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Imperial War Museums, London

4.3
#7 of 249 in Museums in London
Military Museum · Hidden Gem · History Museum
Imperial War Museums 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. Our London trip planning site makes visiting Imperial War Museums and other London attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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Imperial War Museums reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
10,471 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Had a nice visit, we spent a couple of hours here. The displays were interesting. Enjoyed the first world war exhibit. I was a bit disappointed with the 2nd world war exhibit I expected it more to....  more »
  • The main area is quite good, nothing to blow your mind (if you want to see more ranks go to Bovington tank museum) but the holocaust section is easily the best part. So much detail into the holocaust....  more »
  • What a lot of information and presented in a modern way! I was expecting a lot of dusty tanks and dull writing but it was really very interesting. We didn't do WWI in history at school so my...  more »
Google
  • Some really attractive and creative displays telling the heroic and gruesome tales of Britain at war. I find it inspiring that so many ordinary people were willing to make such immense sacrifices to defend their country. A highlight was being able to ask questions and listen to 95 year old veteran and an evacuee speak of their wartime experiences. Some really attractive and creative displays telling the heroic and gruesome tales of Britain at war. I find it inspiring that so many ordinary people were willing to make such immense sacrifices to defend their country. A highlight was being able to ask questions and listen to 95 year old veteran and an evacuee speak of their wartime experiences.
  • One of the many free to enter museums in London and well worth a trip south of the Thames. The nearest Underground is Lambeth North turn left out of the station and cross over the road. The displays are on several levels the main multi-storey atrium has a V2, V1, Spitfire and a modern Harrier fighter hanging in space. The galleries around hold separate displays - just in front of the Sherman is a 6 minute film voiced over by D Day landings of the Brits coming ashore in Normandy - educational and we can salute their bravery.
  • The World War 1 exhibit is amazing and worth seeing. From the World War II section, I enjoyed seeing the British Lancaster bomber front section the most. They have a Sherman tank and the engine from a P-51 Mustang AKA the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. The Holocaust exhibit is moving and much more detailed than exhibits you might see in the United States. The gift shop and bookstore has a wonderful selection.
  • In short: Endless, fascinating, informative, and well-curated exhibitions. I would highly recommend this fantastic museum. I have been to the Imperial War Museum a couple of times, around a decade apart. The first time I went, I was about 14 or 15 years old, and this time I was 26. Both times I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibitions and the museum as a whole. I would recommend this for both kids and adults alike! I would strongly recommend going round the WW1, Holocaust, and Nuclear War exhibitions - these are all absolutely crammed full of information and extremely interesting, including stats, interactive aspects, and historic weapons etc. We also ate at the cafe, which was very tasty if a bit expensive! The museum also offers lockers for you to leave your bags and coats for a deposit of £1 which you get back when you get your things. I would highly recommend this museum. We spent around 5 hours here and enjoyed every second.
  • Some really attractive and creative displays telling the heroic and gruesome tales of Britain at war. I find it inspiring that so many ordinary people were willing to make such immense sacrifices to defend their country. A highlight was being able to ask questions and listen to 95 year old veteran and an evacuee speak of their wartime experiences.

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