One of London’s unexpectedly gripping museums has a deceptive name. It’s not just for military buffs, and it’s no gun-fondling armory, even if there is a Spitfire hanging from the rafters. Instead of merely showcasing heavy implements of death, which it does, this museum—the latest tenant of the commodious former mental hospital known as Bedlam—takes care to convey the sensations, feelings, and motivations of soldiers and civilians caught in past conflicts. It is ultimately not about weapons but a museum about people at war. In addition to easy-to-grasp background on major conflicts, the museum intelligently balances tanks and planes with storytelling that unravels propaganda. In 2014, the IWM was expensively renovated from a brick storehouse into a gleaming facility—while some exhibits were perhaps oversimplified, the First World War Galleries (reserve ahead in peak season) are the most advanced, best-stocked, most comprehensible, and most moving you’ll ever see on the topic, followed by the segment on the Holocaust.
Imperial War Museum London
Lambeth Rd., SE1
Our Rating Hours Daily 10am–6pm; last admission 5:30pm Transportation Tube: Lambeth North or Elephant & Castle Phone 020/7416-5000 Prices Free admission Web site Imperial War Museum London
MapLambeth Rd., SE1 London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.