While a trip to Amsterdam offers the illicit thrill of being in close proximity to legalised drugs, it is also home to one of the world's most famous and popular beers, Heineken, and its old now-defunct brewery. While this top tipple is now brewed on the outskirts of the city, you may occasionally still spy the Heineken horse-drawn cart transporting kegs around town.
Whether you worship at the altar of the Dutch pilsner, or are simply interested in the ins and outs of a brewery, the Heineken Experience caters for all and is a popular drawcard for visitors to Amsterdam. Founded by Gerard Heineken in 1864, the original brewery has been transformed into the interactive Heineken Experience with tours of the facilities including an over-18 visit, which involves imbibing the product, naturally. Heineken is now a multinational company and one of the three largest beer producers in the world.
The visitor experience offers four levels of historical objects, product exploration and sampling in the Tasting Bar and interactive multimedia displays. You can view the brass vats and vintage brewery apparatus in a self-guided tour of the Brewroom, learn the history of the Heineken family through photos and awards, watch Heineken adverts from around the world, visit the horse stables and even star in your own music video.
The most popular attraction is the Heineken U – a multimedia display where you actually 'become' a Heineken beer bottle, that is – virtually shaken up, sprayed with water and subjected to heat just like the production of the amber ale. As the Heineken Experience is a popular traveller destination, it's advised to arrive early to beat the crowds. Admission is €17 for adults (which includes tokens for two beers and a keepsake glass a the end of the tour), kids aged eight to 15 pay €13 and children aged seven and under enter for free. From Centraal Station, take trams 16, 24 or 25.