A surprisingly cool city in the south of Holland, Eindhoven is a fun and friendly destination great for a weekend city break thanks to a culture for creativity and innovation
Brabant Travel Guide
Your insider guide to the coolest things to do and see when traveling Brabant, Netherlands
Located in the south of The Netherlands, Brabant is famous for its southern hospitality, friendly locals and a creative spirit. Once home to many industrial warehouses, the region today has been reborn as an innovative hotspot for young designers and creatives. Start here with my basic Brabant travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Brabant travel blogs.
When to Visit
Like most of the Netherlands, Brabant is very friendly toward cyclists. You’ll find it easy to move between cities and within the cities on a bike with well-marked paths. Because the region is also very green, summer is a great time to visit.
But for those interested in a truly unique experience, the annual Dutch Design Week each October attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Eindhoven. Eindhoven is widely regarded as one of the Netherlands’ biggest design cities and is referred to as the Capital of Dutch Design—thanks to the many independent designers, artists and galleries located in the city.
Cool Things To Do
Brabant is home to a number of important cities in the history of Dutch design, so for designers, artists, and innovators, it’s a great destination to explore. Check out some of these top cities and things to do in Brabant:
Eindhoven — Brabant’s largest city, and a gateway to the region, Eindhoven has an airport with connections across Europe (and new ones every year as the region grows in popularity).
In Eindhoven, check out the contemporary art museum the Van Abbe, explore the street art of Strijp-S (the former Philips factory) or enjoy the creative atmosphere of the many artist studios and young entrepreneurs based here.
Tilburg — Popular with students, Tilburg is bursting with creative enterprises. But the city is also home to two of the region’s most important museums, the Textile Museum and the De Pont. (De Pont houses an incredible collection including a new sculpture by Anish Kapoor installed in 2017.)
Tilburg is also popular for its “Spoorzone,” an old train yard that has been converted into a number of creative spaces including restaurants and cultural activities.
‘S-Hertogenbosch — Referred to as “Den Bosch,” the city is the capital of the region and the hometown of iconic Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch. The local city museum, the Stedelijk Museum, has a great collection of local and international art.
Breda — Perhaps the most “typically Dutch” city in Brabant, Breda has a lovely old town with cobblestoned streets and even a castle (Bouvigne Castle) with a moat in the city center. Large, pedestrian-only plazas make it a great city for wandering and experiencing local life. Don’t miss the picturesque views of the city’s Gothic church, Grote Kerk.
You’ll find many private tours offering specific experiences in each Brabant city. Check out the region’s tourism website portal, VisitBrabant.nl, for many of the best offers and an easy-to-use interface for finding additional things to do.
LGBTQ – Gay Brabant Guide
As a fairly large region of the Netherlands, you’ll find LGBTQ bars, cafes and hotspots throughout, but the most popular ones are going to be found in the bigger cities like Breda, Eindhoven, and Tilburg.
Each of those cities has at least one gay bar or café and because of their large student populations, there are relatively active LGBTQ communities. Most of the gay nightlife in the region only takes place on weekends, however.
More gay travel resources here.
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Brabant Travel Blogs
My morning started with a bus ride from the Eindhoven city center to a small town out in the countryside. I was on my way for a tour of Bergeijk, specifically the iconic De Ploeg building. A collaboration between two Dutch artists from the De Stijl period, De Ploeg was once a weaving mill where …
One of Europe’s biggest design events, the Dutch Design Week showcases thousands of unique and innovative designs covering a number of different subjects—from fashion to sustainability, art to robotics. Explore some of the best designs in this beginner’s guide to the festival
An inside look at the iconic graphic design exhibition by Milton Glaser – THE DESIGN OF DISSENT at the annual Graphic Matters design festival in Breda, NL
Discover Eindhoven in North Brabant – a culturally cool city with a unique creative spirit and cool things to see and do – an insider’s guide