Glow Eindhoven is a creative light festival in the south of the Netherlands. For over a week, international artists illuminate the city of Eindhoven with their innovative art installation. The Eindhoven light festival transforms the city after dark in a vibrant mix of decorative artworks and the best that color and lights offer.
You can visit Eindhoven on a day trip from Amsterdam or stay overnight because Glow Festival Eindhoven is a perfect evening event. Do you like light installations, night photography or art in general? Or you wish to experience something new in the Netherlands, then the light art festival Glow Eindhoven is a splendid idea.
What is Glow Eindhoven?
Glow Eindhoven is a yearly, week-long event, in 2018 it will be held for the 13th time. Each year the city center of Eindhoven will be locked down from traffic and the city radiates with art and lights.
International and national artists come to Glow Eindhoven to show their best light installations. The public space of the center of Eindhoven is used as a stage for the light exhibit or transformed into pieces of art. Installations, music, and movement. The light festival of Eindhoven is vibrant and beaming with lights.
Examples are fluorescent tubes, laser lights, iconic projections on buildings in the center. Some light installations are only to view and form an opinion about. Others need interaction and are combined with sound, 3D-effects, movement, and even water and air.
Each year, the light artworks and artists at Glow Eindhoven are different than the year before. As is the route and the theme of the lights festival. Some years are better than others, but each and every time is a unique experience that triggers a sensation of your senses.
I have visited the Eindhoven light festival several times over the past years. I was not paid or sponsored to write this. All opinions are my own. Pictures are from my family members and boyfriend. This post contains affiliate links, if you follow these links and purchase a service, I will earn a small commission. This will not cost you any extra but helps me maintain this blog.
What to see at Eindhoven light festival?
The main event of Glow Eindhoven is the center of the city. 6 kilometers (3 miles) of public space is connected by a walking route, where you can view, experience and be part of the different art lights projects.
Each year a specific theme inspires different light artist from around the world. Their light installations transform everyday buildings and open space into transforming art. Themes in previous years were: nature & architecture (2015), city & science (2016) and ‘The source’ (2017), a reference to the source of light and the role Eindhoven played in it.
You can walk the route in the center and this is completely FREE of charge. From 6.30pm till 11 pm or midnight the city will light up before your eyes. The route is self-guided, it is not a tour.
Light show at Glow festival Eindhoven
Besides the main event of the walking route, you can also see a light show at the Philips Stadium. While you sit down, the history of Eindhoven and her connection to light is broadcasted in a vibrant mix of sound, lights and special effects.
Glow Eindhoven is a free festival but the light show at Philips Stadium is not free. You can buy tickets online for €5,00 or buy them at the cash register for €7,50. There are 2 shows per night, one at 7.30pm and at 9.00pm. Each show lasts half an hour.
Another side event during Glow Eindhoven is Glow Next. Glow Next offers young students a chance to display their innovative and unique work of arts. They are paired with established light artists and together broadcast new technology and unseen pieces of art. Glow Next is part of the Glow Eindhoven route. The focus of the Glow Next lights project is new technology and showcasing young artists.
Is walking not your thing? Are you more into running? Then the Glow Run at the closing event of the light festival might be a fun activity for you. On the final Saturday of the art light festival, you can run the route of Glow Eindhoven.
You need to buy tickets in advance and the run starts at 11 pm on the final night (16 November 2019).
Glow Eindhoven 2019
The next edition of the light festival in Eindhoven will be from 9 November till 16 November 2019. For reference, you can view the 2018 route and the luminary artworks on this map. I’ll update once more details for 2019 are available.
Eindhoven light festival starts each day at 6.30pm. On weekdays it lasts till 11 pm, in the weekend till midnight.
Read more: How to Plan your Christmas Market Trip?
How to get to Glow Eindhoven
Eindhoven is a major transport hub in the south of the Netherlands. The walking route of the light festival starts from Eindhoven Railway station.
Plane: Fly to Eindhoven Airport from various destinations in Europe with low-cost airlines like Ryanair, Transavia or Wizzair. Eindhoven Airport doesn’t serve transcontinental flight. Closest airport when you fly intercontinental is Amsterdam or Brussel (Belgium).
