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Imperial War Museum, London

4.3
#7 of 165 in Museums in London
Imperial War Museum helps visitors understand the British wartime experience by documenting the country's roles in World Wars I and II. Originally established in 1917 to memorialize British sacrifice in World War I, the museum expanded to record an even greater sacrifice a little over two decades later. Throughout the complex, you can view documents such as official orders, letters, diaries, and memoirs, as well as artwork including paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Listen to some of the 33,000 oral-history recordings and view over 350 vehicles and aircraft on display. World War I gallery exhibits a recreated trench. If the weather's agreeable, eat in the cafe, which opens out onto the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park. Put Imperial War Museum into our London trip builder and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
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Imperial War Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
8,247 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 21, 2017
    After several trips to London, we finally visited this free museum. We took the tube to Lambeth North then walked from there in about 10 minutes. It is signposted, but use your map too. The exhibit on...  more »
  • August 21, 2017
    Small museum which sums up well the last conflicts of the past century. The Museum is free, it has 4 floors and it is very interesting because seen collectibles not seen elsewhere.
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  • August 21, 2017
    We spent 2 days in London and as our hotel The Days Inn was nearly next to the museum this was somewhere I had always wanted to visit. My wife and I spent a couple of hours going round the WW1 floor a...  more »
Google
  • Amazing. Great experience, lots to see. I used to live 2 minutes away and I remember it being a little more 'interactive. There used to be a 'Blitz Experience' and a 'Trench Experience' which are not there now. I missed them. You also used to be able to sit in and touch a few more things but, I guess because of their age and popularity, they've been cordoned off now. My 7 yr old daughter loved it. To quote her, "So much history Daddy!". The restaurant has a great selection of freshly cooked food which was reasonably priced. The door staff/bag checkers are great fun. They also have lockers you can put your stuff in which were incredibly useful - it meant we could enjoy the museum without having to lug bags and coats around. As it's free to enter we would definitely visit again and again.
  • Great museum if you want to learn more about military history. The showcase of the first world war is especially good. If you are interested in these types of exhibitions I really recommend you to pay a visit.
  • Love this museum. WW1 is done really well however I think WW2 let's the museum down in comparison. Holocaust is done in a sensitive way, yet informative. Overall I think it's an excellent museum
  • Imperial War Museum is a very educational place to learn about the human side of warfare. The coverages on World War I and II are excellent. One could spend five hours here, and not see everything. In 3.5 hrs, we only covered 1.5 floors! Video displays were very good, provided more info to the subjects. Would highly recommend.
  • World war one exhibition is really good even for people not interested in the the time period or conflicts in general. Good use of visual aids to help visitor gather a understanding of the factors leading up to the great war. Rest of the exhibitions are in no way bad but if you only have so much time the WW1 is the one to aim for.

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Where to stay in London

Many of London's main attractions are spread out, so nearby public transportation is key. There is no downtown area as such in London, and some of the least expensive hotels have more convenient access to tourist sites than the costlier ones. For a quintessential London experience, consider staying in the West End. This part of town offers excellent theaters, historical sites, and eating and shopping options for every taste. Lodging won’t be cheap, but you’ll have the colorful variety of London life right at your doorstep. Look at Notting Hill or Chelsea for charming and less expensive boutique hotels and B&Bs.
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