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This post covers how to visit London's Imperial War Museum, including details about the main exhibits and what you can expect to see when you come here. 




The Imperial War Museum is an organization comprised of five locations around England.

Three of them can be found in London, including the museum we will cover in this post as well as the HMS Belfast and the Churchill War Rooms.

However, when in London, references to the ‘Imperial War Museum’ specifically mean the war museum in the southern part of town.


This photo of Imperial War Museum North is courtesy of TripAdvisor

One of the most powerful and impressive museums in London, the Imperial War Museum is a world-class visitor attraction and, best of all, is totally free!

For more information on London during the Blitz, make sure to check out our fascinating World War II Walking Tour.


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The following section will include all the details you need to plan a trip to the Imperial War Museum.


There is no ticket needed and there is no cost to enter the museum.

The Imperial War Museum is just one of many free London museums as well as one of several military museums in the city. 

How to Get Here

The Imperial War Museum is located at Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ. Use this Google Maps link for specific directions from anywhere.


Map of Imperial War Museum Location


This site is right across the street from St. George’s Cathedral and just a few blocks from the Westminster Bridge and other notable landmarks.

The easiest way to get here is to take the London underground to one of three nearby stations: Lambeth North, Waterloo, and Elephant & Castle.

Operational Hours

  • The Imperial War Museum is open 7 days a week.
  • Visitors are welcome from 10 am - 6 pm every day.

Admission is free for everyone. 


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Best Time to Visit

Like most popular attractions in London, the Imperial War Museums are busiest during the middle of the day from 11 am - 4 pm.

If you’re trying to avoid the crowds, you may want to consider a visit either earlier from 10 am - 12 pm or later in the day from 4 pm - 6 pm.

Imperial War Museum London Hours


The Imperial War Museum is busiest on Saturdays in particular, so we recommend coming on a weekday if you can.

It is recommended to set aside around 3 hours to see everything, but many people seem to be satisfied with just 2 hours.

Weekend Hours Imperial War Museum London


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This section will cover some of the more notable exhibits you may want to check out. All of these exhibitions are permanent and free to enjoy. 

First World War Galleries

If you want to learn more about WWI, this set of galleries covers a lot of the most notable moments during the battle.

There are over 1,300 artifacts on display include weapons, uniforms, films, artwork, and keepsakes.



Turning Points

With a variety of artifacts from throughout the era of 1934-1945, this exhibition gives visitors a look at some of the most notable items, objects and people who played a role in changing the world during the events of WWII.

The Holocaust

This exhibition features photos, artifacts, documents, films and other important objects from this important historic event.




Curiosities of War

This gallery focuses on some of the more unusual items that have a connection to war. There are objects spanning almost 100 years of British military history. 

Witnesses to War

This exhibit features nine important objects that played an important role in historic battles.

In addition to a V-2 rocket, there is also a Harrier jet, a Spitfire plane, a T-34 tank and more.

Lord Ashcroft Gallery

Learn about some of the bravest and heroic people who have ever fought for Great Britain in this special exhibit covering the stories of more than 250 courageous people.

This gallery also includes a lot of interesting artifacts from their past.




Peace and Security

Covering the 70 years after WWII (1945-2015), this exhibition reveals how battles and conflicts since then have changed the course of history in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo.


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About The Author


An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries.
Updated: November 23rd, 2021
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