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Moving to Eindhoven

Originally built around Dommel, Gender and Tongelreep rivers, Eindhoven lies in the south of the Netherlands, in the province of North Brabant. As a driving force for innovation and art, expats are continually drawn to Eindhoven.

Thanks to the presence of electronics giant, Philips, which was founded here in 1891, the city has earned the nickname of ‘Lichtstad’, the City of Light. This modern city has become known as a centre for technology and design, showcased in its many museums, art galleries and events. The annual GLOW Festival, for example, is a top-rated event where artistic light installations illuminate various buildings and structures.

It’s clear to see that Eindhoven is a popular destination for expats working in the high-tech sector as well as art and design jobs. The district of Strijp-S exemplifies this atmosphere: where technology meets art and where old meets new; as a former industrial district, Strijp-S has transformed into a trendy neighbourhood attracting a hipster culture.

Of course, expats from all walks of life relocate to Eindhoven, the fifth-largest city in the Netherlands. Eindhoven is also a university city and many international students move here to study at a prestigious tertiary institution such as Eindhoven University of Technology or Fontys University of Applied Sciences.

With a focus on education, expat parents with children moving to Eindhoven will find a high standard of learning facilities in public schools. However, schooling options for children who can't speak Dutch are limited and there's only one English-speaking international school in Eindhoven.

Eindhoven's excellent infrastructure, efficient transport system and high-quality healthcare all contribute to the city's great quality of life. Despite being an industrial city, expats may be surprised to learn that there are plenty of lush green spaces and recreational areas to enjoy. Thanks to the many students who call Eindhoven home, the city also hosts a great social scene.

However, living here does come at a price – expats looking for accommodation in the city centre will need to budget accordingly, find a flatshare option to split the rental costs or live in a surrounding area or suburb and commute into the centre.

New arrivals who relocate to Eindhoven may need to overcome some initial hurdles, such as finding a home or the best school for their children. Fortunately, for most, integration into this Dutch city is smooth thanks to the vibrant and welcoming lifestyle.

Working in Eindhoven

With a focus on electronics and technology, Eindhoven has become a popular destination for expats with experience in the tech sector. The city has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, and the job market continues to diversify.

The presence of electronics giant Philips has played a major role in Eindhoven’s reputation as a centre of technology, with other large Dutch companies such as ASML and DAF Trucks also calling the city home.


Job market in Eindhoven

Home to numerous tech and design companies, Eindhoven is a haven for those with experience in the IT and electronics fields. Further employment opportunities can be found in manufacturing, human resources, accounting and finance, as well as marketing.

The creative design sector also offers opportunities for those seeking to diversify their experience. Schools and special training institutions related to tech and design have been established in Eindhoven. This appeals to specialist educators looking for work as well as students, and adds to an exciting air of innovation and creativity. The drive for innovation and creativity is reflected in one of Eindhoven's landmarks: the Evoluon. The Evoluon's futuristic design resembling a flying saucer is a symbol of the city, and also stands as a major conference centre.

Eindhoven is also a popular location for start-up companies. Entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business will find a wealth of opportunities and be spoilt for choice thanks to the well-qualified workforce in the city.


Finding a job in Eindhoven

Finding a job in Eindhoven can be tricky as competition is fierce. Expats from outside the EU will need a work permit to work in the Netherlands. A further obstacle is that companies must prove that there is no local or EU national able to fill the role before hiring a foreign employee. 

Although English will be widely spoken and understood in the corporate environment, a working knowledge of Dutch is certainly helpful in landing a job in Eindhoven. That said, jobs at international companies often search for foreign language speakers. Expats who can communicate fluently in languages such as French, German, English and Mandarin, as well as Dutch, may have the upper hand when applying for a post.

Networking is also essential when job hunting in the Netherlands as the Dutch take personal recommendations seriously and are more likely to hire someone through their personal connections.

Recruitment agencies also prove a valuable resource when job hunting, while online job portals such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor offer a good starting point.


