no alt text

Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 06 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Sarah Barrell

From a battle of Britain Spitfire to the casing of the ‘Little Boy’ atomic bomb, and a journey through the trenches, this grand Victorian building houses exhibitions that paint a visceral picture of combat from the First World War to present-day peacekeeping missions.

The museum’s acclaimed Holocaust and Second World War galleries have been overhauled, with bold new exhibits and never-displayed-before artefacts. There are also plenty of specialist tours as Highlights of IWM, a journey through the Atrium, once the exercise courtyard of the infamous ‘Bedlam’ hospital, exploring over a century’s worth of conflict and the often moving stories behind the extraordinary collection of military aircraft, tanks, weapons, paintings, photography, clothing and more.

Recommended itineraries by our writers that include this experience

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 6+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Lambeth North and Elephant and Castle Underground stations are a short walk away; bus routes 344 and 360 stop outside.

Note – certain exhibitions, including some Holocaust displays, are not recommended for those under 13 years of age.

When to do it

The museum is open all year round, Wednesday to Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday. The museum is busiest on weekends, from around the middle of the day to mid-afternoon.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Marriott County Hall

London, United Kingdom (UK)[0.9 miles]

Get a front-row seat for the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and a sparkling stretch of the River Thames, at this Grade-II listed Westminster waterfront address. Right in the city center, it’s walking distance to the major sites.

Official star rating:

Sea Containers London

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1.4 miles]

Right on the Thames, with views of St Pauls across the water, this cleverly-converted former shipping office has become one of the capital’s grandest and most glam hotels.

Official star rating:

The Savoy Hotel

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1.8 miles]

This opulent Art Deco hotel, right in the buzzing West End, is discreet, elegant, and full of A-list stories.

Official star rating:

Shangri-La at the Shard

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1.8 miles]

Housed in London’s newest landmark, the Shangri-La offers the best views in town, along with fine dining, innovative cocktails and a lofty infinity pool.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Greater London, United Kingdom (UK)

World-class culture, fashion, music, food and history – and a mind-boggling array of bucket list experiences – packed into one extraordinary, incomparable destination. 

Website >
Overview >

Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

The London Dungeon

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1 miles]

A gallows humour romp through London’s most gruesome periods of history, encountering its shadiest characters, via live action, rides and special effects.

Best for ages: 12+ | £27

National Theatre

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1.3 miles]

From classic drama to musical comedy, the National’s three stages (the Olivier, Lyttleton and Dorfman) epitomise the best of British theatre. Boundary-pushing, and world-class quality.

Best for ages: 13+ | £45

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Exterior view of front facade with people walking in front

SEA LIFE London Aquarium

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1 miles]

London’s impressive aquarium, set on the South Bank, home to hundreds of species of fish and a selection of sharks.

Best for ages: Any | £27

Website >
Overview >
Exterior view of the grand building surrounding a large square

Somerset House

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1.8 miles]

Famous for its picturesque alfresco ice rink in winter and the Edmund J Safra fountains in the summer, this elegant neoclassical building is also home to an art gallery and upscale restaurant.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

Website >
Overview >