The former Heineken brewery in Amsterdam, in use until 1988, is now home to what's known as the "Heineken Experience," where visitors can learn the history of one of the world's most recognizable beer brands and even taste the famous Dutch pilsner.
Below you'll find visitor information and highlights of this popular Amsterdam attraction, which reopened in November 2008 after a year-long renovation.
What to Expect at the Heineken Experience
Comprising four levels of historical and interactive exhibits, the Heineken Experience tracks the journey of the global company, beginning with its 19th-century roots as a small business run by the Heineken family, following its rise to one of the best examples of international branding and distribution success, and ending with the innovative ways in which it still brews quality beer today.
Along the way, visitors can see and smell Heineken's ingredients, taste the pre-beer "wort" in the former brew room and enjoy freshly-poured pilsner in a modern tasting room and "World Bar."
The 2007-08 renovation brought about new elements such as an interactive "ride" through the brewing process, called "Brew U," and an opportunity to create a personalized bottle of Heineken.
Perhaps my favorite part of the tour is the stable walk, an up-close visit with the stunning Heineken shire horses, which draw wagons that still help deliver Heineken to some parts of the Netherlands.
The Heineken Experience tour lasts about an hour and a half.
Heineken Experience Visitor Information
- Location: Stadhouderskade 78 (just east of the Rijksmuseum), in De Pijp neighborhood.
- Hours: Open Monday to Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (last admission at 5:30 p.m.); Friday to Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (last admission at 7 p.m.). Open until 9 p.m. daily in July and August.
- Phone: +31 (0)20 523 92 22
- Admission: Adults: € 16; children (12 - 17 years old): € 12.50; children 11 and under: free. Group rates on request.
- Tickets in Advance: Those who don't want to wait in line at the ticket desk may purchase them online.
- Age Issues: Visitors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. In accordance with Dutch law, beer will not be served to anyone under 16.
- Accessibility: All sections of the Heineken Experience are wheelchair-accessible except for the stables area, which is acessible by escalator. Wheelchairs are available free of charge, but must be booked in advance.
Transportation and Parking
- By Tram: Line 7, 10 or 25 to the Weteringcircuit stop. Line 16 or 24 to the Stadhouderskade stop.
- By Water: Several canal tour operators offer combo tickets that include both a canal tour and Heineken Experience admission. The boats stop opposite or near the brewery. Amsterdam Canal Cruises has a city canal tour that stops opposite the Heineken Experience, while the Canal Bus offers a hop-on, hop-off service that stops at the Albert Cuyp Market, just minutes away.
- By Car: Parking is available in the Apcoa parking garage adjacent to the Heineken building. Use the entrance on Eerste van der Helststraat.
Shops and Restaurants
There is a gift shop selling all manner of things emblazoned with the Heineken logo.
Don't worry that the Heineken Experience doesn't include a restaurant (or even snacks); the neighborhood - called De Pijp - is chock-full of dining options.
Edited by Kristen de Joseph.