Work culture in Eindhoven

It helps to know what to expect in the workplace when moving to Eindhoven for work, whether part of an intra-company job transfer or hired locally. A key thing to remember is punctuality. The Dutch are known to be disciplined workers and stick to a strict agenda. Aside from this, expats commonly admit that adjusting to the Dutch direct communication style took a while when doing business in the Netherlands.

Additionally, organisations in Eindhoven may have distinct hierarchies and expats will know who they will be responsible for and who they must report to. However, work culture is collaborative and group decision making is valued.

Cost of Living in Eindhoven

Expats often choose Eindhoven for the fact that its cost of living is significantly lower than that in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam. It's also considerably cheaper than many other major European cities.

Besides accommodation, which is likely to be the biggest expense when relocating, expats will have to factor in lifestyle costs. Fortunately, these tend to be quite reasonable in Eindhoven – there are plenty of budget-friendly dining, leisure and entertainment options in the city that residents can take advantage of.

Those moving with children may need to consider the cost of school fees if they intend on sending their children to an international school. 


Cost of accommodation in Eindhoven

Finding the right home in the right neighbourhood is an essential element of any expat experience. The vast majority of expats rent rather than buy accommodation in the Netherlands, and rental prices in Eindhoven are generally cheaper than those in Amsterdam or The Hague.

It’s also important to factor in the cost of utilities when setting a budget for housing. They're not always included in the price of rent and can quickly add up. Expats should be sure to read their rental agreement carefully and budget accordingly.


Cost of transport in Eindhoven

The cost of public transport in Eindhoven is reasonable and it makes more sense to get around using the local bus system, which is comprehensive and covers the whole city. Having a car in Eindhoven can be expensive and parking is particularly pricey, so most of the city’s residents avoid driving whenever possible.

In fact, by far the most popular way to get around in Eindhoven is on two wheels. The city has great facilities to accommodate cyclists. Cycling will not only allow expats to get some exercise but it’ll also save money.


Cost of eating out in Eindhoven

There's a range of eateries in Eindhoven, so there is likely to be something to suit everyone’s budget. On special occasions, expats can dine in style at one of the city’s fine-dining establishments. It’s also possible to get some wholesome comfort food at a local pub while catching a game of football without breaking the bank.


Cost of healthcare in Eindhoven

While the quality of healthcare in the Netherlands is excellent, costs are high compared to other Western European countries. Once an expat starts working in the Netherlands and registers at their local municipality, they will be obligated to take out a Dutch health insurance policy. Monthly payments vary based on the package itself and how comprehensive it is.


Cost of education in Eindhoven

At present there is only one international school in Eindhoven and, as one would expect, competition for places is high, as are fees. Expats who intend on sending their children to International School Eindhoven should budget for fees as well as additional expenses such as textbooks, uniforms, extra-curricular activities and school excursions. Those that have been hired to work in Eindhoven may be able to negotiate an allowance to cover their child’s school fees into the expat employment package.

Expats looking to settle in the Netherlands should consider sending their child to a public school. There are plenty of good primary and secondary school options in Eindhoven and expats are entitled to send their children to local schools at little or no cost.


Cost of living in Eindhoven chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Eindhoven in May 2021.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,200 

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

EUR 970

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,600

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

EUR 1,300

Groceries

Milk (1 litre)

EUR 1

Loaf of white bread

EUR 1.50

Rice (1kg)

EUR 2

Dozen eggs

EUR 2.30

Chicken breasts (1kg)

EUR 7.80

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

EUR 8

Household

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

EUR 0.17

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

EUR 42

Utilities (monthly for average size home)

EUR 170

Eating out

Three-course meal at mid-range restaurant for two

EUR 60.50

Big Mac Meal

EUR 8

Cappuccino

EUR 3

Local beer (500ml)

EUR 5

Coca-Cola (330ml)

EUR 2.80

Transport

Taxi rate (per km)

EUR 2.50

City centre public transport

EUR 4.12

Petrol/gasoline

EUR 1.66

Accommodation in Eindhoven

Expats will find a range of high-quality modern accommodation in Eindhoven. Although housing may be smaller than some expats are used to, it’s generally clean and well maintained.

