I met up with my college roommate in Amsterdam, and it seemed like everything we meant to do kept messing up. My map didnt print, so I figured I'd go in blind using signs on the street, and she (usually unsuccessfully) tried to take advantage of Google Maps. As a result of all our walking in circles, we kept arriving at attractions later than we meant to, thus missing out on a houseboat of cats and the Van Gogh museum. However, when we started walking away from Museumplein, I spotted House of Bols and remembered having read something briefly about it while researching Amsterdam, so I suggested we go. I figured if it ended up being no fun, at least the €14.50 wouldn't go to waste because we could just say we had a super expensive cocktail.
The €14.50 didn't go to waste.
When we entered, the lady behind the desk quickly explained the Bols brand, family, and Genever to us, and did nothing to hind the transparency of the marketing campaign we'd just forked over what (for us) is a decent chunk of money.
However, once we walked down the stairs and into the exhibit, it didn't take long for my skepticism about whether I'd just wasted money to disappear. The different sections were fascinating, and I somehow realized I'd flown KLM numerous times without ever realizing that the little houses contained alcohol - though considering I'd been flying to a dry country, they probably didn't.
Our favorite portion was probably the Tasting and Smelling portion. We were also excited to see a Rembrandt painting because we felt we could then justify our foray into House of Bols over one of the many (closing) art museums nearby. In the end, we got our drinks. My friend's was delicious, though I forgot the name, and mine was kind of bland and watery. It also didn't hurt that the bartender was incredibly easy on the eyes. (There were also two shots of your choosing at the end. My friend thought I was crazy for wanting to try the aged Genever instead of something we'd smelled, but I was curious.)
I wouldn't suggest this over another attraction you're interested in, but if you have an hour to kill, it's definitely worth it.
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