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House of Bols, the Cocktail & Genever Experience
Paulus Potterstraat 14, 1071 CZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Museumplein)
+31 20 570 8575
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Top Rated
$68*
and up
I amsterdam Card - City Pass for Amsterdam
Ranked #51 of 332 Activities in Amsterdam
Type: Classes/Workshops, Distilleries, Food & Drink, Sightseeing Tours
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Attraction details
Owner description: The House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience (located opposite the Van Gogh Museum) offers a truly interactive experience into the world of cocktails and the exciting bartending culture, as well as a glimpse into the history of the world's oldest distilled brand: Bols Amsterdam 1575. A visit to the House of Bols is a spectacular journey for all your senses in which you learn how to taste a delicious cocktail of your choice.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Fun time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

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.

Visited January 2014
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Yummy cocktails!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

This was a fun activity. While it's quite a short tour, things like the perfume room were really interesting. The free cocktails at the end were definitely the best part!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Loved it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

This was a nice surprise to our trip to Amsterdam. We went here as we had done most of things we wanted to and so thought we'd give House of Bols a visit.

The tour is all very interesting and interactive, but the free cocktails and watching the professional bartenders do their work was the real treat.

Would definitely recommend!

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
holidayhappydays
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Love cocktails, then visit here!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

Recommendation from friends prior to arriving so we had to visit. Made it our first stop on New Year's Eve and although the "museum" part of it is not that big/long that is a good thing. It is interactive so you get to play some guessing games while learning along the way however the best part is obviously picking and drinking your free cocktail at the end along with the 2 shots. Take the advice of the bar staff though after all they are experts!

Visited December 2013
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Interesting Look at Bols Cocktails”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

This was an unexpected stop in our trip around Amsterdam. I must say it was a really interesting history. The interactive stuff was really good and was entertained by it all. Got a few drinks at the end of it which were really nice.
The price was a little bit high but at the end of the we both enjoyed ourselves.

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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