When searching for accommodation in Eindhoven, expats should consider access to public transport and the proximity to work and schools. Nevertheless, most places, especially within the city centre, are within easy walking distance.


Types of accommodation in Eindhoven

Both social and private housing can be rented in Eindhoven. Social housing comes at subsidised rates; however, expats must join a housing queue and meet specific criteria. Waiting lists are generally long, so the quickest and best bet is to rent privately.

Apartments

Apartments are one of the most common types of property in Eindhoven, particularly in the inner city. Young professionals and students usually look for flats in Eindhoven. Newcomers should note that, as with other major Dutch cities, the more centrally located the accommodation, the higher the rental price.

Rooms

Expats on a budget can save by renting a room, usually in an apartment shared by other flatmates. This will substantially reduce the cost of living in Eindhoven and is a popular way in which new arrivals, particularly students, secure affordable housing.

Houses

Standalone, semi-detached and terraced houses are also available on the property market. The smaller villages surrounding Eindhoven generally offer more spacious living with detached houses and gardens, and are popular with expat families.

Furnished vs unfurnished

Both furnished (gemeubileerd) and unfurnished (kaal) properties are available. Unfurnished options often don’t have carpets or light fittings, but they may have some basic appliances such as a stove. This is often preferred by expats staying in Eindhoven for the long term as they will have greater freedom in terms of home decor.

New arrivals who only plan to stay a few months tend to opt for furnished accommodation, which also comes at a higher price. It's also worth establishing a detailed itinerary of all the furniture when signing a lease agreement.


Finding accommodation in Eindhoven

Expats can search for accommodation using online property portals and local newspapers. Websites such as IamExpat Media, Engel & Völkers and Pararius will be greatly beneficial when house hunting in Eindhoven. These listings also alert prospective tenants to the rental costs they can expect living in different areas and suburbs of the city.

If expats don't speak Dutch, the language barrier can be a problem and it's usually best to hire a real-estate agent (makelaar). Real-estate professionals may also have access to listings that are not yet officially on the housing market, so expats may score a better deal going through this route.

Many prospective expats reach out through social media networks when looking for accommodation in Eindhoven. Posting a question on an expat forum or group may provide more direct access with landlords who are looking for tenants. Social media is particularly useful for young house hunters looking to rent a room and share an apartment with flatmates.


Renting accommodation in Eindhoven

When making an application to rent in Eindhoven, prospective tenants must typically provide their citizen service number known as a BSN (burgerservicenummer). Landlords may also request information on an expat's employment contract if they are working in Eindhoven or details about their studies if they are students.

We recommend that expats read and understand the terms and conditions of renting, as well as any hidden costs. If using a real-estate agent, for example, to assist with the house-hunting process, expats should consider that their service fee is usually the equivalent of one month's rent.

Leases

Expats renting in Eindhoven will likely sign a fixed-period lease valid for one year, though these may also be valid for six months. Alternatively, expats may also encounter flexible leases which are open ended and have no predetermined end date.

Expats should also note that while verbal contracts are legally viable in the Netherlands, we highly recommend signing a legal contract which avoids any potential issues of disagreements later on.

Deposits

Most landlords in Eindhoven expect one to three months' worth of rent as a deposit, along with the first month of rent paid upfront. 

Utilities

Utilities are usually for the tenant's expense and must be paid in addition to rent.

Areas and suburbs in Eindhoven

The best places to live in Eindhoven

Eindhoven is a compact city and most places are within walking distance or just a short trip away on public transport. Expats will find a range of areas and suburbs in Eindhoven to suit both their lifestyle and budget, from modern inner-city living to quaint, suburban communities on the outskirts of the city.

Here are some of the most popular expat areas of Eindhoven.


Central areas in Eindhoven

Photo by Vishall Helm on Unsplash Eindhoven Centraal, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Centrum

Centrum is the heart of Eindhoven, a commercial and largely pedestrianised city centre. It consists of several districts including Bergen, Binnenstad, Fellenoord and TU-terrein. Bergen is one of Eindhoven's oldest districts and is home to antique stores and quaint cafes. TU-terrein is home to the Eindhoven University of Technology, which means it draws plenty of students.

