's a gourmet market in the Downtown district, perfect for grabbing some Dutch street food. The world's first floating bike path, Hovenring, is ideal for a cycle ride. The National Monument village of Het Witte Dorp (or Tuindorp) is made up of white house-of-the-future homes from the 1930s, for a taste of the city's quieter side. To experience the famous Dutch nightlife head for Stratumsein, the Netherlands' longest pub street.
Eindhoven Airport is close to the centre, so it's just a 25-minute train journey for those flying in. If you're getting the train in from elsewhere in mainland Europe, a ticket to Eindhoven railway station will land you in the middle of town. It's an easy place to navigate on foot, or travel by bike – with special lanes and innovative installations like the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path (with its tiny, luminous stones), the city is built for it.