Train: Eindhoven Railway station is easily connected with the rest of the Netherlands by rail. Take a direct train from Amsterdam Central station, and you’ll arrive in the heart of Eindhoven in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Bus: From Eindhoven Airport, local buses 400 and 401 take you straight to the center of Eindhoven. As Glow Eindhoven is part of the center, you have no further commute from there.
Car: Of course you can drive to Eindhoven if you have a car. But be aware: the center of Eindhoven is used for the art festival, so roads might be closed or blocked and parking can be a problem. The several covered parking lots offer the best option to park, but costs apply.
Other practical tips to experience Eindhoven light festival
Dress warm– a nighttime event in November, dressing appropriately is mandatory. One year’s edition it was warm and balmy at midnight, another time I went home early because I was too cold.
Wear comfortable walking shoes – to see as many luminous artworks at Glow Eindhoven as possible, you have to walk the 6 km (3 miles) route in the center of town.
Be patient – The light festival can be busy, especially during the weekend with big crowds who all want to see the art installations.
Enjoy Eindhoven at night – Don’t forget to have a hot chocolate to warm up and take in the atmosphere. Glow Spots and Glow Hots are there to serve you warm drinks and tasty food.
More Eindhoven Information: Innovative restaurants and retailors.
Where to stay if you want to spend the night at Glow Eindhoven?
Glow Eindhoven can take a couple of hours to explore. The festival closes during the week at 11 pm but on weekends at midnight. There is still time to catch that last train but why not spend the night in Eindhoven and maybe go back the next evening too?
Budget ho(s)tels in Eindhoven
Eindhoven doesn’t have many budget hotels or a wide variety of hostels. The cheapest option is Budget Hotel De Zwaan. They offer single, double and triple rooms with shared bathrooms. The rooms are quite bare, just a bed but for €46 a night per double you can’t really expect much.
Eindhoven has a few ‘hostels’ with dorms up to 14 beds. At almost €30 per night, it might not be the cheapest options for couples and availability is very limited. But I’m giving you all the options, so check out the hostels in Eindhoven.
Mid-range Hotels in Eindhoven
Just under 60€ per night for a twin room, the B&B Eindhoven4You is a true homestay. Small B&B adjacent to a house, the room comes with breakfast and is located just outside the main center.
If you’re looking for a more proper hotel, the Blue Collar Hotel is situated on the edge of the main center of Eindhoven. Located in the former Philips factory it has a real industrial vibe. A double room will cost you under €60 but you can also opt- in for their 12-bed or 34-bed (!!) mixed dorm for €26,50 a night.
Luxury Hotels in Eindhoven
If you want better facilities, prime location, and superior rooms, Eindhoven has a lot more to offer her visitors. The following hotels are all located in the heart of Eindhoven, so after your visit to Glow, you can roll straight into your bed.
Boutique Hotel Glow, I mean, do I need to say more? If you want to visit Glow Eindhoven, than a hotel with the same name must be your first pick? Right? All the coffee you want and spacious rooms are the biggest draws. You can book a superior double from €125.
The Boutique Hotel Lumiere is all about the light. Spacious rooms with city views. This hotel also has studio and apartments for rent and it is family and dog-friendly. The 4-person penthouse apartment will costs you €200 for one night.
Inntel Hotels Art Eindhoven is located in the former light tower of the Philips factory. The building is from 1909 and the hotel offers sleek designed rooms and loft apartments with 4 meter high ceilings in the former light tower. Some rooms have a Jacuzzi and rain shower, but I’d go for one of the loft rooms. A double bed loft room sleeps 2 and costs 135€ per night.
Looking for more inspiration? Find the 10 most beautiful festival of lights here.
Eindhoven Lights Festival
Are you looking for a fun night event in November in the Netherlands? Visit Glow Eindhoven and explore the illuminated artworks in the center of Eindhoven. Have you been in previous years? Or did you experience a light festival of arts in another city? Please share your experiences below.