A visit to Amsterdam is not complete without a visit to the Heineken Experience. Located in the centre of the city, this historic building is the birthplace of the iconic Heineken beer that is distributed and celebrated around the world. The former brewery, which was in use until 1988, has been transformed into a beer lover’s paradise, where visitors can go on an interactive journey to learn all about the history of Heineken, get a closer look into the beer brewing process, and, of course, taste the world-famous pilsener. This guide gives you a quick overview of what you can expect when you visit the Heineken Experience, some tips on how to make the most out of your visit, and suggestions for additional activities in the area to round off a perfect day in Amsterdam.
A Brief History Of Heineken
Heineken’s story began in 1984 when Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought the small brewery ‘De Hooiberg’ in the heart of Amsterdam. Over the course of 4 generations, what started as a small family brewery evolved into an international company that owns more than 170 beer brands worldwide. Available in almost every country, Heineken is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable Dutch brands. However, Heineken is not just popular abroad: more than 150 years after the company was founded, the lager continues to be the drink of choice for many people in the Netherlands.
When visiting Amsterdam, you can order Heineken or Amstel (which is owned by Heineken) in almost every café. As a sponsor of countless events in Amsterdam, from sporting events to festivals, the green Heineken logo with its signature red star adorns nearly every corner of the city. Today, the former Heineken brewery in the centre of the city provides visitors with a chance to gain more insight into Heineken’s history and learn how the brand continues to play an important role in Dutch culture.
Heineken Experience Deconstructed
The Heineken Experience is a 1.5-hour self-guided tour that consists of 4 stories of historical and interactive exhibits. Learn about how a small family brewery expanded into a global company that continues to set the bar for success in international branding and distribution.
See remnants of the former brewery and get a first-hand feel for the brewing process when you peek into large copper kettles, stir the water in a massive barrel and grind barley. Enjoy the interactive ‘Brew U’ ride, in which the process is simulated from the perspective of being inside the barrel!
One of the most remarkable parts of the tour is a visit to the indoor stables, where you can see the horses that were integral to delivering beer throughout the country. Once you have been to the stables, you may even recognize one of these horse-drawn Heineken carriages pulling through the streets of Amsterdam during your stay in the city!
What would a visit to a brewery be without a beer tasting? In addition to a small taster provided during your tour, your ticket includes two free beers at the “Best ‘Dam Bar.” After your tour, you can hang out in the bar for as long as you like. Don’t forget to check out the souvenir shop, where you can customize your own Heineken bottle or glass to remember your visit to one of the most famous breweries in the world.
Make the Most Out of Your Heineken Amsterdam Visit
Most people only visit the Heineken Experience once in their lives. So get the most out of your visit by reading up on these tips and tricks before you go.
Buy Your Heineken Experience Tickets Beforehand
Due to its popularity, the lines to get into the Heineken Amsterdam are notoriously long. Avoid queuing up for hours on the small sidewalk outside the brewery by purchasing your tickets beforehand. Simply scan your ticket at the entrance and begin exploring the world of Heineken!
Download the Heineken Experience App
The Heineken Experience has designed a digital app that provides extra information and fun facts as you explore the brewery. Unlock the app when you enter the Heineken Experience to get the most out of your visit. While the exhibitions throughout the brewery are in English, the app is available in 9 different languages (English, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Chinese, German, French, and Spanish), giving you the comfort of enjoying the Heineken Experience in your native tongue.
Local Ambassadors to Enrich Your Heineken Experience
While your visit will be a self-guided tour, Heineken Experience Ambassadors are stationed throughout the brewery to answer any questions you may have and share additional information about the brewing process. They will also teach you how to pour the perfect beer and how to properly taste and drink one! Since most of them are Amsterdam locals, they can tell you all about how the legacy of Heineken is embedded in the city’s history and culture.
Heineken Amsterdam Opening Hours
The Heineken Experience is open every day and the opening hours are as follows:
- Monday – Thursday: 10:30 AM to 7:30 PM. The last admission is at 5:30 PM.
- Friday – Saturday: 10:30 AM to 9:00 PM. The last admission is at 7:00 PM.
- December 24th – December 31st: 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM. The last admission is at 2:00 PM.
Getting To Heineken Amsterdam
The Heineken Experience is located in the centre of the city and is easy to reach by walking or by public transportation. Here are some of the best ways to reach the Heineken Experience:
- By Tram: Go with tram 24 to the station Marie Heinekenplein. It is a two-minute walk from the station. Trams 1, 7, and 19 also stop less than a 5-minute walk from the Heineken Experience.
- By Metro: Go with the M52 to the station Amsterdam, Vijzelgracht. It is a 4-minute walk from here to the Heineken Experience.
The Heineken Experience is wheelchair accessible. There is one wheelchair available upon reservation (please contact email@example.com to make a reservation).
Things to Do After Your Heineken Experience
Your visit to the Heineken Experience is bound to leave you in good spirits, so why stop the fun there? The Heineken Experience is located in the centre of Amsterdam, with plenty of noteworthy attractions and experiences within hand’s reach.
Museums Around Heineken Amsterdam
The Heineken Experience is located in the centre of Amsterdam and is surrounded by plenty of other attractions that are worth a visit. Here are the top 5 noteworthy museums near the Heineken Experience: