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Moving to Eindhoven

Eindhoven is a modern Dutch city, and thanks to the presence of electronics giant, Philips, which was founded there in 1891, the city has earned the nickname of 'Lichtstad' (City of Light) and has become known as a centre for technology and design. As such, it's a popular destination for expats working in the high-tech sector.

As with most Dutch cities, expats moving to Eindhoven will enjoy a great quality of life, with excellent infrastructure, including an efficient transport system and high-quality healthcare. Eindhoven is also a university city, with many prestigious schools and tertiary institutions found within its metropolitan borders; though options for children who can't speak Dutch are limited, as there's only one international school in Eindhoven.

Despite being an industrial city, expats may be surprised to learn that there are plenty of parks and recreational areas to enjoy. There is also a great social scene, thanks to the many students who call Eindhoven home, and new arrivals can also look forward to a plethora of cultural offerings from museums, to theatres, restaurants and design centres.

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, with its economy expanding faster than any other major Dutch city.

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. Schools and special training institutions related to tech and design have also been established in Eindhoven, adding to an exciting air of innovation and creativity.


Job market in Eindhoven

As home to numerous tech and design companies, Eindhoven is a haven for those with solid experience in the IT and electronics fields. The manufacturing and creative design sectors also offer opportunities for those seeking to diversify their experience. Eindhoven is also a popular location for start-up companies, and those wanting to start their own business will find a wealth of opportunities as well as be spoiled for choice thanks to the well-qualified workforce in the city.


Finding work in Eindhoven

Finding a job in Eindhoven can be tricky as competition is fierce. Expats not from the EU will need a work permit to work in the Netherlands and a further obstacle is the fact that companies have to 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. 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.

Cost of Living in Eindhoven

Expats will find that the cost of living in Eindhoven is less than that in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam. It's also considerably cheaper than many other major European cities. Accommodation is likely to be the biggest expense when relocating and expats with a family will need to consider the cost of school fees, especially if they intend on sending their children to international schools. Lifestyle costs in Eindhoven are fairly reasonable and there are plenty of budget-friendly dining options that residents can take advantage of.


Cost of accommodation in Eindhoven

Finding the right home in the right neighbourhood is an essential element of any expat assignment. The vast majority of expats rent accommodation rather than buy in the Netherlands. 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 are 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 transportation in Eindhoven is reasonable and it makes more sense to get around using the local buses, which get commuters almost anywhere. Having a car in Eindhoven can be expensive; parking is 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.

Taxis are available in Eindhoven but can be expensive if they are used regularly. Fares aren’t regulated, so expats with good negotiation skills can bag themselves a good price.


Cost of eating out in Eindhoven

There is 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. However, it’s also possible to get some wholesome comfort food at a local pub while catching a game of football without breaking the bank. As is the case throughout the Netherlands, the cost of alcohol and tobacco are fairly low.


Cost of healthcare in Eindhoven

While the quality of healthcare in the Netherlands is excellent, costs are high when compared to those of other Western European countries. Once an expat starts working in the Netherlands and registers at their local municipality, they will be obliged to take out a Dutch health insurance policy within the next four months. Monthly payments vary based on the package itself and how comprehensive it is. However, it's something worth investing in because otherwise costs could amount to much more in the event of accident or medical emergency.


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 (ISE) 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 should 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 October 2019.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

1,000 EUR 

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

810 EUR

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

1,600 EUR 

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

1,250 EUR

Groceries

Milk (1 litre)

1 EUR

Loaf of white bread

1.10 EUR

Rice (1kg)

1.80 EUR

Dozen eggs

2.50 EUR

Chicken breasts (1kg)

8.50 EUR

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

7 EUR

Household

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

0.10 EUR

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

36 EUR

Utilities (monthly for average size home)

160 EUR

Eating out

Three-course meal at mid-range restaurant for two

60 EUR

Big Mac Meal

8 EUR

Cappuccino

3 EUR

Local beer (500ml)

5 EUR

Coca-Cola (330ml)

2.50 EUR

Transportation

Taxi rate (per km)

3 EUR

City centre public transport

4 EUR

Petrol/gasoline

1.70 EUR

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

The smaller villages surrounding Eindhoven offer more spacious living with detached houses and gardens and are popular with expat families, while inner-city living centres on apartments and is perfect for young professionals and students.

