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Eindhoven is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, but you’d never know it from the high-tech industry and cutting-edge design it’s currently known for. If you have kids obsessed by all things wheeled, they will love the trucks at the DAF Museum.
A mere village in 1900, Eindhoven grew exponentially thanks to electronics giant Philips, founded here in 1891, to become the Netherlands' fifth-largest city. During the 1990s, Philips moved to Amsterdam, but Eindhoven remains a centre of high-tech research and industry with a top technology institute, and is a magnet for 'knowledge workers' from abroad. Due in part to the presence of all the brainiacs, Eindhoven fairly buzzes with cultural activity, much of which revolves around the renovated shell of the former Philips complex. The Dutch Design Academy is ensconced in the ex-Philips lamp factory (locally known as the 'White Lady'), and Dutch Design Week is a major event held here in October. But it is perhaps best known to frugal travelers for the many budget carriers serving its airport, and early departures are reason enough to overnight it here.