Allard Pierson is an archaeological museum located in the heart of Amsterdam. It incorporates the collections of the former Allard Pierson Museum and Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam.
The museum was rebranded as the Allard Pierson in 2019 with a completely new permanent presentation called ‘From the Nile to the Amstel’. The collection covers 10,000 years of history starting with Ancient Egypt and is framed as a journey to the river Amstel.
The museum is named after Mr Allard Pierson (1831-1896), the first professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Amsterdam. The museum first opened its doors way back in 1934 at Sarphatistraat but has been at its current central location, a grand former central bank building since 1976.
The collection includes artefacts such as pottery, coins, glassware, jewellery, statues and the like from the Egyptian, Greek, near East, Etruscan and Roman empires.
Sections include From Hunter to Farmer, Bronze Age, Greeks and Major Powers, From Alexander to Cleopatra, From Rome to Roman, the Egyptian Cabinet, the Etruscan Cabinet and Holy Empires.
Allard Pierson’s Cast Gallery consists of a collection of 300 casts which are copies from the Greek classical and Hellenistic periods.
The Egyptian collection has a focus on the afterlife and includes some mummies.
The ArcheoHotspot room at Allard Pierson Live is a lab where you can get a hands-on feel for archaeology. You can help the archeologist at work with various tasks or ask questions.
The museum goes beyond archaeology and also houses an extensive heritage collection which includes the history of books, Jewish culture, church history, cartography, literature, graphic design and zoology.
The new 3 room presentation Amsterdam, Creative City 1600-1900 features books, manuscripts, maps and prints from the city.
In addition to the permanent displays the museum also holds 2 major temporary exhibitions each year.
The recent renovation has provided a much-needed improvement in the display with clear information labelled in both Dutch and English.
The museum can offer special group tours for up to 15 people at extra charge – please contact the museum to book in advance. There is a museum café at the first gallery level.
If you have an interest in ancient history and archaeology the Allard Pierson is well worthy of a visit.
It is recommended to pre-book a ticket and timeslot online in advance.
Allard Pierson Essential Info
|Opening Times||1000-1700 Tue-Sun. Closed Mondays.|
|Admission Prices (2022)||€12.50 for adults, €2.00 for children 5-18. Free entry for children 0-4, Museumkaart and Iamsterdam City Card holders.|
|Getting There||The Allard Pierson is located on Oude Turfmarkt which runs parallel to Rokin, near the Spui. It is a short walk from Dam Square. From Amsterdam Central Station it is 10-15 minutes walk or take either metro line 52 or trams 4, 14 or 24 to stop Rokin.|
Allard Pierson, Oude Turfmarkt 127-129, 1012 GC Amsterdam
T: +31(0)20 525 7300, allardpierson.nl
Last updated 13 September 2021. This article was first published in 2008 and has been regularly updated.