Both furnished (gemeubileerd) and unfurnished (kaal) accommodation are available. Unfurnished options often don’t have carpets or light fittings, but they may have some basic appliances such as a stove. 


Finding accommodation in Eindhoven

Expats can search for accommodation using online property portals and local newspapers. However, if they don't speak Dutch, the language barrier can be a problem and it's usually best to hire a real estate agent (makelaar). 


Renting accommodation in Eindhoven

The typical length of a lease in the Netherlands is a year, and most landlords expect one month's worth of rent as a deposit, along with the first month of rent paid upfront. Utilities are usually for the tenant's own expense and must be paid in addition to rent. If using a real estate agent to assist with the house-hunting process, expats should consider that their service fee is usually also the equivalent of one month's rent.

Areas and suburbs in Eindhoven

Eindhoven is a compact city so everything is usually within easy 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.


Centrum

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 apartments and have added a modern, stylish feel to central Eindhoven. Expats living here will have access to plenty of amenities, including shops and restaurants, and the train station is within walking distance, but they’ll pay a premium for property within the city limits.


Northern districts

Woensel, located just north of the city centre, is a largely residential area with tree-lined streets. Accommodation is available in a variety of forms ranging from apartments to terraced houses. West-Woensel (also known as Groenevoud) is an up-and-coming area where vintage clothing stores and great restaurants can be found, while Woensel South is home to some of Eindhoven's most affordable accommodation.


Surrounding towns and villages

The smaller villages and towns surrounding Eindhoven are popular with expats, especially those with families. There is a range of options in these 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 a number of prestigious schools and universities. As such, expats can rest assured that their children will receive an excellent education in Eindhoven. 

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


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. 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.


International schools in Eindhoven

There is only one 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 and expats moving to Eindhoven will therefore need to plan as early as possible. 

Lifestyle in Eindhoven

Eindhoven is a young and vibrant city, and although not as large as the Dutch capital, it has a lively, modern atmosphere, and expats will find plenty to enjoy here. 

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 those 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 specialty 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. Although eating out in the Netherlands can be expensive, expats will find plenty of tasty budget options in Eindhoven. The weekly markets are the best place to sample typical Dutch street food. 


Nightlife and entertainment in Eindhoven

With a young student population, Eindhoven offers an exciting nightlife with everything from hip bars and clubs to quaint pubs and trendy cafes. The Markt offers a fantastic nightlife, while Stratumseind, the Netherlands’ longest pub street, is arguably the best place to enjoy a night out. 

Those looking for a more cultural experience can visit one of Eindhoven’s many theatres and art galleries, while outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the skateparks, bike trails and climbing walls scattered across the city. A visit to Eindhoven would also 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.

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. It’s a fun event for the whole family to enjoy and includes 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 2,500 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. With around 200,000 spectators, there is a fun, festive atmosphere to the event, whether one is taking part or simply cheering on the runners.

Glow 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. The festival attracts around 750,000 visitors a year.

Getting Around in Eindhoven

Getting around in Eindhoven is easy and convenient thanks to a well-established public transport system and compact city centre. Driving is not recommended, especially as parking can be difficult to find, and most expats get by without having their own vehicle. It’s also safe and easy enough to get around the city centre by foot. Eindhoven is also well-equipped for cyclists with plenty of good cycling infrastructure.


Public transport in Eindhoven

Eindhoven’s public transport system is not as extensive as other Dutch cities like 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.

The 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 regulated in Eindhoven 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, but this is often a more expensive option.


Cycling in Eindhoven

As is the case in most Dutch cities, Eindhoven has an extensive network of cycle paths, and cycling is often the easiest and cheapest way to get around. It’s possible to hire bikes at bike shops dotted around the city. Bicycle theft is an unfortunate reality in Eindhoven, however, and expats should always ensure their bike is securely fastened with a lock when parked in the street.