Officially known as the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Penn Museum, with nearly one million artifacts from all over the world, has one of the most important university collections in the United States.  It was enriched by the findings of expeditions carried out by the university since the late 1800s and features several world famous objects from the ancient Near East.  Other objects display the culture of Egypt, China, Japan, Central America, Africa, and Etruscan Italy, Greece, and Rome. In addition, special exhibitions, drawn both from the Museum's own collections and brought in on loan, enrich the exhibition offerings.

The present museum building, opened in 1899, is itself a gem—a unique Italian Romanesque building with Arts and Crafts features. The existing parts, including a soaring, 90-foot rotunda, were constructed of brick in a Northern Italian Renaissance style that has a brooding and mysterious quality to it.  Decorative ironwork by Samuel Yellin at the Stoner Courtyard and Tiffany mosaics on the Warden Garden facade enhance the gardens, which provide contemplative spaces and serve speial event activities.

Museum amenities include the Pepper Mill Cafe, two shops, and several outdoor gardens, including one that features a koi pool.

Parking is available in the adjacent lot (Lot 7) at a $21 flat rate, with a discounted rate on weekends. Philadelphia visitors staying in Center City would do well to use the buses mentioned on the museum website. The museum is also accessible via SETPA's Regional Rail Line at University City Station, as well as trolley routes 11, 13, 34, and 36; bus routes 21, 30, 40, and 42; and the Market-Frankford Subway Line that leaves from City Hall and requires a walk across the campus upon arrival.