Weekends in Amsterdam and a visit to Eindhoven

Four weeks ago I moved to the Netherlands. At some stage I’m going to do a post that will be part of the little series I’m doing ,called the Erasmus Diaries which will focus on my first month here (spoiler alert: I’m loving it). But today I want to chat about the little bit of travelling, I’ve been doing around the Netherlands.

Since Amsterdam is only half an hour away from where I live, my weekends have been spent doing day trips to the city. I did all the touristy activities when I visited two years ago, so there’s been no real agenda on my mind when I go.

On one of the weekends, my friends and I found an enticing little shop named Sweet Bob that sold a Brazilian delicacy called brigadeiros. They were similar to truffles but much creamier. I found the passion the three guys had, who were running the business and making the treats, very admirable and made the whole experience for me.

After that we managed to find a nearby Saturday market. The stalls filled the stretch of the street and it seemed whatever you needed could be bought there. We got some hot food and then for dessert we treated ourselves to baby pancakes (poffertjes). We spent the rest of the day strolling around the streets of Jordaan and it was a perfect day to spend a lazy Saturday.

Then last week my friend came to visit for a few days. We spent the time eating lots of great food, taking photos, and saying every ten minutes “it’s SO cold.” She had to go to Eindhoven to get her flight home and since I had nothing planned for the rest of the day, I decided to see her off at the airport. After saying our goodbyes, I spent a few hours exploring Eindhoven by myself.

The best way to describe the city is that it’s not typical “Dutch”. Instead of cute houses and canals, it was shiny and sterile buildings. I didn’t even see that many people riding bikes,2 which is the first thing I’ve noticed about every Dutch city I’ve been to.

While getting some lunch in a place called the Happiness Cafe (how was I not supposed to eat there), I did some research on the city to see what there was to do. Turns out Eindhoven is the hub for technology (that explains the futuristic look). The company Philips was started in the city and after the brand became so successful, it put Eindhoven on the map. The Philips museum came up as a recommended activity, so I decided to check it out.

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I wasn’t expecting much from the museum, but it turned out to be really interesting. It was pretty cool to see how one company went from making light bulbs, to developing everything from radios, cassette players, and x ray machines.

Afterwards I went on the search for St Catherine’s Cathedral, the inside of which was stunning. At that stage I was getting tired since I’d been up since 6am, so I decided to get one more coffee before I caught the train back to Utrecht.

This turned out to be a great decision. The coffee shop was called CoffeeLabUC, located right by the train station and was also an attachment to the tourist office. I was really interested in the way the tourist office marketed the city. Though I wasn’t left overly impressed by Eidhinoven, the people there are very passionate about their city being “the city of the future.”

Anyway back to the coffee. This place was everything I love, hipster (but not too hipster that it’s annoying), quirky, filled with personality and of course good coffee!

It was a great way to end my day in Eindhoven. It was also lovely to have a day of solo exploring. I love going to places with friends, but sometimes it’s nice to take some time to adventure at your own pace.

Is there anywhere else I should visit in the Netherlands?



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