The House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience is dedicated to two of Amsterdam’s oldest alcoholic drinks. Bols was the world’s first distilled spirit, produced in Amsterdam in 1575 by Lucas Bols. Genever is the Dutch equivalent of today’s gin, drunk instead of water in the 17th century as it was believed to hold medicinal properties.
A tour of the exhibition takes one hour and includes taste, touch, and smell sessions in the Hall of Taste as well as the chance to learn about the Bols distilling process. All tours end in the sleek Mirror Bar, where the staff whip up cocktails. You can buy advance tickets online and get discounted admission with a city sightseeing pass. House of Bols is also a stop on the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- House of Bols is a must-visit for liquor aficionados.
- Visitors must be at least 18 years old.
- Tours conclude with a complimentary cocktail.
- You can purchase bottles of alcohol and souvenirs at the gift shop.
How to Get There
House of Bols is located at Paulus Potterstraat 14, opposite the Van Gogh Museum. From Amsterdam Centraal train station, take tram 2 or 12 to the Rijksmuseum stop, just a few minutes’ walk away. Its setting next to Museumplein makes it an easy stop after visiting the area’s famed museums.
When to Get There
House of Bols is open every day of the week from 1pm to 6:30pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays it stays open until 11pm. The sight is at its busiest in the early evening when visitors stop in after touring the museums and before going to dinner.
The Collector’s Room
In addition to touring House of Bols, you can take part in a cocktail workshop and learn some of the tricks of the mixology trade. Alternatively, you can test your bartending skills in the Flair Booth as you star in your very own version of the movie Cocktail. Also on offer are genever and Bols tasting sessions, as well as alcoholic afternoon teas.