One of my favorite stops during a trip to Amsterdam, the Heineken Experience does the whole interactive museum thing right – brilliant design and a fun “ride” make this destination a must-see for beer lovers and friends alike.
You can do a self-guided tour through this experience and stop at interesting stuff along the way, where staff are on hand to explain things. The tour takes about an hour and a half to two hours, depending on how much you want to learn.
The place itself is a lot like another favorite destination of mine – the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland. It combines education with a bit of fun and, of course, alcohol at the end.
Don’t miss the bottle “ride” – a semi-interactive short film where you can “feel” what it’s like to be a bottle of Heineken from start to finish. Cute.
Awesome little re-created scenes from points in the history of Heineken Brewing. These are from Dr. Elion’s house – the chemist who discovered the Heineken A-yeast strain – a proprietary strain of yeast which is -to this day- still used only by Heineken in its brewing.
The tanks, while just for show, are beautiful, polished brass. The stained glass windows, brass and tile transports you back in time as you take it all in.
Replicas and originals of historical Heineken advertisements, equipment and other memorabilia abound – including sports memorabilia from the UEFA Champions League, of which Heineken is a sponsor, and there’s a ton of information to absorb while you walk the various rooms.
Take touristy photos and become part of the old-school label yourself, if that’s your thing. It was mine 🙂
You can even visit the horse stables during your visit – complete with real horses. Pretty neat.
Play games, send some videos to your friends back home, and experience the brand maybe more than the actual brewing…. but hey, when in Amsterdam!
At the end of the tour, you can redeem part of your entry tokens from your wristband for a taste of the real deal at the bar. Learn to pour the “Star pour” and appreciate the good stuff in a modern, dark bar.
Don’t forget to visit the gift shop and pick up a Champions League polo, bottle opener or small token. The first time we went, we got a small parting gift of a Heineken bottle box with a refrigerator magnet inside, but they weren’t giving those away the last time that I went, unfortunately. I still have my magnet on my fridge – and the first time I went was in 2007 – pretty impressive, no?
How to get there
The Heineken Experience is right on one of the canals in Amsterdam and is open 365 days a year – even holidays – but with shorter hours on holidays. It’s just a short walk from the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum and may be a nice thing to do during the afternoon after a morning trip to one of these.
By Tram: Take the 16, 24 or 25 from Central Station and get off at Stadhouderskade. From Leidseplein, take the 7 to Flevopark or the 10 to Azartplein and get off at Weteringcircuit.
By Boat: There’s a dock right next to the place, so pull up and get out!
(CLICK ABOVE TEXT TO BUY TICKETS ONLINE)
1072 AE Amsterdam
Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs 10:30am- 7:30pm, Fri-Sun 10:30 am – 9:00 pm
July & August open 10:30am-9:00pm daily
Price: 18 Euros per adult online, 20 Euros if bought at the ticket counter
Have you been to the Heineken Experience? How did it measure up to your expectations? Leave a comment and tell me about it!