As the largest city and capital of France, Paris is just a short hop away from the United Kingdom and makes for an exceptional place to go on educational trips for a taste of the art and science that makes the city what it is today. With a history that dates back over two thousand years, exploring Paris and its surrounds can seem to be a monumental task for educational trips to the city, but it is easy to manage the wealth of information and culture if you focus on a few key sights or topics.
While in Paris, it is hard to ignore the arts. World famous museums, such as the Louvre, are around every corner, but if you have a little time and want to get a more in depth look into a museum, consider a visit to the Musée d’Orsay. Don’t neglect the sciences, either, which have a background that can be explored when you visit the Cité des Sciences.
The Musée d’Orsay
Situated on the left bank of the Seine, the Musée d’Orsay literally cannot be missed. It is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, which is a stunning Beaux-Arts train station that was built between 1989 and 1900. The building itself was completed just in time for the Universal Exposition of 1900 and the station remained one of the most important stations in France until 1939 when the short platforms became an issue for the longer trains. During the 1900s, the station was used as a film location, by auctioneers, and as a theatre company before the building was saved from destruction and opened as a museum in 1986. Educational trips here will reveal its history and heritage: it was designed to bridge a perceived gap between the collections of the Louvre and the National Museum of Modern Art. The resulting museum is light and airy and known for its extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works of art with names that everyone will recognise – such as Monet, Degas, Manet, and Van Gogh, just to mention a few.
Cité des Sciences
Officially known as the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, this museum is must-visit destination for science focused educational trips to Paris. Located in the outskirts, the Cité des Sciences is also the largest science museum in Europe. The museum opened in 1986, and is recognisable for its large bioclimatic façade of glass. Inside the museum features a planetarium, IMAX theatre, a submarine and a range of leisure activities that combine the history of science and modern scientific issues with entertainment and activities. Here students focused on maths, space, environmental issues and even the human body can enjoy the exhibits before heading out to explore the parklands around the building.