Latest Netherlands See&Do

Heineken Experience Amsterdam

With so little time in Amsterdam, it was pretty tough to pick exactly what to do in just two days. Amsterdam is such a beautiful city and besides the obvious attraction of the red light district, there are so many gorgeous museums and galleries that it can be overwhelming to decide.

A lot of the choices were sadly made for us because some big spots, like the Rijks Museum, were closed when we stayed in Amsterdam as a stopover. Admittedly not my first choice, we decided to pop into the Heineken Experience late one afternoon before heading to the airport to catch our flight home.

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I say this wouldn’t be my first choice because I thought it was really tourist-y, not something I enjoy at all. True to my guess, it was definitely tuned for tourists, but I’ll be honest and say that I actually loved every minute we spent here!

Yes, it’s a rather ‘manufactured’ experience, but based in an old Heineken brewery, a lot of thought has gone into preserving the history of the original building while still cranking up the technology to make the tour around educational and fun. Wrist bands are given at the start with pop-out buttons, these are the tokens for the two beers included in the tour. Although it doesn’t state it outside, it’s actually three beers because there’s a mini Heineken included mid-way during a beer tasting.

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Old posters, signage, props and info boards are used in innovative ways throughout the Heineken Experience, making it fun for everybody. Being able to peek inside old equipment, fiddle with old taps and basically touch everything also made the experience that much more interactive for us. I especially loved the stained glass windows in the brewery. I mean really, do people put that much effort into factories nowadays?!

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Once you’ve been through the whole brewery tour, a massive bar area awaits to serve you the perfectly-poured Heinekens you’ve been thinking of all along. While enjoying your beer, there are augmented reality games and touch screens to play with until you’re well and ready to depart.

Would I recommend going? Definitely! I didn’t think it was going to be much fun, but it was a blast and very enjoyable if you accept it’s geared for tourists!

Travel & food blogger helping adventurous South Africans find their next escape.

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