The city centre is a great place for young professionals and students, with apartments being the most common form of housing in this area. Many old factories and office blocks have been repurposed into luxury serviced apartments and add a modern, stylish feel to central Eindhoven. 

Expats living here will have access to plenty of amenities, including shops and restaurants, as well as top museums and St. Catharine’s Church. The train station is also within walking distance. The catch: residents will pay a premium for property within the city limits.

Strijp-S

Previously an industrial park owned by electronics giant Philips, this neighbourhood has attracted plenty of young people in recent years. Strijp-S has become a creative hub, home to great living spaces and design companies which continue to drive innovation in the city.

Strijp-S is known for its hipster vibe and former factories which have transformed into trendy cafes and shops. Housing prices have increased over the years though, and given its proximity to Eindhoven’s city centre, accommodation may not suit everyone’s budget.


Northern districts of Eindhoven

Eindhoven by Vishall Helm on Unsplash

Woensel

Woensel, located just north of the city centre, is a largely residential area with tree-lined streets. Previously a separate town, Woensel is now integrated with the city of Eindhoven. Accommodation is available in a variety of forms ranging from apartments to terraced houses.

Woensel-Zuid

Woensel-Zuid is home to some of Eindhoven's most affordable accommodation. Groenevoud, a neighbourhood of Woensel-Zuid, is an up-and-coming area where vintage clothing stores and great restaurants can be found. Expats can save by looking for housing here, just outside of the city centre, and cycling or catching the bus to work.


Towns and villages surrounding Eindhoven

Watermill at Opwetten, Nuenen by Wammes Waggel

Smaller villages and towns surrounding Eindhoven are popular with expats, especially families with children. There is a range of options in these family-friendly areas from tiny apartments to elegant freestanding homes. 

Popular villages and towns include Son, Breugel, Best, Nuenen and Veldhoven. These are all green and leafy suburban areas, offering a wonderful place to raise a family, while still being close enough to the city thanks to easy access via public transport.

Education and Schools in Eindhoven

Eindhoven is a centre of learning and innovation within the Netherlands and home to several prestigious schools and universities. As such, expats can rest assured that their children will receive an excellent education in this city. 

While there are many good quality public schools in Eindhoven, expats should note that options are limited when it comes to international schools.


Public schools in Eindhoven

All children who live in the Netherlands, including expats, are entitled to attend public school for free up to the age of 16, after which subsidised fees apply.

The priority of placement in a public school is based on catchment areas so expats wanting to send their child to a public school in Eindhoven should choose their neighbourhood carefully.

Public schools follow the Dutch national curriculum, with Dutch as the first language of instruction. Public schools are a good option for those intending on staying in Eindhoven for the long term as young children will learn Dutch quickly, making it easier to adapt to their new surroundings and make friends with local children.


Private and international schools in Eindhoven

Private and international schools are far more limited compared to cities such as Amsterdam. While there are several private schools, there is only one main English-language international school within Eindhoven: the International School Eindhoven, which has campuses for primary and high school. The school offers both the Dutch and International Baccalaureate curriculum. Competition for places can be tough; we advise expats moving to Eindhoven to plan as early as possible. 


Nurseries in Eindhoven

Expat parents with young children will find numerous childcare options in Eindhoven. There are many nurseries and preschools to choose from, although ultimately, proximity to accommodation may play the biggest role in selecting the right one.

Several companies offer daycare services in Utrecht, including Partou, the Netherlands' biggest childcare organisation.


Special-needs education in in Eindhoven

As with elsewhere in the country, special-education needs are well catered for in Eindhoven. Expats will find several speciaal basisonderwijs (SBO) and speciaal onderwijs schools in Eindhoven. While SBO schools share parallels with the mainstream Dutch curricula, the latter is divided into clusters depending on the type of impairment, be it visual, speech or hearing, physical or cognitive, or social and behavioural problems.

In many cases, children will be integrated into mainstream classrooms. Both public and private schools offer specialised support services that facilitate inclusive education. We recommend contacting the local municipality and the schools directly for assistance with selecting the school of best fit.


