Imperial War Museum North

The Imperial War Museum North is one of the most unconventional buildings in the UK. The award-winning building was designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind and is located at Salford Quays in Greater Manchester.

HD video of a walk around Salford Quays (starts near Imperial War Museum North)

The building itself exhibits a highly complex geometry. The design represents a globe shattered by war and broken into shards. The Earth Shard is the main gallery of the building, the Water Shard an event space, while the Air Shard is a large tower and entrance. Sloping floors and ceilings induce disorientation similar to that experienced in war.

Imperial War Museum North, Salford Quays, Greater Manchester
Imperial War Museum North

Although the museum does contain physical objects, its main focus is on experiences of war rather than the weapons themselves. Permanent exhibits include:

  • Big Picture Show – Every hour the museum’s lights are dimmed and visitors are treated to an award-winning 360° audio-visual experience. Continually changing images of war are projected onto the gallery walls and floor, accompanied by music, sounds and recordings. Shows vary throughout the day.
  • Large Objects –Large Objects – These include a Harrier jump jet, an East German Trabant car, and wreckage from New York’s World Trade Center.
  • Silos – Six separate exhibition areas exploring different aspects of war including the role of women, the British Empire and Commonwealth, and the contributions of science and technology.
Air Shard and Viewing Platform, Imperial War Museum North, Salford Quays
Air Shard

The museum’s gift shop sells postcards, souvenirs, books, DVDs, and more. Other facilities here include a cafe and public toilets.

The Imperial War Museum North is open every day of the week throughout the year (except at Christmas). Opening hours are 10 am to 5 pm (last admission at 4.30 pm). Entry to the museum is free.

The closest Metrolink station is Imperial War Museum. MediaCityUK is also nearby and is served by trams from Manchester city centre.

Imperial War Museum Metrolink Tram Stop
Imperial War Museum Metrolink Tram Stop

Bus services to the Imperial War Museum North include the X50 and the 50.

The X50 bus runs from Piccadilly Gardens Bus Station in Manchester city centre to the Trafford Centre.  Stops on the way include Deansgate Train Station, Old Trafford, and the Imperial War Museum North.

The 50 service runs from the Parrs Wood Entertainment Centre in Didsbury to The Lowry. Stops on the way include the University of Manchester, Manchester city centre, Salford Central Train Station, and Salford Crescent Train Station. From The Lowry cross the footbridge to reach the museum.

Visitors travelling to the Imperial War Museum North by car and using satellite navigation systems can use the postcode M17 1TZ. There’s a car park right next to the entrance (fees apply). Alternatively park at the Quayside multi-storey car park.

Hotels near Imperial War Museum North are listed at the end of this page.

Nearby Attractions

Tourist attractions and things to do near Imperial War Museum North include:

Nearby Cinemas

Cinemas near Imperial War Museum North include:

Nearby Shopping

Places to shop near Imperial War Museum North include:

Nearby Restaurants

Restaurants and places to eat and drink near Imperial War Museum North include:

Nearby Hotels

Hotels near Imperial War Museum North include:

  • Holiday Inn Manchester - MediaCityUK (0.3 miles)
  • Holiday Inn Express Manchester - Salford Quays (0.4 miles)

Nearby Metrolink Stations

Metrolink stations near Imperial War Museum North include:


Map showing location of Imperial War Museum North.

Map showing location of Imperial War Museum North


Imperial War Museum North

Address and postcode
The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road
Greater Manchester
United Kingdom
M17 1TZ

Visit Imperial War Museum North Website

Reviews and Additional Information

  1. We had a really interesting day, but I was very disappointed that there was very little representing the war in Burma. My relative lost his life in Burma, as many others did. I feel this should have a place in the museum. My great uncle and his comrades should be remembered too.

  2. In this time of high priced admissions, we have just spent an amazing day at the Museum. Real family entertainment and knowledge gaining. Thank you. This is a museum worth attending.

  3. We really enjoyed visiting this Museum. There’s loads to see – the kids were really impressed with the tanks and the Harrier. They have daily activities on too and a film and sound show which is really impressive. The best thing about this place is that it’s free! A great day out for the kids. They even have a picnic room so you can take your own food.

  4. The hourly show is very well done. This is a great place to spend a rainy afteroon in Manchester.


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