Do something new every time you go there, even if you have been a million times. I lost count how many times I have been to Amsterdam, maybe 100, but I will never be sick of that city. With the basics ticked off, the Heineken Experience and the vast majority of museums; Anna found the House of Bols website with a discounted combo package, the Bols Experience and a canal tour. The description was perfect, for us at least, a museum about Dutch liquor; yes I would like to learn about that. Also, canal tours never get old. I think I have done five, but nothing beats a boat in the summer, especially when you have a couple of beers tucked inside your purse.
The Bols experience is a tour of the journey from the beginning roots starting in 1575 of this Dutch Genever liqueur, which is considered the oldest distilled spirit brand. For the self guided tour you are provided with an audio component, which dispenses information in several languages, by scanning bar-codes along the way. Dutch Genever or Holland gin was originally created from distilling mulled wine and was traditionally juniper flavored. Today genever liqueur is found in a variety of flavors, including ginger, blueberry and mango to name a few. The Bols experience takes you through the history of the Bols brand, how the liqueur is distilled and is designed to heighten all your senses. The tour includes a drink voucher for a free cocktail at the end of the tour in the museums “Mirror Bar”. There are several cocktails to choose from, the Dark and Stormy was a group favorite; however everything we sampled was delicious. We were a group of 5 best friends, so you know we all tried each other’s drinks. For 5 euro, you can purchase additional cocktails, so don’t feel pressured to choose only one option. I may have had three, I really can’t remember. The bartenders are hysterical and gave us a complimentary shot of one of their special concoctions. The Bols experience also offers cocktail workshops and Genever tastings, if tours bore you. This tour was a fun way to get me into a museum.
God forbid we do two touristy things in one day, so we choose the following day to cash in the Canal tour part of our package. After stocking up on some provisions, aka beer and champagne we headed for the dock. The canal tour included in our package was Blue Boat, which utilizes covered boats, nice for Amsterdam because you never know when a rain cloud might sneak up. Audio sets in a variety of languages are available and gave just the right amount of information; but seriously I already knew what those hooks on top of the houses were used for. With the sun shining, it was the perfect afternoon floating through the canals.
For once we pre-planned and seriously saved some money. With this tour bundle, we essentially paid five euro for the canal tour, which typically cost 15-20 euro per person. Just when you think you have done it all, there is always something new to experience, especially such an amazing city as Amsterdam.
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House of Bols: Paulus Potterstraat 12, 1071 CZ Amsterdam, Netherlands +31205708575 www.bols.com/experince