Homeschooling in Eindhoven

Homeschooling is not an accepted practice in the Netherlands. The large majority of expat parents are happy with the public education system, despite initial language barriers, which not only boasts high standards but is free to both expat and local students up till age 16, then subsidised for the following two years. International schools are the alternative, and a solution to the question of language, albeit an expensive one.


Tutors in Eindhoven

Finding a tutor in Eindhoven shouldn't prove much of a challenge. Numerous private tutoring companies operate across the city, while online portals are also a great way to hire a tutor. Some tutoring companies are directed at expats, and many offer Dutch language lessons. Tutors who specialise in specific subject areas can also be found in Eindhoven, which may help expat children who want to integrate into the public school system. Tuition outside of school can also benefit students who need extra support in general as well as close to exam time.

Lifestyle in Eindhoven

Eindhoven is a young and vibrant city with a lively, modern atmosphere. Expats who work here can enjoy a healthy work-life balance with the city's range of things to see and do appealing to a variety of lifestyles.

With a focus on technology and innovation, many attractions and activities are in some way related to the tech or design sector, with plenty of museums and buildings showcasing the city’s many talents. There are lots of green spaces to relax outdoors, and an abundance of clubs and bars for expats keen for a night out.


Shopping in Eindhoven

From small, exclusive boutiques and eclectic markets to large department stores and modern shopping malls, Eindhoven is a shopper's delight and has something for every taste and budget. 

The best shopping can be found in the area surrounding the Markt in the city centre, which is Eindhoven’s main market square. Here pedestrianised streets allow shoppers to wander around at leisure. There is also a regular Saturday market offering all kinds of goodies from flowers to local cheeses and meats, household items and hand-crafted products.

De Bergen is another exciting shopping district with smaller speciality shops, including book shops, galleries and antique and interior design stores. Those looking for something more exclusive can head to Hooghuisstraat, while Boexstraat offers a wide variety of clothing stores.


Eating out in Eindhoven

Thanks to Eindhoven’s multicultural makeup, there’s a wide variety of cuisine available across the city. International fare, from Azerbaijani and Ethiopian to American and Chinese, are also available. However, the weekly markets are the best place to sample typical Dutch street food. 

Although eating out in the Netherlands can be expensive, expats will find plenty of tasty budget options in Eindhoven. When it comes to fine dining, expats can take their pick from a selection of Michelin-starred restaurants, while chic bistros and pubs offer more affordable menus.


Nightlife and entertainment in Eindhoven

With a young student population, Eindhoven offers an exciting nightlife with everything from vibrant bars, live music venues and clubs to quaint pubs and trendy cafes. The Markt offers fantastic nightlife, while Stratumseind, the Netherlands’ longest pub street, is arguably the best place to enjoy a night out. For a slightly calmer evening out, De Bergen offers cosy cafes and popular bistros.

Expats looking for a more cultural experience can visit one of Eindhoven’s many theatres and art galleries. Van Abbemuseum is a favourite among visitors who enjoy modern and contemporary art, while the DAF Museum exhibits trucks and vintage automobiles. The St. Catherine's Church is another top attraction in the city with its neo-gothic architecture dating back to the 1860s.


Sports and outdoor activities in Eindhoven

Given that cycling is one of the most popular ways of getting around in Eindhoven, it makes sense that this city also caters to its sporty residents. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the skateparks and bike trails, such as the Hovenring suspended cycle path, as well as climbing walls scattered across the city.

A visit to Eindhoven would not be complete without taking in a game of football (soccer) to see the local team, PSV Eindhoven, compete against many of Europe’s top teams at the Philips Stadium.

Eindhoven is also one of the greenest Dutch cities, and numerous parks are dotted in and around the city. All residents, from dog walkers to families with children enjoy strolling or jogging around the parks, which are beautifully green all year round. Henri Dunant park or the pond and sculpture garden in Stadswandelpark are great spots for a picnic with the whole family, while Philips de Jongh park boasts a pleasant outdoor eatery.

