IWM London (part of Imperial War Museums)

Visitors looking at the Mark I Spitfire in the Atrium at IWM London
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

IWM London tells the stories of those whose lives have been shaped by war through the depth, breadth and impact of our Galleries, displays and events.

Explore the First World War Galleries and iconic Atrium; find out what life was like at home during the Second World War in A Family in Wartime; delve into the world of espionage in Secret War; visit our award-winning Holocaust Exhibition; discover stories of bravery in The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes or take in our latest major temporary exhibitions.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Open daily, 10am - 6pm (last entry 5.45pm). Closed 24-26 December.

Admission charges

General Admission free, charges apply for special exhibitions.


  • National Art Pass
Getting there

Visiting us by London Underground
IWM London is a short walk from Lambeth North (7 minutes), Waterloo (15 mins) and Elephant and Castle (15 mins) underground stations.

Visiting us by Bus
Local bus routes that stop near IWM London include 159, 360, 109, 344 and 360.

Visiting us by Train
IWM London is a short 15 minute walk from London Waterloo, Waterloo East, and Elephant and Castle rail stations.

Additional info

Wheelchair access to all areas and disabled toilets available on each floor.

20th Century Collections, include: Art, Documents, Film and Video Archive, Printed Books, Photograph Archive, Sound Archive, Exhibits and Firearms

Items from this collection

Collection details

Archives, Aviation, Coins and Medals, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Industry, Literature, Maritime, Personalities, Photography, Social History, Weapons and War

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Holocaust Exhibition

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2018 *on now

This highly-acclaimed permanent exhibition uses film, photographs and a large number of rare artefacts – many brought from Germany and Eastern Europe – to document the history of the Nazi persecution of the Jews and other groups before and during the Second World War.

The Exhibition features over 600 objects, from moving testimonies of survivors and a 13 metre long model depicting events at Auschwitz-Birkenau, through to the letters of an eight year old French Jewish boy who hid in an orphanage before his betrayal and deportation to Auschwitz.

Recommended for children aged 14 and above

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children



photograph of the interior of iwm london's First World War galleries

First World War Galleries

  • 19 July 2014 — 31 December 2019 *on now

In the new First World War Galleries, made up of 14 areas, visitors will discover the story of the First World War, how it started, why it continued, how it was won and its global impact, through the lives of those who experienced it on the front line and the home front.

Drawing on our First World War collections – the richest and most comprehensive in the world – the Galleries will feature objects large and small, many of which have never been seen before from lucky charms made from shell fragments to iconic recruitment posters and huge ship models. Objects on show will include weapons and uniforms through to diaries, letters and souvenirs, which will sit alongside photographs, art and film.

Having considered some of the big questions and choices, ordinary and extraordinary, that the people of Britain and its former Empire had to face in this first ‘total war’, visitors will leave the Galleries with a new perspective on this landmark conflict.

Suitable for

  • Any age



© The Artist / Photo Thelma / Garcia Courtesy Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris-Brussels

Age of Terror: Art since 9/11

  • 26 October 2017 — 28 May 2018 *on now

Featuring 50 works of art including film, sculpture, painting, installations, photography and prints, many of which will be exhibited publicly in the UK for the first time, Age of Terror: Art since 9/11 will present IWM’s largest contemporary visual art exhibition to date. Staged in IWM’s centenary year, the exhibition will consider artists’ responses to war and conflict since the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 and will feature more than 40 British and international contemporary artists, including Ai Weiwei, Grayson Perry, Gerhard Richter, Jenny Holzer, Mona Hatoum, Alfredo Jaar, Coco Fusco and Jake & Dinos Chapman. The catastrophic events of 9/11, a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks on the United States on the morning of Tuesday 11 September 2001, changed public perception and understanding of conflict. The complex issues surrounding the global response to 9/11, the nature of modern warfare and the continuing state of emergency in which we find ourselves have become compelling subject matter for contemporary artists.

Age of Terror takes 9/11 as its starting point; the catalyst which altered public perception of contemporary conflict. The artworks featured communicate a range of perspectives on subsequent events and their consequences. The exhibition highlights the crucial role of artists in representing contemporary conflict. Artists’ unique ways of communicating through their art provide different levels of understanding. The stories they tell, whether first or second-hand, come from alternative viewpoints not always reflected in the mainstream media. The exhibition will be presented through four key themes: artists’ direct or immediate responses to the events of 9/11; issues of state surveillance and security; our complex relationship with firearms, bombs and drones and the destruction caused by conflict on landscape, architecture and people. One of the highlights of the exhibition is Iván Navarro’s The Twin Towers (2011), which will be exhibited in the UK for the first time. Navarro’s fluorescent light installations recede deep within themselves, creating the illusion of an infinite concave space. Alongside the main exhibition galleries, Age of Terror will present Drone Shadow Predator, a site-specific installation by James Bridle, which will be installed on the floor of the Atrium at IWM London.

Further highlights include: Dolls at Dungeness September 11th 2001 (2001) by Grayson Perry; Natura morta (bow-fronted cabinet) (2012) by Mona Hatoum; Circadian Rhyme 1 (2011) by Jitish Kallat; Operation Atropos (2006) by Coco Fusco and a selection of photographs from Jamal Penjweny’s photographic series Saddam is Here (2009-2010). Other artists that will feature include Sierra Santiago, Sabine Moritz, kennardphillipps, Hans Peter Feldmann and Mahwish Chishty, amongst others.

Suitable for

  • 18+


Adult £15, Child £7.50, Concessions £10.50, Members Free, Art Fund Members £7.50



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
British soldiers eating hot rations in the Ancre Valley during the Battle of the Somme, October 1916.

Lives of the First World War

  • 12 May 2014 — 31 December 2018 *on now

By the end of the centenary the project will have built the permanent digital memorial to more than 8 million men and women from across Britain and the Commonwealth and saved their stories for future generations.

Bringing together material from museums, libraries, archives and family collections from across the world together in one place, IWM needs your help to explore these documents, to link them together and to start telling the stories of those who served in uniform and worked on the home front.

Find out more about the project and how you can get involved here:




Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

How Do We Remember? WebQuest


What sort of things do we remember about the past? How do we capture these memories? This online activity encourages children to investigate the history of the Imperial War Museum and some of its artefacts, before recording a memory of their own in the form of a paper boat. The boats can come together in a classroom display.

How to obtain

Open the How Do We Remember? box, then click Start WebQuest.

Imperial War Museum WebQuests


WebQuests are online activities for children, using the collections of nine national museums and galleries.

The Children's War WebQuest


What were children's lives like in the Second World War? This online investigation uses the collections of the Imperial War Museum to help children imagine the daily life of a child on the Home Front, leading to a piece of creative writing.

How to obtain

Open the Children's War box, then click Start WebQuest.

What was life like in the Second World War?


Getting there

Visiting us by London Underground
IWM London is a short walk from Lambeth North (7 minutes), Waterloo (15 mins) and Elephant and Castle (15 mins) underground stations.

Visiting us by Bus
Local bus routes that stop near IWM London include 159, 360, 109, 344 and 360.

Visiting us by Train
IWM London is a short 15 minute walk from London Waterloo, Waterloo East, and Elephant and Castle rail stations.

IWM London (part of Imperial War Museums)
Lambeth Road
Greater London




General enquiries



020 7416 5000

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.