Category Archives: Living in Eindhoven

Location, location, location

Culture and Life

Location, location, location

Being able to live in continental Europe gives you great opportunities for quicker and cheaper travelling around European countries. Here’s a list of some of the countries and cities, you may want to visit;

  • Belgium: Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, Liege, Achelse Kluis (brewery 1hour cycle from Eindhoven)
  • Germany: Dusseldorf, Cologne, Aachen
  • France: Paris (Disneyland)
  • Netherlands:
    • Keukenhof – Tulip flower festival usually finishes after your first weekend in NL. Be careful you don’t miss out!
    • Amsterdam – Canals, nightlife, Gay Pride fortnight (boat parade), zoo, Heineken Experience, Van Gogh Museum, Cat boat
    • The Hague – Parliament,  Peace Palace, Beach, Madurodam (miniature models of NL)
    • Rotterdam – Cubic Houses, Erasmusbrug, harbour, De Marktha
    • Utrecht – Canoeing, Shopping, Dom Tower, Cathedral of St. Martin
    • S’ Hertogenbosch – St. John’s Cathedral, Try the local Bossche bol cake.
    • Maastricht – Castle walls, Try limburgse vlaai
    • Apeldoorn – Apenheul Monkey Park
    • Arnhem – Hoge Veluwe National Park

For Travelling to these places you may want to check out: www.spoordeelwinkel.nl which offers day trip train ticket and lunch deals. I’d also recommend you checking coach services and Bla Bla cars which are very popular in Europe on: www.busradar.com. I often travelled with ‘FLix Bus’ but be aware delays often occur around Antwerp. Also note that the coach pick-up point is the other side of the train station to the bus station (the train station has entrances at both ends).

At the end of our placement, my friend and I decided to take several days to cycle from city-to-city up from Eindhoven to Amsterdam. Our route was: Eindhoven-Tilburg-Breda-Dordrecht-Kinderdijk-Gouda-Leiden-Haarlem via the coast-Zaandam-Edam-Volendam-Amsterdam.

This was a really lovely trip as there were cycle paths between all cities so we never had to cycle on the road and didn’t even wear helmets. It was great to see the varying countryside and architecture travelling north, with wildlife, canals, farm animals and lots of cheese!

For accommodation try
●    Couch-surfing app – free
●    Airbnb
●    Deals on hotels
●    Hostels

You’ll probably need to book a hotel or Airbnb for your first night in Eindhoven as most letting agencies are only open Mon-Fri. Let my supervisor know I could only make it in for 10am on my first day so I could pick up the house keys beforehand.

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Avoiding International Phone Bills!

As you’ll be abroad for 5 months you may want to consider getting a dutch SIM card for cheaper data usage and texting others who changed their SIM. Although I didn’t do this, I asked my mates which companies they went with and their advice:

  • Lebara: “Had the cheapest data”
  • Vodafone: “Had the best customer service and worked in the rest of the EU”
  • Vectone: “Was good because it had a bit of everything in it. In this package I got 500 international minutes which was really valuable to me as I called the UK often”

    “However, they were quite tricky to figure out sometimes and if you had a problem you had to wait a while on the phone to get it fixed”

Of course the deals may have changed by the time of your visit!
(p.s. Thanks friends)

Also a suggested link for a cheap and fast way to unlock an EE phone: DoctorSim
“May be cheaper for other mobile phone providers.”

Alternatively, a few of us signed up to international deals offered with our mobile contracts, and kept our british SIM. For example, my friend got a certain about of international minutes and data with Tesco Mobile. I already had free EU calls with EE extra but paid a discounted amount for a daily allowance of data, only charged on the days when I switched data on.

Obviously, no deal will be perfect but you’ll probably find data useful for days out when you want to find your way around a new city (some paper maps are expensive!). I’d also suggest pre-downloading some areas on ‘Google Maps’ and ‘Tripadvisor’ to save you some money and hassle.

Alas there is one benefit though, most of the city centre in Eindhoven has WiFi; mainly through eduroam or a restaurant connection.