When in Amsterdam, I didn’t spend a lot of time in museums, but one of the ones I did visit was the Heineken Experience – and I am glad that I did.
We bought the “Rock the City” ticket which included two free beers, the Heineken tour obviously, a canal trip, and entry into the A’Dam lookout tour, however you still have to pay if you want to go on the swing. In total it cost €25, which was very good value.
Unfortunately for us we had to rush through the tour to make out canal time as one of the members in our group was late in getting ready and so we were a bit behind schedule. The website says that the tour should take about 2 hours, so I’d give yourself at least that, I’d recommend two and half hours as we had an hour an a half which felt very rushed. We had to skip through certain parts very quickly, and didn’t have time to relax enjoy our two free beers on the bar, instead we had to pretty much down them and go – because of course we couldn’t leave them.
I don’t want to give everything away for the tour, because of course the element of surprise always really helps to make the experience. The first part of the tour was all about the history of Heineken, and it’s founders. I personally found this part a little boring. The rooms were very small but the amount of people was not, so you felt a little stuffy and rushed, and you couldn’t really just relax and take in the information.
Next up was information on how they make the beer, and the different elements. This part was really interesting and very well explained. They even let you taste the part of the beer called wort, so that you can understand how it gets it’s sweetness. I actually enjoyed it, but others in the group absolutely hated the taste. This part we flew through, but you could take your time and read all the different information there was to read, as well as being able to play around with mixing what appeared to be beer that was brewing, and weighing the different grains that go into making Heineken.
Next up was the tasting section. Here you get a small beer – it’s not one of the free ones don’t worry…they come later. They then teach you how to drink Heineken properly, so that you can really taste the different elements if the beer. This part is done in the stables where the horses should be, but unfortunately due to construction they had been moved. You can chill in the seated area in the stables and finish off your tester, which is about a half pint, before you head on to the next part.
Next you have the opportunity to make a personalised bottle of Heineken which is really cool. We didn’t as we only had hand luggage and so we wouldn’t be able to bring it back on the plane.
Then there was an interactive section, full of games, cool photo ops, and even PlayStations where I’m sure a few people spent quite some time. In order to get a go on most things here you would need to give yourself plenty of time as there are queues of people waiting for goes on the different games etc,. It is well worth it as it is a lot of fun though.
Then next up is the bar where you can get you free beers and chill. The bar itself was quite quirky and nice. The only thing it lacked was seats, but considering they expect you to have your beers and leave so as to free up space for the next group of people, I guess they don’t want you getting too comfortable.
Lastly, like almost every other museum you exit through the gift shop, and then it’s time to head to your boat for the canal trip.
The canal trip was a really great experience. I had never gone on one before and so it was an entirely new experience. You are very low down in the boat, but seeing the from that point of view is so interesting and really different. You can buy beer on the boat, Heineken of course, and sit back and relax. The tour guide will give you snippets of information along the way, but otherwise you can pretty much observe around you, and chat with friends.
Lastly was the A’Dam lookout tower. This was probably the most disappointing part of the tour. While the view from the top was very pretty, half the restaurant was reserved, meaning that if you can in from the boat tour you had no where to chill and get a drink while enjoying the view, you had to stand. A separate bar/drink area would be much better, because at least if you had to stand there, you wouldn’t be standing over people eating a fancy meal out together. The swing at the A’Dam lookout wasn’t included in the price of the ticket which I though it was, however it was so worth it. I am terrified of heights so I’m pretty proud that I managed to do it. I would definitely recommend giving it a shot if you’re there because the views are just gorgeous.
P.S: I want to apologise for the lack of photos that are my own in the piece but at the time I had a very old camera which could take about two photos before being full. I’ve since bought the One Plus 5T however, so all future trip will be much better documented.