Guide: How to make friends in Eindhoven
Hello, dear new Eindhovenaar. If only you could order a box of new friends from your online supermarket. Friendly, funny ones who totally get you, please! Alas, it doesn't work like that. Even the delivery man is gone before you can say anything. So how to make new friends? Let us lend you a hand!
Because Eindhoven is full of lovely peeps, who want to get to know you. In this guide, you can read about meeting like-minded people, places to visit solo, handy apps, and fun events. And a crash course, 'Talking to an Eindhovenaar'.
Be like Gerard
'In the beginning, I had to do everything by myself', Gerard Philips said about the early days of what later became one of the largest electronics companies in the world. Remembering Gerard's words, we say: beautiful things will happen when you dare to go out on your own. For example to 't Rozenknopje, one of the oldest and most atmospheric pubs in town. On Mondays, they host the 'stamtafel', which means joining the long table at dinner time. It all comes together here, from internationals to native Eindhovenaars. The encounters in De Huiskamer (The Living Room) in the Van Abbemuseum are intimate and eye-opening too. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, you can have a conversation with someone who fled their country. Sharing stories together connects people. Tea and sweets are ready and waiting for you.
Nothing is as bonding as going all the way together. Choose a sport that appeals to you and sign up for a club. The Eindhoven touch rugby team, for example, was founded a few years ago by a group of internationals and is very welcoming. Or how about this cool wheelchair basketball team or this international ice hockey team? Also fun: the new padel courts next to Eindhoven Central Station. The club has several WhatsApp groups you can join, which makes it extra easy to meet others.
Are you more into culture and design? The leading Van Abbemuseum has a great network of friends. At their Friends Association you can meet other art lovers and attend interesting lectures. For good conversations and inspiring talks, the weekly Innovation Cafes in Kazerne are also highly recommended. Or just feel like having a gooood laugh: buy your ticket for an international comedy night at Lab-1.
The Expat Spouses Initiative is an excellent place to make friends and boost your career. It’s the professional kickstart for anyone new in Eindhoven! And they host monthly meet-ups and exciting workshops. You can also join the successful buddy program Women for Women (we spoke to three participants about their experiences). For creative entrepreneurs among us, International Creative Women is an inspiring community.
Join the (quiz)team
Fancy a game, but with whom? At the International Quiz Night in Carrousel, you can come alone. You’ll be given a spot in one of the mix & match teams. Carrousel is located on the Markt (Market Square) in the city center. So plenty of pubs to continue the night with your new friends.
Swipe your friends together
Lend a hand
Even if you have a busy job, volunteering a few hours a month is always a good idea. And you'll quickly meet new people along. At Dutch Design Week in October, there are many great jobs both in front of and behind the scenes. Or check another festival of your interest; the choice is enormous (STRP, GLOW, The Art Department). Bonus tip: with the app Eindhoven Doet you can find volunteer work that suits you in just three steps.
Join a student team
If you come to Eindhoven to study, you'll have a soft landing through the many clubs and societies for students. Release your inner Shakespeare at Doppio, for example. Or be part of an international student team for a semester or longer (often a breeding ground for successful startups).
Finally, the crash course: how do I talk to an Eindhoven native? We are very sweet, but sometimes also a bit ehh ... stubborn. Or direct. A bit unrefined, perhaps? We immediately defrost, though, if you start talking about the weather. We know all about it (and how to lament it). Sing along with Guus Meeuwis (start with: 'Kedeng Kedeng'), and you'll get many locals to sing along with you (the other part will probably drop out, so consider carefully who you want to reach). Or ask for 'the difference between patat and fries', and you will never get rid of us again.