What's On in Eindhoven

There are plenty of exciting events to enjoy in Eindhoven each year. In keeping with the city’s reputation as a design and tech hub, many of these events have specifically been established to showcase the city’s talents and inventive spirit.

Here are some of the city's not-to-be-missed yearly events.


Annual events in Eindhoven

King's Day (April)

Celebrated all over the Netherlands, King's Day is an important national holiday. Expats in Eindhoven can join in the celebrations by dressing up in orange and attending the annual festival celebrating King's Day. The festival prides itself on variety, offering something for the whole family from music concerts and markets to fun runs and competitions. 

Park Hilaria (August)

Eindhoven’s annual fair takes place over a week in August every year along Kennedylaan. It’s a fun event for the whole family to enjoy and includes amusement park rides, games, street theatre, live music and plenty of delicious food and drinks.

Dutch Design Week (October)

Dutch Design Week is a great opportunity for up-and-coming designers to get their name out there. More than 2,600 designers display their work around Eindhoven, with hundreds of events and activities taking place, including workshops, networking events, debates and exhibitions.

Eindhoven Marathon (October)

The annual Eindhoven Marathon is a popular running event in the city. The marathon includes a number of shorter runs in addition to the main events of the half and full marathons. There is a fun, festive atmosphere to the event enjoyed among participants and spectators who cheer on the runners.

GLOW Festival Eindhoven (November)

Another event showcasing the city’s focus on innovation and design, GLOW is an international forum of light in art and architecture, which sees the city centre become a stage for light performances and installations. Buildings are illuminated in artistic designs, and there are also many displays of art and other design work for visitors to admire.

Getting Around in Eindhoven

Getting around in Eindhoven is easy and convenient thanks to a well-established public transport system and compact city centre. Of course, Eindhoven is well-equipped for cyclists with plenty of good cycling infrastructure. It’s also safe and it's easy enough to get around the city centre on foot.

Driving is not recommended, especially as parking can be difficult to find, and most expats get by without having their own vehicle.


Public transport in Eindhoven

Eindhoven’s public transport system is not as extensive as other Dutch cities such as Amsterdam. While trains offer a good option for travel to and from the city, there are no trams or underground train systems for inner-city travel, with buses being the best option for getting around Eindhoven.

OV-chipkaart

Public transport in Eindhoven and throughout the Netherlands can be accessed using the OV-chipkaart. This smart card is loaded with credit and is swiped at the beginning and end of each journey. There are different types of cards available, ranging from daily to yearly subscriptions.

Buses

Eindhoven has a comprehensive bus system that covers the city as well as some popular areas outside of the city. Buses arrive every 10 minutes in high-demand areas and every 30 minutes otherwise.


Taxis in Eindhoven

Taxis are available at taxi stands throughout the city. Taxi rates are not formally regulated so it’s best to negotiate the fare with the driver before setting off on a journey.

It’s also possible to order a taxi over the phone or via a ride-sharing app, but this may work out as a more expensive option.


Driving in Eindhoven

As Eindhoven is a compact city, owning a car to get around is not a necessity. In fact, it's often a hindrance and finding parking can prove a challenge. That said, parking is relatively cheap in Eindhoven compared to other Dutch cities, and renting or owning a car can prove helpful for expats who want greater freedom to travel around the country.

Expats who do wish to drive in Eindhoven should note that they can use their foreign driving license for up to 185 days. Expats staying longer must apply for a local licence.


Cycling in Eindhoven

As is the case in most Dutch cities, Eindhoven has an extensive network of cycle paths. Cycling is often the easiest and cheapest way to get around. It’s possible to hire bikes at bike shops dotted around the city.

While life here is relatively safe, bicycle theft is an unfortunate reality in Eindhoven. Expats should always ensure their bike is securely fastened with a lock – preferably two – when parked in the street.


Walking in Eindhoven

One of the simplest ways of getting around is by walking. Eindhoven's city centre is walkable and easy to explore on foot. New arrivals often find walking helpful in initially orientating themselves in their host city. Expats looking for accommodation should always first search in areas walking-distance from their work or school.