The two Amsterdam experiences – The Heineken Experience & the A’DAM Lookout are two of the most fun things to do in Amsterdam! Amsterdam is one of the best cities in Europe for experiences. It’s not just about the nightlife or the Red District – the city offers some thrilling one-of-a-kind adventures!
Amsterdam Experience #1: The Heineken Experience
The Heineken Experience is not your typical museum. AT ALL! It doesn’t matter if you love beer or not, you will still enjoy it immensely.
Don’t wait in line
The lines in most Amsterdam museums can be quite long and tiring. The waiting time for the Heineken Experience is no exception, unfortunately. Don’t spoil this cool thing to do in Amsterdam and try to be prepared – get a “skip-the-line” ticket before your visit! (P.S. this link includes a 1-hour canal cruise for just 9 EUR more!). In this way you’ll be able to fill the rest of your afternoon or morning by visiting the A’DAM Lookout (see below!)
History of the Heineken Experience
The awesome brewery that you will be exploring was established in 1864 in Amsterdam, only to close 124 years later. The owners decided to spare the locals of the smell coming from production and turned it into the museum you can see nowadays. The Heineken Experience offers guided tours – you will hear all about the history of Heineken and you can even see how the classic Heineken bottle has evolved over time! There are also numerous art installations using beer bottles that you can enjoy in this Amsterdam experience.
Have fun in Amsterdam while learning the RIGHT way to drink beer!
Of course, there are a few beers included in your Heineken Experience tickets. However, don’t be in a hurry to take a sip once you’ve been handed a glass of cold beer. Wait for the demonstration first! Unlike wine, where you need to take small tips when you’re wine tasting, the right way to taste any beer is to take a LARGE sip. Otherwise, you’d just be drinking the very bitter top part of the foam which is really not as nice. And honestly, it’s just better in large sips, try it!
The secret formula of Heineken beer
Well, I’m no brewer, so I had no idea how beer was generally made. However, during the guided tour in the Heineken Experience, you can learn a little bit about the process, as well as what makes this world-famous beer so special.
The Brew Ride at the Heineken Experience
This was probably my most favorite part of this whole Amsterdam experience and here is where you’ll truly appreciate why the Heineken experience is one of the coolest things to do in Amsterdam! There is a small theater where they only let a certain number of people every few minutes. There is usually a line for this, but trust me, it’s TOTALLY worth it! You get to not just see, but experience the journey of every beer – from brewing to production, it’s a thrilling ride. No more spoilers, but you’ll enjoy this one for sure.
Test your skills at a beer drafting contest!
The last stop of your Heineken Experience is a super cool bar. They claim this bar has the best selfie toilet in Amsterdam 😀 You can have two beers for free there, but you can also try your luck and skills at the beer drafting contest! They show you the right way to pour the beer into a cup and all you have to do is copy it. However, it’s definitely not as easy as it sounds! The original Heineken cups have a very special spot to show you how much the foam is supposed to be.
Amsterdam Experience #2: A’DAM Lookout
The A’DAM Lookout (short for Amsterdam Lookout) was another cool experience you can enjoy in Amsterdam. If you’re in the mood for some breathtaking bird’s-eye views, this is where you need to be!
How to get to the A’DAM Lookout
The A’DAM Lookout is not far from the center at all. However, bear in mind that you will need to catch a public ferry to reach this Amsterdam experience. The ferry is absolutely free and it comes and goes between the coasts every few minutes. On the way there, while enjoying the ferry, I talked to a Dutch woman and told her where we were going. She got all excited and said she lives in the only other tall building in the area (in the photo above!) which is right next to the A’DAM Lookout. Well, as she lives in one of the top floors, she said she hadn’t been at the Lookout itself 😀 I am honestly wishing everybody this beautiful view to wake up to each and every day!
The way up
Even before you’ve stepped in that out-of-this-world elevator, they will take a few pictures of you (which you can even download for free later!) as if you were on top of the A’DAM Lookout. And if you’re adventurous, you can make it seem like one of those “MOM, I’M FINE” photos (which we totally did), and you’ll surely have a blast. What a fun quick photo session that was!
And then comes… *drumroll* THE ELEVATOR! This is honestly the most amazing elevator I’ve ever seen in my life and one of the most fun things I did in Amsterdam. I thoroughly enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed everything else at this Amsterdam experience. Click the video in the end to see it. This is one of the main reasons why I call this sight more an experience rather than just a tall building in Amsterdam you just need to see.
The view from the A’DAM Lookout
Once you’ve reached the top, you will enter a really cozy restaurant with one of the best views of Amsterdam (duh, that’s why it’s called the A’DAM Lookout after all!). There are even little windows on the ground of the restaurant to help give you a taste of the height right below your feet. In addition, you can have a glass of prosecco to help you clear your head in case you got dizzy, or even a quick bite. But I would personally recommend eating only after you have visited the rooftop, because…
The coolest Amsterdam experience: Over-the-edge swing!
… because of the Over-The-Edge Swing! It’s something that you definitely must not miss. It costs only a few extra euros to see it (the swing is not included in the general pass to see the A’DAM Lookout), but it is really worth it to enjoy this Amsterdam experience. I am generally afraid of heights but I was not afraid at all. Until we actually started swinging, that is.
Europe’s highest over-the-edge swing offers a truly thrilling experience – it only lasts a few minutes, but will definitely get your blood pumping. If you are a true adventurer and adrenaline junkie, you will enjoy this Amsterdam sight immensely. After you have enjoyed swinging at over 100 meters above the ground, you can now land safely on your feet and get a quick bite at the restaurant on the level below.
How To Save On Your Visit
If you would like to visit both of these amazing Amsterdam experiences in one day, I would recommend getting a Rock The City Pass, which even includes a guided canal cruise from one point to the other. I am absolutely sure that I have convinced you that both the Heineken Experience and the A’DAM Lookout are amazing and worth visiting in a day!
Don’t just visit Amsterdam. Experience it!
If you’re in the mood for a day trip from Amsterdam, see my post about Zaanse Schans – a lovely little village full of windmills, wooden houses, yummy cheese and authentic Dutch atmosphere.