House of Bols

House of Bols

To say that

a visit to the fabulous House of Bols is something truly special is a great

understatement. This place won the prestigious Dutch Design Award for Best

Exhibition and Experience of 2007, thus proving that it is well-able to bring

the best of both worlds – the past – rich in history and tradition, and the

present – abounding with innovation and state-of-the-art ideas. This place is

not only a museum or an exhibition, it is an interactive experience aimed at

stimulating all of your senses, with the main theme of bright and colorful

drinks and bartending. As you can imagine, the fun is addressed at 18+

audience, so make sure to have your ID with you to make you able to discover

the amazing world of vivid colors, intense fragrances and remarkable tastes!

The area

Moving to

the south-west you’ll eventually cross the picturesque Canal Belt and reach the

fantastic area of the Museumplein – the mecca of culture of the Venice of the

North. Here you’ll find places like the Rijksmuseum dedicated to arts, crafts

and history, Stedelijk Museum focusing on the contemporary aspect of art, or

Van Gogh Museum concentrating on the works by the famous artist. Among these

there lies the House of Bols – a perfect combination of a regular exhibition

and a more modern approach to displaying objects of general interest. What’s

more, in the closest vicinity you’ll also come across a range of great cafés

and bars or restaurants with menus filled with finger-licking dishes. Apart

from that, you’ll also get a great chance to catch a breath of tranquility in

one of the most astonishing green areas of the city – the nearby Vondelpark,

welcoming you with its fresh and peaceful setting. All in all, the neighborhood

surrounding the House of Bols hides many additional attractions which you’ll be

able to take full advantage of after you’ve finished your one-hour-or-so trip

to this exotic beverage heaven.

The history

The House

of Bols is, as you might rightly assume, a place dedicated to Lucas Bols – the

oldest distilled spirit brand in the world. The Bols family started their

initial business – liquor distillation – in Amsterdam in 1575, in the area of

Rozengracht. Lucas Bols, the founder of and the name-giver to the brand, was

the one who kept on developing the then-family-run company, enriching its offer

and expanding its scope of marketed specialties. However, with the arrival of

2000, long after the last of the Bols’ heirs’ death (1816), the company was

acquired by R


my Cointreau – a French alcohol

manufacturer, but in 2006 was bought out by Huub van Doorne, a former member of

the Board of Directors of Rémy Cointreau, thus returning to Amsterdam. To

commemorate this comeback, as well as to assert the brand’s position on the

market, the owners opened the House of Bols in spring of 2007. The place won an

important award in the area of design, thus becoming a very exciting attraction

to see, and a place of historical significance to the enthusiasts of the brand

and the values of quality it stands for.

The place

Offering a

fresh approach and an exciting way of exhibiting the various secrets of the art

of bartending and blending most diverse types of top-quality alcoholic

beverages, the House of Bols is a home to all the finest items you can find in

the brand’s offer – 36 types of liqueurs, many kinds of genever (Dutch gin) and

Bols Corenwyn (a mix of vat-ripened distillates), to name a few, await to be

discovered. And to make things even more interesting, everything is provided in

a state-of-the-art setting boasting ultra-contemporary environment and a set of

astonishing features, more on which below.

A visit to

the House of Bols is a true feast for all the senses. It is of self-guided

character and takes about an hour to let you enjoy all the available

excitements – but that does not mean you have to finish

that quickly, does it? Anyway, this unique experience offers rich

all-sensory stimulation, so let us just hint briefly at each ‘section’ devoted

to each of your senses – the sight, the touch, the smell, the hearing and the



Lucas Bols’

Delft Blue collection should be a real treat to your eyes. Since the 50s, KLM

airlines have been rewarding their business class passengers with a gift in the

form of a little Delft Blue house. Delft Blue is world-famous earthenware,

produced in the city of Delft since the 17th century. The miniatures

handed to KLM’s business travelers are scaled replicas of famous buildings

found throughout the Netherlands. The deal is that each year a new design is

developed in cooperation between Bols and KLM – there are 88 of them as for

now. At first, they were filled with Bols liqueur, but since the 80s Bols has

been supplying their young genever as the ‘filling’. A very rare sight – and

remarkable, too!


Inside this

breathtaking place you’ll get an opportunity to come into contact with the

original ingredients of Bols’ genevers and liqueurs. You can do that in the

rainbow-colored Hall of Taste, where you’ll find ingredients like juniper

berries or lemon peels, among others. Another interesting thing is the welcome

addition of many touch screens to make your experience far more interactive.


If you can

smell your favorite food from miles away, then this section is just for you. The

exhibition with 36 chic scent dispensers allows you to try to guess the

different aromas put inside the bottles. Ranging from sweet peach and creamy

strawberries to intense coffee and refreshing mint, the palette of smells is

bound to make your nostrils dance in joy and confusion!


What is

your first association when you think of cocktails and other drinks? Most will

probably say ‘clubbing’ or ‘partying’ and this would be a good guess, for the

House of Bols comes with a 280o Projection Room with a screen where

a video displaying various faces of nightlife – the domain of adult beverages –

is played. This video clip has been developed especially for the House of Bols

and features some energetic 4×4 electronic music, thus creating a consistent

whole to reflect the friendly nature of the clubbing environment, stressing the

aspect of good fun.


If you

think that the way a particular dish or drink tastes is determined by your

sense of taste, you’re quite far from the truth, actually. With two amazing

taste-tests offered to be taken in the House of Bols you’ll be able to find out

how your brain reacts to different incentives – colors, images or smells. The

results will give you a deeper insight into your sensory weaponry; of course,

we don’t want to spoil all the fun, but let’s just note that even around 95% of

the taste depends on the smell! Surprising, isn’t it? The rest is for you to

discover alone.


the tour ends in the section called the ‘Mirror Bar’ – a spectacular space

where the décor is just as amazing as the attraction it serves. Select your own

genever cocktail or your favorite type of liquor and allow the skilled

bartender to mix it in front of your very eyes. Enjoy!


If you’re

still craving for excitement, check out the Flair Booth, where you’ll get the

opportunity to use Bols’ special flair bottles and deliver a show like a real

professional bartender – and have all that recorded as a video clip which you

can share later with your friends!


attraction is the Bols Shop – the only place in the world selling a complete

range of Bols Genever and all of the 36 types of Bols liqueur.


The House

of Bols is found at the following address: Paulus Potterstraat 14; it is open according

to the following schedule:

Monday to

Thursday – 12:00 – 18:30

Friday –

12:00 to 22:00

Saturday –

12:00 to 20:00

The entrance fee is € 14.50 per person and

includes a cocktail of own choice. The place is also accessible to people

moving using a wheelchair. However, the access is limited to those over 18

only! Find out more at