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Imperial War Museum

#41 of 1,501 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ, England
Phone Number: +44 20 7416 5000
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Open now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

IWM London tells the stories of people's experiences of modern war from the...

IWM London tells the stories of people's experiences of modern war from the First World War to conflicts today. Mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme over 2016 and experience our ground-breaking First World War Galleries. Our IWM Contemporary art programme continues with work by protest photographer Edward Barber from 26 May - 4 September 2016 and works by artist Mahwish Chishty later in 2016. From 28 July 2016 artist-photographer Edmund Clark presents an exhibition exploring hidden experiences of state control, touching on issues of security, legality and ethics during the 'Global War on Terror'. Discover astonishing acts of bravery in The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, delve into the world of espionage in Secret War and explore key moments of the Second World War in the award-winning Holocaust Exhibition. Find out how Britain's armed forces deal with very different aspects of global security in Fighting Extremes: From Ebola to ISIS, until 13 November 2016.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 6,782 reviews
Visitor rating
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    Very good
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A great afternoon out

The IWM is great. The first world war area and Holocaust exhibition are very informative and really interesting. We are hoping to be able to make one of the cinema nights soon.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Jenny S
Hong Kong, China
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6,782 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 5,731: English reviews
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

The IWM is great. The first world war area and Holocaust exhibition are very informative and really interesting. We are hoping to be able to make one of the cinema nights soon.

Thank Jenny S
Level Contributor
166 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We were in the area and decided to go to the museum. We went to all the floors apart from the holocaust section as we did not have time... the section on wwi was amazing and it is worth it to go to this free museum just to learn about that. There was great information for both people who never... More 

Thank KeenDav
Kansas City, Kansas
Level Contributor
171 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

This museum tells the history of the British military. Most of the museum is free. There is a special WWII film that had an admission cost that I did not see. This museum is south of the Thames River but is within walking distance of Westminster.

Thank harryatkck
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

A fantastic museum in London where one can easily loose track of time, given both the quantity and quantity of the content. There is a good amount of visual material to help engage the young as well as detail for those keen on reading in more depth.

Thank Richard C
Wrexham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

A little way out from the City, but worth a visit. Excellent exhibits, so much to see we couldn't do it all in just one afternoon. Will have to make a return visit!

Thank Sarah H
Upton upon Severn, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Visited with my wife, 16yo son and 12yo daughter. We got off the tube at Westminster and walked which was very straightforward and enjoyable. This is not a massive place like the Natural History, Science or V&A mueseums so can easily be tied into a bigger plan or tacked on the end of a day quite successfully. The slightly different... More 

Thank 31415pi
Level Contributor
35 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Attended with my 13 year old daughter. Was intending to spend a couple of hours - ending up doing this in the 1st WW section alone. Spent a full 3.5 hrs here. Ha a nice cup of tea and lunch nearby after - great day!! One of the best museums in London in my opinion.

Thank mas6870
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Lots to see and do inside the museum especially for children with loads of hands on experiences to keep them entertained. Whilst also having the Holocaust, WW1 AND WW2 exhibitions for adult audiences. It is a very physically tiring trip due to the long walk from the nearest tube station and the museum being spread over many floors. Eating areas... More 

Thank Lindyl0057
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Went to this museum for the first time yesterday and was so impressed with the exhibitions, especially considering it is all free! It is definitely worth a visit, although more for adults/older children as from what I saw younger children seemed bored and not to understand. We spent several hours at the museum and only managed three out of the... More 

Thank Laurenjb7
Mansfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
100 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Id not been here for years and wondered if my wife and two teenage daughters would appreciate it. I needn't have worried - they did. The museum is well laid out with exhibits from WW1 through to modern conflicts and events including terrorist attacks. The Holocaust section was incredibly moving.

Thank npr1uk

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Questions & Answers

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Stroud, United Kingdom

Sorry, but the visit I and a friend made at Christmastime was NOT good – have been chuntering about it ever since, but only now had time to register our experience. First, I should say that neither of us is so young: one cannot climb up many stairs at a time, the other cannot go either up or down, both walk quite slowly. Fortunately the comparatively shallow steps at the main entrance were possible for us both. But once inside there is nowhere to sit down. I was early, so therefore opted for a preliminary walk around. The full flight of stairs down to the lower level greets one almost as soon as inside the main hall. Once on the main concourse there I headed for the First World War exhibition, thinking to have a quick preliminary look before coming back later – not a good idea: it is very tight in its layout – people spending time reading detailed information obstruct the way of others wanting to move more quickly. No alternative routes or intermediate way of exiting, had to continue zig-zagging to the end (was running out of time). Then had to queue at the main enquiry desk (only one person manning it) to find out where the lifts were (not signed). They are right at the rear of the main hall. Once back up on the main entrance level, had to walk all the way round the side gallery and through a secondary shop area to return to the front entrance. Asked there if there was somewhere I could sit to wait for my friend; a helpful member of staff said he would fetch 'the' chair for me. He came back and said he was sorry, he couldn't find it. Just then I spotted my friend sitting near the entrance doors, on the said chair, ie, only one available chair (ordinary office or café type) . . . Then, since my friend could not do the flight of stairs down to the lower concourse, we had to work our way right round to the rear of the hall to reach the lifts; at least I now knew where they were – no signs of course. There are four lifts, set apart from one another (no seating while one waits for the next one), and then that dash to get to whichever comes first before its doors shut again. When we were leaving we commented to the pleasant young woman at the front door, who hoped we had enjoyed our visit, that the steps at the main columned entrance would defeat some people, and there was no sign there to say how anyone with mobility limitations could get access. She said there was a sign at the main entrance gate, directing people to a level entrance along the side (no covered way to same, no surprise there!). As it happened we both came via side gates where we didn't spot any such directions. We expressed our concern that that didn't equate with equality of access and bless her, she came out with that classic remark that annoys beyond measure: 'They can't do anything because it's a Listed building'. (So is Burlington House in Piccadilly, but the Royal Academy seem to have managed to effect ramped access). She kindly suggested we filled in a visitor feedback form if we wanted to comment; we thought that a good idea, until we learnt that one of us would have to go back down to the lower level enquiry desk to get hold of a copy. Signage is certainly an issue throughout the building – it was hard to find the café at the lower level – we laughed, saying it was probably good that it wasn't signed as it wouldn't be too busy (we were right). So much for stairs (many), seats (few), lifts (obscure), signage (meagre). Women with reduced visual acuity would be stumped by the use of unrelieved battleship grey in the ladies toilets – would struggle to work out which were the actual cubicle doors and how they opened. And the warren of those facilities must be alarmingly confusing for anyone with poor vision or the beginnings of dementia. I should like to think the facilities for men are better, but somehow doubt it. The Disability Discrimination Act was passed more than 20 years ago. If this was an old, unmodernised museum in a small town, the inadequacies of all these facilities would still be unacceptable; they certainly are in a nationally important museum in a capital city, and especially one that is publicly funded and has had a comparatively recent major refurbishments.

7 months ago
Nottingham, United Kingdom
over a year ago

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